I remember exactly how I felt when I realized I was pregnant. Surprise. I was in a small clinic similar to Immediate Care or Concentra having gone there because I just felt ‘off’. I remember explaining my symptoms to the very young doctor – he had black hair and round glasses and he looked about 12.

“Bloated, queasy, tired, peeing all the time!” – I remember the young doc smiled and said, “Could you possibly be pregnant?”

Well, yes. Yes I could. And I was.

Symptoms of pregnancy differ for every person but there are a lot of them that all of us share.

A missed period – There are other reasons a period has been missed or late such as illness, stress, or strenuous exercise. But if you have missed your period and it’s been at least one week since it should have arrived pregnancy may be something to consider. Taking a pregnancy test earlier than at least 7-10 days from your missed period could result in a negative or false-positive result.

Breast Changes – Your breasts may feel sore or tender and even slightly larger. Yes, larger! But again, not every woman will experience these changes but it’s something to be on the lookout for.

Morning Sickness – This is the one you hear about most often but to be frank, not everyone experiences it. In fact, I had the queasiness in the evening, not the morning! It passes though and soon you want pickles, corn nuts and Fanta….all together.

Sense of Taste and Smell – certain foods and drinks may taste different to you. The smells of certain foods may suddenly be unappealing! And suddenly you want a bowl of Rice Chex cereal every day when before you were a toast and Latte kinda gal.

Tiredness – suddenly you just want to sleep. All. The. Time. Your body is working harder and your heart rate elevated – this in turn may cause you to feel fatigued.

Urinary Changes – You may have to go every other hour and consider wearing adult diapers.

You may experience all, some, or none of these symptoms – we’re all different. But bottom line it’s normal. Some days will be better than others. Women have been experiencing and getting through pregnancy since the dawn of time. Women are one of the most resilient of souls!

If you suspect you may be pregnant and need help – call us or come see us. We can help confirm your pregnancy, talk about your situation, and listen to your concerns. You were not meant to do this alone.

There has always been and will always be men who take the results of procreation for granted and do not see it for the wondrous gift it really is.

Why?

There could be many reasons but let’s focus on just one for now. As one guy said it when asked what stops him from accepting fatherhood, “Not being a good father. I know what it’s like to not have a father, and I don’t want to repeat the cycle.”

There you have it. It may not be the number one reason but it’s a pretty big one and a common one at that. That’s not to say every guy who grew up without a dad can’t be a good dad but, well, it’s hard. Even with a great example to learn from and shadow there will be times every dad will make mistakes, be afraid, and wish he could go back to when times were simpler. Because let’s face it, being a parent is a roller coaster of thoughts, emotional and physical challenges, worries, firsts and lasts, and general blissful beautiful chaos.

So – what do you do when you are expecting and the father is not interested?

I can tell you from experience that if being one parent in a two parent unit isn’t always easy then being the only parent in the unit can sometimes be a tough road to travel. But notice I said sometimes.

Sometimes things are hard. A lot of times maybe. But not always. Sometimes as a single parent the closeness you feel with your child is so profound you wonder how you went this long without it. Sometimes the bond you share with her shows itself to be the glue that holds it all together. Sometimes the days when your only interactions are with her turn out to be when the sweetest conversations happen.

Sometimes when the will to continue on seems impossible the ease with which you can place your focus on her which in turn calms your fears is a gift in itself. Sometimes despite the rush of the day, the schoolwork and half written grocery list, the load of laundry you keep forgetting in the washer, the party you had to skip (again) because she’s got a little pea creative dance recital, make you wonder and wish you were not doing this alone.

But. You. Are. Not. Alone. You have her and the knowledge that there is someone counting on you. Needing you. Loving you unconditionally. Accepting you. Watching for you. And glad you are there. Those are powerful motivators to keep your head up and your focus clear.

The role of a mother is very different from that of the father. And every role is important and gifted. But not every success story has both. You cannot make him want to be the father he already is by virtue of the pregnancy. But you can be the mother she needs.

H.V (single mother for nine years)