My biological parents were seventeen years old when they found out they were pregnant with me and they were in high school at the time. When they found out, my birth father wanted an abortion. He actually told my birth mother if she didn't get an abortion that he would leave her.
I found out I was pregnant when I was about five weeks along at the age of 19. That moment was one of the most devastating times for me, especially for any girl at age 19 who’s pregnant. I chose personally to not tell anyone because I knew I had decisions to juggle and decide on my own.
My story began right before I graduated high school in 2000 in a small town in Kansas.
I was 18. At the beginning of my life.
Shane and I met in October of 2000. Fell in love and have been together ever since! We got married July 23, 2004. We knew we wanted to start a family shortly after getting married but quickly knew something wasn't right. I made an appointment with my OB-GYN who over the next several months ran tests and tried a few things but ultimately ended in surgery in December 2005. It was at my 2 week followup appointment after surgery that my doctor sat with me to explain that it was medically impossible for me to be able to conceive on my own.
It was devastating to say the least. I wanted nothing more than to be a mother.
Our story starts in 2012 when a very strong desire grew in my heart for another child.
While we have always been open to life, my husband, Greg, was scared to attempt another pregnancy due to complications during my second pregnancy. His concern was either losing the child or losing me during delivery. My heart was open to adoption, but Greg wasn’t ready.
He wasn’t sure how adoption would feel and had few experiences with those who had gone through it or who were adopted. I strongly felt that someone was missing from our family, we were not complete. I would often talk to my friend Renee about how I felt there was a missing piece of our puzzle and we united in prayer for this intention, asking God for direction.
Meet Shelbi! She's one of our newest contributors to the Being A Birth Mom column...
Hello, my name is Shelbi! Ever since becoming a birth mother, my entire life has changed! Adoption and being a birth mother is something that I am VERY passionate about!
In May of 2015, I graduated from South Dakota State University, full of ambition and ready to take on the world. However, I was broke, so I moved home to save money. I spent my summer working and reconnecting with old friends.
I started seeing a guy I had known for a few years. It wasn't a serious relationship, just a summer fling that I knew would never last. I liked him a lot, but just as I expected, by the time the summer started to fade away, so did we. It was September, and something wasn't right. I was late, and I was terrified. I took two pregnancy tests on the floor of my bathroom, and sure enough, I was pregnant. It didn't feel real. I didn't even cry. My life was about to change, but I couldn't believe it because I was numb.
I went to his apartment and we discussed it. Inconveniently, he had already moved on to someone else. There was no time for a baby. No money. We didn't love each other. There was nothing more to say about it. I was backed into a corner, and it felt as though there was no way out. I was ready to move on from this heartbreak, so we agreed on abortion. He drove me to my abortion appointment before the sun was up. The numbness I had felt since I took the test was wearing off. No one knew it, but I was sad. I was fighting a battle in my head. Finally, they called my name and took me back to the room. I changed into a faded gown and sat on the cold metal table and just cried. I talked to God. I asked Him for protection. I was devastated. I then realized that making a choice out of fear and pressure is really no choice at all.
Leading up to my daughter’s birth, I was so nervous. I knew placing her for adoption was the right decision for me and for my baby. I also knew it was going to be very difficult, physically and emotionally.
I was terrified as I thought about going through the labor and delivery. As a petite 16-year-old, I worried that my body wouldn’t be able to handle it and I was afraid of how much physical pain I would be in. As my due date drew closer, my doctor realized I had pre-eclampsia and explained how my baby was under a lot of stress. After hearing this, I no longer cared how much pain I would be in. I was only worried about her and was very anxious to have her delivered so she would be safe.
I have been a birth mom for 21 years and navigating what that journey looks like ever since.
For a season, I didn’t share my journey, it was mine, and honestly, it was very personal. I didn’t want to invite anyone else into it; kind of like a kid with candy! I wanted to keep all the good stuff for myself.