Friday, July 24, 2015

the day my life changed - part one

It was a beautiful warm day in February as I pulled up to the clinic in my good friend's car.  We were laughing and talking about our relationships with our boyfriends.  Really it was just a way to try to distract myself from the fact that I was a month late on my period and that I might be receiving news that could change everything.  My heart was racing and yet I dismissed the thought.

As we walked into the stale building I carefully scanned the crowd.  Young moms and pregnant teens accompanied by their mothers who looked too young to be grandmothers.  All of a sudden I saw a familiar face.  A friend I went to school with the previous year but had lost touch with.  There she was with a stroller and a precious newborn.  I remember feeling sorry for her, and her smiling at me with pity in her eyes.  I know now that she felt sorry for me.  I pressed on, grabbed a clipboard, and proceeded to fill out the paperwork on the clipboard including a fake name.  My friend and I were now incapable of small talk.  She was scared for me, I could feel it.

As I waited for my name to be called, I distinctly remember my own voice going over and over in my head..."Please be negative, please be negative"

Then my fake name was called.  Funny, I don't remember what name I gave or why I didn't give my real one.  I proceeded to a small bathroom where I was asked to urinate in a plastic cup.  The nurses were middle-aged women, and I remember feeling like nothing more than a child.  A child who was pretending to be an adult.  I was seventeen, what was I thinking playing this adult game?  I was then asked to wait in a small waiting room facing a long hallway.  Never were my senses more aware.  I carefully studied each face.  My heart was beating out of my chest and my nerves were going haywire.  I watched who went in what room, studied their demeanor, noted what they carried, and waited to see if they looked my way.  I was looking for some clue as to what kind of news might be coming.

Then she called me.  A tall blonde woman who looked nice enough.  She had a gentle voice and held a file in her hand.  She led me to a tiny room with a few chairs in it and asked me to have a seat.

"Brace yourself, brace yourself..."

I don't remember how she worded it, but I remember that she got right to the point.  My test was positive.  I was pregnant.  My world shattered...I burst into tears.  My worst fear had come true.  My first thought was about my poor parents.  I had ruined their trust, crushed their dreams for me, and I would bring embarrassment to the family.  It broke my heart thinking about how much I would be hurting them.  They didn't deserve this.

As this stranger watched me sob her next words snapped me right back to reality...

"Would you like me to schedule you an abortion for next week?"

I glared at her incredulously.  Had she really just asked me this question?  Was this standard protocol?  Immediately I was aware of the tiny life inside me and my defensive mother instinct kicked in.

"No.  Absolutely not.  I got myself into this mess.  I fully intend on taking responsibility for my baby."

It's funny how quickly your heart and mind can change.  In an instant I had become a mother.  She proceeded to ask me if I had any of the symptoms on her list.  As she read them I began to smile because I had every last one of them.  Nausea, fatigue, headaches, tender breasts, and dizziness.  How  I had even convinced myself that I WASN'T pregnant was beyond me.

I had never felt so alone than at that moment.  The nurses were kind enough to ask my friend (who was still in the waiting room) to join me and it wasn't any consolation.  She was just as scared as me.  I needed someone to talk to.  As our little meeting came to a close the blonde woman asked me if I had any questions.  I asked her if it was okay if I called her, to talk, for advice, for anything.  That was completely out of the ordinary for me.  She gave me other options and support numbers to call.  I quickly realized that this woman had her own life and that I had put her in an uncomfortable position.  If I knew then what I know now I would have realized that the reason I was searching for an authority figure to help fix my problems was because my heart was yearning for Jesus and His answers.  Yet here I was trying to fill His spot with any adult who was willing to listen.

My friend and I left with a file full of pregnancy brochures.  My eyes were red and my face was tear-stained.  My innocence was forever gone.  My childhood erased.  I now faced the unimaginable.  What would my new life be like?

To be

Thanks for reading,

1 comment:

  1. Love your stories here Natalie. They really want me to keep reading to hear more. Your encouragement to others is fantastic. Now you can look back and really be of guidance to many young people.