I was 19 when I got pregnant
I was 19 when I got pregnant, I did not have my life ahead of me, it was that simple. On the outside, to many I had too much going on for a child. I was in college, my sophomore year, I had a great boyfriend who’s family accepted me wholeheartedly, and what was left of my family was rooting me on. But I didn’t have my life ahead of me, no. I was also on antidepressants that I couldn’t get off because of the terrible withdrawal effects. I was doing very poorly in school, so much so that that spring semester was my last chance to bring up my GPA or I would be academically dismissed. My very dysfunctional family was falling apart, as usual, a sister who was going back to a religion that had treated us harshly and a father who did not mind encouraging her to disassociate herself from us. I wasn’t attending classes like I should have been that fall, and my boyfriend well he had just come out of a very rough time that fall. He was still healing, so to speak. We made a lot of mistakes, and I got pregnant, funny mistakes actually, but that’s for another time. I was a firm believer in not using abortion as a type of birth control, I would keep the baby, no, we would keep the baby.
Remember the medication I was on? Well I couldn’t be on it being pregnant. I had to go off it cold turkey. I was on the highest dose at the time (it hadn’t been working). Now most people will say, oh this was just morning sickeness, you were pregnant. The withdrawal effects of Effexor XR are not simple matters, go ahead google it. For two months I was very sick, for a month I did not leave my boyfriend’s room except to go to the hospital from dehydration. I couldn’t keep anything down, I couldn’t sleep. Enough of that. I wasn’t crazy about pregnancy. I had to withdrawal from classes that semester. I spoke with several school officials, deans, teachers, housing authorities. The disbelief from my end was the punishment associated with college pregnancy. It went a little like this: “Terrible situation you’re in, makes us look bad, can’t have a pregnant girl on campus, good suggestion, you go ahead and take all the time you need, away from here”. The disbelief of being so easily let go, for doing what is supposed to be the right thing. We were saving a life, no, not my unborn child’s. Mine.
I went to another college when I got better. A community college. This child would not have my life, she would have a mother and father to be proud of. Her father was also in college, a chemical engineering student, but he was giving up at this time. I held him up. We held each other up, and supported our actions and inactions. There was a lot of stumbling, relocating ourselves several times in that 9 months with help from family. We took a small space and made it a home, a wonderful home. Small and sometimes inefficient but it worked and it was happy. My savior began her entrance into our world early the morning of October 2nd 2009. She was in a rush, and actually knocked first as if to announce herself. Twice. We rushed to the hospital, painful. I gave in to the medication to ease the pain, she eased back in, and had to be cut out, not pleasant. We were both sickly and stayed a bit longer than intended in the hospital. It wasn’t bad, she smiled at her uncle. She looked like cupid, a mass of thick jet black hair that explained all the heartburn. Feisty, and plump. That was my savior and I did not regret anything. We did not regret anything.
Survivors of the "Drop"
- Forbes List of College Drop Outs
Forbes 400: The Self-Made Billionaire Entrepreneurs Who Said No To College
- Michael Bastedo, Ph.D.: Let\'s Stop Celebrating College Dropouts
In a time of economic uncertainty, America's imagination has been captured by companies largely founded by college dropouts -- Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Paul Allen, and others.
- Lessons from famous college dropouts - CNN.com
A college education is important. But the talents of those without degrees must not go unrecognized or undeveloped, says Paul Schmitz.
Damage and Struggle
Now I’ll be 23 soon, she just turned two a few months ago. I came back to my four year college, thought I had done well enough in community college to eradicate my academic past. I struggled, too much. It wasn’t till the end of that semester did it dawn on me, all I had accomplished did not matter because that semester I had been accepted back with the damaged past I thought I was done with. There was to be no other chances. I looked at my daughter and felt I had failed her. I looked at her father and felt he had failed me, but I knew it was all my doing. How had he done with his semester? Great, pretty damn near incredible since he was doing many things at once. He had done well, on his way to graduating in the spring, I struggled. We were looking at graduate schools for him abroad and I’d transfer, but with my failures, he was looking at a good possibility. I was damaged goods. I looked around him, and saw that he was surrounded by successful people, didn’t matter how delusional that might be, it was true to me. I was struggling and it was damaging me. The fear opened itself up and held out a hand to me. I was grappling, I grabbed it, and it held onto me. Everything I had tried to do that semester, school related, family related, future related, none of it had panned out. Nothing panned out. But around me everybody was doing so well. Promotions, degrees, jobs, cars, good grades.
Between September and December, I fell in love with my boyfriend, and was so sure of my love for him. Some of his actions broke my heart dearly. Damn near almost killed me. Between September and December, I grew tired and felt heavy. I started to realize just how much I was the outsider, since we were living with his family. Between September and December, I lost my daughter. She was still there, lovely as ever, beautiful, still trying to save me, but I didn’t feel like a mother, my actions as her mother were heavily questioned. I did not talk, I could not talk. Between September and December, my future crumbled and was swept out of my grasp. I did not get a chance to try to piece them back together. An email that I had been put on the “drop” list at my school. The drop list. To be dropped, removed, regarded as insignificant and unsatisfactory. Not needed, termination, eradication. I had been dropped. The realization that the world could go on without you, and nothing you’ve done really matters and that love is just a word and that you can’t save yourself and you can’t repay your savior. I’ve been through quite a lot for my age, enough to be momentarily bitter about. I don’t feel like it’s beyond me to condemn the world for I feel like I was dropped from the moment I was born. Now lets not think I didn’t bring any of this upon myself. It is my life after, if it wasn’t going right well, it’s nobody’s fault but mine. But now………..my life is in my hands.
The rest as we say is history, or as some might say it is time to rest. But with so much to fight for, and less to lose, I'm still standing, going to be walking, and look carefully cause you won't be able to drop me when I'm running.