A Birthmother’s Reflection: Ashley

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At the beginning of my sophomore year in college, I was headed down a dangerous path. I had my own apartment, I could drink and go out partying whenever I wanted, and I had a boyfriend from my hometown who wasn’t going down the right path. An A student in high school, my grade point average soon shot down to a 1.9. That semester, I also took my roommate to get an abortion.
Then, at the end of one weekend, my boyfriend told me that he was getting back together with his ex-girlfriend. Two or three weeks later, I found out I was pregnant.

Initially, I only told a couple of my girlfriends that I was pregnant. I didn’t show very much, so it was fairly easy to hide my pregnancy. I didn’t even tell my parents I was pregnant until I was about seven months along, so I felt really alone until I found AAI.

I had no medical insurance and was scared to go to the doctor, so I waited until I was about five months pregnant to go to my first appointment. The doctor asked me what my plans were for the baby, and said that she knew of a family that had been in her office two weeks earlier that was hoping to adopt. I met the family, and they put me in touch with AAI. Once I met my caseworker, I finally felt like there was somebody looking out for me.

My mom was adopted, and she’s one of the most amazing women I know. I met the adoptive family that my doctor had suggested and chose them to parent my baby, who was born last summer. I spent the last three months of my pregnancy getting to know the family, and they were there for me throughout that time.

Learning that I was pregnant not only changed my life forever—it saved it. Because I was pregnant, I couldn’t drink. Soon, I found myself attending more of my classes. Then my grade point average shot up to a 3.3! I’m now working towards my major and planning to attend grad school after graduation.

Now my baby has a wonderful future ahead of him, and I do, too.

Looking back, many good things came out of my pregnancy. It turned my life around. It brought me closer to my father than I have ever been before, and it was the best feeling in the world to watch my child be born and know that he was going to have a wonderful life. Not only did I bring this amazing little boy into this world, but I blessed a family with the child that they’ve wanted for so long. All these feelings combined really help me accept that what I did was the best option for me and my child.

For other women facing unplanned pregnancies who feel alone, I want them to know that there are so many ways of support, both emotionally and financially. Even when they feel most alone, they really aren’t. There were a lot of people behind me during my pregnancy, I just had to find them.

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