The Real Pregnancy Project: Becoming the Person You’d Gossip About
I recently screened the Lifetime Original Movie, The Pregnancy Project which debuts on January 28 at 8pm/7c, about 17-year-old honors student Gaby Rodriquez that pretended she was pregnant in order to try to crack open the stereotypes that plague pregnant teens. Her project struck a chord with many, making national headlines.
Now, although I was 30, not 17 when I got pregnant, so much of this story resonated with me. So many of the issues and stereotypes that Gaby faced in high school, I faced in adulthood. And it hurt.
I realized very early on in my pregnancy, that becoming a single parent through divorce, or because you have deliberately chosen to do so, is much more socially acceptable than getting pregnant by accident - especially when you are left to go it all alone.
I went from being known as one of the most driven, detail oriented, and outgoing producers – to the chick that got knocked up. Some people at least had the courtesy to say what they were thinking to my face – instead of just whispering it behind my back. Comments that were dripping with the assumption that I would not be as driven or as capable, because I couldn’t manage being a parent on my own. Remarks that made it clear that my intelligence was being questioned, a close friend once saying, “What were you thinking? What did you miss in 8th grade health class? I thought you were so smart.”
I heard it from people in all circles of my life. And I knew what so many were thinking, and I knew it because I had thought it all myself. I would have been gossiping about me.
Who graduates with a 3.5 GPA from an excellent journalism school, lands a job in network television right out of college, works their way up to producer - and puts themselves in a position to get pregnant unintentionally?
Me. I am that person.
And the only reason I am where I am today – is because I was lucky enough to have family and friends that not only stood by me – but carried me. They weren’t ashamed of me, even when I was ashamed of myself. They didn’t doubt me, even when I doubted myself. They didn’t criticize me, even when I believed the critics.
I gravitated toward those people during my pregnancy, and now I consider them Ellie’s family.
So I may be the person that got pregnant without planning to. But I am also the person who is working ten times harder that I was before, to make sure that my daughter grows up with everything she needs – shelter, food, education and love…love…and more love. While doing everything I can to break every stereotype imaginable – even the ones in my own head.
"The Pregnancy Project" airs Saturday, January 28 at 8pm/7c on Lifetime. Watch the trailer: