I wrote this story when I was a teenager at an SDA boarding Academy.
For commentary, please insert “Oh my GOD! *headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk*” after every single sentence.
I return to school and go through the rest of my classes. I am so shocked that I actually go to all of them (which, for me, is extremely rare) I know those pregnancy tests make mistakes once in a while, and I want so badly to believe thats what happened, but I know better. I’ve been puking every morning for the last week, craving weird foods, and I haven’t had my period at all this month. No, I am definitely pregnant. I wonder if I have some other STD??? I’d have to tell my mom if I wanted to find out. Should I tell mom?? I picture the look of shock, disappointment, and shame on her face. I picture her crying. No, Not yet. Not till I have to. Not till I start showing.
My sister actually picks me up from school today. Normally I just walk home, so that was pretty nice of her. I guess she could tell I didn’t want to talk to her at the moment though, because she said nothing, only put her arm around me.
I lie on my bed massaging my abdomen, thinking about the baby inside. I stare at the ceiling.
How am I going to explain this to mom? I’m not getting an abortion, I’m not. End of story, and I am keeping this baby. I am. I’m not gonna let my mom snatch it away from me. I think she might….
How am I going to clothe it? I reach into a bedside drawer, pull out bright pink yarn and begin to crochet a baby blanket. My friend, Tori, taught me how to crochet before she moved away.
What gender will it be? I stop crocheting. Better use something a little more transgenderal. I put the pink away and get out soft blue yarn that goes from light to dark blue and start working with that.
I don’t wanna know what gender it is till it pops out, but thats a little impractical because I’ll need to know what kind of clothes to buy. At least baby clothes shop(lift)ing will be fun, all those cute little outfits…. I cringe as I think about what it will be like to go baby shopping alone. Without a husband. Without a mother.
Do I want to tell Matt? After all, its his baby too. I picture his reaction. He’s never liked kids. Probably try to make me abort…. no, can’t tell him… maybe mom, I’ll have to tell her anyway….can’t hide it for long…. no, not yet…
staring up at the ceiling, I start crying. I’ve trashed my life. I blew it. I really really really blew it. I think about how screwed up I am; lying, stealing, cheating, having sex, sneaking out, skipping church… church! I groan and roll onto my right side. I’m gonna be kicked outta the church for this!
But thats what you want. It is. Spiritually speaking, I left the church years ago, and now, when I’m thinking about coming back, I’m gonna get kicked out!
I’m not crying that loud, but I guess it doesn’t matter because Jaimie hears me anyway. She comes in and sits down on my bed.
“Holly, do you wanna talk now? You can tell me about…. whatever it is you believe.”
I brush the tears from my eyes, sit up, and tell her a bit about satanism, occultism, spiritualism, new age, e.t.c. Jaimie listens as I talk, opens her moth to speak sometimes, then thinks better of it. She can tell something is wrong. She knows better than to ask. She doesn’t need to, I volunteer the information.
“I don’t believe in that.”
Jaimie raised her eyebrows, “then what do you believe?”
I flop back onto the pillows with my arms outspread. “I don’t know1 I don’t know what I am! I’m trying to figure that out!” Unwillingly I bust into tears.
My sister puts her arms around me, not saying anything. Somehow, I think she knows better than to say something and I am grateful.
“Jaimie! I’ve really screwed up!” she doesn’t say anything. I cry into her chest for a while, hating myself. Then, I am not sure what is happening, but I think a spark is beginning to ignite, a fire that was snuffed out a long time ago. I’m starting to see how dirty I am, and how this life I’m living seemed so glamorous at first, is really a nightmare. I thought spiritualism would be fun and interesting, which it is, but… its not… I stop bawling and start hiccuping. Jaimie rubs my back.
Even though it is interesting, I am not happy. I may not understand a lot about God, but I do know this: I was happiest when I was following Him. I’m not sure all of what is happening, but I think…..
Jaimie asks me if I want to pray with her. I nod.
“Dear Jesus, please be with Holly, Lord, I don’t have a clue what she’s going through, but you do. Please be with her and let her know your still here….”
I know she’s expecting me to pray after she does, we’ve always done it that way, but I don’t know what to say. I don’t want to say anything. I’m too embarrassed. Not so much because Jaimie’s here, but because God is.
“just say whats on your heart.”
Yeah. Thanks Jaimie. Real helpful.
“God….” I start crying again. Jaimie hugs me and encourages me to go on.
“I…. don’t know what to say….. I’m so sorry!”
After that, things change. Somehow, everything looks brighter, fresher, and purer. The snow is whiter, the sky bluer (even though its still kinda gray out… maybe it looks grayer?) and everyone around me seems much happier. I hug my mom today before I go to school. She seems surprised, but smiles and tells me she loves me.
