Kat Hudson

Kat Hudson
Location
Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Birthday
May 16
Bio
Kathryn Hudson has been a writer for most of her life. Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, she currently calls Baltimore, Md., her home. As an award-winning journalist, Ms. Hudson spent several years as a newspaper reporter. She is currently raising a beautiful daughter on her own as a single mother along with two obnoxious cats (they are probably both French-Canadian). In her free time she writes. In her regular life, she juggles a cute infant along with a job in sales, blogs, and short films about everything. She welcomes new friends and correspondence, especially from befuddled new parents like herself.

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MARCH 30, 2011 11:24AM

I'm having MY baby

Rate: 37 Flag

You know that hour of your life you can never get back because you’ve spent it watching something completely stupid or insane? I’ve just spent the past hour watching “The Maury Povich Show.” Instead of complaining about how crazy or silly I found it, I have to say I actually found something of value in yet another one of it’s “Whose the Baby Daddy?” shows.

A year ago, I took pleasure in these kinds of shows. The basic setup is usually a young woman who has given birth to a baby and is either unsure of who the father might be, or is certain beyond a reasonable doubt that it’s one particular guy. Maury talks to the woman, then he interviews the potential father (or fathers). Nine times out of ten, the girls claim these men as the only possible man to father their children. And also, nine times out of ten, the men go off on tirades about the woman’s sexual history (“She’s a slut, Maury! Everybody knows it!”).  Eventually, the graphic appears across the television, “The Results Are In!” It’s not always pretty even if it is often mildly entertaining.

Last November, I learned I was pregnant. There was never any doubt or hesitation as to whom the father was simply for the fact that I don’t get around like some people might. I also wasn’t trying to get pregnant. Yet, here I was, a single woman who had briefly dated a much-younger man and had a contraceptive failure during our first night together. Things with the baby’s father started out amiably enough, but after I asked him to step up a little more than he was ready for, he disappeared. I started to feel a lot of empathy for the women who make that public and embarrassing pilgrimage to The Maury Povich Show.  They are scared. They don’t want to do motherhood alone.

I am almost 27 weeks pregnant now and wondering what the future holds with this tiny daughter I have growing inside me. Will she ever know her father the way I hope she can? Will he come around and see her for the innocent person she is in all of this and simply love her? I have a lot of hopes. One thing I know for sure right now is this: I am having a baby and from the looks of things, I am doing it all alone.

Papa don’t preach

I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my 41 years of living. I am sure of at least half of them because I can draw a line from a decision directly to a consequence and figure it all out. Some things are slightly more nebulous. My father begged me not to move to the east coast when I turned 18; I told him I couldn’t stay in Utah. I had to leave those wide, open spaces of blue skies and crimson cliffs to discover not just a world, but myself. Going from a small town country girl to a tear-up-the-city girl-about-town was not something so planned, but it changed my life. I eventually met my future husband and charted a life that was radically different from what I feared awaited me had I stayed in Utah.

Before I married, I fell into a natural state of rebellion. My parents had become radical fundamentalist Christians when I was 10 and this informed my entire teenage experience. At home in Utah, if I wanted a life, I had to sneak around to have it. I crept off with friends to high school dances (“Those ‘worldly’ boys only want ONE thing,” my father snapped). I chased after boys from the passenger side of my father’s car driven by my sister as we joined our friends in “dragging Main Street.” I even let a few boys into my heart, but never into my pants. I had seen the consequences of teen pregnancy and I didn’t want to be one of “those girls,” even though a few them were my friends. I had goals in mind for myself and a future to that belonged to me, not some rug rat in a wet diaper.

I should have saved the congratulatory back patting for someone else. Yes, I graduated from high school with my maidenhead intact, but barely a year or so later, I found myself prone hanging over a toilet waiting to see if the small bathroom chemistry kit I’d purchased at the local drugstore would tell me whether or not I was pregnant. When I realized it was positive, all that smugness I’d been carrying around with me was wiped away with a dirty towel. I wasn’t the immaculate person I thought myself to be.

Driving to the abortion clinic that cold, September morning with my 34-year-old boyfriend, I can still remember the picket signs help up by clinic protestors and their shouts at me as I locked hands with my boyfriend and tried to simply look ahead. A few hours later, still woozy from the anesthesia, those same protestors called me every despicable name in the book except for one: hypocrite. While I slowly got past the guilt of terminating my pregnancy knowing I was not ready to be a mother at 19, I still felt like traitor to the women before who had somehow “sucked it up” and marched forward into the throws of motherhood, prepared or not.

Excuse me your life is waiting

Now that I’m about to become a mother soon, I realize there is no such thing as feeling prepared. Even at 41, I often find myself wanting my own mother at my side. It won’t be happening because she passed away more than 14 years ago. So now I have to mother myself, too.

