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Six things to expect when announcing your unplanned pregnancy to your Afro-Caribbean parents

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Just over a year ago, I sat my parents down and told them I was going to have a baby. Although everything is fine now, (just about!) it was most certainly one of the most memorable nights of my life. Here are six you should know if you find yourself in a similar situation to me.

  1. Do NOT expect a ‘congratulations’ – If your parents are very traditional, from either Africa or the Caribbean (mine are from both), they WILL NOT want to hear about an ‘illegitimate grandchild’. They will not even pretend to be happy for you or for themselves. They will not pretend to ‘have your back’ especially if they have never heard from or about the father. I would say to start talking about your partner as often as possible before telling them. Maybe even a week before start a conversation about how you’ve met a guy and you think he’s the one. That should peak their interest. Haha!
  2. Do not take what they say in the first instance literally – you know black people have no chill with their tongue, they WILL NOT hold back with their thoughts and feelings!!! I am still trying to recover from what they said to me when I first told them and things they said throughout my pregnancy. Also, if you’re a parent reading this, might I advise that you take a few breaths before you go off on one at your daughter? Those words are hard to heal from, especially from you.
  3. Make sure you have a well thought out plan to present to them – think presentations you’ve had to do for school or work – heck you might as well prepare a Power Point!! Explain to them that you have fully thought it through. Tell them that you know how you will cope, you know what to expect and if worse comes to worse how you can do this on your own. I really failed at this, I don’t think I said anything when asked, although in my head I knew that I have a budding career as a teacher, I also have a few skills that can be turned into side businesses if need be. That should have relaxed their mind.
  4. Embrace yourself for the ‘alone’ feeling – during my pregnancy I really felt isolated. I felt alone a lot of the time, even though I knew Jesus was always by my side. My situation is not a very conventional one in that the father of my child lives in a different country so even he was unable (sometimes unwilling) to just be there how I wanted or needed him to be. I definitely could not lean on my parents for support at this time, it just didn’t work out, even when I tried.
  5. Keep calm! My parents are my biggest triggers; they know the right thing to say to get to me. But the best thing to do is to remain calm, it’s almost as if you need to be the bigger person or better said you should just be humble. They have a right to be angry and upset, after all you have not lived up to their expectations. It’s totally understandable.
  6. Trust and believe that everything will be okay once their grandchild arrives. When I gave birth to my daughter, they fell instantly in love. My mother actually helped deliver her but that is a story I will save for another time. Babies are such blessings and they truly bring such joy to the family.

How did you reveal your pregnancy to your parents? Was it planned or unplanned? How did you take the news if you are the grandparent reading this? Share in the comments below. xx

8 weeks in the womb
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A Brief Insight into Unplanned Pregnancy

It has taken me three months to gather up the courage to begin exposing my daughter to the outside world; I still meet people who ask in shock ‘whose baby is this?’ when I tell them it’s mine, they look at me in even more shock and exclaim they did not even know I was pregnant! 

When I fully gave my life to Christ, I thought I would never look back lest I turn into a pillar of salt. I thought that I would be on the straight and narrow path to heaven and never fall for the temptation of the forbidden fruit again. The year before last, I met a guy who truly challenged that thought. 

I know that God’s greatest gift is new life, but when it comes unexpectedly it can either be a miraculous joy, or a terrifying nightmare, my experience was the latter.

It’s March 2018 and I wait for that dreaded time of the month – the time I get a little crazy, a tad snappy, more emotional and what I consider as one of the worst pains in the world to overtake my entire being rendering me useless – almost. 

This time does not come – now as a new teacher in a tough school, I put it down to stress, plus this guy I’m seeing – well he pulled out didn’t he? So it cannot be the big P!

As the days go by, I begin to feel very different, I find that I am lot more tired; I swear I felt myself falling asleep whilst standing and teaching once! I can tell something’s not right. RE isn’t that boring! I rack my brain in between planning lessons, marking books and trying to uphold the demands of a demanding mentor, wondering why it seems as if my health is deteriorating. I go a little harder at the gym, I become more conscious of the food I consume but there is still no difference.

