I Planned My Teen Pregnancy

As I walk down the streets with my baby girl sleeping snug in her stroller, I can’t help but notice the stares. The looks that convey sympathy for my situation make me cringe. I can’t blame them, but even still, I wish they wouldn’t judge me. They see me walking alone with my one year old and they point me out to their 14-year-old girls as the future they should try to avoid. They don’t realize that I wanted this. I wanted my baby girl. Even before I knew she was in me, I loved her. Those people who stare at me as I drape the blanket over us, as I get ready to breastfeed wouldn’t understand that I planned for this, that this wasn’t a mistake.

I kiss my daughter’s curly locks and I wish to instill in her that I always wanted her and that I always will. One day I will sit her down and let her know the exact circumstances of her coming to be. I was sixteen, in high school and struggling with every step I took. I was going to school everyday in a daze, swimming through the tears I cried at night. I was clinically depressed, obsessive compulsive and anxiety ridden; my therapist told me so.

What my therapist didn’t know was that I was also dealing with an eating disorder associated more with my OCD then wanting to be thin. My therapist was also unaware of the fresh cuts on my body that continually appeared throughout the months I consulted her. Why didn’t I tell her? I didn’t want her to feel she had failed. I didn’t want her to feel bad about herself. I would suffer if she survived. However, I did survive, and I am proud of my battle scars.

At sixteen, I felt no one cared and therefore no one could really help me. Not even a year later my entire outlook would change. My problems didn’t take a hiatus but I would become more determined then ever to overcome them. In that year I met a 19-year-old boy who introduced himself as Anarchy and that was okay because I introduced myself as Rogue. I say ‘boy’ because it wasn’t until later that he truly matured into a responsible man. We were two teenagers with issues that we had to talk about. He had no one to turn to, and while I had my weekly therapy sessions, it had been a long time since I had said anything that wasn’t wrapped in a myriad of lies. We spoke for months and the more I spoke to him the more of a recluse I became everywhere else. That didn’t matter to me, but everyone else was becoming more and more worried. I realize now that my mother did love me, but she was frustrated, she didn’t know how to deal with her once happy child who now so tight-lipped. Then one day I just disappeared.

I have long since apologized profusely to my mother. I realize now, as I look at my daughter that if I received a phone call while I was out of the country that my depressed daughter was missing I would be distraught. However, at the time I wasn’t thinking of anyone else. I was consumed in my depression and I ran to the only person I thought cared, Anarchy.

Charges could have been raised but when my mother finally knew where I was, she told me to do what I needed to do. I stayed with him. We did however visit my family weekly. In just a few months time my mother came to see the old me resurface again. Yes, I still had my problems, but now I could talk to her again. We hung out, we were like sisters talking late into the night about our problems. I was no longer a child; I was an equal.

The only problem was that as right as it felt to be with him, and as great as my relationship with my mother had gotten everything else was still wrong. I couldn’t deny that I was still depressed, anxious and being governed by a set of rules and chores set out by my OCD. I won’t ever forget the words, “You’re just unstable,” that my therapist said as she was discussing with my possibility of my staying at a hospital to get better. As much as I lied to her, she still thought I was beyond her capabilities. She might have even mentioned a lobotomy if she knew the whole truth. I stopped going to therapy as soon as she brought up the idea. I did not want to be sent away. Instead, I continued staying with Anarchy who didn’t seem keen on ever sending me away.

Eventually I stopped going to school. It didn’t seem to matter anymore. I wasn’t learning anything. On the days I did go, it seemed as though I were in a drug-induced daze, and perhaps the Zoloft had something to do with that. The phone calls started and I explained calmly that at least at home I was alive; going to school might just be what kills me. Of course it wasn’t as simple as that, but in the end I had become what I always feared, a high school dropout. I left school with an average of 85 and a vow to make it into college somehow, someday, if I decided not to end my life of course.

Then one day I realized I hadn’t gotten my period in two months. I wasn’t nervous. I wasn’t anything. I told Anarchy, went to the doctor but it turned out that I was just irregular. It sounded odd to me but I went with the flow. Except something in me changed and I knew what I was missing, a child. Of course, at this point, I do not seem like the best candidate for mother-to-be, but I never much cared for how the world saw me. The only problem was that I couldn’t get pregnant. Of course, we had no problem trying.

Months passed and the idea of this baby I might have helped me through. I got up and did what I had to do, while in the past I had slept the hours away. Many doctors’ appointments later, they were telling me, a 17-year-old girl that I might have ovarian cancer. I was scheduled for an ultrasound. I was 10 weeks pregnant. I was happy, but all the doctor did was give me her condolences. She, like most people thought it was a mistake, that it was unwanted.

Now that I was finally pregnant, I was at a standstill. I realized that now my choice was one. Live. I could no longer indulge in masochistic fantasies of suicide and self-injury. In fact, that same day I vowed to the baby inside me that I would never hurt myself again. I would never allow her to see that part of me. The desires have not disappeared, but I have kept true to my word. The moment I knew, I was going to have a child my lifestyle changed for the better. It was no longer about me. Yes, I did have my problems, but she came first. Once she was born, if she needed me awake I couldn’t sleep the day away. She is more important. She makes me laugh. On the days where my depression has me believing that I am alone, she comes in at the right moment and kisses me on my cheek. I got my high school diploma and enrolled in college. She forced me to survive. I live on because I chose to have her. I chose to have her to have a driving force in my life. I don’t see it as selfish because as much as I need her, she needs me and I don’t plan to leave her.

I was a teenager who planned her pregnancy. I planned to survive and she was part of the equation. My problems haven’t gone away, but now I am not drowning in them. Instead, I find myself running so fast to keep up with my daughter that my problems seem miles away.

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