My Motherhood Journey Started At 19
I was 19. A college freshman. I entered the school semester a virgin and left pregnant. This is my story.
I never like to share this story because it still makes me so emotional. I still feel like I failed so many people when I got pregnant at 19.
I don’t remember my “first time” being magical at all since I was on a hard dorm bed in a dorm room. But it is what it is and not what I imagined it to be. I remember wanting to save myself for marriage and I don’t think I’ve forgiven myself for giving in at that time. I wasn’t educated about sex and I was very naive.
I knew something was wrong when I missed my period. I’m never late and I knew something was wrong. I remember my best friend, Tay, bought me a pregnancy test and we took it back to my dorm room. I took the test and me and my friends sat around waiting on the results. And the results were positive and I felt numb. I don’t think I fully grasped what was happening. I begin researching about what to do. I didn’t know how to tell my mom or how she would react.
I went to the school clinic to get the confirmation that I was pregnant. And again, it was confirmed that I was pregnant. I remember crying and feeling so alone. She explained that this situation is not uncommon and gave me options on how to get rid of the baby before it’s too late. I made the decision to keep my baby and I still don’t know what my thought process was at that time.
After that, me and my friends went to a clinic to apply for Medicaid. I don’t know what I would do without my college friends. They really got me through a very difficult time. Once I applied for Medicaid, I scheduled a doctor’s appointment. As I waited for that appointment, I started researching what would happen at the appointment and what I should eat while pregnant. I was a virgin before this so I never even had a pap smear so I was really worried about this appointment.
The appointment comes and I remember them being really worried about me because after they told me I was really pregnant, I got really quiet. I guess at that point, I realized it was really real and I would have to find a way to tell my mom.
I don’t remember the exact time I told my mom but I remember her being really mad and not supportive at all. I don’t think we talked for awhile after that. I made the decision to stay and finish my freshman year. I hid my pregnancy for the most part and couldn’t really embrace being pregnant or be excited about having my first child.
My child’s father worked at the campus and was fired sometime after they found out about my pregnancy. He was banned from campus and I had to leave campus to see him. He worked across the street so we would go see him from time to time.
I remember the day that I found out I was having a little boy. Seeing my little one on an ultrasound machine for the first time. I remember having to rush to the hospital after falling ill and being diagnosed with pregnancy and my best friend being right by my side. I remember having a breast cancer scare and was so relieved to find out the mass was benign. I don’t remember the exact timeline of everything but these moments stick out to me most.
My first pregnancy was hell and filled with a lot of stress. There were a lot of fights, a lot of tears and moments where I just felt alone. But I had good moments and the best moment was sitting in my dorm room with my friends thinking of a baby name and we decided on Raylan, a combination of my my name and my child’s father name. My child’s father wanted the name Fohtrance and I’m glad we went with Raylan.
I finished my freshman year and had a big decision to make. To stay in Savannah with my child’s father or go back home. I decided to go back home because I wanted to leave Savannah behind me.
I tried to enjoy my pregnancy as best as I could now that I didn’t have to hide my pregnancy. My child’s father came towards the end of my pregnancy to be my side when I gave birth.
Raylan was born at 37 weeks at Emory Hospital Atlanta. Everything went kind of fast. They said I was 6 cm and they were keeping me. Then I got the epidural. And it seemed like an hour after getting the epidural, it was time to push. I had the hardest time pushing him out and they had to use forceps to help deliver him. I was an emotional mess because I felt like I failed because I couldn’t push him out on my own. I remember my child’s father reassuring me that I did a good job. But, I was overthinking everything and felt horrible.
Then I had the hardest time breastfeeding and I just knew I wasn’t going to be a good mother to him. I felt so bad for having a child before I could really take care of him. A week after giving birth, my mom and child’s father got into a huge fight and he left town and went back to Savannah. I remember him telling me that I would be a good mom and to keep my head up. I had to face facts that I would be doing this alone and I wouldn’t have him by my side to raise our little boy. I was devastated and again felt like I failed my son.
When Ray turned 4 months old, I got my first job ever at Macy’s. I felt like at that point I felt good about life and that I could be a good mother to Ray. I worked and went to school all while raising Ray.
I was very broken when I found out I was pregnant with Ray. I felt very confused and wasn’t sure what my future would look like. I feel like once I had Ray, all that went away. My baby was here and I was going to do everything I could to provide him the best life ever. Even if we didn’t have everything, I wanted to raise a happy and well adjusted child.
This is my story about the pregnancy and birth of my first child, Raylan !