Wednesday, January 29, 2014
A Story. 22 Years In the Making
Do I ever regret my decision? Absolutely not!
I made some mistakes. Big mistakes. I was not raised in the manner that I was behaving and knew that I needed to fix and change some things. This wasn't me. This wasn't who I was or what I stood for. I was graduating from high school and had just been accepted to the college of my choice where I would major in dance. One of my older sisters was visiting with her three small children and my eighteenth birthday was coming up. Also coming up, was what should have been my period. Only, it didn't. I didn't know what to do. I went to the local K-Mart and bought a pregnancy test lying and saying I was picking it up for my visiting sister. I remember going upstairs to our bathroom and knowing. I didn't want to take the test but needed to confirm what I already felt. With door locked, crumbled in fetal position on the bathroom floor I cried. My life was over. My father was Bishop of our church congregation. I wasn't raised this way. This was a huge sin that I'd committed. I was lonely, terrified, and didn't know what to do. How would my parents react?
I don't remember how many days I carried around this knowledge by myself. I do remember that it was a few days before I had the courage to talk to my sister who was visiting. I told her. She was beautiful. She never judged me. She loved me. She held me. She gave me courage to tell my parents. I called my mom up to her bedroom and asked her if any of her kids made a major mistake, like getting pregnant, would she kick them out. Funny now looking back in a sort of twisted way. What kind of a question is that if not blurting out what is really going on?! And then, I told her. My mother being who she is, was very matter of fact. Let's get this confirmed by a doctor before we proceed any further. Which we did. It was now time to tell my Dad. We drove to his church office and he and I sat down at his desk. I handed him a piece of paper with a date on it. He asked me what it was. My due date.
My older sister and her three little ones needed to head back to their home in another state and it was decided that I would go and live with her and her family for the first three months of my pregnancy. We all handle grief and pain differently. My mother was mad. She was angry. We needed some space. And that is okay!! It was talked about sending me to a home for pregnant teenagers for the duration but my father wouldn't hear of it. So, I went and lived with my sister.
Looking back, my sister was an absolute angel. I spent the first three months throwing up and heaving the very air I breathed along with any food that would pass through my lips. I can remember laying by the toilet wondering how In the world a baby could survive this when I couldn't keep any food or water down. My sister's husband was working full time plus going to school in the evenings so not only was she taking care of her three little ones by herself but me as well. I remember her asking me if I'd watch her baby for her in the mornings while she took the other two to their swimming lessons. She had to sit on bleachers and her baby was in the crawling stage and didn't want to sit still. She left her baby with me a few times. I would lay on the couch and then fall asleep only to wake up when she'd get home and the baby would have made a complete mess out of everything. She never got after me or complained. She took her baby with her after that. Another time, it was late in the evening and after a bath and shaving my legs, I noticed I'd left a lovely ring around the tub. I was so tired and planned on scrubbing the tub the next morning. The next day, I found the tub all scrubbed. Again, never a complaint. Never made me feel bad for being a burden. Never griped about having to drive me an hour in both directions to therapy weekly dragging three little ones with. Love.
People would ask me if I was ready to have that baby!! I would tell them, no! While 'that baby' (I didn't know the gender) was still inside of me, that baby was mine! I could feel her, I could sing to her, I could hold her.
The day of delivery arrived. I was induced and had an amazing delivery. My parents were there and soon after other members of my family who had also been a huge support came to the hospital to see and hold their new niece. She was beautiful!! Perfect! My oldest sister who I had spent a lot of time with during my pregnancy and had become a second mother figure to me brought my baby and I matching gold rings. Love. One of my favorite photos I have from the hospital is of my brother holding my baby. Love.