Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What Changed Me

I used to be normal. I was the same as everyone else in many ways. I went to school, did homework, and argued with my parents. Sounds like a normal kid, right? A lot of things in my life were not normal. Being the child of several divorced parents, I was a train wreck waiting to happen. At the age of 16, I got pregnant. Pregnancy isn’t something a child should go through, but I did. At 16 I also fought for the right to keep the child and learned what loss really was. I grew up quick, and it was my own fault. Being young and stupid, I tried things that were supposed to be “cool”. I was so off the mark of being cool though. I was headed in a downward spiral that no one could save me from.I tried drinking. I tried drugs. I even tried sex. All of these decisions were bad ones. If I could take them back, I would. I got pregnant the very first time I had sex. That night is forever engraved in my mind. He got me drunk, told me how beautiful I was, and once I was just drunk enough not to resist, took advantage of me. This all took place December 17, 2005. The baby’s father was a man 9 years older than me. He was my best friend's older cousin. Turns out he liked to have sex with little girls. Go figure. He was never convicted. Needless to say, I was on my own from the moment that second line showed up. I felt like I was losing my mind and to an extent, I was. I had no clue how I was to tell my friends, much less my parents. I knew at that moment that I had screwed up my entire future. After a while, I told my family. They were disappointed in me. I was disappointed in me.I had no idea what to do. My father brought up the ideas of abortion and adoption. I said no. I wanted this baby, even if no one else did. He threatened to have the baby taken from me. It turned in to a huge fight. I eventually wore him down; he agreed to let me keep the baby. It wasn’t the end of the fight in my house though. We continued to fight every single day for the next 7 months. It was my baby. I was determined to make the decisions for my baby. Those seven months went by quickly. Finally, I was 2 weeks from my due date.The nursery was ready. Everything was washed and put away. I was ready. I went to my weekly  check-up like I did every week. This time was different. The doctor and I were laughing and carrying on. She said something to the effect of “let’s here that little man’s heartbeat” and started to run the portable radar over my stomach. Nothing. There was no sound. She ordered a ultrasound. She said the baby was just turned around, and we couldn’t hear him. I knew though. I knew he was gone. I went out to the lobby and waited. I waited for what seemed like eternity. Eventually, they called me back. They did an ultrasound. It confirmed the tragedy I had known all along; my son was gone.The doctor called me to her office. She tried to be sympathetic. It was a weak attempt. Nothing she could have said could have made me feel better. He was gone. Nothing would bring him back. She laid out my options; there were only 2. I could either be induced or wait until my body naturally went into labor. I chose the first option. It seemed less cruel. At 2pm, I was put into the hospital. By 2:47am, my son was born silently into the world. All in all I think I am doing okay for someone who has lost a child. I was young and stupid. I got pregnant. That alone was hard, but to lose a child at 16 was harder. I still have days when it hurts a lot. I have other days when it feels like a dream. Either way it happened. I lost my son, Scout, on September 12, 2006.  That day has forever changed me. I am not the same stupid girl who liked to party and get in trouble. I am a more responsible person. I know that this tragedy will better me, and that maybe one day, I can help someone else who finds themselves in my position. As a gesture of good faith, I started Remembering Angels, a website devoted to Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness and Remembrance. It has helped me grow. I hope it continues to do so.

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