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October 18, 2011
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He had a heartbeat. He had a heartbeat and the moment I heard it for the first time, I was madly in love. I was scared, terrified actually, but I was crazy about him and I knew I couldn’t give him up. My mom and I talked, a lot, about what kind of decision I was making. She promised to be there, and support me no matter what I chose to do and asked me to think about all my options, but it was too late; he was mine and I couldn’t bear to think of ever being without him again. The most painful part was looking in to my mom’s eyes at first. I saw disappointment, fear, and what I hoped was joy dance through them all at the same time. I was crying, I realized, but for two different reasons. First was that I was shocked. Never had I imagined this would happen to me. Second was that I was thrilled because for the longest time, I thought that no matter how hard I would try in my life, it would never be able to happen. Yet, it did. Here I was, seventeen years old, and pregnant.

Over the next two months a lot changed. As was expected, my emotions were going crazy, and I was always worried. Worried that at the next appointment, they might not hear a heartbeat. Worried that something might happen, like being pushed or even hugged to hard, and he would get hurt. Always so worried. We started buying baby items, and I registered at certain stores. I tried to think of names and how to decorate the nursery. My belly grew, none of my jeans fit anymore, and most of my bras started to leave indents along my rib cage. In my mind I still couldn’t quite get used to the whole idea. I was having a baby. A human being was growing inside of me, depending on me to take care of it and help it grow. It all seemed so surreal. Most of this time was during summer, which meant that 95% of my summer was spent on my couch at home. I didn’t mind too much, but my butt sure did.

Then school started. Along with the normal beginning-of-the-year dramas, there was the added stress of informing everyone of my new “condition.” Many people were surprised, some just ignored it, and I even think a few people didn’t believe me. I was happy with my classes, and most of the other students in them, everything seemed perfect. Then, the names started. Some of the most popular have been “s***” and “w****.” Girls were saying that I was ruining my life by having this baby. I can tolerate being called names, but you say bad things about my baby, and Momma’s gonna kick some ass. Since I am strongly against violence, though, most of these battles were fought verbally. I knew that it was going to happen, and I had been prepared. After that, it all seemed to just fade away. Like my being pregnant was no big thing. In my mind, I was slowly becoming more focused. I had something to live for, a baby to make proud of me. I was actually paying attention in my classes for the first time in six years. This baby was completely changing my life, for the better. Then I found out it was a boy.

A little boy. I stared at the ultrasound again, tears in my eyes. He had a face now. He had hands and feet, and he was sucking his thumb in the printout the doctor had given me. I sent out a text message to as many people as my phone could handle announcing his gender. I was already mentally decorating his nursery with monkeys. Or maybe dinosaurs. I was picturing holding him in my arms, so tiny and fragile. Mrs. Hattemer brought me 4 huge gift bags full of all sorts of baby stuff from her son, Gabriel. My son now had a more extensive wardrobe then me. Time was flying by, my belly getting bigger and bigger. About a week after the ultrasound, I felt him kick for the first time. Then it became real. He was moving, alive, and growing every day. I wasn’t worried anymore about him not having a heartbeat. I love feeling his feet treat me like a punching bag, it reassures me that he’s ok and that I will never fully sleep through the night again.

I’m sitting here writing this essay, now six months pregnant, and cannot see my feet when I stand up. He’s kicking more than ever and I couldn’t be happier. Sadly, his father and I are no longer together, but I’m ok with that. I know that I can do this on my own, and I’ll hopefully find someone to love me and my son someday. I like to think I’ve grown up a lot in the few short months I’ve been pregnant. I’m definitely doing better in school, and I’m doing more around the house to help out. I’ve still got a few months to go, and I don’t know how I’ll be by then, but I know one thing for sure; my son has changed my life forever.

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