Friday, September 19, 2008

Visiting The Parents This Evening...

...And I'm not sure why.

I planned on telling my parents I was pregnant 2 weeks ago today. I told all my siblings, depending on my guess at their reaction, at different times during the week before. My older sister, who has been in lots of trouble with lots of people got to know first. I knew she wouldn't even blink an eye of judgment. I was right. She was and is so spectacular. Then one of my younger brothers got the news a couple days later. He is the most intelligent person I know, but is doing nothing with his life. People (including me) give him a lot of grief for this, and I just knew that I could trust him to not freak out. Right again. He put together a fabulous computer made from scrap parts around his house and brought it to me so I could have internet. He was silent when I told him (over the phone), and I could hear him smile and he quietly put the word "Uncle" before his own name. I teared up (because let's face it- that's what I do), and just like when I told my sister, I felt a little bit better.
I had three siblings left to tell. I waited a couple days. My youngest brother came to visit me, because we both live in Denton. I didn't plan on telling the remaining three until either the day of or the day before I told my parents. But this was my youngest brother- and the sibling I am closest to, and I couldn't keep it from him. I could tell he tried not to cry as he took in the news. He sat down, made a racial comment about my 1/4 black kid, and I knew he was going to be all right with it. I was right. He was great.
On Wednesday, my oldest brother called me. WHY? I freaked out. Thinking someone told him. He definitely was not allowed to know until Friday, the day I told my parents. He asked me if I was okay. He said my myspace bulletins and facebook status were not as cheerful as usual. I ended up telling him. He promised he wouldn't tell.
The next morning I called my other older sister. The one I was almost as scared to tell as my own parents. She was at work, and I felt bad for dropping news on her so early in the day. I needed to know that she could make it to dinner the next night though, and inviting her last minute, I knew that she wouldn't. She initially handled it so much better than I thought she would. She's the devout, "good" kid in the family. Always made good grades. Went to a great school. Graduated. With distinction. Traveled the world. Got a great job. Works hard. She reacted fairly well, telling me she loves me and I am strong and I can handle this and of course she'll be there. I was relieved. I felt 10 times better about everything. Now all I need to do is get through the following night. I told my mom that all the kids were coming to dinner. She was excited.

Friday comes, and my great friend Jamie is at my apartment, hanging out with me. Dave (My youngest brother, one I'm closest to) comes over, and the three of us are watching High School Musical. Jamie, trying to convince us that it is the greatest movie ever, Dave and I pointing out every reason why it's not, Jamie turning that around and pointing out how those reasons were exactly what made the movie great, us reluctantly agreeing...Dave's phone rings. He answers it and begins what seems like a perfectly normal conversation. Then. Jamie and I hear Dave say my boyfriend's last name. She turns down the movie and we turn to stare at him.

"Yeah. Uh huh. Sure. 'Kay. Love you too. Bye"

He hangs up and we stare at him. He turns back to the tv and stares at it nonchalantly.

"That was mom. She knows." He tosses out casually, still watching the movie.

That's when I freak out. Jamie's mouth drops and I scramble to think of who told her. Hands down, the three of us knew who it was. It was my oldest brother. My moms first child. Her favorite child. Of course he told her. Even after he promised me he wouldn't. The betrayal I still feel for him plagues me. It is uncertain how long it will take me to forgive him, and I am a very VERY forgiving person.
Jamie's phone rings. Mine is broken. It is my mom. I answer it, already starting to cry.

What follows is so scary and so traumatic that I don't even feel like sharing, because I don't want anyone to hate my mother, and I assure you that you would. You really would. No mother should talk to her children like that, ever. Not even if they murder someone. She screamed so loud, Jamie and Dave heard every. single. word. she said. Their eyes and mouths open wide the whole time. Me trying to take it like a man, but failing miserably. She ends up hanging up on me before I can explain ANYTHING that I planned on explaining when I TOLD HER in PERSON that night. Then I take a drink of water and immediately throw it up.

Dave gets up and takes his keys out of his pocket and heads for the door. "You can't leave us here after that!!" I say- hysterical. "I'm going home to make sure no one kills anyone." Dave is amazing. What a good guy. That's a good 45-60 minute drive.

And now, because I am tired and have a headache, the rest of the blog will be condensed and not as dramatic. BUT TRUST ME IT WAS.

Dave calls dad on his way home. Mom had already talked to him and sent him up to where Lloyd works to TALK TO LLOYD. Bad idea, obviously. She didn't just want him to talk to Lloyd. I know she didn't. I knew exactly what to do at that point. Call it conniving, call it unfair, I just call it using my resources wisely. In this case, my only resource was that I was his youngest daughter, and I was CRYING.

