I was 21 and single when I got pregnant. I wasn’t quite through college yet, and while I knew I wanted the baby, I was terrified. I was concerned about the reaction of my family, of course. I was also worried about the reaction of my friends and peers. A friend of mine got pregnant at about the same time I did; she had an abortion, which was considered the appropriate solution to the problem. My baby’s father wasn’t much help either. He obviously was not ready to start a family. However, I knew that I was the one who was going to have to live with my decision, whatever it might be, and I wanted the baby.
It was a little embarrassing when I started to show, I felt like I had to go around admitting to everyone that I was stupid enough to get pregnant. The reactions I got were not comforting, either. Most people assumed that I had not been taking the proper precautions (I had been on the pill). People asked incredible questions (“Where’s the father?” “Why aren’t you marrying,” …etc.) and more than one person gave me names of adoption agencies, completely unsolicited.
My family was surprisingly supportive, but the father’s family was not. They claimed that I had ruined their son’s life and told me repeatedly that they would not be helping me out, financially or otherwise (as if I had asked them to).
But I got over it. Life goes on… though I think that the only thing that got me through the pregnancy was complete and total denial.
I took my prenatal vitamins, ate well, and went to all my appointments, but no part of me really believed I was going to become a mother.
A week before my due date I had to call in sick because I wasn’t feeling well enough to work my night job. I was lying in bed trying to get to sleep when my water broke at 3:30 a.m.
I had decided to drive the two hours to Saint Louis, where my parents live, as soon as I went into labor. Since this was my first pregnancy, everyone had told me to expect at least 12 to 24 hours of labor. So I scrambled around my apartment to pack a bag for the hospital, and gathered up the videos I needed to take back before I left town. I also had to stop for gas to fill my car’s empty tank. I didn´t actually get on the highway until well after 4 a.m.
The contractions started almost as soon as I hit the highway. By the time I was halfway through they were less than a minute apart. I was quite sure I was going to have to pull over and deliver on the side of the highway, but I just kept driving. I got to my parents’ house a little before 6 a.m. and told my mom that she needed to hustle if she wanted to get to the hospital on time.
I was 6 cm. dilated when we arrived at the hospital. I wanted a drug-free birth, but the nurse recommended some Demerol (I was a little freaked out). By 7 a.m. I was fully dilated and my son was born just before 8 a.m.
My mom had to run out that day and buy diapers, clothes, a car seat, and all the other things that a baby needs–denial, denial, denial! I took my son back home with me two weeks later and Jesse has become, of course, the light of my life. I have since finished school and we have a wonderful life together.
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