I still remember...

...a week-long horror of a rollercoaster ride when my then fiancée found out she was pregnant. She asked if I’d like to do the nursery in a Warner Brothers or Disney theme. My first thought was, “Oh NO! NO!!!!!!” I was terrified. I regretted immediately that conversation we had at the very beginning of our relationship—that we would never get an abortion should she become pregnant. Now I was stuck. I wanted an escape hatch. I wanted out...any way out. Although I said I would support her, I was really trying to f ind that escape hatch.

Telling my parents was hard. My father encouraged us to have the baby; my mom cried, not knowing “whether to be happy or sad” for us. Her parents were worse. After we told them the news, her father demanded that we “take care of this” because he didn’t want there to be unseemly appearances in his family. I had found my escape hatch. Even though I argued fiercely with him before we left, once we were alone I started gently emphasizing her father’s positions. What would everyone say? Are we really ready for this? What about the wedding? What about our plans? I didn’t think of the baby...not really. Not then. I was in a panic and I wanted out and that was the way I was playing it.

I don’t remember how I f inally changed her mind—it took about a week, but I did it. I remember being with her at the clinic, with one of her friends, smoking outside and then driving her home thinking, “Thank God it’s over!”

The child would be about 13 or 14 years old now. When I look at our two children, I know there ought to be three. I don’t know if the baby was a boy or a girl. I keep thinking it was a girl, probably because my wife wanted one so badly. Although I still struggle with depression and guilt, I eventually found forgiveness. My wife is not ready to take that step. So I must continue to try and help her bear that burden and make up for the crucial time I failed her.

-Ryan


Citations:

http://www.fatherhoodforever.org/.