Tuesday, July 21, 2009
I was sixteen years old when my daughter was born. I remember the shock I felt when the doctor told me I was pregnant. It was something out of an after school special. I really believed it couldn't happen to me. I went into the doctor's office with a twisted mouth knowing there was no way I could be having a baby.
Imagine how it felt to hear the words I never thought I would hear. There were circumstances that made them harder than they already were. I'll just say that my mother was not very happy about the situation. Who could blame her? I'd always done well in school and she had high hopes for me. In her eyes having a child would destroy my life. She felt like it was over for me.
My mind was made up as soon as I was told there was a life growing inside of me. I knew that I was going to have my baby. Nothing and no one was going to change my mind. I was immediately attached and didn't think of what the future held. In my 16 year old mind I knew that things would work themselves out.
There were some struggles throughout my pregnancy. Circumstances stressed me out, but I pushed on. My boyfriend (who is now my husband) and I held on to each other. We felt like it was us against the world. No one understood us or cared what we were going through. He held my hand the entire time and vowed to protect me from anyone or anything that would dare try and hurt me. We grew closer than ever. He became the man I needed even though he was still an 18 year old boy.
He was there with me throughout every second of my 23 hours of labor, holding my hand, wiping my brow, feeding me ice chips, kissing my forehead and doing whatever needed to be done. Our bond was solidified in that hospital room. It's an experience that I will never forget. I can still see the face he made when he saw the babies head trying to push it's way into the world. We still laugh about the way he ran out of the room to find a doctor.
It took a while for our daughter to breathe after she was born. It was the scariest moment of my life. My "boyfriend" and I held hands and cried until she did. It was the most wonderful sound either of us had ever heard. We looked at each other and renewed the vow we made to be the best parents we could possibly be.
Even though we had help after our child was born, we always held on to that us against the world mentality. So many people were telling us that we were going to fail that we felt like we had no choice but to succeed. We were determined to never have to ask anyone for help. We planned so much during the pregnancy that by the time our daughter were born we knew what needed to be done. It felt good.
I'm not saying things were peachy keen. I ended up going to an alternative high school for teenage mothers and was unable to graduate with my original high school class. I never got to go to prom. While my friends were hanging out and having fun, I was taking care of a child. I couldn't relate to them the way I once did because our priorities were totally different. I stopped feeling like a teenager the day my daughter was born.
I've made a lot of sacrifices to be a mother and I do not regret any of them. My life didn't exactly go in the direction I planned but that's okay. I was always an excellent student and it was always a given that I would go to college. That didn't happen right away and most of the things I expected didn't come to pass, but I can't explain.
I have a good life. My daughter is 24 years old and has done very well for herself. She has a Masters and a Bachelors and went to an excellent college. My husband and I had another child, our son who is 18 and just completed his first year of college. I'm very proud of my children and love them very much.
My husband and I have gone through some things. Who doesn't? We get on each other's nerves and have our arguments. There have been times when I wasn't sure we would make it. Those times aren't too far in the past. I have taken time and thought of that boy who held my hand and dared anyone to do me harm. He still has that mentality and protects me to no end. We don't always get along and things aren't always perfect but that's okay.
I've been thinking about those teenage years a lot lately. Someone I know will soon be starting down the path I once traveled. It's all in God's hands and I pray that things will work out for the best.