I got pregnant on April Fool’s Day, 2012.
I had gone to Lake Atitlán for the first weekend of Spring Break (called semana santa in Guatemala, which means holy week, because it falls the week leading up to Easter). I had intended not to see B, the Colombian artisan I’ve been involved with since December. I’d been going to the lake once or thrice a month to visit him.
I wrote this in a post on Elephant Journal on February 1st:
…as I have been absorbing these teachings and working with shenpa, strange and marvelous things have been happening, as if orchestrated by the universe to teach me some powerful lessons. For example, I spent the last five days of 2011 sharing a lovely house with a stranger who turned out to be adorable and amazing. (We were placed in the house together by our mutual friends.) This occurred at the mystical Lake Atitlán, which happens to be my favorite place in Guatemala. It was intense and euphoric. We found ourselves thrust into a honeymoon without having had the relationship, engagement or wedding.
I would read, write, stretch, and bask in the warmth of the stone porch overlooking the lake and volcanoes; he would make breakfast and do the dishes and make jewelry and speak to me in Spanish. We played house, and it was delightful. All the while, I was reading Pema’s book and consciously working with the intention to unhook. It was easy to be present that week; I was in vacation mode, the whole scene was surreally romantic and near perfect. The trouble is…hooking up whilst also simultaneously unhooking, as it turns out, is not so easy.
Every time we’ve seen each other since has been lovely, other than time he told me he wasn’t in love with me. Which was in mid-March in Santiago. Which is why, on April 1, I’d intended not to see him, because we’d established that I was getting too attached to him and he could be leaving at anytime. He is, after all, a traveler. (Aren’t we all?, I rationalized.) All of our communication is in Spanish, seeing as his English vocabulary is muy, muy limited. My Spanish is good and getting better. Clearly, I failed at my goal of not seeing him. I saw him, and slept with him, and got pregnant. It happens.
When I found out, I was at home in Austin at the end of April for a friend’s memorial benefit. To support my best friend. To grieve for Orestes. My period should have come around April 18. I wasn’t too worried… I thought I must just be stressed, although my cycle has been pretty much 28-30 days for a long time now. And I haven’t taken birth control for years. On April 29, I finally bought a home pregnancy test. It was a digital test, and the results would show the words, either “pregnant” or “not pregnant.”
I took the test in the afternoon, in the upstairs bathroom of my parents’ house. I had never been pregnant before, though I’d taken a few tests after a few scares over the years. This time, when the results came back positive, my first reaction was joy (a smile), immediately followed by shock (“holy fuck”). I took another test the next morning, and I even got a blood test when I got back to Guatemala, even though I knew from the moment I saw it that the first test was correct.
I told three friends in the United States. A was excited and analytical. F was purely excited. J was congratulatory and informative, having just had her second baby two weeks prior, delivered at home by her husband, since her labor was so short that the midwives didn’t get there in time.
When I told B two days later, we were in my bed and I was crying. His eyes got very big. He wasn’t angry though, and he didn’t immediately flee the scene. He stayed with me in the city for two nights and was wonderful and warm and sweet to me, although we were both shaken and scared by this baby news, whether consciously (him) or subconsciously (me).
When we parted ways, we kissed goodbye and said we’d see each other at the lake on Saturday. When I went to the lake on Saturday, he was nowhere. Exerting his independence like a typical boy. He will either grow up and take responsibility or he won’t.
I can’t control anything about this situation. It’s out of control. The baby could die. I could die. He could die, or he could leave, which would both be the same to me. I am letting go, because there is no other choice. He can come back, or not. I hope he will love and support me and this child; I do not expect him to.
The good news is, I am happy. I do not have much morning sickness, I just get extra tired in the afternoons. I know I can do this, and I would rather do it alone than with him if he isn’t 100% in. It was not my intention to get pregnant. We were both irresponsible. I was okay with being irresponsible, because I knew that it would be okay if I ever got pregnant. I’m almost 32 years old. I’m financially secure. I’m educated. I have a job. In Guatemala, thankfully, I can afford health care and a nanny, should I need one.
The friends I’ve told so far have all been super supportive. I was going to wait until late June when I go back to Austin for a visit to tell my family in person, but I went ahead and told my parents and Aunt Margaret over the phone on Sunday night. They were purely excited for and supportive of me.
I am filled with gratitude. I have let go of worrying about the future, because if I did, I’d never get any sleep at night. I had many moments of anxiety and worry at first, but now I just feel a sense of liberation.
I’m due on Christmas Eve.
So that’s the news. I will report again soon.