Unplanned Pregnancy and Unexpected Growth

By: Tess Linn

I met Reggie in Summer 2021. She came into Women’s Care Center a beautiful, intelligent, and smiling woman. Despite her nervousness, she sat, talked, and laughed with me through her intake session. I learned that she was from Haiti but recently moved from Florida where she was staying with family. She had visited her friend in Milwaukee and, somewhat on a whim, decided to move to Wisconsin. Reggie describes traveling as her sense of freedom. She fell in love with the liberty of packing up one day and going somewhere completely new to her. After losing her mother, Reggie found that her mental health was worse than ever. She found it hard to get out of bed most days. She knew that a new place was the remedy she needed and the feeling of having no responsibilities was a great comfort to her. So, Milwaukee became her new home.

Reggie was working on an online real estate license when she met the man who would become the father of her baby, whom I’ll call Owen. She said that “At the beginning it was nice. And the end wasn’t horrible but I think I was too much for him.” She shared that Owen didn’t understand her love of travel and the freedom it gave her. She said, “Our goals weren’t the same. I came to realize who I was and the way I wanted to live my life.” Reggie wanted the freedom to be who she was and Owen wanted to focus on his career and schooling. They parted ways and a few weeks later, Reggie found herself at Women’s Care Center.

At the time, Reggie talked about how much a baby would “ruin Owen’s life” and how she never really wanted kids to begin with because of the life she wanted for herself. She described that she was so scared to even take a pregnancy test because before she took one, it wasn’t real, but by taking one, she had to admit that it was happening. But Reggie did take a test and found out she was pregnant. For a few minutes she sat in disbelief and some tears as everything set in.

Reggie shared that her mind raced with what to do next. She said, “Abortion was everywhere and I was in shock about how to handle it and if I even wanted this. I kept wondering how this was going to affect my life. It felt like I couldn’t take care of myself sometimes, how was I supposed to take care of a baby?”

The same day, Reggie had an ultrasound at Women’s Care Center and said:

Owen, on the other hand, did not feel the same way. He told Reggie that he wasn’t financially prepared, that he wasn’t ready to be a father, that he would focus on school and his career and that he wasn’t going to be a part of this pregnancy. From that day on, he wouldn’t contact Reggie and made the conscious decision to let her mother this child on her own. Reggie said, “It didn’t matter. I was so hoping that he would change his mind and want to be involved, but I knew that even if I were doing it alone I would be okay.” While she was still upset that Owen dodged his responsibilities, she knew that she couldn’t give that any more of her energy and decided to focus on preparing for her baby boy. So with the help of Women’s Care Center and many friends and far-away family members, Reggie pulled herself up and gave birth to her baby boy, Sky.

When I asked her what she learned about herself in the process she shared that she wakes up every morning as a mom now. Before, she didn’t even want kids, but now all she wants is more children. She was told after a difficult delivery with her son that this is most likely not going to happen for her. She shared that it is all worth it to have her son. She stated:

Reggie said, most importantly she learned, “I am so strong. I didn’t know I had it in me. To be able to just handle all of this pressure, mentally and physically.” She experiences a new type of freedom in all the potential she didn’t see before.

Life with Sky isn’t always a walk in the park, but Reggie has a renewed sense of purpose and meaning in life. She shared that her mental health is better than before she was pregnant and she has learned more about herself in the process. Since having Sky, his father has made an effort to visit him and be a part of his life. Reggie is working towards stable employment and is living in more suitable housing for she and her baby. She wants all women facing unplanned pregnancies to know, “It’s all going to be okay. You are not doing this by yourself.” At Women’s Care Center, we are here as counselors to support you and to make sure Reggie’s promise rings true: you are not alone.

Join us in making a positive impact on the journey of pregnancy and parenthood in our community.