In spring of 2012 I went in to my school clinic, worried because I hadn’t gotten my period and had been sexually active recently. So I went in and just waited for my name to be called, looking around at all the pamphlets, wondering what all these other students were there for, wondering if they knew what I was there for. When I went in I needed to pee into a cup and they told me it would take a couple minutes. I waited anxiously and then the nurse comes back in and tells me the news I was dreading to hear, not because I did not want a baby but because of what my dad would do when he found out. The nurse said “the test came back” then there was a long, silent pause… “POSITIVE.” Right when I heard that word, tears immediately started rushing down my face from the fear I had of my dad finding out. After I calmed down the nurse proceeded to ask me are you planning to continue this pregnancy as if she was expecting me to say no I’m going to have an abortion. I look at her and I am distraught. I think, how can she even ask that? Of course I am going to keep my baby, I replied. The nurse then asked me are you sure? Yes, I replied. So I went and finished my day out at school.
When school ended I called my boyfriend and told him that I was pregnant. He was very calm and said everything will be fine. After I got off the phone with him I called my sister. As I was telling her I was crying and she was crying, saying how could her little sister get pregnant? We both knew how my dad was and knew we couldn’t tell him, at least not right now. So every day that passed I acted normal, went to school, came home, acted normal and took my prenatal vitamins without my dad knowing of course.
After a few weeks it started getting much much harder to hide because I got morning sickness and was throwing up constantly. I could not keep anything down and was not eating much. At that point everyone knew about my pregnancy already: my little brother, my sisters and my mom, everyone except my dad of course. My sisters convinced me to let them tell my grandma who is a pastor at a Christian church and we all thought she would be sympathetic seeing as how my mom was a teen mom also and what not. But we thought completely wrong. My grandma was the worst person to tell. She started calling me a prostitute, saying that I open my legs to everyone and that she doesn’t want me to go over there and doesn’t want my sisters helping me. How can my grandma can say those things!? She is a pastor! She is supposed to help me. Not only is that the right thing to do but I’m her granddaughter, we are family. How she can do this to me? Soon after that my dad found out and confronted me. I didn’t even know what to say he was so angry. He didn’t even want to talk to me. He had told me that my grandma told him.
My dad talked to my boyfriend’s parents and they came over to talk to me and my boyfriend, telling us how hard it’s going to be and all the responsibility and everything. Then we just went on with our days acting normal. Because of my morning sickness, I was not eating, was losing a lot of weight and I looked really sick. I went to my first doctor’s appointment with my boyfriend and his mom to fill out some paperwork. I was getting really warm and took my sweater off, but I was still so warm. The receptionist was getting ready to hand me some more paperwork when all of a sudden I black out. The next thing I knew a nurse and my boyfriend were holding me up and putting me into a wheelchair. I went into the examine room, they ran their tests and proceeded to tell me I was very very dehydrated, and that I needed to drink water or they were going to put me on an iv. After that my boyfriend’s mom insisted I go to her house all the way in Cornelius so that somebody will be watching me in case I faint again. I didn’t want to, I only had 2 more weeks of school left and I lived in Portland. I couldn’t move with only 2 weeks left.
That night my dad came into my room and said he thought it’s better if I went with Alex (my boyfriend) and his mom. I immediately started crying. I knew my dad did not want me there and he was just using that as an excuse to get me out. I said ok I will move with them. My boyfriend of course was very happy about the news of me moving in. So I went to their house and I missed the last 2 weeks of my sophomore year. Since I did not do my finals, I failed all of my classes. But things were going good at my boyfriend’s house, we got along just fine and things were great but having no money and no nothing was starting to get very boring. I felt very lonely, missing my sisters and hated my dad for making me leave, and even more when I found out he gave all my stuff to my sisters.
Another thing I had to go through was my boyfriend’s parents constantly telling him to leave me and talking about me a lot, saying that I control him too much and that I’m just going to take all his money and leave him. I could not stand being around them. Lucky for me my boyfriend would not listen to them and stuck by me through everything.
Once my daughter Nataly was born and 6 months old, I started working because we had no income at all and my boyfriend’s parents were constantly asking if I could lend them some money. I did not want to do that because they don’t borrow, they just keep and I never see any of the money I lend them again.
The next year was my junior year and I did not go to school because I moved all the way out to a city I never even knew existed. I had no friends out there, and I needed to notarize a paper in order to go to school which my boyfriend’s mom never did. So I missed out on my junior year of school. So summer went by and I worked, but once school started up again I was determined to go. I registered for an alternative school, needing 14.5 credits to graduate, so I started going to school and working after school. It would be a bit stressful at times because my boyfriend didn’t work or go to school but he did get his GED and started to work.
