I don’t have an exciting birth story. I didn’t give birth in a car racing to the hospital, with a husband at my side. Or really, a clue about anything. I made it to a hospital, had an epidural and my family was there. I had a healthy bouncing baby boy. I was a teen mom. So what makes this story unique? Timing. Timing in this world is everything. It can make or break your future.
I promise, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, but it’s a long tunnel.
I was 15 when I met him. He was sweet, tall, funny and 2 years older than me. You know, the usual to make a 15 year old girl swoon! We were just friends because he was always dating this God-awful girl who treated him like dirt. I’m no homewrecker, so I stayed far away from that drama. He always had a way of coming back to me when things weren’t going his way in the relationship. I was 16 when we went on our first date. We went bowling. I know, real exciting. After the date, I didn’t hear from him again. I was 17 when he dumped his treacherous ex-girlfriend and asked me out officially. This was April of my senior year. I was sort-of dating a guy who had just left for Air Force basic training. It was never exclusive, so I stopped writing letters to Air Force guy and started dating him… We’ll call him “M.”
Summer vacation after graduation was the best time of my life. I was set to go to Texas Tech in the Fall and enjoying all my free time with my friends before we split up to attend different colleges. I had just turned 18 and was finally given a little bit of freedom from my parents. Boy did I screw that up pretty quickly. Things went downhill real quick with my parents because of M. I was sneaking out of my bedroom window that I kept telling my Dad to fix and letting M run my life in regards to my parents. I let him tell my parents what to do with me. “Let her live her life.” “She’s not a child anymore.” Said some of his texts to my parents. They asked me if I wanted to leave and run away to live with him. I told them no. I’ve never cried so much as that night.
The next time we hung out at his house, we got in a big argument. I got up to leave his room and he grabbed my wrist, threw me back on the bed and held me down. He squeezed tighter and tighter and wouldn’t let me go. I’ve never been so scared. I didn’t know it then, but a baby was growing in my tummy at that very moment.
The last straw was when I was handing out flyers to my church’s Summerfest at the local Walmart. I didn’t inform him I had left the church with my worship band mates (all guys) and he flipped; called me unspeakable things and told me I was so “lucky” to be with someone like him. That I should “get off my pedestal because you aren’t as great as you think you are.” I broke up with him that night. A few days later, he wanted to talk things out. I said yes because I knew something was going on inside me, although I wasn’t ready to come to terms with it. I didn’t want to be a disappointment.
I was driving with my mom to work (we both worked at walmart) when I broke down and told her I needed a pregnancy test. She got me one and I took it the next morning. A little pink “+” never looked more intimidating as it did at that moment. It was a Wednesday in August – three days before I was supposed to move into my dorm at Texas Tech and well past the point I could get any deposits back. Faxing my withdrawal paperwork was heartbreaking.
That night, after I had told my friends and band at church, I went home to tell my Dad. There is nothing in the world that can prepare your heart for the look of disappointment from your daddy. After I dropped the bomb, he was silent for what seemed like an eternity. Then he turned off the TV and got up to walk out to the back porch. All he said as he walked out the door was, “moron.” Crushed doesn’t even sum it up.
M wasn’t thrilled either. He told me I needed to “get rid of the baby.” Every day after was an argument, since I couldn’t agree to that. I knew it wasn’t going to be healthy to be with him anymore, so I ended it and prepared for life as a single teen mom.
I had some great friends to support me along the way. They helped me register at the local community college, kept me company, and checked up on me constantly. I don’t think I could’ve gotten out of that slump if it wasn’t for them.
On October 28th, 2009 I got a friend request on Facebook from a guy that worked in the garden center at Walmart with my mom. His name was DJ and he was really cute, but that was all I knew about him. He posted Pink Floyd lyrics. I commented. He responded. We conversed. He messaged me. I got his phone number. The rest is truly history.
November 30th, 2009 – He asked me out and kissed me. I didn’t think happiness was possible, but boy was I happier than ever. He loved me for me and loved the baby boy growing in my belly.
December 11th, 2009 – I wrote about how happy I was to have figured out a name for our son, in my journal. I wanted to name him after my Dad, Jonathan and my boyfriend, Davy. DJ was more than thrilled! It was the first time he referred to him as “our baby.”
Tuesday, March 30th, 2010 3:45pm – After a disappointing doctor appointment (passed my due date and I wouldn’t be induced until Friday), I was eating a Totino’s party pizza by myself. I started having contractions. I wasn’t sure if it was a reaction to the party pizza, or I was in labor. Turned out to be the latter. I had to wait for my mom to pick up my sister from school. Unfortunately, my sister wasn’t answering my mom’s frantics phone calls, so my mom waited around 30 minutes until my sister was done hanging out with friends after school. My mom drove me to the hospital and DJ met us there a while after with food for my mom. At 10:30pm, I was full force pushing. Would you believe DJ was there, holding my leg, for a child that wasn’t biologically his, but in every other way would be his own. He whispered in my ear, “Happy 4 month anniversary.” I, quite literally, hit the boyfriend jackpot.
March 31st, 2010 2:12am – My sweet Jonathan was born. He was the most beautiful specimen of God’s creation I had ever laid eyes on. And I got the amazing pleasure of calling him my son.
It never really sunk in, I was going to be a mom, until the moment he was laid on my chest. Even covered in my blood and guts, I couldn’t help but adore him. We were a family, DJ, Jonathan, and I – together Forever.
I texted M that Jonathan was born that day. I got a “congratulations” back. I didn’t hear from him again for almost a year. But that didn’t matter. My family was complete without him.
I was 18 when my son was born. I had never changed a diaper in my life. I had never held a newborn baby. The idea of breastfeeding a baby was daunting and I couldn’t even fathom doing it. If there was a level before “clueless,” I was there. But every mom is there at some point in time. Where you are relying on instinct to get you through all the questions. And you know what? That’s ok in my book!
If it wasn’t for the support system of my family and friends, I don’t think I would’ve left my unhealthy relationship with M. A pregnancy as a teenager is not the end of the world, it’s really the start of a beautiful new chapter. It’s not all sunshine and daisies. Shit gets real and you don’t know what’s worse, lack of sleep or the fact you haven’t showered in days. This new chapter is filled with tears, adversity, smelly diapers and no money, but a whole lot of unconditional love. You are going to feel like you aren’t going anywhere, but nowhere does it say, one step at a time won’t get you somewhere at sometime. Six years later, I have a great job in HR, a brand new home to call my own, a supportive future hubby that’s been there for me since I was nothing but a young girl with a basketball for a belly, and a thriving little man. He is sharp and stubborn, but with the kindest heart I could have ever prayed for.
My life wasn’t cut short, my dreams weren’t crushed, and my world didn’t come crumbling down like I thought it would when I took the pregnancy test. I was blessed beyond what I could fathom. I didn’t know what was planned for me, but I know I wouldn’t have chosen it any other way.
Like I said, timing is key. Had I not been with M, I wouldn’t have my Jonathan. I wouldn’t have continued to work at Walmart and meet DJ. The blessings I have today, wouldn’t be mine had timing been different. Timing in this world is everything. It can make or break your future. In my case, it made it worthy of every coming day.
Josette Bailey blogs over at The Supermama Blog where she writes about all things parenthood and how to accomplish it all without “super powers”! She is a born and raised Texas country girl with the sweetest, most temperamental 6 year old named Jonathan. She enjoys all things Harry Potter, writing, and dancing. She is also a member of the Collective Force Dance Company in Fort Worth. You can follow her on Facebook , Instagram , or Pinterest.
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