A few weeks ago, when I realized just how close I was getting to my third (and final) trimester of pregnancy, I had a minor freakout. I looked around my one-bedroom high-rise apartment that showed almost no evidence of the changes that are about to rapidly take place. I had no baby things lying about to tell the world (and remind myself) that a little girl is on the way. There wasn’t a crib in the corner or even a bassinet. Just mounds of my stuff everywhere like some sort of denial. When I shared my feelings with my friends, they immediately stepped up to help. One girlfriend texted me to say that a baby shower was in the works. Another girlfriend told me to stop being so modest about letting people give me things for my daughter. “It’s not like you’ve got baby things just laying around unused,” she said.

And then there was Cindy. We grew up together in our small Utah town. We went from enemies to friendship between middle school and high school. By the end of our senior year, we were part of a group of wonderful friends who were all the square pegs trying to screw ourselves into the round holes of our town. Cindy was also nearly eight months pregnant when we marched in our cap and gowns to collect our high school diplomas. I remember how radiantly she glowed as I stood beside her to sing with the rest of our choir group at the ceremonies. I also remember feeling a bit relieved that her fate was not my own. After seeing my panicked status update on Facebook, she sent me a tiny pink package filled with handmade baby things and a heartfelt note. After laying things out on my kitchen table to inspect and admire, I finally felt like things were finally coming into focus. I felt such gratitude and joy. I also felt my daughter kick.

The Big Picture

I’ve learned to let go of many things since learning I was pregnant. One of them is expecting others to do what they should or what I think they should, including the baby’s father. I do hope that he’ll come around after she’s born and want to form a relationship with his child. I realize that it is about her and not me. If, however, he decides not to show up, I know I’ll be okay. I know plenty of good men who are friends with big hearts and room for my daughter in them. They’ve told me so and I believe it. So I worry less about her having a father figure than I used to and just feel how lucky I am to know so many good people.

As much as I’d like to continue doing things the way I’ve always done, I can see that things must change for the simple fact that my life is changing. I have started setting new goals for myself so that I can better take care of this tiny person the Universe has entrusted to me. I plan to return to school and get my law degree. I’m making my first short documentary this Spring (I’m trying to wrap shooting up before my daughter is born). I’m also just taking in the wonderful things I now notice in the world that I know must have been there all along, but I just failed to see.

Late at night, when the world is quiet, I sit silently in bed and feel my baby girl as she tumbles and kicks inside my belly. I wonder what she wonders. I have such big dreams for both of us, but I know I must let her have her own dreams, too. I look forward to bringing her into this world and giving her her first kiss, first hug, first “I love you.” We may be alone from time to time, but I realize we are not completely alone. We have a world of people who are pulling for both of us and incorporating us into their village. I can’t wait for the world we get to know together. We are not alone, after all.

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Comments

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she starts out right, with a great Mom...just remember- she'll dream her own dreams, let her live those...
Ok Kat! I'd wondered how you were doing. Don't stay gone so long!! bad girl. I didn't have baby things in the house either, until practically the hour before she was born, and even then it was just the minimum. Contrary to everything we're told, babies need very little 'stuff' and you'll have all that you need with just the two of you nesting together for awhile. That, and some diapers. Lots of diapers. So glad you checked in :)
Love your writing and this post. I hope it may be some comfort for you to know that it only takes one healthy parent to raise a healthy child. Congratulations to you and the soon-to-be birth of your daughter. You know you are on a grand adventure. I hope the young father comes through, not only for your daughter's sake but his as well. But she has you. I resonated with wanting your mother. Mine has been gone for a long long time and despite my age, occasionally I find myself lamenting, "I want my Mommy." The beauty is knowing I can nurture myself. Great writing and written from the heart. And oh yes, the constant humbling lessons life loves to teach us. Humiliating for a brief moment but ultimately liberating.
I am glad you are doing well. Sounds like there has been more growth in these few weeks than that experienced by your daughter!
Just remember, you will never be alone again! You and she will have a bond that no other can have. Enjoy! Love her and show her all of the wonders of the world! R
My daughters are 10 and 6 and they are most fun to play with and watch. Most of the time. They get into power struggles now and then. They both begged me to make them blogs on OS where they post poems and stories they write with only a tiny bit of editing from me.
I'm sure you'll be a good mom!
This is so beautiful. You're in a good place right now - and rightly so. Good luck to you and can't wait to hear more about you and your baby!
There is never a good time.
There is never a bad time.
Whether you are married,
or in a relationship,
or not,
This is something you will do.
For yourself and your daughter.
And somehow, time will pass,
and this will be the one best thing that you have done.
My son is 17 and that is how I feel.
And you are not alone.
You have everyone here..
and friends and family.
You only have to ask for help.
xxoo
This was beautifully written. I wish you every happiness for you and your daughter. -r-
While it won't be easy it will be a wonderful experience to watch her grow. Having children later in life has it's good points, you are much more patience and you don't feel like you are missing anything on the party scene. Watching my daughters grow is and has been THE best thing I have ever done in my life (they are 10 and 15, I'm 53).

