I remember when I got my acceptance letter from Arizona State University, I was humbled that I was accepted but I tossed it aside since I was planning on moving back to Vegas to finish my undergrad at UNLV. At the time I was living in LA and missed the opportunity to finish school there. I had already lived in Vegas, I had a good group of friends there–it seemed like a no-brainer. I just assumed I’d be going back to Vegas. It was Spring of 2012, and as the months passed by UNLV kept me waiting and waiting for my acceptance letter. I’m pretty sure I had the admissions office on speed dial trying to find out the status of my application, it never crossed my mind that I would actually have to consider going to ASU. Don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t have asked for a better college experience, but at the time, I had no desire to move to Arizona. I only knew one person who lived there–and to be honest, when I visited Phoenix in the past, it was never a place I wanted to live.
Fast forward a couple months later and I was signing a lease to an apartment I had only viewed online and was packing up the U-Haul for a drive I have never made to Arizona. The day I arrived, I sat down in the parking lot of my apartment complex in 117 degree heat and began to cry wondering if I made a mistake. I made a promise to myself that Arizona was going to be a two year deal. I would stay here to finish school and then move back to California. For the most part, I stuck to this goal. I just piled on the classes so I could finish and kept a tunnel vision in order to finish my undergrad, that is, until I met my boyfriend.
I wasn’t looking to date. Not at all, actually. I remember on our first date and he invited me to events months away. I kept thinking, what is this guy’s deal? I actually remember how confused I was, at one point I was trying to figure out whether we were actually on a date. We met the summer before my last year in school, and as the semester progressed it became extremely difficult trying to balance work, school and him. I knew our relationship was horrible timing, but I knew I couldn’t let him go. We managed to make through my fall semester, but it was tough and I knew the following semester was going to be an even bigger test (since I had made arrangements to pick up an internship for my last semester).
Not long after my last semester began, my internship offered me a part time position but I still needed to complete my intern hours for school credit and I was still working my other job for my primary income. So between the three jobs I was clocking in 55 hours a week. Determined to graduate, I was also taking 6 classes. This was about double the work that I was used to. I remember barely having enough time to wash my hair, let alone find time to spend with my boyfriend. It was about a month in to the semester when I pulled an all nighter to study with one of my closest friends and telling her how there’s no way I could be pregnant, but that my period was late. At the time, I was on birth control, and in my mind, there just was no possible way. Scientifically speaking, pregnancy is a set of infinite steps that have to work perfectly to conceive. A week later I bought a test to ease my mind except when I took the test, I stood in total shock when the second line appeared. I grabbed my phone and took a picture of my test since the line was ever so faintly blue to that same friend, she replied back with “fuck,” and came over to my apartment with another test. The next test was positive, and I just sat on my couch completely devastated and remember feeling that way for the next couple of weeks.
For the next week or so, it was an emotional roller coaster of depression. I remember feeling guilty that I could get pregnant so easily while I have friends that have been trying for years. Then came the uncertainty because I wasn’t even sure I wanted kids–hell, I wasn’t even sure I wanted to stay in Arizona. For years, I had this vision of how my life was supposed to go, and having a baby wasn’t even part of the plan in the slightest way. I just cried and cried for the next couple of weeks. I even remember looking at my bike and crying, my life had been on hold for the past two years and having a baby meant I could never ride a bike again. I know that I was looking at it wrong, but this is how I felt.
On top of that, my boyfriend and I were just that, he was my boyfriend–not my fiancé, not my husband. We were beginning to consider the idea of moving in together , THAT was our next big step. In my mind, my life was pretty mapped out: I wanted to travel, I wanted a proposal, a wedding and I wanted to decide whether I would have children. I knew I loved my boyfriend, and I wouldn’t have been in a relationship with him if I didn’t see myself with him long term but a child meant that we were going to be in each other’s lives for the next three decades, at least. I knew this was going to be the biggest decision of my life.
Soon, I began to feel even more depressed that I was being so selfish. I was simply mourning a life I thought I was going to have without considering the new life I could have. Looking back, I think that’s a natural part about having kids, when you start to realize its the end of one life as you begin another, and the entire experience of being pregnant is already full of emotions, especially considering how I was filled with extra hormones. Bless my boyfriend’s heart, he was so great about everything from the beginning, he seemed to know what he wanted the second he found out, but ultimately left the choice up to me.
After some weeks of sleepless nights and wondering how the hell we would be able to pull this off, we decided to go for it. I was almost 30 years old, I was finally graduating college and Arizona began to grow on me. I really think it was the greatest blessing in my life to lose control of what I thought my life was going to be. Now, I can’t imagine my life without her. I haven’t even met her and I’m already so much in love with her (even if she tries to break out of my stomach by way of my ribs). It isn’t going to be easy, I know this, but hell–when does life ever go as planned?
So, if you’re wondering why I decided to share my story, it’s because I want to be able to share my pregnancy and life with the world. I pride myself in being honest and I want people to know it’s okay when life doesn’t go as planned or has bigger plans than you may be ready for. It’s the art of letting go, and it’s okay to not be sure what you want.
This entire experience has been a learning experience. It’s figuring out how to be selfless after years of being selfish. It’s about the bigger things in life, friends and family who really make seem trivial. And it’s okay to not have the perfect story to tell your children, friends and family as long as it’s filled with good chaos. And right now, my life is beautifully chaotic.