So there I was, 17 years old, high school drop out, just lost one of my great friends to cancer, still hadn't dealt with the death of my own father and I was pregnant... not just any pregnant... half-way-through-my-pregnancy pregnant.
I don't know if you know anything about abortion, because I certainly didn't at the time and I didn't mention this before but my first thoughts when I saw a positive sign on the pregnancy test was that of abortion, simply because I saw it as an easy way out and I was a stupid naive teenage girl. My Mom won't like reading that part, sorry Mom. But, I am not against abortion and there are circumstances where abortion may be appropriate, I wouldn't choose to do it now if I had to make the same decision knowing what I know now. Anyway, there are limits to having abortions, there is a one day procedure that you can get up to 12 weeks pregnant and a two day procedure from 12-18 weeks pregnant and then that's it. So, in reflection... finding out I was pregnant at 19 weeks just means that my son was really meant to be in my life... the first solid bit of evidence in my life that everything happens for a reason.
Alright... so now what? Well I went back to my doctor, he was concerned about how far along I was and not being on any supplements and not having any prenatal care thus far. When he asked if Mom knew, I lied and said she did. He made a referral to the Maternity hospital for prenatal care right away. I went in as soon as they had an appointment available and I was eager to express my concerns for my baby because I had done alot of things during his first 19 weeks of life that you aren't supposed to do when you are pregnant. The prenatal nurse asked me what I had done and I was embarrassed to tell her; I had smoked cigarettes, drank alcohol, alot of alcohol, smoked pot, may have dropped LSD, was on the birth control pill, had xrays at the dentist, went on roller coasters in Disneyland, and got in a car accident... do I need to go on?? I was surprised that the prenatal nurse didn't really express as much concern as I had, in fact told me that I shouldn't worry and as long as I didn't do any of those things anymore, the baby will be fine and an ultrasound would show any abnormalities. Maybe she just didn't want me to stress out... I don't know... either way I got another ultrasound scheduled to check his well being.
I had other issues to worry about, I still hadn't told my Mom or my brother, a couple of my friends knew and it was only a matter of time before it got out but my boyfriend didn't know either... that was a whole other can of beans to open. I was so in love with my boyfriend at the time and had been for a couple years... he was super sweet and cute, older, had a truck and a job... all the things a 17 year old looks for in a boyfriend... lol. However, I had a big problem... when I counted the weeks back to conception, it landed on Christmas eve of 1996, unfortunately, my boyfriend and I were broken up at the time and that meant that he was not the father. Uh oh... not a good situation to be in for many reasons but mainly because I had to tell my boyfriend that I was in love with that I was not only pregnant but the baby wasn't his. How the hell was I going to do that without losing him? I carried on for a couple more weeks not telling anyone... Mom found out first.
The doctor called to remind me that I need to get blood work done before reaching 26 weeks and since I had lied and told him that Mom knew, he left the message with her and that is how she found out... I think he did it on purpose because he must have known I was lying. Mom called all over the place looking for me and when she found me, I picked up the phone, said hello and on the other end she screamed "Why didn't you tell me??" and at first I acted like I didn't know what she was talking about... she said, "You know what I am talking about, get your ass home right now" Immediately, I began to cry and told her I was scared. I hung up the phone and like a puppy with my tail between my legs, headed home. I can't really remember what happened when I got home but it was either that night or soon after that Mom told my brother and the three of us had a family "meeting" about what I was going to do. I was crying, and all I remember is my brother telling me that I should consider adoption because my life was going to be very hard if I kept him. By this time, I had already chosen to keep him and I felt like I really disappointed my family. Right in the middle of this meeting, the door bell rang and it was my boyfriend!! I opened the door in tears and he was worried about me, he asked if I was ok and I told him I was and asked him to wait upstairs for a minute... that must have been very awkward for him. My Mom, brother and I finished our chat and the last thing my brother said was to make sure I tell my boyfriend as soon as possible, he didn't know what I had to tell my boyfriend... yet. The thought had crossed my mind a few times that I could just not tell him the difference and how would he ever know... but I just couldn't do that to anyone involved, it would have been a huge lie to keep and one thing I learned from being raised a Catholic is that lying is wrong... especially something like that. So I had resolved to tell him, I just didn't know when... I was such a coward.
As it turns out, I didn't have to tell him either... my close friends knew and also knew that the baby wasn't his so since its a small town and loyalty between friends comes and goes... he found out from someone else. I never got a chance to explain, he didn't let me and just like that, it was over. I figured it was best but was mad at myself for not telling him before someone else did. At this point, I wasn't sure what was worse, him thinking that I cheated on him and got pregnant or the rest of the town thinking that I cheated on him and got pregnant. I cared alot about what everyone thought about me and well this was a good story to tell in our small town so I am sure it would spread around pretty quick. Another part of the interesting story... if it's not him, then who is the baby's father??
I knew who it was and I had told him at some point during all this craziness. He said he would do his best to support me but had lots of his own issues as a teenage boy so as people started finding out he was the father, he quickly turned to denial. I don't want to give him too much space here... he will come up again later... but as much as I dislike the decisions he made, a very small... and I mean tiny... part of me is grateful for the small part he played in creating my son.
Ok, so I was going to regular appointments, the baby was healthy according to the ultrasound, everyone knew and I was growing... I continued going out and chilling out with my friends and going to parties, just didn't do any of the drinking or drugs. I was always the sober driver. I liked being pregnant, I felt happy after all the crazy turmoil was over and couldn't wait to meet my son. I was nervous about being a parent and how I was going to do it, Mom was planning a move before she found out I was pregnant and had decided she was going to sell the house. She wanted me to come with her to Manitoba, but I wasn't interested... I wasn't ready to leave... yet. I think she still hoped I would change my mind once the baby came.
As September grew closer, I went for a final ultrasound to see how baby was doing and he was so big and cute inside my belly... well as cute as a baby can be through an ultrasound machine... but he was breech, he hadn't turned around yet to get ready to exit my body. As time went on, they kept checking if he turned yet and he hadn't, the doctor tried to move him from the outside of my body by standing over me and pushing on his head which really hurt. He didn't turn around and I was given the option to have him feet first and have the chance of the umbilical cord wrapping around his neck or a cesarean section... hmmm... I chose a cesarean and my baby was going to be born on September 19th. Mom had helped me move into my own apartment and fully furnished it with furniture from her house since she was moving. Now all we had to do was wait....
... to be continued...