I met this guy and I didn’t say no. Now I am going to have a baby. And I’m sixteen. Kind of puts an end to my cheerleading days. Whoever said, “This would never happen to me,” is full of crap. Because it did happen. It happened to me. It was only a one-night stand.
My first thought was to terminate the whole thing. I used to think if I ever did have a baby, there would be no way I would abort it. I have always been pro-life. But now, the option of abortion has started to cross my mind even more. I have read that people who have abortions might never be able to have children again. I know a person who had two children and also had an abortion. She says even though it’s been many years ago she still thinks about it. I don’t know if I could live with that kind of burden hanging over my head.
My next option was adoption. There are open and closed adoptions. An open adoption is where the birth mother or parents know what is going on in their child’s life. A closed adoption with holds any information about the child. I could also be considered a surrogate mother for a couple who can’t have children.
I could always keep the baby myself. That option is almost unthinkable. I don’t know how to raise a baby. I still have high school to finish. Now, if I had a baby I would have to buy diapers and all sorts of supplies, hire a baby sitter, which would cost me even more money. And at sixteen, you are not going to make more than minimum wage. Especially when the only jobs you can get are working in a fast food restaurant or the local grocery store. There is no such thing as a part time baby.
I will admit, there are times I wished I would miscarry. Then the whole nightmare would be over and I wouldn’t have the burden of an abortion. It would save me from having to make my own decision. The decision would have been made for me.
The only thing that has kept me going is my best friend. I have known Tessa since we were five years old. She has always been there for me. She was the first one I told when I found out I was pregnant. Tessa is even letting me stay with her and her mom until I can get back on my feet. My own mother had thrown me out of the house. She said if I was old enough to have a baby, then I was old enough to live on my own.
Tessa is one of the strongest people I know. She was the one who went and got me books on pregnancy and having babies. She even got me maternity clothes. Once people started finding out about me, they start teasing Tessa as well. Calling her a Tessa-belle and asking her when she was going to have her baby. We had done everything together so far.
Tessa’s mother, Lenny, is a health care provider. She had Tessa when she was nineteen, so she kind of feels some sympathy for me. She signed me up at a women’s clinic for young girls. I hadn’t been to see a doctor for over two months, so they immediately started me on prenatal vitamins and told me to start eating several small meals a day so I would gain some weight. Their main job is to make sure the mother and baby are healthy.
The clinic also has councilors to help the girls through these hard times in their lives. Lenny suggested it would be a good idea if I went to see one. My councilor’s name was Dr. Jennifer Martinelli.
“Hello, you must be Paige. I’m Dr. Martinelli.” She shook my hand. “It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
“It’s nice to meet you, too,” I replied.
“Please, have a seat. Now, this is your time. We can talk about what ever you wish. Whether you want to talk about your baby or school. Just know I am here to help.”
“I know I am not the only person that this has happened to, but it sure feels like it.”
“It usually does.”
“ Do you get a lot of girls like me?”
“In fact the majority of the girls we get are like you. A while back I knew a fifteen-year-old girl who was expecting twins. One of my colleagues was conceived through rape. She’s a motivational speaker about pro-life. You might look into going to one of her lectures.”
Twins? Rape? It was bad enough I was having a baby at my age, but it could have been a lot worse.
“Do you know what you are going to have?” asked Dr. Martinelli.
“The doctor says he thinks it’s going to be a boy. But if I really want to know to ask the labor nurse. She has a 95 percent average of being right. I hope I have a boy,” I sighed.
“Why is that?” she asked gently.
“Well, I think it would be easier to give a boy up for adoption than a girl. If I had a girl, I might want to keep her.”
“Oh, I see. To lighten the subject a little, have you thought of any names?”
“Not really. Do you have any children?” I asked.
“Yes, I have three. Two boys and a girl.”
I continued to see Dr. Martinelli once and sometimes twice a week, over the next few months. On my last day, she handed me a small package. It was a baby name book.
“I always found the thing I enjoyed most when I was expecting my kids was looking at names.”
“What are your kids names?” I asked.
“Andrew, Joshua and Madison.”
In my child birthing class, we had to watch the wonderful “Miracle of Life” video. I had seen it before in health class, but I didn’t remember it being this graphic.
We also talked about the signs of labor and premature births. They taught us how to hold, bathe, feed, change diapers and lay the baby down using life like baby dolls. They also had an EMT come in and teach us infant CPR.
One day they even had real live babies brought in. The teacher made sure we were doing everything correctly and then we spent the whole day taking care of the baby. You could call it hands on training.
Toward the end of the classes they gave us care packages for the baby. The packages had diapers, bottles, blankets, a couple stuffed animals and pacifiers. Lenny even threw me a small baby shower where I received sleepers, toys, a music box and more diapers. Tessa even got me a carrier and one of Lenny’s co-workers donated a crib. I felt bad for these people having spent the money on baby supplies if I was just going give the baby up.
I woke up one night feeling a little strange. I felt a little bit of pain in my stomach. My first thought was I was having contractions. Lenny drove me to the hospital only to find out later what I thought were contractions was really indigestion.
One day a week or so later, I felt a little more achy than usual. I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to make Lenny drive me to the hospital every time I had a little twang of pain.
I woke a little bit later feeling very weird. It was still two weeks before my due date. After about an hour of walking around the house, the pain started coming and going. I tried to remember what they had told us in the class. The teacher had said the pain would come and then subside and come again. That’s when I decided I was having contractions. I woke up Tessa first. She sat with me for a half an hour timing each contraction. Finally, she decided it was time to call the doctor.
“How far apart are they?” the nurse asked when we had arrived.
“About seven minutes,” Tessa replied.
They took me to a room and hooked me up to a fetal monitor.
“Do you want any drugs for the pain?” the nurse asked. The pain was becoming stronger and shorter apart.
“Are you kidding? I wasn’t in this much pain when I had my appendix out,’ I replied.
The nurse came back and got ready to give me a shot. She gave me a shot in the spine. I was able to fall asleep for a few minutes. When I wasn’t having contractions, I spent the time looking through the baby name book. So far my favorite name for a girl was Sophia and my favorite name for a boy was Wesley. I still hadn’t made my final to decision on whether to give the baby up or not.
When they decided it was time to move me into the delivery room, I asked the labor nurse, “So what is it going to be?”
“It’s going to be a girl,” she replied simply.
The pain started coming again. This time the doctor was telling me to push. I was shaking and shivering all over.
“It’s hurts! It’s hurts!” I cried.
When the baby finally came out, I felt like everything else had come out, too. I was completely empty. I was still shaking and so worn out.
“It’s a girl!”
They laid the baby on my chest. One look into that baby’s eyes and I knew what I had to do.