R
There is such a thing as the right time. You are there now. I knew I wasn't when I was nineteen and I have no regrets for not having my baby. But when I was 29 I was ready and that makes all the difference. It isn't about stuff either. Just think of the people in Afganistan or Libya who are having a baby. Think of what 'things' they have. Keep it simple. The only thing you can't have too much of is friends and it sounds like you are good in that department. Great post.
As a single mother since the age of sixteen, I can tell you that the life of a single mother is not easy. It is filled with regrets, anger, and a multitude of all kinds of emotions but when you first see the face of your little girl, it fades. Everything will be all about her and every time you look at her, you will tell yourself that her life will not be like yours and you will do everything possible to make that happen. She will be a strong woman because she is your daughter and will know of your struggles. Good luck Lady Kat and best wishes to you and your little girl You are now a matriarch!
I've been thinking about you and hoping to read something by you. This is so beautiful and heart-warming. It took a baby to grow you in ways you didn't expect. This is the best part of your piece that I like - and I love your writing. "I’m also just taking in the wonderful things I now notice in the world that I know must have been there all along, but I just failed to see. "

I wish you the best with your documentary project and the arrival of your little girl. Rated with love.

♥R
I am 54. I have 6 girls and 3 boys who range in age from 29 to 8. So I've been around the block a couple times.

You will be okay. Your head is screwed on better than most. You have a clue about the real world, and that is the key. I have to say the child at 46 saw a whole different life than the one at 25. It's not that I loved one different than the other. They are like hands in a card game. They all come from the same deck. The game is the same, but all the hands are different and you play them differently. Not better, not worse, just different.

What's her name going to be?
You MUST read Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott right this minute, if you haven't already. It's the classic book on the exact place you're at in your life. Her son is now in his early twenties, married with a son of his own.
Congratulations, Kat...you are doing great...I hope we get to see your documentary! xox
Glad to hear you're doing well. Advice: accept all help offered by friends. The baby is going to sap your energy, so don't be too proud to lean on friends.
Your writing says it all. You are ready and you will give your whole heart to your daughter. No looking back at the past, just forward with her by your side. You are in for more joy than you ever thought possible. You are right. You are not alone - we really never are. Congratulations! R
Nice to see you on here, Kat. Hope you will find time to post baby's picture when she arrives. Listen to Cranky and let people help you. It's hard but it is helping "for two." RRRR
Congratulations! May I advise against becoming a lawyer for a few years. I am really thinking that these coming years with a newborn/infant/toddler will be more wonderous and difficult than you may presen.tly expect. I would be lost without my mother and father so I am really hoping that your friends and relatives will give you a hand. Law school is stressful but doable with an infant-- starting out as a lawyer with a small toddler will probably break your heart. If you need to pay for law school with loans nearly all of your first year salary will be divided between student loan payments, extended day child care (i.e., nanny -- the day cares usually have a firm pickup time that will compete with when your law partner wants to meet about the next week's assignments...) and housing. Can you teach? You could probably obtain teaching certification in a shorter period for less financial investment and have a much more livable life, and the deficiency in pay might be offest by a lower student loan payment. Just a thought. Also, you could be a paralegal for awhile, it is a steady job with a reasonable work day.
Best wishes to you and your little one whatever you decide it will be the right thing.
Congratulations Kat. You will be all right. You have what it takes.
My birthmother raised two daughters on her own and they are beautiful, brilliant, interesting, accomplished young women. It won't be easy, but you can do it.
Thanks, everyone! I really appreciate the comments.

As Cranky suggested, I am taking ALL offers of help from everyone offering. I know it's not going to be easy, but as the old commercial about the military goes, "Its the toughest job you'll ever love." I'm sure I will feel the same way.

The person who suggested I wait on law school was nice, but honestly, it will be at least two to three years before I can jump into that. I have only a few classes to finish my paralegal studies degree which is what I'm focused on first. Everything in steps!

BTW, I've already picked out a name for my daughter. Her name is Dagne Gwendolyn. Dagne (pronounced "dag-knee") means "new beginning" or "bright new day." Her middle name means "fair one" but is also in honor of my father's mother who was my best friend.
Great post. I wish you a healthy, happy, speedy delivery! The most important thing in a child's life is love. With that, seriously, all things are possible. Sound like you have it figured out. It is gonna be great. Best to you.
This was so beautiful. Made me cry thinking of how much my mother must have thought about this when she left my father because he didn't want me twenty-five years ago. She's got a good mother, people to lavish caring on her around her mother and her, and a great set of genes to start life with, it sounds like. I wouldn't think any worry would be in order. Funny the things junk-food TV brings up! :) I wish you and your daughter the best.
Congratulations twice, Kat, how are you? It is good to read you again. Beautiful piece. R
just make sure you make time for yourself as well - use those friends as babysitters so you can remember the non-mother you. it'll improve your mothering! trust me
I feel like a relative, catching up with you at these "gatherings". Superb writing. I trust you will link us up with your documentary when it is done?
/R