Jaimie drives me to school today, and I actually stay the whole day. The teachers give me funny looks when I actually come into their classes, and a few make sarcastic comments today, but all their sarcasm seems to fall right off me. Today, nothing matters.
I don’t cheat on homework today, so I don’t get it all done. I don’t even understand it. The teachers give me funny looks, and I hear people laughing at me into their algebra books. My satanic friends just look at me, then look the other way. Somehow, they see I am different too, and they don’t like it.
I come home somewhat discouraged. I can’t do any of my homework, and today I have a lot of it, the students all laughed at me, and all of a sudden I have no friends.
When I tell mom about It (which, in itself, surprises her, because I never tell her anything) she asks me if I want to go to Jaimie’s school. I tell her I’ll think about it.
That afternoon, instead of going shop(lift)ing, I bug my sister to help me with my math, then, I quiz myself on my bible verses to see how much I remember. To my surprise, most of them are still there! Those that aren’t, I review. Then I read my Jesus bible, the one I have so frequently stepped on, sat on, thrown across the room, e.t.c. And on sabbath, I totally shock my friend Renee when I sit down next to her and actually listen to the whole sermon! Sure, I show up with pants and earrings (mom finally conceded to let me wear nice pants) but nevertheless, I show up!
“Hey Holly, why are you hear?” She asks me, “whats gotten into you?”
“Jesus!” I smile. Renee stares at me, shocked. Then, she hugs me (which, in itself, is a reason for me to smile) and says,
That afternoon, I spend reading the bible, listening to Christian music, and stuff like that. I was, in general, a lot happier. My sister and I even had a bible study like we sometimes used to do.
I switch to the Seventh day adventist school the following week. Since a kid like me, with pierced ears, a rap sheet, and an attitude, is mega rare in a school like that, most of the kids are too afraid to talk to me, so I am pretty much in the same predicament that I was at the public school. Everything starts crumbling. My grades are going down since I’m not cheating, and I’m not understanding anything, my class is way ahead of me, and, since I’m not stealing anymore, I don’t have any money. That wouldn’t bother me, except for the fact that already my pants are getting to be a bit tight. Or is that just my imagination?
Every day I come home discouraged. Maybe I should just tell mom about the stupid baby I think one day as I slam the door. At least then she wouldn’t make me go to school!
I drag myself up the stairs to my room, flop down on the bed, take a pillow, press it into my face, and let out a frustrated scream. My door opens. Jaimie strides in, walks right up to me, shoves the pregnancy test kit in my face and asks me, “is this yours?”
I am so shocked I can’t think of a response. I simply nod my head, dumbly, “why couldn’t it be mom’s?”
“Because I asked her if she was having a baby and she said no, she’d hit menopause a long time ago.”
“You didn’t tell her–”
“No, I didn’t.” Jaimie sat down on the bed. I sighed with relief. “but you’ll have too.”
“I know.” I sigh, looking the other way.
“Holly, the longer you put it off, the harder its going to be.”
“No Holly, now. If you don’t‘ tell her, I will.”
“She’s not gonna believe you!”
“She will when I show her the evidence.”
“Jaimie.” I moan.
“So. Are you actually pregnant?”
I roll over to face her, “what kind of a dumb question is that?!”
“Darling,” Jaimie holds up the box, “all this tells me is that you and your boyfriend whats-his-name have been fooling around. I didn’t see the test results.”
I sigh, “Jaimie…. I….” I sigh, no better way to get this out, “THERES A BABY IN MY TUMMY!!!”
Jaimie stares at me. I turn away, “Don’t look at me like that!”
“Darling, you my little sister! Your having a baby! Your only 16! What am I supposed to look at you like!”
“Come on Holly, you know you have to.”
“I’m sorry. You should have thought of that before you and your boyfriend decided to get it going on!”
She pulls me up to my feet, puts her arm around me, and starts walking downstairs with me.
“Jaimie?” She pushes me into the kitchen, where mom is working on her shopping list. “Oh, hey Holly. I’m going shopping tomorrow, how’re you doing on tampons?”
my face reddens, “umm…he he, mom… I… don’t think I’ll be needing tampons again for the next… oh, nine months or so.”
Jaimie slaps her hand to her forehead. Mom glares up from her shopping list.
“Mom….um…actually…. I was…um…..serious.” I choke out the last word. Mom looks up from her grocery list, stands up, walks over and hugs me.
“Holly, do we need to talk?” I nod into her chest. She sighs and plays with my hair with her fingers.
“Mom. My boyfriend and I…. Matt… we….” Mom pushes me away, her hands on my shoulders, and looks me in the eye.
“Holly, please tell me you didn’t!” my mom’s eyes are widening. She looks desperate.
“Do you want me to lie to you?” I squeak.
