Right after I graduated from high school I loaded up my little Honda Civic, said goodbye to family and friends, and took off for college. It was literally the weekend after I graduated. I was so excited to start the next step of my life and ready to be "on my own." It was only 2 weeks after I moved that I found out I was pregnant. I hadn't even settled in yet. The idea of moving back home was not an easy one to swallow.
The day I found out I was pregnant I had just gotten back in to town from a visit back home. Although I moved to a new place, it was only a matter of 3 hours away so going home was easy. I was pulling out of the canyon and into the new town that I planned to make my home for the next few years. As I drove over the hill I had a strong feeling that I needed to go and buy a pregnancy test. I timidly walked in to Walmart and was nervous the entire time. I was embarrassed to be in that aisle of the store. I was embarrassed that I wasn't married and I felt like all eyes were on me. I'm pretty sure that not a single person even noticed, but it felt like they were all staring me down. I had always looked older than I was but I am sure I didn't look old enough to be buying a pregnancy test. I was ashamed. I slid the ring I was wearing on my right hand to my left ring finger as I waited in line to check out (because I'm sure the cashier was looking) and I was physically shaking the entire time I waited. I rushed to my car and sped back to my apartment. I opened the bag and looked down. I had bought the WRONG THING. I was so nervous I didn't even realize that I had bought a pregnancy planning kit, as opposed to a pregnancy test. I felt like I was being mocked. Now I had to drive back to the store in hopes they'd let me return it and purchase the right thing. Start entire awkward situation over. It was awful.
Upon returning to my apartment for a second time, I went to the bathroom alone, and I took the test. I wasn't shocked when I saw the results. I think I knew even before having the feeling to take the test that I was pregnant. This just confirmed it. The first person I called was my close friend. She jumped into her car that same day and drove through a thunderstorm to be with me that night. I don't think she will ever be able to know how much her friendship meant to me at that time. Things would transpire later in the pregnancy to test our friendship, but either way, she was there for me in the beginning, and it meant everything. I knew the next person I would have to call was Will, he of course was the next person in line who mattered most in this journey. I really should have called him first. I don't know why I didn't. Probably fear. I didn't know how he would react to what I was going to tell him. I probably owed him an explanation in person, but I couldn't do that. I can't speak for him as far as his true reaction goes, but he was nothing but supportive towards me. That first week he sent a package in the mail with a teddy bear and $20 for me to go do something to "get my mind off of things". He was there for me to talk to, and he did the best he could. As I mentioned in the previous post, we had broken up, so it would have been very easy for him to just walk away, but he didn't. He was there for me. I know I'm lucky for that. I knew after telling Will that I had to call my parents. If I thought I was terrified to tell him, I was even more so by the thought of telling them. I knew they were going to be disappointed.
I decided to call my Dad first. I come from a divorced parent home, and in that time I felt like my Dad would be more forgiving. I think perhaps it was because I knew he had made errors of his own in life and I felt he wouldn't be as harsh. His first response after I told him was "I already knew." This came as a shock to me. How could he know? How could he possibly know? He knew because I was his daughter. He knew because as secretive as I thought I was being, I wore my mistakes on my face. Maybe not everyone knew I was pregnant, but they knew the decisions I was making in my relationship. Oh how naive I was back then, thinking I could keep it a secret. I asked my Dad if he would tell my Mom. He did. I look back on that decision now and wish I would have called my Mom myself. I owed that to her.
My Mom and I had never really seen eye to eye on things. We were constantly arguing and I seemed to know just how to push her to the limit. I'm very much an outspoken person when it comes to my emotions. I want to put things out in the open and handle the problem in the here and now, my Mom likes to sit on things, and take a breather. I think I'd be better off if I took some of that trait from her. I'm stubborn and I push issues when they shouldn't be pushed. There are several times in my life that I can look back on and think if I had just shut my mouth things could have turned out a lot differently. I'm still learning. My Mom's reaction wasn't surprising. She was angry, but she was loving. I would learn over the next few months that my Mom was the most patient and understanding person I had ever known. I'm sad that it took me getting pregnant to learn that. She became my best friend through everything. Both her and my Dad were very supportive of whatever I was to decide, and they both let me make the decision on my own. I am thankful for that. In the passing years I would come to learn of their true feelings on the situation and I admire them both for holding back and letting me figure things out on my own.
Going to college was no longer an option for me. I knew that I couldn't focus on my studies and make the best decision possible for this baby at the same time. I needed to put my entire attention on the situation at hand. Although I was no longer going to college, I knew I couldn't move back home. A lot of my friends told me I was running away and I know a lot of them thought I left to hide the pregnancy, but that wasn't it at all. I wasn't hiding anything, I just knew I couldn't make the best decision possible by moving back home. I am from a small town. Everyone knew. Everyone had their opinions.
From the day my mom found out I was pregnant she was on the phone with my bishop back home. I grew up as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon) and despite my shortcomings, I still very much had the desire to be the girl I was always raised to be. I grew up knowing that having sex before marriage was wrong, but I did it anyway. Regardless, I knew I wanted to be better and that I needed council from my Heavenly Father. My bishop directed us to LDS Family Services and immediately I started seeing a counselor. My counselor would become my confidant and the one person I could trust with everything I was feeling. He was the one person I knew who didn't have an outside opinion on my life, and I was grateful for that. Thankfully he was very much aware of my want to not move back home and opened the doors to an opportunity to live with a host family during my pregnancy.
Moving in with complete strangers was terrifying and intimidating, but for me it was a better option than moving back home. I would come to love the family I moved in with and consider them very much a part of my own family to this day. They opened their home up to a girl they knew nothing about and trusted me to be a part of their lives. They were an adoptive couple who were parents to a beautiful 2 year old little girl, and their love and example would come to play a HUGE role in my life and in my decision to place T for adoption.
A lot was happening that first month, and I knew there was only more to come. I went from moving into an apartment, getting ready to start college in the fall, to being pregnant and moving in with complete strangers. Talk about a weird turn of events. Never in my life would I have imagined any of this to happen. I think I got lucky though. Will was my first. I had never been sexually active with any other guy and would never be sexually active with another man again until I met my husband and was married. I say I got lucky because I was headed down a slippery slope. I had already made several poor decisions and I was certain I would have probably made more. By no means am I perfect now, but I have certainly never made any further poor choices that would alter my life so immensely. Getting pregnant with T was my saving grace. I often joke that it was God's way of throwing a rock at my head. It caused me to reevaluate what choices I was making and what I was doing with my life. It also taught me that every decision I made didn't only effect me, and that in one way or another my choices ALWAYS effected someone else. It was in that first month of pregnancy that I really started to learn about putting others needs before my own. There was a child growing inside me, and I could no longer put my needs first, every decision from that point on would make a difference in that babies life, and I knew I didn't want to screw anything up. Before I even knew her, I loved her, and I had to do whatever it took to give her the life she deserved.