During my senior year something horrible happened. My boyfriend’s stepdad was a drug dealer and he got arrested. Police came to the house and searched through everything. Luckily we were not involved in any of that but DHS started coming and I got terrified, thinking what if they take my baby, what would I do? How can I live without Nataly?! I got so scared and left. I moved to my cousin’s house for a while and then when everything calmed down I went back to my boyfriend’s house.
Now I am trying to graduate by this summer and I am planning to go to college to be a dental hygienist. I may have lost all my friends once I got pregnant but I’m not worried about that. If they were really my friends, we would have kept in touch and I made a couple new friends with kids also. Now I just look at Nataly and cannot even begin to imagine how my life would have been if I didn’t have her. I never once regretted having her. I love her more than life itself and I am so thankful for her. I have a very good feeling about what my future has in store for me.
Hazel Irene Moon says
Thank you for sharing your heart-felt post with us here at “Tell Me a Story.” May God bless you as you continue to educate yourself and care for your little girl. Be sure to share Bible stories with her and take her to Sunday school. Jesus love all the children, including YOU.
Abby, you are a survivor. You are strong and you have proven it by your faithfulness to the important commitments in your life (namely, your daughter) through thick and thin. I honor your story and your courage.
I’m so sorry about the reactions of both your grandmother and your father. No matter how some Christians might treat you, please trust that God himself doesn’t despise you. He doesn’t turn on you or call you a prostitute. He loves you. In fact, when I was pregnant at your age (20 years ago now!), I came across a Bible verse that is still very special to me today: “For I know the plans that I have for you,” says the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” At the end of your essay you said that you feel good about what the future has in store for you. You are right to feel that way, friend. You are loved by the One who made you beyond your wildest dreams.
Thank you for sharing your story so honestly. With respect and admiration, Kelli
Crystal From Tidbits of Experience says
This is such a sweet inspirational story. I very well should have been in your shoes a thousand times over, but God knew I wasn’t strong enough to handle being a teenage mother. I believe you are very strong and I’m proud of you for continuing your education and not giving up.
Abby, thank you so much for sharing your story. You are a brave woman, and I have more respect for you than you’ll ever know. Your Nataly is so lucky to have you as a mom. I can tell, just from this short writing that you’d do anything for her. May God bless you and keep you, Abby, and your beautiful Nataly, always.
You were so courageous to persevere through all that came your way. I commend you for continuing on in your journey, and know that you are carving out a better future for both yourself, and your daughter Nataly! By the way, what a lovely name for your child 🙂
Suzanne Lucas says
I’m sorry you had to go through that. Despite the fact that it wasn’t planned, I find it shocking that your father would have gone so far as to ask you to leave. Clearly the meaning of love and forgiveness is lost on him.
I’m happy to see that things are going well for you and you’re optimistic about your future. All the best to you and your little family.
Abby, you are an incredible young woman! Thank you for choosing life for your daughter and for providing for her the best way you can. You will be in my prayers as you seek to continue your education and find a support system you can count on. Bless you dear child. Good job, Momma!
Wow. It’s hard to read this and not think “this is why young, scared girls get abortions”. It makes you wonder, if her grandmother and father found out she was pregnant and had an abortion, would they still have treated her with the same level of disdain. It wasn’t the fact that she HAD a child, it’s that she made a mistake and got pregnant that made her father and grandmother call her horrible things and essentially kick her out. To us high and mighty Christians, we can’t imagine anyone even THINKING about having an abortion without it coming from some evil place, when really it comes from a place of pure fear, shame and guilt. Three emotions we likely have never had the misfortune of feeling quite as strongly as girls like Abby. We just don’t get it.
To everyone lobbying for anti-abortion legislation, please think about who you would be hurting. Terrified girls who made mistakes and are being punished endlessly for it. Making abortion illegal does not lead to fewer abortions, but more suicides and sketchy, unregulated back-alley procedures leading to, you guessed it, more MOTHERS dying along with their babies. Abortion sucks. It really does. I hate it and I would never get one. But I would also be a heck of a lot more supportive if MY daughter came to me and told me she was pregnant. Maybe by showing unconditional love instead of hate, I can give my daughter hope that she will be okay in the long run by choosing to have her baby.
Abby was incredibly brave to keep her baby knowing that it would cause major issues for her family. Can you imagine all the self-righteous old ladies in the church pews looking at a teenage mother, whispering to each other (loudly) about how she’s a slut. Would they have liked it more if she just had an abortion and went on with her life. If only we as a society could be more supportive as whole to girls like Abby… maybe abortion wouldn’t be so much in demand. Just a thought.
Abby, you are a very brave woman! Thank you for sharing your story!
Paula Gamble says
Oh Abby, you have been through so much. I’m so sorry about the way your dad and grandma treated you. That is NOT the way Jesus would respond. God loves you and has good plans for your life. You are loved beyond measure. I’m proud of you for taking care of your little girl and continuing to pursue your dreams despite many obstacles. You are an inspiration, truly! I’m praying that God connects you with accepting and loving people to share life with. So much love to you, Paula