And got caught.
Not right away, but long enough for my mother’s first words to be, “At least tell me you used protection.”
My response shocks me to this day. “It might be too late for that,” I said, then looked away. I couldn’t meet her gaze.
The rest of my summer went downhill from there. Mom took me to a doctor in another town, and the pregnancy test came back negative. He gave me some pills to restart my cycle, stating that the stress I’d been under probably interrupted it.
Relieved, I got on with my plans to enter college in the fall.
But, my cycle didn’t start back.
A few days after moving into the dorms, I returned to the same doctor who, this time, confirmed my pregnancy. These days, you can find out quickly, but back then, if you weren’t far enough along, the tests weren’t accurate.
My life got worse. My parents pushed for an abortion. His parents, and he, pushed for me to keep the baby. No one cared what I wanted. They cared about what they wanted. Before you judge either side, you need to know that neither side loved the situation. My parents hated the idea of an abortion, but they hated the idea of their daughter’s life shifting to motherhood just as she embarked on her college years. His parents hated the situation, too, but abortion went against everything they believed.
I was caught in the middle. No one asked me how I felt. No one talked to me about my options in a caring manner.
Yes, my parents made me talk to our minister, who showed me a very thick file folder. Each sheet in the folder represented a marriage due to teenage pregnancy. He told me every couple in that file was now divorced. My minister assured me that our church believed in life at birth. He advised an abortion.
For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? Matthew 16:26
Although no one asked me, I stood firm on this one. I don’t know why because I had no strong religious convictions at this time, but I chose life. I chose my baby. It felt like the right thing to do. Was I tempted to take the easy way out and carry on as if my life hadn’t changed? Yes. But I chose life, and I don’t regret it, even though the marriage this forced me into catapulted my life further along this horrid trajectory.
We got married.