Hello April! No period and I begin to feel very sick, so I do it. I take THE test. I am literally shaking as I await the results. I stare at the stick as the two lines get thicker and thicker, no misreading this one! Is this actually happening? I am NOT ready for a baby, plus this relationship is extremely fresh, I instantly regret breaking my years of celibacy. Even deeper still was a tiny ounce of joy – yay! I am about  to be a mummy! 

I run out of the house and jump in the car – where am I going? I can’t run away from this! I’m still shaking; I don’t know whether to be excited or devastated. The baby will be gorgeous – there’s a certain positive. I call my best mate – how do I tell her? She’s shocked of course – ‘know Cee – that if you do this – you will be doing it on your own.’ She saves her congratulations. 

I stay in the car for at least twenty minutes. When I go back into the house, I summon the courage to tell my baby sister, I must admit the shame I felt going to her and telling her that her unmarried big sister is knocked up. Her reaction was not what I expected in the slightest, she shows much excitement, gives me a massive hug and says ‘congratulations!’ I would soon learn that the elated reaction from others shocked me more than the devastated, disappointed ones. I put this down to how I felt about the situation myself. I was overjoyed at the thought of being a mother before thirty as it has always been one of my life’s dreams, but not like this! I wanted the perfect home, with the perfect husband first! People plan – God laughs. Being what I would describe as a devout Catholic, I was very disappointed in myself for having fallen for temptation, but why not take a risk for love? I knew my mind hadn’t been focused on my faith for a while, but that’s a tale for another time. As a youth leader and a catechist in my church, and a teacher of RE who funnily enough just finished teaching about family traditions in the Catholic Church, it was also difficult to accept this situation, my situation. Unmarried and knocked up after only knowing my partner for a few months, even worse he’s from the Caribbean, and those of you who know, they do not have the greatest reputation when it comes to relationships and fatherhood. Deep down in my gut, although I dabbled with the idea of an abortion, I knew I would not be able to live with myself if I got rid of this baby. Plus I am pro-life, as a good Catholic should be, but at this point what do I know about being a good Catholic? This got me thinking about the issue with pro-lifers, I may be wrong but I know I felt very alone in the beginning. I felt as though I had done something truly bad when in the wider scheme of things getting pregnant is firstly not as easy as one thinks and secondly not a crime, I haven’t stolen, killed, lied etc. so why does it hold the same weight as all these other sins? I had to constantly tell myself that I am a grown woman, with a good job/career, granted I was still at home but that is more out of choice than anything else.  If I had an abortion the judgement of ‘you had sex before marriage!’ would not be on my head. I think that judgement needs to be eliminated and mercy and compassion needs to be adopted instead. 

I was surprised at how much I cared about what others thought of me, I usually don’t but I suppose it’s the stigma of being a ‘tarnished woman’ in the eyes of society that was getting to me. Luckily it was the minority, but a couple in the minority were the people that mattered most.   

From then on I noticed that I never said the words ‘I’m pregnant’ I would let other people tell me or say ‘I’m going to have a baby’. It was a bittersweet situation. I couldn’t help but think that if I were married, I would have felt a lot more joy about this gift of life. 

I made the decision to keep my baby and a year on I do not regret a thing. She is the most perfect thing I have ever participated in creating. She is truly a gift from God, my angel and my purpose. It has been the wildest journey of my life and through these mini posts; I would love to share it with the world.  

There were many factors that I had to take into consideration for example; survival of a long distance relationship, keeping my job, which was at stake, not losing my reputation of this perfect role model for the youths of today, and I prayed earnestly that none of them would make an appearance or take an effect on me. But our faith must be tested… I will go into more detail with each of these as the weeks go on.   

Stay tuned for some more of the story!

The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

Thanks for joining me! I am a twenty-something year old teacher, singer, entrepreneur and most recently a new mum! Round the end 2018, I gave birth to a beautiful girl called Tori and my life completely changed. 

I’m making this blog to document the newest journey God has blessed me with.

When you are looking at your mother, you are looking at the purest love you will ever know. -Charley Benetto