After getting into all that, over the last few days, I couldn't help but think of how awful this had to have been for my parents. I have 4 kids and if any one of them ever told me they were going to be a parent earlier than 20, I think I'd have a breakdown. Maybe that makes me a hypocrite, but I will be for this. I preach waiting until they're 25 or older.
It's very difficult raising children as an adult. One just doesn't, no matter how smart they are, have the mental capacity to do it at such a young age. Hell, I don't think I had the mental capacity at age 25, and I still sometimes think I'm lacking now. There are no training courses - well, there are, but IMHO they do NOT cover real, everyday occurences. They give scenarios & do a whole mumbo jumbo about how we are supposed to react. In real life, it's a whole other ball game.
My parents were awesome - for their reaction, for their commitment, for their support. That's as far as it goes, though. I had a rocky relationship with my dad before & after all this. You have no idea how how much he surprised me - that's why it was the most important thing he ever did for me (after this, there were a few other really important milestones for me & he came through for those, too). My mom, well. We didn't ever communicate well. I always knew she loved me, though - I never doubted that.
I also realized, this isn't anything to brag about or be proud of. That isn't what I'm doing here. I hope everyone understands that. Raising Steven part time did me more pain than good - as much as I know I shouldn't, I still harbor much guilt. I wish I'd have had the wherewithal to stay the raising, to keep him instead of give him up. That came when he was 2. Maybe my story can help someone else through a time in their life. Maybe parents will read & realize how important it is to do everything in their power to EDUCATE their kids on abstinence or birth control, but especially what having a child so young would do to their lives. Parents who already have a teen having a child - don't take the power or responsibility from that teen. Allow them their decisions. The regrets & triumphs are then theirs to bear. Consequences are a staple of life. To be a better person is the result.
A friend of mine was reading & she didn't recall me telling her this (I know I did, though, silly girl). She asked me why I didn't just tell them, when I knew they had the test & were planning to have me take it. I just couldn't do that. I couldn't tell them, even though I knew they knew. I think on some level, I really thought I could keep it from them.
Okay - all that off my chest...
The pregnancy was pretty smooth. When my dad took me to the OB/GYN, I was 12 weeks (or so) along. Back then prenatal vitamins were the size of horse pills. I gagged one down every day. I went to regular visits and progressed along happily.
3 funny things that happened during the pregnancy -
First, we did the "Hands Across America" thing - any of you remember that? We drove to New Mexico (from Colorado) to participate in it. The whole trip I was debilitatingly hormonal. Very, very, very bad. I have no idea how my parents dealt with me, but I know my dad laughed at me a lot - I was ridiculous with the attitude. The only thing I enjoyed about it was the swimming pool.
When it was time to connect the people across America, I was determined to break the chain. I absolutely refused to be a part of it. My mom finally got me to participate she worked on me ALL DAY, but the tears were evident and I was not really holding hands, they were. Come to find out later, the whole thing was a flop anyhow. I think now that it was successful, even if we all weren't connected, thousands & thousands of people set out to make it happen.
Second, I was around 7 months along & mom got rear ended with me & my little brother in the car - by a teen no less. I was mortified by her reaction. It was not much more than a tap, really, but she jumped out of the car, almost forgetting to put it in park. She stormed to the girl's car & started yelling at her about how her "pregnant daughter and young son" were in the car. That the "girl was very careless not watching what she was doing & she shouldn't have her license". I know that isn't exactly how it went, but close. I love you, Mom. She repeated those phrases several times over the course of it all.
Last, Steven was due on the 13th of September. That was my grandpa's birthday. Grandpa'd died 3 years before, so I was hoping it would happen. No dice.
I went for my weekly prenatal visit on Sept. 16. Things were fine - or so I thought. They hooked me up to the monitor because the Dr. was claiming I was having contractions & regular ones! I was feeling nothing. This was cruise control, baby!
I was excited because everyone kept telling me how much it would hurt & it DIDN'T! My mom was f r e a k i n g out! We stayed there & they monitored me for about 2 hours. The contractions were regular & evenly spaced time wise, so they sent me to the hospital. All I could feel was the tightening of my stomach muscles, yahoo-ey, easy as pie! Plus, mom had taken me to birthing classes & I thought I had it all wrapped up.
Mom was still f r e a k i n g out & it got worse when she put me in her car to drive to the hospital. She kept repeating "Don't have this baby in my car, PLEASE don't have this baby in my car!" Obviously, they were B&H contractions. They stopped in the middle of the night.
Because I was young & overdue, they induced with a pitossin drip. It dripped for several hours & when the pain came, the pain was unbearable. When I just couldn't take it any more, enter the anesthesiologist. I need to mention that all of the drs & nurses were singing my praises to my mom about how I was so polite & calm for someone so young having a baby.
Epidural time & it worked - beautifully. Until about 40 minutes before I delivered. I began to feel the most intense pain I've ever felt (til I had Kyle -UGH!) all on my left side. It was wild because my entire right side was completely relaxed & my left was entirely tensed, fingers gripping, toes curled, leg bent up.
They re-juiced me & it didn't work. About 15 minutes before delivery, I remember hearing them tell mom baby was crowning. I got a shot of Demerol (the only shot ever in my life, too) - for real! I remember being wheeled to delivery & asking my mom some outlandish questions & when she looked quizzically at me with a "HUH?!?" I said "Nevermind.."
Steven was born at 12:18 (or 13) am on 9-18-1986. My birthday was the very next day. What a present.
More later - during the pregnancy, we went through the Archdiosese of Denver, considering adoption. Steven had to leave us for a weekend. That'll be next, and brief.
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