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My Baby - A Cute, Fat, Difficult, and Unexpected Blessing
"You are going to have a baby" seven words that changed my life. On April 14th, I woke up and didn't want to go to school because I wasn't feeling well. My mom came into my room and asked me if I was going to get out of bed and go to school. I told her that I needed to go to the doctor. "Why, are you sick?" she asked. "No, I think I'm pregnant." We both just sat there and cried together. I knew then what I should not have done that night. A baby would take up all my time, the time that I needed to grow up myself.
I got up, dressed myself, and didn't bother putting any make-up on because I knew I would probably be crying. We went into the doctor's office and found out that I was a little over three months pregnant. When the nurse said those seven words, I started to cry. I looked over at my mom and she had tears in her eyes. I didn't know what to think. I wanted it to be a dream, that I would wake up from and everything would be okay. We then listened to the heartbeat, which was really fast. It was really neat and it made us cry some more. The nurses asked me a whole bunch of questions, gave me on some prenatal pills to sample, and then told me to schedule an appointment to come back sometime next week. They acted like it was no big deal. Well, it was, didn't they realize that I was only seventeen years old, a senior, and not even out of high school yet. I could no longer be the carefree cheerleader, who had fun with her friends every weekend, and played beach volleyball at her cousin's house. Now I was going to have a baby of my own, a little person that would be totally dependent on me. I was really scared; I didn't know what I was going to do.
Many different questions popped into my mind on what I could do. Do I really want to keep this baby? Should I give it up for adoption?
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Later I told Ryan, my boyfriend, what I had learned at the doctor's office. He was in shock, he didn't think this could happen to us. We had to go tell his parents, which was hard because the same thing had happened to his oldest sister. They weren't mad, but never expected it. They immediately thought we should get married, which I did not agree with. I was not ready to be a bride yet; I had just found out I was going to be a mom. That was enough excitement for me. His family tried to control everything I did after that. The imbalance of my hormones and his parents soon changed my feelings towards him. I later broke up with him at the end of the summer.
I had to continue going to school and act like nothing had happened. I did not really want anyone to find out. I went to a small school of about five hundred students, and if the word got out, I would have been the talk of the town. I told two of my closest friends, who kept my secret for me. Ryan, of coarse knew, and only told one teacher. It was hard for me to act like everything was okay because I had really bad morning sickness, and the prenatal pills I was taking made me sick. It seemed like I got sick during the same time everyday, but it was when I left for lunch, so no one saw me. I had to start wearing loose clothing, and I could no longer tuck my shirts in. I was really surprised that no one caught on. Lucky for me I didn't start showing until after school was out.
I couldn't do some of the things I could before or eat foods I used to. Spring sports were out of the question because they could hurt the baby. Cheerleader tryouts for next year's cheerleaders weren't as fun, because I couldn't do the jumps or the stunts. Beach volleyball would be impossible to play because of my huge belly. My favorite kind of gum made me sick and certain smells made me nauseous. I wasn't supposed to eat chocolate or drink caffeine because it was not good for the baby. We had to wait to take our family trip to Florida, because pregnant mothers are not supposed to go very far from home. I missed out on a lot of fun activities the summer of my senior year because I was careless one night, and would have a little reminder for the rest of my life.
All the confusion in my head started to actually fall into place once I felt the baby's first movements, which was on the night of my graduation. I finally realized I was going to have a baby, I was going to be a mom. The little kicks and pokes felt different, but they were really cool. They made me wonder what was this little person inside of me going to be like, would it be a boy or a girl, what would he or she look like? All the negative thoughts slowly went away and more positive thoughts came. I started to think about how much my baby will need me to care for it when it is born. Knowing that Ryan, and I created this baby was a real astonishing feeling. I knew by then that there was no way that I could give this baby up for adoption. The thought that someone else would have my baby did not feel right to me. I had gotten too close to it to let it go.
The third trimester seemed to go by really slow during the summer, and early fall because it was hot, and I felt really big. I was over the morning sickness stage by then, so that was much better. When my belly actually started to pop out, it was great; everyone was so nice and helpful. I never had to open a door for myself when someone else was there, even if the person was a stranger. Whenever I needed to pickup something heavy, someone else always insisted on doing it for me. One time I had to go to the grocery store to pick up a few small things. I got done at the register, I went to grab my bags and the lady helping me said, "No, no I'll get these, you shouldn't be lifting anything." It was really nice of her. My back would always start to hurt, because my belly got pretty heavy, so mom would offer to massage it for. Mostly everyone that I met was so considerate and helpful.
Then on October 17th I started to have these cramps. I was not sure that it was labor, because I had experienced the same pain before. I ignored them as much as I could until they were so bad that I had to stop what I was doing and breathe through them. Around midnight they were so bad that I couldn't stand it, so my mom called the hospital. They said to wait until they were 5 minutes apart to come in, at that point they were around seven to ten minutes. A little before five in the morning they were at five minutes apart, so we got in the car and went to the hospital. When we got there, they asked all these questions that I didn't care to answer, then they put me in a room, and I had to wait. The pain was bad so they gave me an IV and some Demerol, which made it tolerable. The rest of my family slowly started to show up to welcome my new addition to our family. I was really tired and wasn't very good company, so I tried to rest a little. Later, after I woke up I got an epidural, which took the pain away completely. Time went by faster or so it seemed. Around 12:30 the nurse checked me and said, "I'm going to call the doctor I think that it is almost time." The doctor came and said we are going to break your water, and around 12:45 it was time to start pushing. I pushed for fifteen minutes and soon we could see the head. At 1:00 on October 18, 1998, they gently placed my new baby boy on my chest, then he grabbed my finger with his tiny little hand. As he looked up at me, I knew he was the most precious thing in the whole world, and I couldn't help but to cry. This was the day that I would never forget. He was nineteen and half inches long and weighed 7-lbs. 15 oz. He was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen. He was my perfect little man. To this day I would not trade him for the world. I love him with all my heart!
My new baby was so perfect and yet such a big responsibility. I had graduated so I did not have school. My parents were there to help as much as possible. They could not always be there though, so I have a tough, learning experience ahead of me. Ryan would come over to see his baby, which slowly brought my feelings, for him, back. I never knew how much work a baby could be. He would sleep the majority of the day, but when he was awake he need constant care. He ate every two hours, and his diaper would need to be changed every time after he ate. I would have to wash clothes constantly, because if he wasn't throwing it up, it was coming out the other end. I was lucky, during the night he would eat every three hours, instead of every two.
My job became more difficult as he got older. He started to need more of my attention. I was not able to achieve as many tasks as I could before. When he was around four months old I started school. My homework was hard to do because he would start to fuss, and I would have to quit studying and go play with him. Ryan would come over after school, and play with him for me, so I could try to work. Now that he is a little older he sometimes likes to play by himself, which helps me. I have learned so for from this whole experience that babies can be a big, difficult job, but also a wonderful blessing.