When Storked!
Met Rattled!

Faced with an unplanned pregnancy, a relationship ending and an uncertain future, Christine Coppa could have curled up in a ball on her parents' couch and given up on all her dreams. But she didn't.

Pregant Woman PrayingWhen an unplanned pregnancy happens, women in relationships have a reasonable expectation that the baby's father will be around and help out with the child-rearing, even if the relationship doesn't last. However, that isn't always the case. While pregnant women will carry a very public notice of their impending motherhood nestled under their shirt, men who choose to skip out on parenthood can just go on with their lives.

Fortunately, women also have options: abortion, adoption or motherhood.

When faced with that decision in 2006, author Christine Coppa chose motherhood. She explores her road from the sexy life of a young editor in Manhattan to single motherhood in her new memoir, Rattled!, due out from Broadway Books on April 14.

Although she has shared much about her life on her popular mom blog Storked! on Glamour's website, the book takes readers from the uncertain and frightening moments peeing on the proverbial stick to watching her son's father slip out of her life to a dramatic move back to the New Jersey suburbs that she grew up in to finally bringing home her son and starting her new life.

Pregnant and alone

Coppa had been in a steady relationship with her son's father when she found herself pregnant. But, as she recently told SheKnows, it quickly became clear that the relationship wasn't going to continue. "I sort of saw it coming," she says. "I didn't expect us to stay together, because it was clear that our relationship had gone into a different place. It was really fun … we weren't life partners, we weren't going to get married. We were just sort of dating. I expected what happened to happen."

So, Coppa was left in a situation that many women have faced: pregnant and alone. The fact is that single mothers are everywhere.

There are 9.8 million single mothers living with their kids under age 18 in the United States, according to 2008 data from the U.S. Census Bureau. That is up from 3.4 million in 1970. It's become a far more accepted societal norm to have a child and remain single. Even with such strength in numbers, the decision to become a single mother is a hard one. It presents an array of challenges, concerns, feelings, worries, wonders and hopes … and, most of all, uncertainty.

Scared

What happens to a women when she is rattled to the core by sudden and certain life changes? She is scared, as Coppa says she was. "I was always excited about him coming … [but] I had days like that where I didn't want to get out of bed. And it had nothing to do with Jack. I was just scared," she said.

Coppa's book gives readers a glimpse into what it was like for her to be 26 and pregnant. The account is at times raw, with Coppa describing in vivid detail the panic and uncertainty of a panic attack while on her babymoon in Palm Springs. At other times, she delves into the comforting powers of friendship and the ultimate desire and determination to be a successful mother with a baby. Met with challenge and resistance again and again, Coppa stands up in the face of opposition and figuratively shoves it aside as she makes room in her world and her life for her child.

Support system

For moms-to-be, and especially single moms-to-be, having a rock-solid support system in place is essential. Coppa had two: her friends in New York and New Jersey who rallied around her and her family, who (after digesting the news) made sure that she was on the road to success in her new life.

Her brothers, in particular, stepped in to fill the void left by A, her son's father. "They've been like mini-fathers," says Coppa.

Coppa's older brother, Carlo, helped her map out her finances and work on getting rid of unnecessary debt. As a single woman in Manhattan, Coppa lived pretty much paycheck to paycheck, saving little. But that changed when she was faced with the responsibility of motherhood. She says the mental change to being more money conscious wasn't too hard. "It wasn't as hard as people might think it might be. It was just a new way of thinking of things," she says.

The father

In Rattled!, Coppa only refers to her son's father as A, the first letter of his first name, a choice she says she made out of good will. "I am not out to get him. I have a feeling he's going to pick up my book. I know he reads my blog," Coppa says.

And she has spoken with him since their son was born, however A (very Scarlet Letter-ish, eh?) hasn't met his son. "I have extended the olive branch and my son has never met his father. He is a grown up. He is a 30-year old college educated man. I reached out to him," Coppa says, adding that while she thinks it is important for her son to know his dad, she's done what she can to make that happen.

Poster mom?

Coppa, now 28, says that she loves being a mom but doesn't see her situation as special or unique. "I am not a mom who decided to start a blog at blogspot for fun … This is what I do. I worked at a magazine before I got pregnant," Coppa says. "I like to think of myself as a writer – this is one part of myself that I am writing about."

Nonetheless, Coppa's memoir lends a glimmer of hope to women who find themselves in an similar situation. Still pursuing her dreams of being a writer, she now does so from her New Jersey apartment with her son nearby. Coppa says that she plans to continue writing for Glamour, but isn't sure what her next big project will be. "I am very optimistic and hopeful."

However, she is the first to admit that while her situation has worked out so well, what worked for her wouldn't necessarily work for another woman. "I can't tell [other women] what to do because every situation is different. I am making it work. Everyone is not able to make it work," Coppa says.

Her only advice? "Take a deep breath and think about it because whether you have the child or have an abortion or give the child up for adoption, everything is going to change."

