By the time I was 15 years old I was already a mother and a grieving one as well. I did not want to get pregnant, it was never on my list of things to do as a teenager. In fact having witnessed the lives of my older sisters as teen moms, had an impact on me growing up. Seeing my sisters struggle and sometimes even babysitting for them made me not want to even have kids. I did not want to follow in those same steps and that was something that I was constantly putting in my mind. I was so sure of myself and always thinking to myself nope not me I’m not dumb, I am going to do something with my life. I was so naive…… and I let my guard down………….. and there I was a mother at the age of 15.
I took a pregnancy test one day, I had suspicions because my body was feeling all kinds of ways and I was sleeping a lot which was not normal for me. When I read the results my heart literally wanted to jump out. I sat on a stall and I started to cry and my first thoughts were my parents were going to kill me. Like really kill me. Then my second thoughts were my dreams are shattered. I will never get to do any of the things I have been dreaming about, going to college, traveling, becoming a Doctor. I was devastated I never wanted this to happen I did not want to be a teen mom.
I kept my pregnancy hidden from my mom, (so I thought) for about a month. I never understood what my mom meant when she would always tell me she always knew everything even when I hid or lied from her about pretty much everything. Now that I am a mother I know exactly what she was talking about us moms have that special maternal instinct or whatever you want to call it. I couldn’t face my parents and tell them to their face that I was pregnant in fact it was embarrassing for me, heck I was disappointed in myself ! I always felt different from my siblings I always felt like I was going to go far and do great things in my life. I had high hopes for my future I had dreams of making it big someday and making my parents proud. I didn’t want to be pregnant as a teen, I wanted to break out of that circle because I saw teen moms all around me and I refused to be one of them. During that month that I hid my pregnancy I tried to figure out what I was going to do and whether or not to tell my parents. My first thought was to have an abortion, but I couldn’t there was no way I could go through with something like that and live with that decision for the rest of my life. I said to myself nope you got yourself into this mess you get yourself out. So you are going to suck it up and take responsibility for your actions. So then I started analyzing things and tried to figure out how I would go to school and work to provide for my baby. I was not alone, but I was looking at all my options because once reality hit me….this baby was MINE! And I was ready to face the world and do everything to protect and care for my child. Dropping out of school was never an option!!!! I kept telling myself its okay you got this you can figure it out. So once the fear was gone and the maternal instinct kicked in I loved my baby and I was ready to accept whatever came my way. So I packed my clothes and I ran away from home. I couldn’t face my parents, I would just leave and figure out life on my own. When I didn’t come home my mom went looking for me the next day. I talked to her by phone and she asked me why did I run away from home and in a very low and sad voice I told her because mom I am pregnant. I expected my mom to scream at me and just let me have it. But she didn’t she told me that she already knew I was pregnant, her exact words were; out of all your sisters you were the one I would not expect this from, I thought you were smarter than this but you proved me wrong……..so you ran away from home because you are pregnant, no you come back home I am not going to let you ruin your life. Come back home we will figure this out together. I hung up the phone and I was happy because I felt a huge relief that my mom was not mad or going to kill me. Plus I wasn’t ready to leave the house even though my house was full of tension all the time I was not ready to leave.
I gathered all my things again and went back home, but as I walked in the door my mother was waiting for me on the couch. She was looking at the wall she didn’t turn to acknowledge me when I walked in the house. I will never forget the look on her face, she was heartbroken, I saw sadness in her face and disappointment and she had tears rolling down her face and that really hurt me. That’s when I realized I really fucked up !! As I walked to my room I whispered to myself, its okay mom I will make it up to you someday, I will make you proud of me I promise…….. I’m sorry. I went in my room and jumped on my bed and started crying.
My dad could not even look at me, we avoided each other all the time it was hard and I was Daddy’s girl. I know I hurt my dad too he always kept his feelings locked away but I know he didn’t take it well because he was drinking more than usual.
