I was young when I got pregnant with Max. In fact, when I say that I have a 10-year-old now, the first comment is, “Wow, you don’t look old enough to have a kid that old!” My reply is always, “You should see my mother… she still gets carded for alcohol and she’s 50!” So yes, young looks run in my family, but I was young when I had Max.
I’ll try to make a long story as short as I can here.
When I was 17 I chased a boy from Colorado to Florida. My mother didn’t want me to follow him, but I was hard-headed and put up a big enough fight, so she let me go. Don’t get me wrong… now that I’m a mother I’d say the same thing that you’re thinking, “I’d never let my child go,” but, I was a lot bigger than my shoes. I was tough to deal with and had my own opinions on how my life should be; my mother literally had no choice but to allow me to fill those shoes. Anyways, off to Florida I went. I graduated from high school at 16, so I was able to enroll in college in Florida, get my own place and start a job; I was literally living the college dream at 17. However, there was a stipulation that my mother had… she was going to stop all payments or money support if I moved to Florida, which meant that I was literally on my own.
Well, we can probably all speculate how this situation went.
After a few months of living together, my boyfriend moved out, to South Carolina and I was alone. I was scared shitless and all by myself. I called my best friend back in Colorado and begged her to move in with me, and she agreed. In a little-bitty apartment in Northern Florida we ended up growing up faster than we had ever expected.
Shortly after she moved in, I was late. Not late on rent, but late in the lady sort of way… I missed my period. Shit. Shit. Shit. I’m 17, what the hell! The boyfriend and I didn’t practice the safest form of sex; it was literally condoms and that was it. My best friend and I went to the store and got a pregnancy test. I’d like to say that we bought it, but we were broke, really broke at this time, so we… borrowed it. I took the first test and it was positive. Holy Shit. Positive? We need another one. We went back to the store and borrowed another test. Positive. Do we need another test? I wanted to take 5 more that night, but our borrowing habit wasn’t the best approach.
My heart was beating; my best friend stared in silence. What the F do I do now? I have no support from my parents, my boyfriend left and I’m alone… what the F do I do now? Ugh, God, please help me.
The only thing I really remember of this night is my best friend running down the street screaming and coming back and telling me she was fine now. That’s how I felt too, but I couldn’t work up the energy to run down the street. All I could think of was, “What the F do I do now!” It was screaming in my body. I knew there were options, but at this point I knew nothing else but to just drive… drive anywhere. So we drove and jammed to music. The first song that came on was Edwin McCain’s “I’ll Be.” Every word of that song spoke to me, but especially these lyrics, “I’ll be better when I’m older, I’ll be the greatest fan of your life.” I may not have been old enough to help this baby, but when I was older, I knew I’d be the best person he’d ever met.
I knew right then that I was going to have this baby. I didn’t care what anyone else said… this baby was mine. I was the one that laid in bed and created him, so it was my job to raise him and make him a man. I started to go to young parenting birthing classes and went to my first OBGYN appointment. Everything was fine with the baby and the parenting classes were filled with pitiful mothers that were there for what seemed to be for nothing but freebies and sympathy. This wasn’t me. I didn’t want free handouts. I didn’t want to be treated like a Medicaid washout… I just didn’t know what else to do. The time came I had to call the father.
This should be its own blog post, but when it comes to teenage pregnancy, this is the truth I suppose. I think I was first blamed for cheating because we weren’t living together, and I explained that once you (I think I worded it this way because I was pissed) “piss on a stick you were already 6 weeks pregnant” … and that’s probably putting it nicely. I didn’t cheat. I had no ambition to cheat and I was a shy girl; I did nothing but stay home. I told him that he could fight with me all he wanted, but we could both prove it once the baby was born. He was awe-struck, “You’re having this baby? With all the options out there, you’re really going to have this baby?” I was confused, “What is it that you’re trying to tell me?” The father, “I’m just saying, you could have an abortion or something.”
Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, what the hell do I do. I don’t want to take this route, but what the hell do I do?
