Pregnant and suddenly single

First, Congressman Anthony Weiner was caught inappropriately tweeting women. Then came the collective gasp with news that his wife Huma Abedin, absent from the press conference confessions by her husband, is pregnant. Some reports suggest that, in her first trimester, Abedin is trapped in an impossible situation. While Vanity Fair advised the 35-year old aide to Hillary Clinton to be her own person and there are quiet rumblings that Abedin's family and friends are "furious" about the scandal and the timing. While we wait to see whether Abedin will stand next to her husband -- at the podium or through her pregnancy -- some people question how a woman could possibly walk away from the man whose child she is carrying.

We spoke to three women who did make the choice to end a relationship while they were pregnant. Here are their stories -- sometimes raw, very relatable, and ultimately empowering.



Kelly was a freshman in high school when she found out she was pregnant. Now an educator, blogger, and mother of three, here's what she shared about becoming a mother while she was still becoming herself.

[My boyfriend's} dad was my health teacher (I know, the irony is not at all lost on me) and he was very religious. You know, the kind always spouting their religion to everyone louder than their actions indicated. His family was embarrassed and they ended up moving out of state. Yes. Out of state. So, it was pretty hard to date after that. In fact, we had actually broken up before he moved and before he found out I was pregnant so when I named him as the father, he told everyone that it wasn't true. He mostly made a fool of himself because he had previously told everyone that he had sex with me so it only ended up being an ugly situation.

The choice to have the child
It really didn't feel like a choice to me. The only choice we made was to have sex and, for me, even that was under intense pressure. It was the best thing that could happen, though, because he was out of my life and my hair and I didn't have to share anything with him. Financially, it was brutal. But as a parent, I am so grateful that I didn't have his immature influence because I grew up quickly and didn't have to worry about him undoing the things I was doing. My daughter turned out to be a phenomenal person. He's only seen her a handful of times in her life and she is now 25 years old.

What people said
I heard that I was worthless and a slut most of the time. I got nasty looks and lots of unsolicited advice. Since she was born when I was a freshman in high school I actually thought I had time to repair my reputation if I managed to look like a better, mature, responsible person. When I was a sophomore I was voted Homecoming Queen and even that had a backlash. Do you remember that song "Homecoming Queen's Got a Gun"? Well, I was "Homecoming Queen's Got a Kid" and some of my classmates teased me mercilessly with that song.

What she'd tell a pregnant woman contemplating a break-up
If you know the relationship is doomed and there is nothing left, not even a working relationship to parent together, then just do it. There is nothing worse than forcing someone to do something they don't want to do. Whether it's being a father to their own child or even being a better boyfriend or husband to you. (I am obviously talking to the women here.) I needed time to figure out who I was as a mother but it took much longer to figure out who I was as a woman. If I had any disruptions to that process or delays in my life because I chose to force a relationship to stay together then I would probably have wound up a very unhappy woman. For me, it was the right thing and no one could convince me of that at the time. Hindsight has proven otherwise.

(Read more about Kelly's experience as a single teen mom here.)

Lark is mother to a high school-aged daughter and a poet who practices yoga.

I had the great misfortune of being 25, unemployed and pregnant with the baby of a jackass. The pregnancy, by the way, was unplanned, but very much welcomed.

Before I'd found out I had quit my job and was planning on going to grad school. After I found out he and I moved in together...that lasted about 30 days. This guy was obviously not ready to have another baby - his older daughter was in 3 rd grade - and most definitely didn't want to be in a relationship with me. He did everything he could to encourage me to leave (I was staying put trying to figure out what my next move would be...I already knew it was over). Finally he got into a knock-down drag-out fight with our landlord and got us evicted. We packed our stuff and went our separate ways.

How she moved on
I knew early on that he and I wouldn't last as a couple. Even though he was more than 10 years older than me, I was the more mature one in the relationship. As I spent more time with him and saw the havoc that he caused in the lives of the women around him, I knew that us not being together would be the best for me and the baby. But, it was terribly stressful. After I moved out, I crashed with a friend in town, relocated (to another couch in another state) and had no idea what I was going to do with myself. Eventually, I re-enrolled in school to give myself some time to think. I think, though, it was the best thing I could do for myself. I didn't want to be consumed with grief about the loss of the relationship when I had this great kid coming. I really felt like staying in the same town with him would have kept me tied in the inevitable drama and I didn't want that at all.

The father's involvement
Her father wasn't invited to her birth. When we broke up he told me he wanted nothing to do with us because he wasn't sure that it was his baby. I told him "very well" and never looked back. He has seen her once in her life in person when she was about 9 months old. He was coming in the door at his sister's house when we were going out. Throughout the years I've told myself that if she asked for him, I would do my best to find him for her. Hasn't happened yet.

What people said
I think people were pretty surprised. I was always thought of as a "good girl". But, if people had any commentary, they kept it to themselves.

Advice for other women
I would tell her not to consider staying in the relationship just for the sake of the baby. If the relationship itself isn't strong, the added stress of a baby won't save it. She would need to really consider her ability to take care of her family without additional income or help and then reach out to her community to shore up where she was falling short. I'm a huge proponent of the idea that happy parents make for happy children and that happiness can be found even if the parents aren't together.



Anna was 32 and living with her boyfriend when she became pregnant and later ended the relationship. Today,she is a business writer, Sunday school teacher, and single mom.

My partner wanted me to end the pregnancy and I thought we were in it together. He was constantly saying hurtful, critical things so I determined it would be better for both me and the baby to forge ahead without him. I reached the final straw when I was in Lamaze class and had him there with me and he couldn't stand to touch me.

How she handled it
One of my friends at the time said it best -- babies survived the blitzkrieg so my baby could survive my emotional distress. Looking back at the choice it was the choice of a strong person of strong character to hang in there and raise a child in love without him.

The father was not involved in the birth but I called him and said he should come to the hospital to see her. He helped decide the name from the final two. Then, he ate my meal, drank my free glass of bubbly and left.

How other people helped
When [my pastor] counseled me that I needed someone to help me with the birth and be there for me, I cried, "I don't have anyone here." I'd lost my friends over [my ex-boyfriend]. My family could not be here they were far away. So she said to ask Kathy {another woman in the church]. I was scared because she didn't know me that well, but she and [her husband] were SO HONORED.

They were my birth coaches, attended Lamaze, were my sponsors into church membership when I was about 9 months along, and then...they took me to the hospital for delivery, were there for the WHOLE thing. and Kathy found out during my pregnancy that she was also very happily preggers herself! So when the delivery did not come off and I had to go to C-section, [her husband] went into surgery with me (I had to have general anesthesia) and watched the birth. Kathy was too tired. Then we constantly did stuff together and [her husband] was the godfather sent from angels.

What other people said
Women did the same thing to me that they did to every other pregnant person -- told the story of the birth of their own child with/without descriptions of the horrendous pain and so on. One really awesome older woman I worked with at Reuters sat across from me all day as I speed-edited and dealt with insensitive bureau chief and she would quietly mutter or whisper or text me uplifting supporting kind words like"you can do this" and "don't let them see you cry" and so on.

What she'd like other single pregnant women to know
What I would tell a woman who is contemplating ending a relationship while pregnant is that it will not serve a baby for you to be in an unhappy or demeaning or untrustworthy relationship. Take care of mom. Ain't mommy happy, ain't nobody happy. I don't personally believe in continuing where brutality exists.

Did you break up with your partner while you were pregnant?




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