17 and Pregnant
I found myself in a situation I was completely afraid to be in, I was 17 and pregnant. I was still in my last year of high school playing on the senior girls’ soccer team as a keeper. How could I be pregnant and playing soccer as the starting goalie?
I had been dating a boy off and on, from another school. Not the typical boy you wanted to bring home to mom and dad. He was a bad boy, a little rough around the edges but he was fun and we were always up to something wild and crazy. He always drove an old school pick up or a Monte Carlo and always had a big stereo system. We would pull up beside some other old school car and he would rev the engine and soon we would be racing someone through the streets of Oshawa. A little crazy thinking back and extremely lucky I wasn’t killed in a car accident or someone else for that matter. We were always into some crazy stuff and he was always doing something he shouldn’t have.
That was the last time I saw him
I don’t recall the break up but I do remember the one day we randomly got together and spent the day doing all kinds of things. He had picked me up in his late 1970’s Chevette which was not the kind of car he usually drove and took me into the city to the CN Tower. We had a blast and walked around the tower and the glass floor. We went for lunch and we just laughed and drove around all day. That was the last time I would see him and the day I got pregnant. It was early May 1995 and I was turning 18 later that month and then graduating high school the month after that.
I was babysitting my cousins that summer and I remember waking up one day feeling completely nauseous and throwing up every morning for about a month, I was 17 and pregnant. I was basically living at my aunt and uncles that summer so my mom wouldn’t have noticed that I wasn’t getting my period. I was so insanely afraid of telling anyone that I actually didn’t tell anyone! At some point my sister found out but I begged her not to tell anyone and she didn’t.
I lived like I wasn’t pregnant, I continued to be as active as I always was, I was already a skinny teenager that even though I was gaining weight I wasn’t gaining much and it didn’t show. I went through the entire pregnancy without telling anyone, without seeing a doctor and yes I know that is crazy! I lived at home with my family and I ate dinner with them every day and somehow I was able to hide it. I was scared, I was ashamed, I was 18 years old and I had no idea how to care for myself let alone a baby.
I told them when I was in labour
I remember the day I went into labour. I knew something was up so I ran myself a bath and begged my body not to let this happen but obviously it was happening. How was I going to tell my mom and dad that I was about to give birth, they didn’t even know I was pregnant! I got out of the bath and went to my sister, thank god I have her in my life, and I told her I was in labour. She told me she has to tell mom and dad, I turned as white as a ghost. The next thing I know we are in my sisters’ car heading to the hospital and off to the pregnancy ward at Oshawa General. I had no idea what to expect or what I was going to do or anything, how could I even think at this point….I was having labour pains and they were painful!
We got to the birthing suite and they examined me and I was told this baby is coming now! Did I mention how afraid I was? I kept my eyes closed through the entire thing while my sister held my hand the whole time. At 1:04am on Monday January 22nd, 1996 I gave birth to a 7lbs. 11oz beautiful baby girl.
During registration I told the nurses that I wanted to give the baby up for adoption. At the time I just assumed that they would take her away and I could go home but that wasn’t the case at all. After giving birth they took her away quite quickly and that was the last I saw of her. I was eventually moved to a room with other moms and their babies and I shivered and cried all night. My family had all gone home as it was really late and I am sure I had completely disappointed them.
Big sisters are the best
I woke up the next day and I was told I needed to go speak to someone from children’s aid. I asked why and they explained that I had to give them some information about myself and the father. I felt so alone and so scared and kept asking myself if I was making the right decision. I was appointed a lawyer and a children’s aid case worker and I was handed a bunch of folders. These folders contained stories of different families that were looking to adopt and they asked me to choose a family that I wanted my baby girl to live with. I don’t know how I made myself go through all of that but I knew I couldn’t give her the life she deserved. So I eventually chose a family who already had a daughter and they wanted to have more babies but for health reasons they could not. I wanted my baby girl to grow up with a big sister just like I did and so they were my choice. The family asked me to name her but I couldn’t, it would be too hard for me to do that, so they named her Haley Alanah and I would never forget that name for as long as I live.