Perspective is funny thing. Sometimes you need to get far away, stand back and take some time to gain that elusive slippery moment when you understand. But what happens when you can't step away because the thing you need clairity on is so close to your heart and being you can't? That's when you get close and dig around in the muck to get a clearer glimpse.
That movie (Juno) is sitting in my house right now just waiting for me to watch it. I'm sure it is a fairy tale. My hubby has taken care of a lot of teen pregnancies in his practice and the stories are rarely happy-happy tales. A comment from Noble Pig.
Mine wasn't a happy happy tale either. It's turned out fine and dandy.... now... but the odds were against me.
I was 17, a senior in high school, when I found out I was pregnant. I KNEW I was pregnant, I didn't have to take a test to tell me. I had seen my mom pregnant a couple times and it always started off with morning sickness. Here I was throwing up all the time everywhere. At school, at home, in the car. It was bad. Morning sickness, my ass. All the time sickness was more like it. I knew I was pregnant, so I did what a smart 17 year old girl would do. Deny, deny, deny because the problem would take care of itself, right? Pregnancy just goes away. Well, not so much. I was going to get this nipped in the bud, as they elegantly say in Juno, but I found out I was two weeks too late.
So, now we go on the roller coaster ride of being a pregnant teen. Katie's dad and I talked once or twice about adoption but it just didn't seem to ring true. Weird, I know. Through out this whole experience I honestly think I was in shock. This couldn't be happening to me. I was too smart for this to happen. I really don't remember much. I didn't tell my parents all 16 of them. Actually, it was my mom and her husband, my dad, and my biological father and step mom. I didn't tell my mom because we didn't have that kind of relationship. She divorced my dad a couple years earlier and had vanished like a wisp of smoke. Looking back at it now, my dad was heartbroken and my brother and sisters were angry and felt abandoned, even though we were to young to know. My mom came back but it's hard to repair those kind of things when you have an angry teen and 3 kids and a brand new baby. I didn't tell my dad because I thought he'd throw me out. Crazy, but he is my step father but for all intents and purposes, he raised me. I thought he'd say,'that's enough go live with your mom or father.' My dad's house was the only secure place I knew. I know now that love is unconditional and it would never happen but it was better than living at my father's.
My father and step mother. Those two are a piece of work. I had just lived with them for two years. My sophomore and junior years. That was the biggest mistake of my life, seriously being pregnant was much easier than living there. Every day was an adventure, I didn't know if he would be happy or a bastard when he came home. I was literally afraid of him. When I was little, I would get sick hours before he would come and pick me up to spend the weekends with him. Let's list some of the craziness that happened with him...
Pyrex measuring glass thrown at my head. (I was being a smart ass)
Hit with a branch because I called my mom from the roller skating rink.
Told him I was afraid of him and was hit in the face because I shouldn't be scared of my father. (ironic)
Couldn't speak for a couple days because I received an unsatisfactory on my report card because I talked in class. We were in a restaurant at the time, got in more trouble because I ordered dinner. (I couldn't make up this shit if I tried)
My ear drum was ruptured when he hit me again in my face after I was caught cutting school.
Left in downtown Stockton when I talked back in the car.
This one is one of the best... Came home late one night in January. I didn't have a driver's license and was depending on another parent for a ride home. I came home, apologized for being late, and changed in a long t-shirt to go to bed and was promptly kicked out of the house for being late. At 11 o'clock at night. In January. In a t-shirt. I had had enough and started walking to my dad's. He ran after me, dragged me back home and said, "By the way your mom called, you grandfather isn't doing well. You need to call her." He knew my grandfather was dying and he still did what he did.
That right there plus a lot a mental crap, were some of the many reasons I didn't tell my father and step-mother.
Everyone asked a couple of times, here and there, but I denied, denied, denied. I should have been a politician. Everyone was busy and not really paying attention so I got away with it. Except at school.
School was bad. You find out who your friends are and mostly they are not girls. Here's my take on it... girls who are having sex in high school subconsciously think pregnancy is a communicable disease. Forget everything you learned in sex-ed because it isn't true. If you are pregnant in high school it's worse than Ebola and you can die from Ebola. All my girlfriends didn't talk to me while I was knocked up except one, and she didn't talk to me for months until she found out she was pregnant, too. Ooops.
Now guys on the other hand, were pretty cool. I can take the cynical view and say,'I was already knocked up, so they couldn't do any harm.' or 'that I was already a slut and maybe they could get some of that.' But I really don't think those guys thought like that. I had an ex-boyfriend who said he'd help me. I knew of guys who would just talk to me and ask if I was okay or even just look me in the eye. Hell, some of my teachers wouldn't even do that. I was just another bright student going to waste.
I graduated from high school. I was nine months and huge in my ugly brown gown but I graduated and walked on stage to get my diploma. Two weeks later I had Katie.
About that. I never went to the doctor the whole time I was pregnant. When I was at the hospital, I didn't tell my parents I was going. I had Katie, then my big mouth frienemy, the one that was also knocked up, went around and told all of my family like some gossip queen. I was so angry at her. I knew everything I had did was wrong... not going to the doctor, not telling my parents, just everything was wrong. I know I broke a lot of people's hearts that day and I was exiled for awhile.
I know why Juno bothered me so much. It seemed like a adults view of a plucky girl with a smart mouth who got pregnant. It doesn't work that way in real life. It isn't a happy, happy time. You are scared shit less, even if you do tell your parents. Then there are the stats and odds. Poverty, welfare, health issues, and low test scores to name a few.
Katie and I have beaten the odds, so far. For never seeing a doctor, she ended up a full term baby. 6 pounds 14 ounces and healthy as a horse and smart as a whip. I know it could have been a totally different outcome. If she graduates from high school, we are on the right track. If she graduates from college and is on the whole, a happy and healthy adult, she has beaten the odds that the world gave her and I placed her in unwittingly. Katie knows all this. When people talk about teen moms in school, she always has something to say and rightly so. She's not an expert but pretty damn close.
All my friends are starting to get married and have kids. I have been married for 12 years now and am done having kids. I keep thinking about going back to school and have found some things I truly love in my little life. I should have done all this in my twenties, like normal people do. It's my life lived backwards and I am okay with that.