Mom; When I was 19, I had already been to college for graphic art and gotten my first job at a newspaper. I had my own apartment that my mom helped subsidize and I was on my way to being a successful adult. Then one night I sneaked into a bar with a girlfriend and in walked a 6’6″ blonde haired, blue eyed god staring right at me all the way across the room, over the crowd. He made his way towards me and with a big smile and a loud voice he said “Hi, I’m Richard.” He was so friendly, handsome, funny and fun. Pretty much everything I wanted in a man. I couldn’t believe he wanted to date me. I just didn’t think that much of myself. What I know now is that he is one I should not have thought much of. I really thought he was out of my league. But he was on drugs; cocaine and alcohol were his drug of choice. I, personally, preferred pot and alcohol. We both smoked cigarettes. Stupid, young, wild and free. It was a fun three months. Then slowly he started to drift away from me; I knew it was too good to be true. It was the one chance meeting that changed the course of my life in the blink of an eye.
One day a girlfriend called me at work and said, “Noelle, I think I am pregnant.” I said, “Me too.” She said, “No, I really do.” I said, “Me, too.” I never really knew when my periods were expected, but I knew I hadn’t had one for a while. I never really thought about actually being pregnant; but when the words came out of her mouth, they went straight to my core being and I had the realization that I was pregnant at that moment.
We both tested together a few days later and we were both pregnant. She opted for an abortion, I opted to keep my baby. I went with her to the abortion clinic. I watched each girl walk in bravely and walk back out as if their bodies had just lost their souls. It was the emptiest look of sadness I had ever seen before. It cemented my thoughts that I wanted my baby.
I trapped “Richard” into meeting me at a friend’s house one evening and asked him to go get alcohol for us in his car. We sat alone in front of the friend’s house and I spilled the beans; I was pregnant and keeping the baby. He was 23, already had a child from his last girlfriend that he wanted nothing to do with. Here I was pregnant with baby 2. He said he would stay with me if I got an abortion and I knew I had already lost him. He then told me that no one was ever going to love me with a child and no one was ever going to want to marry me. I didn’t care; I wanted my baby. I was willing to go it alone.
I thought about what he said a lot over the years. I thought about how Zack’s life got started and how selfish I was for wanting to keep him all for myself and thinking i could raise him right and have enough money and love and blah blah blah. Stupid, young, immature, lonely and lost. But the one thought remained a constant in my mind and heart; I wanted him from the moment i knew he was in there and I was going to love him with everything I had for the rest of my life.
I quit smoking early on into the pregnancy. Didn’t drink, didn’t have sodas, ate healthy and took care of myself. I was six feet tall and weighed only 125 lbs; I was a beanpole! I gained 50 whopping pounds when I delivered. Perfect pregnancy, perfect baby boy; I was blessed. “Richard” was gone, but I didn’t care. I would never be alone again; I had Zachary.