I had a good pregnancy, unpleasant in the first trimester but overall it was good. I was in love with my child. I talked to my child all the time, I sang to my child I would even put headphones on my belly and play music. Pregnancy is one of the most beautiful experience a woman can go through and even though you carry the child for 9 months you love that child from day one. I felt a strong connection with my child I loved the kicks and knew what foods she liked and did not like. I got to know her before even meeting her. Everything was going great until one month before her due date, I was feeling weird I was not being my normal self and I was not sleeping well either. I would go into these sad moods for no reason and I was very emotional. Well one night a few weeks before I had her I woke up drenched in sweat, crying hysterical. The dream felt so real as if my body was preparing me for something to come. That night I had a dream that my baby died it was such a scary dream and felt so real I was so scared. In the following weeks I was just always in a sad mood as if I was waiting for something to happen.I was enrolled in a teen pregnancy school and every time some girl would loose her baby I felt bad for them. I never thought that it could happen to me, I would think oh that is so rare I will be okay.
On January 18, 2000 I went for one of my weekly visits as I was nearing the end of my full term. The nurse put the heart monitor on me as usual but this time it was different, she tried not to scare me but there was no need I could feel it coming on I knew where this was leading. She tried to stay calm and said you know we have to do an ultrasound because the baby is hiding. So we went into the ultrasound room and as soon as the nurse turned it on I saw the look on her face. She called someone else into the room and said, do you see what I see. The other nurse said yes, and she replied ok just wanted to confirm. My heart sank but I stayed quite I thought no this is not happening. That day my mom went with me to the Doctor visit, my mom never went with me to Doctor visits. They called my mom in and told her that the baby’s umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck and that there was no heart beat. I lost it after that. After speaking with a Doctor I was given the choice to let the labor happen on its own as I was only 3 days away from my due date. I said no that is torture I can’t walk around with my dead baby. So he said okay we can induce your labor. So that is how it happened the very next day I was in labor.
I was rolled into the operating room, I was scared. I look up and I see these bright round surgical operating room lights. I thought this has to be some big mistake, they made an error. The baby is about to be born and she is going to come out crying. I was hanging on to some hope that maybe just maybe this could all be some crazy mistake and everything would be okay. I look up to the lights and wonder what could possibly be the reason why I am going through this. God what are you doing and why are you doing this to me? Push !!! I could hear the nurse telling me. One more push ! I was calm as if expecting my baby to cry I was waiting for her for the moment they would all see that they made a mistake. I was nervous, scared and excited to finally meet my baby girl. Come on you got this one more push !!! There she was she came out just perfect, but wait whats going on, whats that? I sit up to look closer and the Doctor is taking off the noose around her neck. I waited for a cry, but when nothing happened I laid back down and started crying. They tried to put her on my chest and I couldn’t take her I couldn’t handle the pain it was like getting your heart ripped out. It took me awhile to come around and finally hold her, she was beautiful and so soft she just looked like she was sleeping. I finally accepted that she was gone and just cherished some time with her (2 days to be exact) before we had to prepare her for the burial.
I held up strong for a few moths then I just felt like I couldn’t go on. There were days when I just could not get out of bed. One day I just let God have it. I cursed him, I yelled at him told him that he didn’t exist. If he knew this was going to happen then why did I have to go through the full 9 months pregnant and let me love her, only for him to later take her away. (Fuck you, you don’t exist! I don’t believe in you anymore! I hate you for doing this to me! You are not real, if you are then why are you doing this to me! What did I do to deserve this! Common, where were you when I needed you the most, show yourself to me! ) But its as if he didn’t care that I did that to him because after my loss, I felt like he took me by my arms and lifted me and taught me how to fly. For a long time I didn’t want to see it that way because I stopped believing in him and lost my faith, but every opportunity he had, he proved me wrong and showed me who was the boss.
I don’t need anyone’s sympathy or people feeling sorry for me. I used to keep my past to myself especially about my baby because it was so sacred to me! But I want to share my story with everyone especially young girls and let them know that, hey its okay……..whatever you are going through in life you can get through, just stay positive and seek help if you have to. Don’t give up on yourself or your dreams and know that out of something bad or tragic something good always comes, you just have to be strong, ride out the storm, be patient, have faith and trust your journey.