I found out I was pregnant the second semester of my freshmen year of college. It was early spring, and I knew I would have my baby during the fall semester, sometime in November. For the first several weeks of my pregnancy, I was not able to think long term. I could only focus on the present, how I felt I would have to quit everything in my life, and how many times I was throwing up. I began to miss almost all of my morning classes. I was a good student, with good intentions to go to class, but I would wake up and feel nauseous, sometimes even throwing up and having to go back to bed. After noon, I would feel better but it was those mornings that were so tough. I did not know what was happening to my body.
Working Hard & Never Giving Up
I remember having to tell one of my very early class professors I was pregnant. I met him in his office during the afternoon, ready to apologize and turn in some late assignments. As I told him that I was pregnant and having difficulty making his class due to morning sickness, I choked up a little bit. As he listened, he pulled out his attendance book, the old fashioned ones with green and white columns, and scribbled over the last several boxes with the symbol for excused. It was a hurried scribble and he quickly put the book away and looked back up at me. He didn’t say much, but somehow I knew he understood that I was trying, and failing, and his help meant the world to me.
Over the summer, I worked three jobs and took online classes. I felt the need to prepare as much as possible, knowing that the father of my baby was not going to be very involved. When fall came, I had been transferred to a new university in a different state, one close to home.
I remember starting my first day at a brand new university with a seven month along pregnancy belly. I got many stares that August day and it wasn’t very easy to make friends. I felt as if everyone thought I already had a life, lots of friends, and a plan ahead for a family. This was one of the loneliest times in my life. My heart desired to have that perfect family, except my head knew that it would be just me and my baby in a few short months.
I truly believe God was watching out for me during this time though, because I had a fairly easy pregnancy and delivery. I was able to eat healthy and drink lots of water, despite my crazy busy schedule. I worked with my professors and I finished school a month and a half early. My finals were finished well before anyone else was even thinking about them. God gave me drive and perseverance that I am extremely thankful for.
Random Acts Of Kindness Go A Long Way
It didn’t just “come easy” though. As a fulltime student, I was taking 18 credit hours in three different buildings on campus. I was on the highest story of each building, in historic buildings that did not have elevators. Three flights of stairs several times a day in third trimester of pregnancy is quite the sight to see. I cannot tell you how many times I told the people behind me that they could pass the large, slow moving momma. I chuckled to myself when they saw how big my belly was and pictured myself with flashing yellow lights. Because the desks were attached to the chairs, there was not room for me to sit facing forward. I would turn my desk sideways and prop my feet up on the seat next to me. Many classmates learned to step over my legs and scoot back to give me extra space to walk by. Lots of students would open the doors for me, and if I dropped anything, there was always someone there to pick it up. I will forever be grateful to these strangers who helped my large self during this time through even the smallest acts of kindness.
You Can Do Anything You Put Your Mind To
To any student mother on campus now, do not let anyone tell you that you cannot do anything.. Surround yourself with only supportive and positive people. Do not listen to anyone negative or doubting in your life. Instead put your head down and SHOW them that you mean business. Think about your future goals, both short term and long term, and set steps to get that done. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and know that help is there, through organizations such as Birthright (and many others!) and in the people God will no doubt place in your life to support you.