The Difference

I was 16 when I got pregnant for the first time. I was 30 when I got pregnant for the last time. The differences between those two pregnancies are HUGE.

When I was 16 I met a boy, yes a boy. He was far from being a man. He was 19, 3 years older than me. I trusted him. He was way more experienced than I was when it came to sex. I thought he knew what he was doing, I thought we were being safe. I didn’t know much about how pregnancy happened, I mean I knew about the birds and the bees, I knew where babies came from, I was just very naive. I didn’t think it would be me. I was a good girl. I was at church 4 times a week and I was a leader in the youth group. If you would’ve told me the day before I met this boy that this would be my life, I would’ve prayed for you and think you just lost your mind. I was going to be a missionary in Africa. That was my plan, it’s laughable now, knowing how my life turned out. I really can’t explain how it all happened or how within weeks I was completely willing to give up everything for this boy. My friends, my dreams, my reputation. I didn’t care about anything else. Suddenly, my life was flip flopped. I was the opposite of the person I was a month earlier.

He broke up with me a couple months later and I was shattered. I gave him everything. There was no official break up, there was no conversation about why it wasn’t working out. He just stopped calling one day, he stopped answering my calls. I had a secret though. A very scary secret. I hadn’t had my period. I was late and I was terrified. I was scared to say it out loud, that would make it too real. I kept it to myself for as long as I could. I was sick, really sick. My morning sickness was so bad that I’d spend most of my school day throwing up in the bathroom. I’m sure you can imagine what that did to my GPA. I was miserable. I was scared. I didn’t know what my friends would think and I was sure my mother was going to kill me. I told not a soul except for my sister who was also pregnant. She is 11 months older than me and I saw what that did to my mom and I was not looking forward to piling more disappointment on her. I prayed for it to just go away, I prayed for a miscarriage. I couldn’t do this. I hadn’t even taken a pregnancy test yet, I didn’t need to. I just knew.

By the time I worked up enough nerve to tell the father of my child that I was pregnant I was already 12 weeks pregnant. I’m sure he was thinking “oh yeah, this girl is just trying to trap me into being a relationship with her.”

He picked me up from my house that next Friday night. I had a 10 o’clock cerfew so we had to do this quick. He handed me a pregnancy test as soon as we walked into the door of his father’s house. I wasn’t surprised by the result but he was.

I tried to be calm about it. I think I even tried to pretend I was happy about it. For months I kept this secret. I heard from the father every now and then. I didn’t know how or when I was going to tell anyone. I needed an actual adult, I was so worried about disappointing anyone so I kept it to myself. My sister knew, her boyfriend knew and that’s all. I tried to forget about it hoping it would just go away but the weeks flew by and I was starting to show.

I was at a concert with a friend when my mom called her Nokia flip phone, I didn’t have a cell phone, yelling and demanding that I come home NOW. I knew she knew. That was the longest drive home. I was furious at my sister, I was furious that my mother found out. Looking back now it was a blessing because I swear I would’ve never told. I would’ve probably had my baby in the school locker room or something.

After I got home that night, my mother sat me down and made it clear that she was disappointed. When I told her how far along I was she was SHOCKED. She thought I must’ve been mistaken. “You can’t be 5 months pregnant! There’s no way!” It was confirmed by a doctor a couple of days later.

I was too far along for an abortion. I wouldn’t have had an abortion anyway. Now that it was out in the open, the worst part was over for me. Or so I thought. My pregnancy continued and my son was born in October of 2003 prematurely at 6lbs 3ozs. He was perfect and beautiful and quickly became the love of my life.

Fast forward 13 years. I was married to the love of my life, we had 6 children together. I had two, he had three when we got married. We had our daughter in 2014 and I was going to have another son. I was 30 now and wanted this baby desperately. Instead of praying for my child to disappear, I prayed that he wouldn’t. I would give my life for him. My pregnancy was full of worry and stress for the opposite reasons of my first. I couldn’t lose this baby, I wouldn’t be able to handle it. I needed him to make it through this pregnancy.

I feel guilty now. I feel like God was giving me what I asked for 13 years ago even though I didn’t want it anymore. I prayed and prayed. I tried to make deals with God “If you just let Lincoln make it I’ll go back to church, I’ll quit cussing, I’ll be a better mother!” I swore I’d never do another bad thing in my life.

I was sick. Really sick, much like with my first son. I threw up everywhere I went. I loved every minute of it though. This pregnancy creeped by so slowly, unlike my first. The days and weeks in between doctors appointments seemed to last forever.

I had hope, I got through that first trimester and I thought God was going to let me have my baby. Almost all the risk is gone after the 13th week. Some statistics say there’s less than a 1% chance of losing a baby in the second trimester. We chose a name for our child. Lincoln, wether it was a boy or a girl, that was the name.

Lincoln was a name we liked because like his sister’s name, Kennedy, it was the name of a president. We thought it’d be cute to have a Kennedy and a Lincoln. It wasn’t “meant to be” I guess. The same way my prayers seemed to go unanswered 13 years before. I lost my precious son, his heart stopped beating. I saw him the Thursday before we found out he was gone. He looked happy. He was moving around. There was plenty of fluid around him and his heart was beating strong.

3 days later he was gone. Long gone. There was no movement, no heart beating,  there wasn’t even any fluid left. Just him. It was a sad sight, seeing him so lifeless. This sweet baby I had all these plans for was gone.

I have 2 sons and 2 daughters. J.J., Kayla, Kennedy and Lincoln, my poor sweet Lincoln. My 2 sons were born 13 years apart. In different lifetimes for me. One was born to a child, the other was born to a 30 year old mother. My first son has tan skin, my last son certainly would’ve had fair, porcelain skin like his sister. If my sons have nothing else in common, they share the same mother. Their mother loves them both endlessly, just the same.

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