Pregnancy, Female, 18, Drug Abuse
“Ok God, if this is your idea of a wake up call, I hear you.”
I had been battling flu like symptoms for weeks. I went to my regular doctor to tell them “Hey, the meds aren’t working.” The doctor came in and said, “Congrats you’re going to be a mommy!” I was a heavy drug abuser, so hearing the word “mommy” did not sit well. I have a habit of laughing when I am nervous, so I started laughing. I remember thinking it was a joke. The father was in college two states away, was somewhat older than me, and we weren’t even in a relationship. Neither of us wanted a baby.
I was terrified to tell my mother and family! I was raised in a strict Baptist home and had rebelled for years. Telling her I was pregnant meant telling her everything. Financially, I had no clue how I was going to do it. My biggest fear was getting clean. I was afraid I would lose my baby. I remember sitting in the doctor’s office parking lot and thinking “Ok God, if this is your idea of a wake up call, I hear you.” I lost my father at age five. I was really all my mom had, so it broke my heart that I was about to tell her not only am I pregnant, but I am a drug abuser.
I called my mom first. I know, I should’ve done it in person. I was still in the parking lot at the doctor’s office, crying. I told her, “You are going to be really mad at me.” She knew I was at the doctor and all she said was, “Oh, I bet I am!” Then she hung up on me. I’ll never forget the feeling that gave me.
I told my half sister when I was further along, and she was pretty mad too. Telling my friends seemed to be much easier. Telling the father was pretty bad. He said, “Well, we can give it up for adoption or you can have an abortion.” All I could say was “NO!” He thought I was insane for keeping the baby.
My mom came around pretty quickly and was very protective over me and so was my aunt. My half sister helped me get a job and also found me a doctor. My friends were really good support. But there were plenty of things that people said that were hurtful as well. My cousin told her six and eight year old that they couldn’t see me anymore because I had sex before marriage, and God didn’t love me anymore. One childhood friend I told said, ” Amanda! Do you not remember all those lessons in church about saving ourselves? What a shame, I feel sorry for you.”
I started my pregnancy going through withdrawals. I quit everything cold turkey. If I was going to be a mom, I was going to be a good one and a clean one. I had so many people in my family treating me as if I was a complete screw up that looking back, I don’t think I ever truly enjoyed being pregnant. I sensed God’s presence quite a bit during the pregnancy. I stayed home a lot due to being on bed rest for most of my pregnancy. I was depressed a lot. I felt very lonely. I questioned if I was doing the right thing a lot, but I always felt God’s warmth. I knew it was Him, felt He was saying “the best is yet to come,” and He was right.
Abortion was never an option. I have always believed that every baby is a gift from God, no matter the situation. Adoption was talked about quite a bit, but I just couldn’t not have my child. My mom and I talked about it, and we chose I would parent with her help. I had a friend who chose abortion, and it was the hardest thing I ever watched her do.
If I could give advice to a girl currently facing this situation, it would be that God still loves you and you aren’t alone. My son is 11 now, and he is worth the struggle for sobriety, the nasty looks from strangers, the mean words from my family, and every single moment of the pregnancy where I felt I couldn’t do it any more. I love him. He is my sunshine. He is my rainbow after any storm. I look back now wondering how I did it. You just figure it out along the way. I wish there were more resources for me then. Reach out where you can. It does get better, and it’s worth it. I am now almost 12 years sober, and I have an incredibly intelligent, funny, and loving son to thank for saving my life, along with God’s amazing grace.
I wish everyday people knew that these people should not be shunned. They may need guidance. Pray for them. The shame that I felt was the hardest part. Shame will throw you in depression so fast which isn’t healthy for mom or baby. I made it through with lots of praying, but for the most part I just did it. It was hard watching everyone go off to college and move away and chase their dreams. I was jealous a lot. I knew that God had a plan for me and my son.
The moment I looked into my son’s eyes was a turning point for me. I went from feeling broken to having a sense of peace and hope. The best thing about being a mom is learning the purest form of unconditional love, next to God’s grace. I love watching him grow into an amazing young man. He was my rainbow after the storm.