Confession: I’m Gonna Keep My (Hypothetical) Baby

Our contributor Abby Spector, who is double-majoring in English and Feminine/Gender/Sexuality Studies at Wesleyan University, has a confession to make:

“If you got pregnant, you’d have an abortion — right?” Max asked during our customary post-coital cuddle a few months back. My mind began to spin. For the seventeen years I had been a virgin, babies seemed far away. Now I was having sex. We used condoms, but according to Planned Parenthood, those are effective only 98% of the time. I went into calculator mode, trying to figure out the likelihood of getting knocked up if I had sex five times a week for a year. “Abby…you in there…?” Max, the commitment-phobe I had been dating for two months, was waiting for me to answer. Shit.

Politically speaking, I am pro-choice. Hell, prior to Max’s baby question, I often considered pro-choice synonymous with pro-abortion, a misunderstanding that made the concept of an unwanted pregnancy alien to me. Knocked up? Get an abortion. It seemed like a no-brainer. But now, lying in bed with Max, the scent of sex still looming in the air, I realized that deciding to get an abortion is not about politics or logic. It’s about emotions. And my emotions were clear — I would keep the baby.

Don’t get me wrong — I don’t want a child right now. Taking care of myself is hard enough, especially considering my abysmal culinary skills, occasional alcohol-related bed-wetting, and all-around chaotic lifestyle. Yesterday I had to throw away a plant I had owned for only a week. Additionally, a baby would mean I would have to distance myself from the sinful trifecta of alcohol, coffee, and sex. A pregnant chick isn’t exactly a hot ticket on the twenty-something dating scene.

All of these reasons — not to mention the million other ways that my life would be turned upside down by single motherhood — are trumped by my emotional inability to terminate a pregnancy. I have always wanted children. I love their pure, unadulterated minds and the way they react to the littlest things. I’m even guilty of Youtubing birthing videos because I find labor beautiful. My dreams usually place motherhood ten-or-so years down the road, but dreams are just rough outlines for the future. Baby Jonah Willow or Delilah Rose (yes, I have names picked out for both) would be loved whether I was nineteen or ninety.

Considering my thoughts on pregnancy, you might be wondering why I’m not on a more full-proof form of birth control. People my age usually go on the birth control pill or an alternative form of hormonal medication. However, past experiences had proven that my body loathes ovulation-altering hormones. So I began researching IUDs. History has given the IUD a bad rap. In the seventies, it was linked to inflammatory pelvic disease, infertility, and even death. Luckily, modern science has blessed vaginas with a new form of IUD that has minimal side-effects. I got myself one of those bad boys and am now happy as a clam (albeit a clam with slightly heavier bleeding).

That night with Max, however, I was still in condom mode and confused as fuck. “Max, I…uh….think I would keep the baby.” He lost his erection. “What!? Why?! Do you think you’re ready to be a mom?” He meant this to be a rhetorical question, but I took it as an open floor for me to give him my rambling spiel on why I would keep a child. After that night, every time he saw a child he looked like he threw up in his mouth. Our relationship ended a few weeks later. Apparently, he wasn’t interested in anything serious. Did my baby comment scare him away? Probably. But when it comes to sex, I believe that honesty is always the best policy — especially when it involves popping an eight-pound baby out of your vahgine.

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21 Comments on "Confession: I’m Gonna Keep My (Hypothetical) Baby"

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Dear Abby Spector, I know you published this entry over a year ago, but I just came across Em & Lo, read this, and felt that I needed to leave you a comment. First, I must commend you for writing so openly about sex – it’s important and definitely appreciated (at least by me!) But why comment on this entry? I am a college senior, and I always felt as you did – unabashedly pro-choice, but if I got pregnant, I would keep the baby. I will admit (though I know I speak only for myself) that there was some… Read more »
Madamoiselle L
Although I think the OP has the right to certainly continue the pregnancy if she were to become accidentally pregnant, her wanting to do so DOES NOT mean she “wants to get pregnant” like some other posters assume. The question SHOULD have been asked earlier in the relationship. It is only part of being responsible, and not waiting until the dreaded happens to have to talk about it. IMO, the question, “What would we do if I were to become pregnant?” Should be asked BEFORE the first penile-vaginal sex act EVER occurs in a relationship. I know My Man and… Read more »
WOW. Some great responses that illustrate just how different the viewpoints are on this and generally (GENERALLY MEANING “WITH EXCEPTIONS NOTED”) falling along gender lines. What we have hear is a real failure of communication. Sex is a drive, not a method of communication. Couples often think they communicating a wealth of information during the coital act about their feelings, intent, state of being, etc. However, this is often not the case. When the poster mentioned she’d keep the baby, she was putting her man on notice that if he continues to have sex with her HE WILL BE A… Read more »
sita saya
look everyone has answers but ask yourself we all know better but i found myself in the same situation a week ago i am 44 and pregnant been sleeping with this guy for 5yrs and his answer to my situation is this abord it … that was not the answer. i choose to keep the baby, and his out the door listen people some man want to walk away but thank God for the U.S.A cause these man needs a kick in the pants and he will have to pay for walking i know thats not the best for the… Read more »
I feel I have the right to weigh in here because I was raised by a single mother. Incidentally I also got a girl friend pregnant and she did not have an abortion. My mother is a hero of mine; she’s an amazing woman and she gave me everything she could growing up. My dad is a good man, but he couldn’t handle being married to my mom. Everyone’s got issues, so I’m not special there, but I know that my special brand of being fucked up has a lot to do with my parents breaking up and all the… Read more »

No wonder GOD chose women to bare children…Johnny’s of the world would kill them off and we’d all be fucked.

Though the author seems to be a very intelligent and thoughtful person, she also strikes me a little naive and maybe superficial when it comes to motherhood. I was raised by a young, single mother who did not graduate from college; she did a wonderful job and I have always loved her very much. But my childhood was also incredibly stressful for her, and she did have to basically sacrifice two decades of her life for me. Being a parent is a lot more than picking out cool names or being the star of delivery home videos. More than anything,… Read more »