Teen to Motherhood (Part 1)

Monday, 13 April 2015


It's been 5 years since but all of it's still clear as crystal in my memory, especially how the first couple of years panned out. The good the bad, the joy and the sorrows, this is my story.




It's no secret that Shane & I had a shotgun marriage, I honestly hate to put it that way but it is what it is & I won't deny it. This post has been sitting in my blog's drafts for months because there's just so much to say that I don't even know where I should start. But seeing that along the way, how documenting my life as a teen mom on this blog has helped readers who're going through similar situations in the slightest way kind of spurred me to finish up this blog post in genuine hopes that my life and my little family will continue to bring a sense of hope to the girls in despair because of their "unwanted" pregnancy and at the same time, shed light on the difficulties of being a young mother, that not everything is rainbows and butterflies but it will be worth it in the end.


That being said, I also wish to make it clear that despite being a teen mom myself, I do not encourage young couples to engage in unprotected/premarital sex because I for one know how tough it is to raise a child as a teenager and even more so, I know how extremely fortunate I am to be one of the lucky (or blessed) few who's had their marriage work out against all odds.


So without further ado, here goes.


Fear

At age eighteen with my entire life ahead of me, I suddenly found myself thrusted into a whirlpool of fear and anxiety. Back in secondary school, I excelled as a student, and all my life I had a passion for the arts. Now in my final year of my dream diploma course in design studies, I never thought I'd ever see my future come to a sudden halt. I had everything planned out, finish my studies in Temasek Polytechnic, go to a University, and pursue the career of my dreams in the media & design industry. The passion in arts that my parents worked hard and did nothing less then to fan the flame for and see me through so that I could chase after my lifelong dream turned into an abyss of fear and loss. Missing my period and coming out positive on the test kit, I suddenly felt a fear so overwhelming like never before. "What do i do now?" was the question.


The Easy Way Out

Shane & I decided to take matters into our own hands. We considered an abortion. The word still settles uncomfortably with me even up until this day. Sometimes, when we look at Kylie and realise how much joy and love she's brought into our lives, it just fills us with pain that once upon a time, we'd even considered extinguishing this light in our lives.
Our parents probably don't know this but the reason why we told them about my pregnancy so late (about 2 months in) was not because I hadn't the slightest inkling but because we were saving up for the abortion and we decided to keep it hush-hush. We were eighteen, and we weren't ready to take up the responsibility and well, abortion seemed like the easiest way out. After that, we can resume our normal lives like nothing ever happened. Being Catholic or Christian didn't matter to us then that our religions were pro-life. This was OUR lives.

But God had bigger plans...


Leap of Faith

We saw the ultrasound of the little life inside of me. The very first time I saw Kylie, at 10 weeks of conception, she was already waving her tiny limbs at us as if to say "I'm here, mommy, daddy." I never brought home a picture of that very first ultrasound of Kylie. But it's etched so deeply in my head, I don't think I'll ever be able to forget that memory, seeing the little life inside of me actually waving at us. The abortion procedure was scheduled for the following day so we had only less than a day to decide if we were going to go through with it or not. But the moment we stepped out of the clinic, my walls came down, I crumbled. I broke into tears and cried on Shane's shoulder the very second the clinic's doors shut behind us. I remember telling him "I can't do this Shane, I can't" & him replying "I know dear, I know." I don't know the exact thoughts that went through his head, & I never asked him. But I think that ultrasound struck a chord in him too. That very moment, we made the decision to cancel the appointment for the abortion and muster up the courage to tell our parents.

Cold feet

Weeks prior to our visit to the clinic, Shane actually had cold feet about the whole situation. One minute we were considering a lifetime together with our baby, the next, reality hit him and he suddenly wanted a timeout. I was then thrown into what I would deem as the darkest days of my 23 years of existence. I try not to talk about it, because it was a really painful time for me and it still hurts whenever I think about it but I know it's all in the past so I'm tearing down my walls and baring it all to tell you about it even though it aches when I try to recall what happened because I know that it's all okay now. But yeah, Shane wanted a timeout out of nowhere, we didn't quarrel, we were fine, he knew I was pregnant with his child. But I guess he suddenly panicked. I don't blame him. It's a truth hard to swallow & till today, he doesn't know why he wanted the sudden timeout. I remember...going to school. & confiding in a friend. With tears in my eyes, we were walking towards the canteen when a bunch of my friends walked towards us when they saw me crying and asked what happened. I couldn't hold it in, I broke down, spilling the beans that I was pregnant and my boyfriend asked for a timeout. A lecturer walked past, concerned, my quick thinking friend couldn't have made up a better excuse "oh, she lost her wallet" he said. HAHAHA. I find it damn hilarious when I think back though.

After school, I remember packing all of Shane's stuff & bringing them over to his place, returning him everything, his clothes, the ring he gave me, everything. He didn't even speak a word when he saw me, he just took his things and went right back in. I was devastated. I called my then-bestfriend immediately and ended up bawling my eyes out to her over the phone, not before I threatened suicide - then my phone went dead.

Panicking, she called up Shane who found me on the 9th level of his block. (I'll be honest, I did it to lure him out and I really wasn't intending to jump. Heck, I'm afraid of heights! & my belief in heaven and hell and that suicide will bring me straight to hell probably saved me from myself too.) It's stupid but I was in such a mental wreck, nothing seemed senseless. Shane that brought me into his house, gave me food, then we talked, and things went back to what it was before.

