I remember the exact day I found out I was pregnant because it was three days after my birthday. It felt like a cruel “Happy Birthday” joke. My period was already late and I had a feeling that I might be pregnant, but I was too scared to take the test because I wasn’t ready for a kid. I had been in a dark place in my life and I didn’t want to bring a baby into that.
When I finally did take a test and it came up positive, the first people I told were my daughter's father and my dad, then my mom and sister found out. My dad was absolutely ecstatic, so happy that he was going to be a grandfather. He told me that all he ever wanted was for me to live long enough to make him a grandfather. My dad made me feel a bit lighter, that I had someone supporting me through this. He made me feel safe.
My daughter's father, who is actually now my partner, wasn’t even sure he wanted to be a part of our lives. He wasn’t sure that he was ready to be a father. I couldn’t blame him really, especially when I didn’t know if I was ready to be a mother. I actually remember us discussing me possibly having an abortion. There were so many options on the table and we were terrified. I think our differences actually got to the point where we didn’t speak for the first few months of my pregnancy. I thought for sure I was going to end up a single mom and that is what scared me the most. My dad wasn’t really involved in my life until I was in middle school and I watched my mom struggle for a long time as a single mom. That’s never something I imagined or wanted for myself. I felt alone and scared, but most of all I felt angry at myself that my daughter was going to be born into a broken home just like I was. I was continuing the cycle.
The first thing my mom did when she found out I was pregnant, was take me to the baby section of Walmart, point out the prices of all the baby supplies, and ask me how I was going to afford to raise my child. Although I wasn’t happy about it, I understood my mom's reaction. She was a teen mom, my older sister was a teen mom, and now here I was pregnant at 19. My mom was angry at me for continuing the cycle and leaving college. She was angry at me for being so reckless. I also would guess that she was a bit mad at herself somehow because I had followed in her footsteps. I was angry at my mom for a long time for how she reacted to my pregnancy. I think even now, I’m still a bit angry because I feel that some of her anger and resentment affects her relationship with my kids. But that’s another story for another time.
My sister was as supportive as I expected her to be. She was a young mom as well, had her first at 18, so she understood what I was going through. She told me that it would be okay and that she would be with me every step of the way. She even helped me plan my baby shower and was in the room when I gave birth which meant more to me than she will ever know. My sister made me feel like I had a safe place with someone who truly knew what I was going through and could give me the advice I needed. My sister was my shoulder to cry on, the one to spill my thoughts and fears to. My sister was my best friend while I was pregnant and I’m so thankful I had her.
Everyone in my life had a different reaction to finding out I was pregnant. Some were happy. Some were scared. Some were mad. But now that my daughter is here, I can confidently say that she is loved immensely by so many people in our lives. My dad adores my daughter and she’s one of the best things in his life. My partner is the absolute best father to our little girl and they’re the best of friends. I wouldn’t trade him for the world. My sister has her own kids and her own busy life, but through it all, she still finds herself to be the best aunt and the best sister. My mom has her faults and things aren’t exactly how I would like them to be with her, but I know in her own way she loves my daughter more than what’s expressed.
When I first became pregnant and throughout my pregnancy, I didn’t expect to have the support system I have now. I thought raising my daughter was something I would end up doing with very little help. Now my daughter and I not only have an overwhelming amount of support and love, but I’ve also broken a generational curse by bringing my daughter into a two-parent household. I’m so thankful for my support system and the love that surrounds us, even if some family members may show their caring in different ways.
Author: Deja Williams, YUP! Member and young parent of two kids