Read more single mom tips:

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Comments

Comments on "Single, pregnant and alone: One mom’s story"

Kirsty February 12, 2014 | 3:00 PM

I am also "pregnant and alone", my closest friend who raised a beautiful, kind and respectful young boy (he is 10) was also pregnant and alone with him. She gave me the best advice... It does not matter whether the father says they will be there, will be part of their child's life and support you. Things change, people change and you can never rely on them being around. If you do this she said to me, the only person you can rely on is yourself. I can do this on my own with my wonderful friends and family, but most of all I CAN DO this because I am a strong and determined woman who has been blessed with this child. Exciting times ahead :)

onalekutlo January 08, 2014 | 11:50 PM

reading all of this stories teaches me i am not alone. I am 28 years old and i have a 8 year old son and now i am pregnant again and due in June 2014. I have being worried and sad that i am going to be a mother of two boys with different fathers.Each of them have the same qualities.Currently my Ex, since finding out that i am pregnant has being avoiding me. I was so stressed out that i would call him all day long. I then realized that he may be the father of the child but parenthood is a choice. Although i am still struggling with the thought of raising two boys alone, i have decided to live in hope that i will be a good and that one day i will meet the man of my dreams, Since i made the decision to let go of the worry and anger i feel lighter and happier.

Tsamy September 26, 2013 | 1:36 PM

I am 6 weeks pregnant and alone. Luckily i have support from my friends and my family. A, the baby's father, left me days after i told him i am pregnant. He was forcing me so much to abort but i refused. I miss him though but i love my baby more. I cant wait to feel it kicking inside me and finally have my first baby in my arms.

Lena May 30, 2013 | 3:58 PM

I look forward to reading this book. I am in the same position. The "man" I was seeing threatened that he would never speak to me again if I didn't have an abortion. Needless to say I didn't have an abortion now I am 5 months pregnant and I am in love with my baby! I am saddened that the father of the child could have such a ridiculous outlook on taking responsibility for his actions but at the same time I have a gift coming in 5 months time that is irreplaceable. Feeling all the kicks and little movements of my boy is such a joy that the father will regret some day not being a part of.

Rachael May 16, 2013 | 11:52 AM

Reading this article takes me back a bit...I had not one, but two, unplanned pregnancies...just over ten years ago. The first one was when I was in my first year of university, and the second one was shortly was only a few months after I gave birth. I remember being tossed a paper from the university medical staff advising abortion. I did, however, have a dating ultrasound first, which is where I first saw my son's heart beat. I realized for the first time that I was a carrier of a precious life! I have two beautiful sons...and raised them on my own for four years... until I met my husband at the church I had begun attending. He has loved them from the beginning as if they were one of his own. We have had two children since, and I thank God that life has drastically turned around. I know how it feels to be a single mom. Every Mother's Day I can't help but think of all the women raising their children on their own. Some of my own friends are doing just that! It is something I admire, and I will always remember the struggle, and yet rewards, of persevering in such a trying season of life. If you are single, pregnant and alone what I would say to you: don't give up!! Life can go on. And whether you end up getting married like I did, or not, I believe that when we can learn from our past choices, we can be free to move into our futures. Every child is so special, and unique. Precious, whether their biological fathers want to acknowledge them or not.

farie May 11, 2013 | 12:17 PM

I'm pregnant and due date is jis around the corner..my husband left me for his mistress when I was two months into my pregnancy and with 3more kids(3,6,10)I'm unemployed and he doesn't gve a cent towards anything but all I realy wanted was that he must be part of my kids life but he couldn't even do that.so now I have to be mom and dad cos dad has just disapeared into thin air

Sonia M April 28, 2013 | 3:06 PM

I too find myself crying while reading these post. All i ever wanted was for my baby to have a father in her life. Sad to say from the beginning of the news his attitude has only been negative. I found out he cheated on me while i am pregnant. Yet, i still believed people make mistakes and should be given a second chance. I am 15 week pregnant and not a single thing has changed. there is no love, emotion or care from him for me or for the unborn baby. He treats us cold and the only time he may show some humane affection is when he needs money. I was a fool to think he cared for me. I cry myself to sleep most night and cause of the pain in my heart. I never asked him for money, or any materialistic items. All i wanted was love. Now i see it will never happen. I will be moving out in a couple of days. Just his reaction when i told him i would was more reason. He just said "OK". well thats exactly what i will be. I WILL BE OK!

ashly March 16, 2013 | 12:47 AM

Upon reading the article and the comments my tears fell down. I didn't expect myself to be pregnant but it happened. I'm alone and the father of my baby is willing to support my pregnancy but his not with me. I haven't tell my mother yet because she was so religiuous and I'm afraid she might condemned me. I left my howntown and live with my brother now.but the problem is i dont have someone to talk to, every morning I kept on praying that's already night so i will just sleep. Im so frustrated now I cant even find a job because no one wants to accept me because Im pregnant.Anyway thanks for this blog. i hope I can get in touch with pregies like me.