"Daddy?" (sobsobsob)
"I'm sorry." (sobsobsob)
"What am I supposed to do?"
"Don't talk to Lloyd right now. He's at work. You know that's a bad idea."
"I just. I'm just sitting in the parking lot not knowing what to do."
"Just go home.."

....then I proceed to explain to him a little bit about what I have planned. how I am going to finish school. Everyone that has helped me already, and everyone who I know will continue to help me. How Lloyd says he will support me no matter what. How everything will be okay.

He goes home.

He and my mother go to Lloyd's house to talk to his mom. Who doesn't know. She doesn't answer the door. She calls Lloyd and asks why my parents were there. He breaks down and tells her (expecting the worst). She is beyond amazing, because (after the initial "you guys are fucking idiots" "I told you this would happen" and "what are you going to name it?" speech....wait...wait...what are we going to what?) she was okay. She has a granddaughter that she loves with all her heart. Her view was pretty much the same as mine. Yeah, it happened, so why not be excited about it? Yes. Be smart. Make a plan. Stick to it. But surround that kid with love from day one. Even if it's no bigger than an eyelash. It deserves love and optimism. So good. That's out of the way.

I still go home that night. The only person who doesn't show up is my older sister who I was scared of telling. Dave is at a concert so he doesn't go either. I didn't think Doug would go, and I kind of wish he didn't. He tried to tell me why he told her, but it was hard to listen to him without wanted to rub my arm in his eyeball. I have shingles. On my arm. Awesome, by the way. Truly.

Home is sad and I cry pretty much the whole time. To make this long story a lot shorter, my mom wants me to give it up for adoption. Still. Today. Right now. She says she'll support me no matter what, and she's proud of me for not getting an abortion. But I know that even though she says she'll support me, she will never think that me keeping it is the right choice.

My dad is very awkward around me. And he cries when we have any decent amount of conversation. My mom is snippy and awkward, but won't admit it. We used to talk every day. Now we talk every 3 days or so. She cries too, sometimes. But mostly she's just angry. I really hope they snap out of it soon. I have not asked them for anything, and I do not intend to.

Contrary to what some of you may think or believe, I really CAN do this. I know I can. I can do this well. I can do this VERY well. I do not need pessimism in my life though. Not at all. I really do want to surround myself with love and support, because that's what I want to surround my baby with. So being here at my parents house, although they love me and will always love me, is very awkward and sad. I need them to get over it. I need a lot of people to. This happened. And now it is time to snap out of it, and be supportive, or get out of my life. I do not need you for anything. You are not good for me in any way unless you support me.

My child will not be in a sex ed class. Sorry. I will teach my child sex ed. Or, when the time comes and I feel like that would be too awkward, I will have his godparents teach him. That's what they are there for. People to turn to when I need extra help with things. Sitting in a class with your peers and watching your teacher demonstrate how to properly use a condom (read the directions. All condoms can break. Thanks. I'm not an idiot) is not okay with me. It's more awkward and uncomfortable than my kid learning things like that from people he knows. He will not be subjected to that. It is not a schools job to teach my children about sex. It is mine.

Even kids who took sex ed get pregnant before they're married! How strange! It is not just the kids that were "taught abstinence only"- Which- By the way- I wasn't! How crazy is that! I've been on Birth control since I was 17! I got on it ALL BY MYSELF. Because I was having sex. And I knew that getting on birth control would be the smart thing to do. I FIGURED THAT OUT WITHOUT BEING IN A SEX ED CLASS! WOW! I've used condoms since day one. I read the directions. I figured it out. I know where to store them so that they don't go bad. I know how to read the expiration date. I know when and how it goes on, and when it how it goes off. ALL WITHOUT TAKING A SEX ED CLASS.

Sorry. I didn't mean to turn this post into that post. But I also do not like that people think I was raised incorrectly, just because I got pregnant when I was 20. It happens. People have sex. Condoms break. Sometimes they don't work even when they don't break! Then, girls get pregnant. And some girls figure out exactly how to be happy and raise their child, and some girls get abortions. I can and will have a baby that I will love, nurture, and raise to have everything he needs, and many things he wants. I will never regret this decision. No matter what anyone says.


Anonymous said...

Yes, condoms break and accidents happen evenfor people who have comprehensive sex ed. But stupud mistakes happen a lot more to people who do not have comprehensive sex ed, and whose parents are too empbarrassed to talk to them about it. Comprehensive sex ed in schools would eliminate A LOT of those problems.

It also teaches girls of all the other options available to them - so that if the condom breaks, they can go get the morning after pill the next morning.

Comprehensive sex ed also goes politically hand-in-hand with access to contraception, meaning your birth control pills would have been a reasonable price and you could have afforded to stay on them instead of resorting to condoms which are much more risky (because of breaking, or not wanting to put it on soon enough, or leaving it on too long, etc.)

