Lately, I’ve been thinking about my pregnancy with Bubba. It was pretty ugly. I wasn’t happy and a good portion of the people involved weren’t either. Let me explain.
When I first announced my pregnancy, I was sitting with my best friends at IHOP.It was the day of our senior breakfast bit we weren’t feeling what was being served,so we treated ourselves to a REAL breakfast. Somewhere between my fourth pancake and third sausage link,I told my friends I suspected I was pregnant. One of them suggested we buy a cheapie pregnancy test and then head to my friend’s house so I could take it. My best girlfriend had to help me because I had no clue how to take the test. As soon as the test read positive,she burst out laughing. How could she laugh when my whole world was shattered?
On my way home, a million thoughts were racing through my head. A baby? A human baby? What will the father say? What will my mothers say? How am I going to take care of a baby? I had moved out of my mom’s house and in with another relative a few months before I got pregnant. This other relative gave me the freedom I had wanted and felt I deserved being a teenage girl. But your girl was just a little too free.
I didn’t tell my relative for awhile and when we finally talked about it,she was pretty calm. She asked all the obligatory questions: Are you sure? Who is the father? What are you going to do? I knew she was hinting at abortion, but that was completely out of the question. She took me to the clinic and got me started on prenatal care. There was tension between us,but she still had not blown a fuse. Until the day after graduation.
Now,the details are a little fuzzy but I remember my relative getting upset about dirty dishes in the sink. It wasn’t her first time ranting about dishes left in the sink but this rant became verbally abusive. She went on to express her disappointment and disgust at my being pregnant. Of course I expected disappointment from her because I was disappointed in myself. However, I was called EVERY deragatory name you can call a woman. She even wished that I had contracted and STD and AIDS from Bubba’s father. I was so stunned but I figured that she just needed to get her hurt and anger out of her system and that she didn’t mean any of it. Dude, I was sooo wrong.
The abuse continued throughout my pregnancy. The attacks would always start with something unrelated and minute and escalate into a massive ball of hatred. Bubba’s dad would send me money and she would get upset over that and she also forbid me from seeing him. When I went for my 5 month sonogram,I got the news that Bubba may have Downs Syndrome. That is the worst news any mom, especially a first time mom, could receive. When I went home to tell my relative, she was very supportive. She said “Whatever happens, we’ll take care of the baby together” and “God will get us through”. For the first time in months,I thought I could maybe be happy about my impending motherhood. Psyche!
A few weeks after that sonogram, Relative cussed me out and said if my baby had Downs Syndrome it was my fault for being a whore. After that, my pregnancy was miserable. I told my relative to come to my baby shower,but she decided to stay home and get high. When I bought baby things home to show her,she looked at me like I had grown two heads. I was so depressed,I didn’t even take pregnancy pictures because why would I want pics of the shame I had bought on myself and family?
The day I went into labor everything was going okay until Relative showed up. I could feel the resentment and tension she was feeling. She even made fun of my excruciating contractions. She stood aroud my hospital bed and I remember her saying she wouldn’t have even come if her son hadn’t pitched a fit about it when they found out I was in labor. After Bubba came, she mumbled a “Congratulations” and left the hospital. I didn’t see her again until I went home with the baby.
I continued being verbally abused until my mother rescued me. I have forgiven my relative and it seems we’ve moved past it…for now. The point of this story is to let teen moms know they should NEVER allow anyone to abuse them in ANY way (yes,words count). Pregnancy is a blessing,no matter who its bestowed upon and its a joyous time. To the parents and relatives of teen parents,please don’t shame your children. It’s okay to be disappointed and angry,but verbally abusing them is NOT going to change the fact that they are going to be parents. Be loving and supportive so that they will be loving and supportive parents,too!!!