Anna Spargo-Ryan

Yes

When I was 19, I was engaged to a man I had known for less time than it took the kettle to boil. We lived together in a tiny flat that backed against the train line and had a courtyard just big enough for the pair of metal seats we picked out of hard rubbish and sat on with our knees touching.

I had a job I liked, working in an industry I thought would take years to crack. Every day I kissed my 20-year-old fiancee goodbye and hopped on the train with a newspaper and half a rockmelon and then changed to the bus that went to the beach. At lunch times I sat in the sun and thought things about where I was going in my life.

One day I went to the supermarket on my way home because I could not go another minute without Tim Tams. And as I walked around, I noticed women with huge bellies. Hundreds of them. Maybe six. But it seemed like hundreds. Everyone in the store seemed pregnant. I realised I was two weeks late. I put a test in my basket.

Two lines came up and I hadn’t read the packet but somehow I knew that what it meant anyway. I told my sweet blonde man and he didn’t speak for three hours. When I checked in on him, he stared at the television, which was off, and didn’t blink.

“It will be okay,” I said, but I didn’t know for sure.

The next day I called my mum and told her I was pregnant. She started crying.

“Are you going to fix it?” she said.

“No,” I said. “Definitely not.” I put my hand on my newly discovered baby and hung up on her. She didn’t call me back. For three months.

I went to the GP I had been going to for my teenagehood and told him I had done a couple of pregnancy tests and I was pretty sure I was growing a human. “Oh dear,” he said, and pulled out the form for a referral to the clinic.

“No thank you,” I said, and found a new GP.

Being pregnant made me worried and sad and I had a lot of appointments. “I have to go to the doctor again,” I told my boss, and after four weeks she called me into her office and told me I was no longer required.

“But I’m pregnant,” I said.

“Oh, that’s a shame,” she said. “Are you going to keep it?”

“Obviously,” I said.

My very small baby was born in May, and I had no job, no money, no house and no idea. But I had a daughter, and I knew we were a team.

When I was 26, I had a new boyfriend, an ex-husband, a job I hated and money in the bank. I dragged my feet to work every morning without kissing anyone goodbye, driving my car with the windows up and yelling at other commuters with my middle finger. I sat at a desk in a government building and listened to the jerk next to me say things like, “She has great tits; we should hire her.” Every day I looked for an excuse to leave.

When I got home, my boyfriend would sometimes come around, if he wasn’t too angry or tired or happy or busy or sad. We would sit at opposite ends of the couch and watch television until it was time for him to leave and then I would sleep in a big bed on my own and it was so draughty.

One day the same two lines came up and he said, “Are you going to fix it?” And I had nothing to lose, but I crumbled and said, “Yes.” and I knew we weren’t a team.

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I’m Anna, a digital strategist and writer who likes to drink 'Ice Tea' but doesn't understand why it's not called 'Iced Tea'. By night and occasionally morning, I eat things, write things, berate my children, walk my dogs and hug my chocolate.

Comments

  • August 18, 2012 10:45 pm

    I think writing your book is going to be easy. You can just collate these blog posts and BANG!

      • Bec Waterhouse

        August 25, 2012 9:24 pm

        Nutter or not she’s right. Maybe a little bit of expansion, but otherwise your posts are gold.

  • August 19, 2012 10:40 am

    Lovely Anna. Your writing is so beautiful it hurts. Your stories are so real that they hurt.
    Don’t stop writing. Ever. Love Andrea. x

  • August 19, 2012 9:28 pm

    Love your writing Anna. The metal chairs, the middle finger. Looking forward to reading more from you.

  • Zohra

    August 20, 2012 4:12 pm

    Anna, your writing is so honest, you are very brave to say what there is for the world to see. I’m sure its not easy, but it must help others feel better with your sharing. I would be hesistant to lay myself bare like you do without the cover of anonymity.

  • August 22, 2012 10:38 pm

    Sometimes when I get a moment to go blog wandering I tend to jump from place to place, when I get here I stay and it makes me think and it makes me remember. I remember when I fell pregnant at 28 I rang my partner and he pretended that his phone went dead when he really had hung up on me. I knew, as I pretended to have a conversation with him while the smiley GP stared at me, that my soul mate wasn’t the loser I was married to it was the baby that was growing inside me. She still is.

      • August 23, 2012 11:09 am

        its all good my love. Best thing that ever happened to me. If only I could convince my daughter of that

  • September 6, 2012 8:12 pm

    I’m on Aussie Bloggers Facebook page with you. Great stories I have read so far, can’t wait to read more.

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