Within seconds of taking the test, the symbol for “pregnant” popped up.
I’ve come from abuse, and every type of it. That’s how life always was for me, which left me with a gaping hole to be loved. There are many avenues to my story that I could go down, but I want to share about one – how I ended up as one of those statistics for a teen pregnancy.
It all started with heartbreak. I spent a year of my life in a terrible relationship with a man much older than I. He was constantly using me. I had dropped out of high school and opted for an ‘alternative’ school so we could spend more time together, but after a year, our relationship ended. So once he was gone, I felt like my life was over, like I no longer had a purpose. All of this stress was just too much for me. I began to look for a way out.
I found one, rather quickly. I moved in with a guy I had hung out with one time. Again, I let him call himself my “boyfriend.” He lived with his mom, didn’t have a license, or a job. The kicker? He had just been released from a two-year juvenile program and was on probation until his nineteenth birthday three months away.
After two years of him cheating on me over and over, I finally snapped and left him. I thought I was done with him.
About three months go by… Within those three months, I went over board – partying every night, hoping couch to couch regularly. I became the person I always swore I would never be. I lost sight of who I was, and I had no remorse.
During those three months, I began to realize I hadn’t had my period in a while. I told a friend and she insisted we take a ride to the Dollar Tree and buy a pregnancy test. Once we got to the store and bought the test, I walked into the public restroom and took the test. Within seconds of taking the test, the symbol for “pregnant” popped up.
I remember suddenly feeling numb. I didn’t cry, I didn’t get angry, I didn’t feel anything. Just, numb with fear. All that I kept thinking about was all of the partying I had done recently. What if my carelessness would be the reason for any health problems this child may have in the future? I was terrified.
It was official: I was pregnant, exactly 12 weeks. I had missed my entire first trimester. No symptoms what so ever.
That night, when I spoke to my parents about the pregnancy, my mom told me that she wanted me to come back home, that she would help me with this baby, but only under one condition. I had to leave Liam’s dad, and never speak to him again. That or they would pay for an abortion and I could go back to the crappy life I was living. I had always been against abortion, so I knew I couldn’t do that. Knowing we wouldn’t be able to take care of our baby, I made the decision to leave Liam’s dad.
On February 25th at 1:13 pm, Liam Robert Byrd was born. 10lbs 4oz and 22 inches long. Instantly, I was in love with his chubby little face. Never in my life had I experienced such pure happiness. Never did I experience this kind of love. But, even with all of this joy, I still felt like something was missing. After awhile though, I began neglecting my role as a mother and continued sleeping around, until one night I was afraid I would lose my life. After that, I put everything back into the relationship with my son. I never wanted to put myself in danger like that again and jeopardize him losing another parent. I was done with that life. Sleeping around was a curse, and I no longer wanted to have anything to do with it.
The following week, a friend of mine begged me to go with her to hang out with a lovely group of girls. She had never gone before and her mother was forcing her to go. So, I went with her. I was nervous about meeting the other people at the group. My biggest fear was always being judged because I was a young girl with a baby, so when we got to the apartment, and I saw the huge crowd of giggling girls at the bottom of a set of stairs, a huge wave of fear came over me. I was the same age as most of these girls, but I was VERY different. I was scared of the potential looks I would get and the questions I would have to answer.
I didn’t realize that these girls were some of the most accepting people I would ever know in my life. I quickly realized, all of these girls were so loving and welcoming – it was a bit overwhelming! I wasn’t used to feeling so accepted around people. I could tell that they all loved each other, and I wanted to know what that felt like. By the end of the night, I was convinced that this was the place for me to be.
About a week later, I went to coffee with one of the lovely girls. There, in the middle of Starbucks, I broke down, crying like a baby. I felt like I could finally let go of all of the emotions I had been holding back for so long. It felt so good to be able to fully trust someone.
After that, we went to hang out with the rest of the lovely girls. Again that night, I saw how much these girls loved each other. I never had experienced the true friendship I saw between all of these girls. I wanted to see what that kind of friendship felt like. I wanted to know the kind of love they felt for themselves and for each other. I wanted to know the truth they all spoke of. I wanted my life to change. So I decided to make those lovely girls my friends.
Today, I am a happier, healthier me! I am a better mother, friend, daughter, and just an all around better person. I am excited for my future life with Liam. I am excited that he will be raised around such great people and with such great values.
I was a statistic.
Now, I am lovely.