So tonight was Tuesday and that's Teen Mom (or 16 & Pregnant) night here at my house. I have been addicted to this show since it first aired. It aired when I was pregnant with Donovan so maybe that's why I got hooked when I did.
Tonight was the adoption special and it was a tear jerker but also had me thinking about the past and how strong these girls are. When I was 19, I became pregnant. I was a sophmore in college, my boyfriend at the time was a senior in high school. He came up to visit me at Syracuse and a few weeks later... I found out I was pregnant. I was terrified. Scared about the pregnancy, scared about what to do and MUCH too scared to tell my very conservative parents. Instead of going to them for help, I got advice from my friends in college. My boyfriend was scared as well but told me he would support any decision I made. His sister had a baby as a teen so this was not a totally unfamiliar road for him.
I hemmed and hawed over my decision for weeks. During the time I was pregnant I had to go home for spring break. I struggled with what to do and even IF I should tell my parents. I had morning sickness and tried, desperately, to hide that. One morning I came downstairs and my mom was standing there. She outright asked me if I was pregnant. I looked her dead in the eyes and lied. She asked me again and told me I could tell her if I was. I swore to her I wasn't. To this day, I really do not know why I didn't tell her. I should have told her... that was my opportunity and I blew it. I should have told her to get the advice of an ADULT and not a bunch of other teenagers. I was scared that she and my dad would force me into a decision or just be so mad and disappointed in me that I couldn't bear it. So, I kept my mouth shut for the remainder of my break and returned to school. I decided my only option was abortion. Only... I was hoping someone would talk me out of it. The whole time I just hoped SOMEONE, anyone, would tell me not to do it.
I returned to school and went to a local doctor a friend told me about. At almost 13 weeks, I terminated my pregnancy. I wanted the doctor, a nurse, someone to tell me not to do it. I cried throughout the entire procedure. The MOMENT, the very moment, it started I regretted my decision. I felt like the most horrible person in the world and some days, I still am not sure if I've ever forgiven myself. I had wonderful friends in college but most did not understand and I didn't have the kind of support system I really needed. Then there were my Christian "friends" who no longer spoke to me after that day. I changed that day, forever. I was good at acting the part of the happy college teen but there was a part of me that changed in ways I still don't fully understand. I grieved for a long time and thought about nothing but having children since that day.
I wish I had been closer to my family and been able to go to them with this. While I wonder what my life would be like now, I do like to think I would have been able to choose adoption but I am not sure I would have. My boyfriend was the son of a pastor and I am sure we would have been told we had to keep that child. I would not have finished college and he would not have gone. Our lives would be very, very different today and neither or us would be in our respective happy marriages. I do think part of my decision was based on that fact, the fact that we would struggle without college educations and be forced into a decision that neither of us were ready for.
I love my life now, I love my family and can not imagine a day without Stephen or Donovan. Some days though, looking at Donovan, I wonder what that child would have been like. Was it a boy or a girl? That child would be 14 years old now... 14!
It's strange how the choices you make directly impact everything about your future. By choosing the path I did, whether it was right or wrong I wanted to do it or not, I got my life today. I have my own family and a life that I can't imagine not having. I have the most wonderful son in the world and hopefully, soon, we'll be adding to our little family. Still... it can be hard to think about and relive that past sometimes.
I hope my kids are never too afraid to come to me with their problems someday. I hope they never get pregnant as teenagers but if they do, I hope they are not too afraid to tell me about it. Mostly because I don't want them going some 15 years feeling like they are horrible people. Some days I do still truly feel like I am a horrible, HORRIBLE, person for what I did back then. I never want my kids to feel like that.