(When did you have sex ed? I thought your mom pulled you out of a school expressly because they dared show you how your body works.)

I know you are who you are, and that's why you are still on speaking terms with people who betrayed you the way your brother did and people who are treating you the way your mother is (I know eventually she'll come around and forgive you and love this baby, but that still doesn't make it "okay" to treat you this way now). But it boggles my mind that you put yourself under that kind of stress. If they are going to act that way, why do you have to put yourself in the middle of it? You live far enough away that you can easily stay away. Surround yourself with the people who are going to support you and keep your stress-levels low. If you won't do it fo yourself,do it for the baby.

Oops A Baby said...

That was never a reason for me switching schools.

I knew about the morning after pill and I've never had sex ed.

I'm just saying that people that don't have sex ed aren't idiots. Sex ed isn't the only way to learn ed. My parents taught me a little bit. My doctor taught me a lot. My brothers and sisters taught me some. I asked people that I trusted questions. All of this before I even had sex.

I didn't get pregnant because I am ignorant. And that is what your blogs made me feel like you thought.

Anonymous said...

I never meant to imply that people who don't have sex ed are idiots. Yes, people who have all the necessary information about birth control and pregnancy also get pregnant - HELLO, LOOK AT ME.

My point is that there are tons more people who get pregnant because they do not know. People who come from homes more screwed up than yours and mine. People whose parents don't talk to them about these things. These are the people who need schools to teach them about sex and birth control, because nobody else will. (Yes, parents SHOULD, but parents should do a heck of a lot of things they aren't doing.)

The blog post I wrote was triggered mostly by Bristol Palin's pregancy - the daughter of the Champion of Abstinence-Only "Education" fails at being abstinent. And society STILL does not get the message. Two days after that announcement, you send me your text. Kind of a lot to take. I snapped, I blogged.

Accidents happen. More accidents happen when there is less information. Come walk the halls of my school, and you'll see a ton of accidents - and I'll bet you anything most of those accidents could have been prevented if we gave those girls more information and stopped treating birth control as something taboo.

You did not get pregnant because you're ignorant. Neither did I. However, we both lapsed in our birth control because we couldn't afford to pay for it - because of the screwed-up health care in this country, and the idea that birth control is something "bad" to which we should have limited access. These ideas stem from the same place that breeds abstinence-only "education." The blog post was one angry, fed-up rant against all of this, so the ideas did not flow coherently and cause/effect did not show clearly.

The blog post was not about you. You were the last straw that triggered it, but the stuff I had to say comes from much, much farther back. And, as much as I love you, you are not quite as prominent as the Palins - my anger was directed at them, not you.

tejanamama said...

You are stronger than I am!!! I don't know how I'd handle a pgncy at your age but i DO hope i would exactly as you are doing!!! Maybe keeping things in the bag a bit longer would have been a good thing since you are early on and submitting yourself to so much stress is BAD!!! Try to avoid it in the future, especially since the baby REALLY does feel all of that....its true!

GOOD LUCK to you girl! I have a gf who had her first at 19 and he's a wonderful, well adjusted, sweet boy with loving parents and grandparents. I hope your child experiences the same.

I'm a little jealous as i wanted to start earlier, and here i am 35 having number two! I always wanted a nice big family but I really don't wanna be "old" having babies! IT IS HARD tiring work that I think younger people are more able to handle in some regrds. Sure you make more when you are older and might be more "stable" (not always the case!!) but there is a lot going for YOUTH and stamina too! ;)


Marcy said...

One of my pet peeves is when there's news of someone getting unplannedly pregnant and everyone automatically assumes that it happened b/c they didn't use protection. I know MANY people who got pregnant while on the pill, so I try never to make that assumption.

I think it is wonderful that you got yourself educated about birth control options, and were responsible. And I think it's wonderful that you plan to educate your children and help them be responsible. The reason why I advocate sex ed in schools is because many, many kids don't have parents who are that responsible to their own children, or they let embarrassment get to them. And it's very possible as you show to learn about these things on your own, but I figure we might as well give kids the best chance at learning these things. Many, many pregnancies happen by mistake even with birth control use, but many more happen because no precautions were taken. I have been astounded at the number of very naive women who put themselves in very dangerous positions-- yes, even today. It SHOULD be up to parents to educate their kids on this matter. But that's not how our world works much of the time.

By the way I don't know if this will help any especially with how things stand right now with the uncertainty of your pregnancy, but as for thinking your parents will never think it's the right thing for you to keep the baby-- yes they will. I promise you that if this pregnancy continues that your baby goes full term, when he or she is born and your parents hold him or her they will fall madly in love. I know many people who thought my step-sister should not have had her baby back in college. Not a single one says the same now.