My intention of telling this part of our relationship to you guys isn't to paint Shane in a bad light, or to show how much of an asshole he was when he chickened out. I knew he loved me & I know it was just a phase he was going through. Shane still resents himself until today for what he did, & i forgive him. I know he was just a scared teenager. My point in writing this despite how painful it is for me, is to show that where we are today, it didn't just "happen". We weren't always happy and loving like we are now and we had really rough times in our relationship as well. But all that doesn't matter now because we learnt to work it out and not give up on us. Marriage, a relationship, it takes a lot of pain and work to sustain, it's not a sprint but a marathon but it gets easier when both parties work hand in hand. When two people want something as much as the other person, to fight & I mean fight, for their relationship to work. On the outside, fights look terrible, but you if you're fighting for the right reasons, fighting to work things out, then it isn't so bad after all.

Once we had our relationship sorted, and our decision to keep our child, we needed to face our next hurdle together - telling our parents.

Breaking the news

Some people give me a face of disbelief when I tell them how we broke the news to our parents & I really don't blame them because...we did it via text. In our defence though, we really were too embarrassed and afraid to break the news to our family face to face and doing it through a lengthy text message seemed like the less scary way to do it. The memory of hitting that send button's still vivid in my mind. In fact, Shane was the one who helped hit "send" on my phone to my parents & I on his phone to his parents. After which, we freaked out - literally. We were literally screaming "OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG" right after. It wasn't until hours later did we receive a reply from one of our parents - my dad. The message read "come home now!". & so we did, I was extremely afraid, you couldn't even imagine my fear. It helped a bit that Shane was coming home with me to face the music together though, but just a little.

Apparently what took my parents so long to reply was because they were both asleep when we sent them the text and my dad had to wake my mom up when he read our text. We were seated at the dining table, and I didn't dare speak a word. My dad was probably too angry, he couldn't make himself sit. He remained standing the whole time & frankly, I felt like the biggest disappointment in the world. I couldn't stop the tears and although I can't remember the entire conversation we had, I do remember that moment in which my mom hugged me while I was crying & told me "It's okay, don't cry. What's done cannot be undone" needless to say, that made me cry even more. I felt so unworthy of her love. Even after disappointing her so much, she still loved me and stuck by me. My parents then cajoled us to head to his place to see what his parents had to say & boy, were we relieved to just be together alone again. But that was temporary.

We braced ourselves for the worst. It felt very much like war to us. We thought it was us against the world but no matter what, no matter how petrified we were, we needed to own up to our mistake and take up the responsibility. We feared his dad's reaction the most. Being in the military, my father-in-law was always upright and stern. Shane always had a deep reverence for his dad - to the point of fear sometimes. & that didn't make me feel any better about our situation. I was beyond terrified.

When we entered his home, his mom and brother were at home. Knowing they probably knew about the situation we're in, we didn't dare breathe a word or even greet them, we were to ashamed. & we knew something was amiss when they didn't acknowledge our presence either. Sitting on the edge of Shane's bed, faces buried in our hands, praying and praying and praying. We didn't know what to expect when his dad came back but we expected the worst - a grave tongue lashing. Then, we heard the door unlock.

The first thing my father-in-law said to us went something like "Hey, why're you guys sitting here so stressed? Come, come, come out, let's sit down and talk. Don't need to bury your face in your heads" We were so shocked with his reaction. Out of all our parents, he was the calmest of all. He probably thought through long and hard on his way home on what he wanted to say to us. & I'm glad he did. I couldn't be more grateful for his comforting reaction. He sat all of us down, including Shane's brother and mom - who broke into tears almost immediately and made me feel worse about everything, I couldn't resist a tear as well. To cut the long (2 or was it 4? hour conversation) story short, his dad said he was heartened to hear about our decision to keep the baby, his mom actually fainted at work (which is something we tend to joke about even today), and his brother gave his two-cents which was a mix of anger and well, telling us how he looked forward to the bundle of joy despite it all. By the end of it, I was feeling a little light headed and my father-in-law had no qualms on teaching Shane how to massage my head to ease the headache and dizziness. But, we were more than relieved, the worst was finally over.

But this was only the beginning...


(to be continued on Part 2 of Teen to Motherhood)

8 comments:

  1. Kylie is one of cutest girl alive! What a blissful family you have!

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  2. Hi, I randomly chanced upon your blog and I just wanted to say that you are a strong lady and I'm glad things worked out for you. You have a really cute daughter and I wish you all the best in the future. Thank you for sharing your story!

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  3. I like this honest entry. When the bloggers out there are trying to portray themselves as goody two-shoes, you share a refreshing write-up. Shouldering a responsibility at such young age isn't easy and I am glad you muster courage to face it. :)

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  4. Hi Rachel I chanced upon your story like many others and I truly feel that you deserve every ounce of happiness you have in your life right now. Most people would choose the easy way out which is abortion and that's very understandable, because it's not just about you anymore. Another innocent life is involved. And apart from already being an emotional wreck, family, the people whom you rely on most might turn their backs on you which is not the case for you and I think you have a very strong support system in both your families. I was surprised as well when Shane's father took it so well. You're an inspiration to all the teen moms and your story needs to be known to them, to tell them that everything is gonna be ok in the end. Thanks for being strong.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words :) & Thank you so much for taking the time to read this :) I'm sorry it took so long for me to reply your comment!

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