I did end up visiting an abortion clinic, but it was because I wanted to get one more free pregnancy test. That they did, but then they dove straight into telling me my options. It was creepy, and I left immediately. I didn’t want to hear those options; I knew I wanted my baby.
At about 10 weeks (more or less) I started bleeding, severely. My roommate and her boyfriend drove me to the hospital. I was sure that I had miscarried my baby; there was so much blood and I ached so bad. The hospital scanned my stomach and said I was still pregnant… so what just happened? They said that I probably just miscarried a twin, because the baby was fine (with my next baby I learned I was pregnant with triplets, so this story sounded more plausible).
Like I said, I’m trying to make this short, so to sum up my relationship with Max’s father… he ended up cheating on me, I refused to have an abortion and he refused to have anything to do with us. Simply said, it ended quickly. Thank goodness I have a mother that loves me though. She talked me into moving back home to Colorado and ensured me that she would help me get back on my feet. I, of course, took the offer, moved back home, found a job, found a place and had my roots planted in Fraser, Colorado. I had a two-bedroom apartment that I was able to pay for with my job.
Now, I was 18 and close to giving birth. My mother helped me make a nursery for little Max and I had a full-time job to pay for everything that social services didn’t. I’m not going to lie here. I was on food stamps and energy assistance to pay for my heating bill… I was a kid and I was pregnant; I was doing everything that I could to get by. I was alone in my new house, but it was MY house.
The night my water broke, I was alone. I remember feeling a sharp pain around my pelvis that brought me to my feet. A little water dribbled out, but I thought I had just pee’d. There was no rushing water like I expected, just a little water. I walked to the bathroom and sat on the toilet. Nothing. The pain in my pelvis began to get stronger. At this point I was scared. Was I going into labor? I called my mom, who lived 40 minutes away and told her I thought I was in labor. It was about 11pm at this point. She had planned to take a shower, but decided to wait until we got to the hospital and just drove over. I already had all of my hospital bags packed and Max’s bag packed with his first outfit and whatever other necessities I needed for when he arrived. I remember struggling getting all of the bags down the stairs by myself; in fact, it got to the point I could barely walk. I finally laid down in the kitchen, because I didn’t want to make a mess anywhere else in the house (if there was to be a mess, and yes, I know I have OCD issues). It hurt so bad… God, I remember the pain. I started bearing down on the cabinet and refrigerator handle… geez, it hurt so bad. I was pulling down so hard that I thought they were going to break off, but I didn’t care at this point. I was in labor and alone!
It seemed like forever, but my mom finally arrived and found me on the floor. She pulled off my pants and saw that Max’s head was crowning. She immediately called 911 and told them that I was about to give birth and they had to get to the house immediately. I had no idea what was going on. I figured I’d be in labor for hours; heck, my mom was in labor for more than 24 hours with me! My mom kept telling me, “It’s okay baby, I’m here.” Those words soothed me through the pain, but it hurt so bad.
The ambulance arrived shortly after, although it felt like forever. The first EMT looked under the blanket that my mother had cloaked me in and said something along the lines of, “Holy shit, this woman is giving birth now!” They put me on a portable bed, into the ambulance and off we went to Granby Medical. Should I mention now, that neither of the EMTs that were with me that night had ever delivered a baby, and the hospital that I ended up at, was not equipped for delivering babies? It’s not that I had any options though. Off we headed to the local ER. The pain kept increasing, but I thought of nothing else, but getting this baby out of me… it was excruciating! By the time we hit the Silvercreek area (5 minutes from the ER), Max was delivered. The EMTs did a hell of a job with the lack of experience they had.
I do remember asking why he was blue and what was wrong with him. They quickly worked on Max to sweep his mouth out and to get him breathing and crying. I don’t know how long this time line was, but from the time my water broke, to the time I delivered in the back of an ambulance, it was an hour and 35 minutes (my next child was delivered in an hour and 37 minutes).
This post has become a lot longer than I intended. I’ll continue this post with a follow-up of what happened once Max was delivered.