She gaps, “are you…. please tell me your not–”
“Yes!” I turn away. I don’t want to see her face. She lets go of me, steps back, shocked. Her mouth is open. I don’t know what else to say. “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry!” over and over. Mom stumbles back into the chair. I glance at her face. She’s crying.
“You…. I can’t believe your…..”
I can’t take it. I turn and walk away, discouraged. Jaimie puts her arms around me. Well. That went well.
A knock on my door, “Holly?” I don’t respond. I’m emailing friends. (Online friends, of course, because I ran out of real friends.) The door opens. “Holly? Can we talk?” she shuts the door. I sigh and sleep the laptop. Mom sits down on the bed. I sit at the desk with my back to her. “Holly, come here.” I don’t move.
I sigh and turn around.
Mom takes a deep breath, “I can’t believe your pregnant.”
“How far along are you?”
“Wow. 5 weeks.”
“Holly…um… I want to take you to the hospital…. I want to get you tested for other STD’s…..”
I bite my lip.
“Holly, I know this is scary, but if you do have an STD, the earlier we can detect it….”
With my luck, I probably have aids.
“Mom, I’m not gonna get an abortion. And I’m not putting it up for adoption. I’m having my baby and I’m keeping it.”
“Holly –” she breaks off. “Is that what you’re worried about?”
“Of course your not gonna get an abortion! That would just be….. no! And… about the child, well, of course were gonna keep it!”
I relax. I don’t care what happens, as long as I can have my baby.
“But we need to make sure its healthy; you need to have an ultrasound, and I want you to start excersing more, eating a better diet, get tested…..” she breaks off.
“Ok mom.” She gets up, comes over, and puts her arms around me.
“I know this pregnancy is kind of, well, hard on you, and….”
“A baby is supposed to be a blessing.” I cry bitterly into her chest, “now its a curse to everyone!”
“Hey.” my mother said softly, “your baby is not a curse. Sure, its an unwanted consequence, but Holly, you’ve always told me you wanted children.”
“Not when I’m only 16!” I sob harder.
“Its either gonna be a curse, or a blessing, depending on how you view it. What do you say it is?”
I think about that for a while. If I hadn’t had this baby, would I have come back to God? Probably not. Maybe God gave me this…..kid to bring me back…. fine. As long as I don’t have aids. This baby could be the entire reason your going to be saved!
I nod, “blessing. Its a blessing.” I pull away from her, she brushes the tears off my cheeks. “Mom,” I smile, “I’m pregnant!”
So that afternoon my mom takes me to the hospital and they suck blood out of my arm with a needle. I’m crying. I can’t stand needles. I’m freaked out! I’m afraid of the sewing machine. So yeah, blood testing is definitely not my favorite way.
“Can’t we do a urine test?!”
But they said that wouldn’t be accurate enough. Joy.
Mom makes it up to me though afterwards, she takes me and my sister to the mall to shop for baby clothes, which is REALLY fun because everything looks so cute!!!
We also buy diapers, bottles, a diaper bag, some rattles, toys, and other stuffed animals. We also had to buy a new crib because mom had given ours away a long time ago, thinking we wouldn’t need one. Yeah, nice one mom.
Christmas is fast approaching, so we also pick out presents for our friends. Mom also buys me some yarn so that I can make scarves or hats for friends, baby blankets, e.t.c. Then we go clothes shopping for me. I don’t look pregnant yet, but we may as well buy them anyway, just in case, and I do need pants with a slightly larger waistline.
We come back from the mall with bags full of baby clothes, pants for me, and baby stuff. When we get home, mom digs up the old car seat and stroller from the basement and puts them in the living room where we can get them in a hurry when we need them.
The phone rings. My mom answers it. She frowns, then hands me the phone.
“Hi, Holly this is Pastor Messer, umm….Holly, are you really pregnant?”
Warning bells go off in my head.
“Yes actually I am, why do you ask?”
He sighed, “Holly, I hate to have to be the one to tell you this but….. you’ve been disfellowshipped.”
No less than I expected ya big fat hypocrite!
I hang up. There is nothing more to say, and I will spare the poor pastor the awkward silence. Numbly, I walk upstairs to my room. I knew this would happen, but….I sit down on the bed. Tears run down my cheeks. I’ve wanted this so badly once, and it didn’t happen. I’m wishing so badly it hadn’t now, and it has. I sit there for a while with tears running down my cheeks. No one comes in to talk with me. No one knows how to handle this. I wonder if they even know.
Shortly after, mom comes up. “What did the pastor want?”
I shake the tears from my eyes.
Mom sits down next to me, puts her arm around me, and speaks to me gently. “I know. My sister got kicked out for the very same thing.”
I cringe at the words, “kicked out.” usually they are used when telling about a bad person. I feel ugly, dirty, worthless, and, well, bad. I sniffle as the last of my tears run down my cheeks. I’ve already cried enough to never be able to cry again. Or, so I thought.