Baby Nina January 22, 2013 | 2:36 PM

Nabs and def learned a lesson, This is huge for me as well. Never in my wildest dream had i ever imagined myself to be in this situation. But here I am pregnant and alone. (Technically, I still have a lot of support from family and friends but the father has not provided any input as to what role he wanted in this whole pregnancy. It's a bit overwhelming and I am always feeling distraught about the future. I can care less for the financial aspect of it because all i ever wanted him to do was be a part of the child's life. Sigh. I would love to keep in touch with others that are going through this because i feel this will be imperative to my well being and psyche to speak with others and see how they are doing or getting by.

Nabs January 08, 2013 | 3:56 AM

I know these posts are old but I'm going through being preg and single. It seems like dads just don't have the desires that us ladies do when it comes to pregnancy n children. lets face facts, people have put these ideas into men from a young age. Little girls get baby dolls and boys get trucks. Mothers too do this thing with boys where they do everything for them cause that's how they were taught to look after men themselves. So men never really have been the ones to grow n nurture anything but their own desires n egos. Maybe I'm just mad at them and maybe I'm mad at us women too. Cause I hope I have a boy just so I can teach him that respect don't come from what car u drive or how many chicks u can hook up with. But rather the love n respect u have for ur children n the bearer of them is what gives u purpose n value. Yup doing it alone ain't so bad better than having a man who cannot see the value of family because he has no respect for it.

Def learned a lesson January 30, 2012 | 11:41 AM

I will try to shorten my story. I am a single mother of an 8 year old. Im now pregnant with my second( most likely last)this experience has left me hopeless to ever have any more children. i have been with this dude for a year. When i first met him he told me that he had two children with this other female. Immediately i felt skeptical but due to pass relationships that did not work I decided to be open minded and give it a chance. Well i got played. His age should should of been another indicator of his maturity level. I am now 28 and he is 23. He purposely got me pregnant and then when i told him i got prego he told me to abort. When i refused he gave me hell. Anyways fast forwarding I been having a feeling that he was still with his bm and sleeping with others. After some investigation i found out it was true. this was three weeks ago that i busted him and he hasnt even reached out to me at all. I now pregnant and alone while hes back with his bm living a big happy fam. Im scared as hell and def alone.

nate wion September 08, 2010 | 6:13 AM

i wonder if its possible that though you may be right about alot of the things in this blog, that there are some things that are simply beyond control. for instance... kimbers description of me. i am who shes speaks of in the comment she placed above. i mean to slander no one. but circumstances as far as it goes for getting ready for something so exciting and enormously important as being a father may be weighed by too much of our ideas that a man cannot change. or woman rather. im sure that the way things work out are meant to happen. but now i spend time with both of them. i spent over a year getting ready for this. making changes to suit my childs needs, i believe, is necessary in order to maintain a much stronger bond with both. almost everyone can have children, but just because you have children, doesnt make you a parent. i hope to have both. and looking from both spectrums...i believe it is necessary to change your life, which goes without saying. but some choose a different path. i love them both now. whereas before i could barely love myself.

kimber peck August 03, 2009 | 2:58 PM

reading your interview makes me cry. (pregnancy hormones) knowing that there are other women out there that are single moms and that get no help from the father makes me feel a little better, cus i am almost five months pregnant by a man who i was with, he saw this 18 yr old girl just graduating high school and already had her life planned out and was going to make something of herself and here he was a drug and alcohol addict who had graduated years ago and had nothing to show.. so he purposly got me pregnant and left. i was going ot abort but when i say it for the first time on the sonogram i couldnt end a life that dnt have a choice, but not im living with my parents who are struggling to take care of me and my sisters almost one year old daughter and struggle to make bill payments. i cant help very much. they tell me not to worry things will be fine but im scared that their not. things havent been well for me. knowing that you were kinda in that situation and made it through gives me a little hope.. i hope things will work out as good as i hope them to be...

kimber peck August 03, 2009 | 2:57 PM

reading your interview makes me cry. (pregnancy hormones) knowing that there are other women out there that are single moms and that get no help from the father makes me feel a little better, cus i am almost five months pregnant by a man who i was with, he saw this 18 yr old girl just graduating high school and already had her life planned out and was going to make something of herself and here he was a drug and alcohol addict who had graduated years ago and had nothing to show.. so he purposly got me pregnant and left. i was going ot abort but when i say it for the first time on the sonogram i couldnt end a life that dnt have a choice, but not im living with my parents who are struggling to take care of me and my sisters almost one year old daughter and struggle to make bill payments. i cant help very much. they tell me not to worry things will be fine but im scared that their not. things havent been well for me. knowing that you were kinda in that situation and made it through gives me a little hope.. i hope things will work out as good as i hope them to be...

Sarah Caron April 17, 2009 | 7:03 AM

Thanks, Pam! I really appreciate you commenting. Hope you have gotten your copy -- it's a great book.

PamelaSC April 13, 2009 | 3:04 PM

Good interview, Sarah. I'm glad to be able to read some of your writing, too. I'm looking forward to reading Rattled! soon.

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