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Forced to Grow Up Too Fast
About 750,000 American teenagers will get pregnant every year. This means that every single one of those 750,000 girls had a complete turn around in her life. These girls are probably free, good, even smart girls who just had one mistake. I am one of these girls. Now that I have a baby in my life, my whole world revolves around him. It didn’t used to be like this though.
Before I had a child, I would earn money, but I didn’t need it to survive. I could save it for a rainy day or spend it on pointless snacks, clothes, novelties, and movies. The point is that money was not a necessity in my life before my baby arrived. Worrying about financial help and not having money for a car, college, and bills was low on my priority list. I had worked at a grocery store, but my paycheck often went to frivolous merchandise.
Like any teenager, going out with my friends was always on my to-do list. With the money I made, I could go with my friends to a movie or go shopping. Tired from a long week of school, we would go out to Memorial on a Friday night to sit and talk to other friends. Faithful and encouraging, my friends were always there for me if I needed them and I was always there for them. There wasn’t anything I couldn’t do. I could have gone to the moon and back with my friends if I had wanted to.
I used to be able to hang out with my friends without worrying about the consequences. Going to school and work were the only things I ever worried about. They were the only two things I stressed out about solely because they were the only two things I had to do. True, my life, school, and the knowledge that I could suffer from consequences was very important to me, but it wasn’t my main concern.
Despite my free-spirited approach to living, throwing up and getting sick in general was my biggest fear. I absolutely hated getting sick. It got to the point where I would purposely avoid my mom and dad when they were sick, so I didn’t ever have to be around their germs. Getting sick was never a big thing in my life. I had never been to the hospital for something serious, and I had never had a very bad illness.
At that point in my life, college was the furthest thing from my mind. For some reason, I never thought about it seriously. Sure, I knew I wanted to go to college and major in something I knew I liked, but it was never an “absolutely had to go” situation.
Finally, I never had to mess around with being worried about somebody else. I never had to watch someone 24/7 and make sure that nothing bad happened to him or her. To be honest, I was kind of a spoiled brat and usually got what I wanted. There wasn’t anything that tied me down to anyone or anything and there was no way I ever wanted any part of such a serious responsibility as having a baby.
All of these things changed on December 15, 2009. My life was never going to be the same. While in the birthing room at the hospital, I could tell that my whole life was changing. My expectations were clearly not the same anymore and I had been oblivious to them until that point. Suddenly, I realized that I was never, ever going to be the one always getting what she wanted.
Now, I have hospital bills to pay, and I am constantly worried about them. The bills don’t pay themselves, and I can’t get a job right now while I complete high school. I get by on the money that Tom makes from going to work. There is constantly a fog ahead of me and sometimes I can’t handle it. I have been late paying a couple of bills and have even had a bill sent to a collection agency. I am not financially stable whatsoever, and it will be this way until I can finally have a job that I can keep without something else interfering.
While I might have joined my pals on Friday nights at Memorial for some relaxing chuckles, baby Lukas keeps me from going out with my friends these days. I have no problem staying home with him, but it does get lonely not being able to go out with my girlfriends. The thing is, I cannot go out with friends without having a babysitter and usually nobody wants to watch a baby on a Friday or Saturday night. Besides, a babysitter costs money that I don’t have.
While a year ago I lived a carefree existence, now taking care of myself is my very top priority. I will not let myself do something wreckless so I could get hurt. I have seen firsthand what stupid things a parent does can do to a child. To respect others and myself is my duty now. I feel that if I do something stupid, I will let the little boy who looks up to me down. That baby boy is now my entire life and I would never intentionally do anything to harm him.
Ironically, illness is no longer a problem for me. I have come to terms with getting sick whenever the baby is sick. After all, I can’t stay away from the baby just because he has germs. I have to be there for him and not hand him to some other person because I don’t want to get sick. I enjoy helping the baby when he is sick. I never thought that I would ever be so close to someone that I would never want to let go. When that little boy is so sick he can hardly sleep, I automatically go into “mommy mode” and hold him while he sleeps or cuddle with him. He made me get over my fear of being sick, and I am happy for it.
In addition, schooling is so important to me now that I hope nothing happens to where I can’t graduate from high school. I want my baby to know that I never gave up on anything, even in hard times. Hard times are always going to be in front of me, even if it is just a little hard time. I can’t let these hard times keep me from my dreams of becoming a high school graduate. I also look forward to college and starting my new career instead of not worrying about it.
Coming home to a smiling face and someone who depends on me wholly is the greatest feeling in the world. I have worried about my baby boy since I first realized he was growing inside of me. I remember when we had to go to the hospital three or four times, because I was worried that his heart wasn’t beating. Just recently, I took him to the hospital because he seemed like he was really sick. I am constantly thinking about him during school. He is what I look forward to coming home to.
There have been many changes in my life since I became one of the 750,000 teenage girls whose lives have been turned around by a blessing in a blanket. I am not stupid; I made a mistake that changed my life, but I will never believe that it was a bad one. My life was so different before I had a baby, but I’m not complaining.