You might want to check out the other parts of my story before starting here 🙂
Once I had the little detail of who was going to raise my baby sorted, I didn’t have much left to do, other than grow a child and try to maintain a normal teenage life.
I was around five months pregnant during my school’s autumn homecoming season. There is always a homecoming dance and I remember feeling like I didn’t want to miss out on it. I didn’t want the fact that I was pregnant to stop me from having a fun night with my friends. So I bought a dress and did my nails. And then, on the night of the dance, I wrapped my tummy with an ace bandage so baby bulge wouldn’t be so obvious.
This wasn’t the only time I tried to hide my pregnancy. It was hard being the different one.
There are some events in life when you are happy to be the one to stand out – getting the lead role in the school play, winning the cheerleading championship, earning the title of valedictorian – for me, the reason I stood out was because I was pregnant, and I was ashamed.
So I often took to wearing oversize hoodies. I claimed I loved the comfort, but honestly I just wanted to avoid the looks from my peers. And that’s not to say people were nasty to me, because actually my friends were really supportive and always included me, but still it wasn’t easy being the only one.
It was around this same time that I was scheduled for an ultrasound where I would get to find out the gender of the baby. Despite my shame, there was something exciting about this part of the pregnancy. Finding out what I was having made it much more real.
And so, that’s when I found out I was having a little girl. I imagined myself raising a daughter at such a young age. I thought of how amazing it would be to have a little girl – whether she would look like me or have my mannerisms. I scoured baby name books and even picked out a few that I liked, you know, just in case.
But it was always in the forefront of my mind that there was someone else out there who she was meant for. More than anything I wanted her to have the best start in life, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to give her that.
So I sent over the ultrasound photos to N, the adoptive mother, because I wanted her to get excited about this pregnancy.
Because I thought that maybe it would be the same for N; that knowing the gender of the baby would make it more real for her.
And I hoped she would feel joy – because my baby deserved to have joy and expectation rather than my shame.
If you’d like to know the in-depth account of my adoption story and everything that happened thereafter, check out my book Placing Bets.
If you’d like to hear more be sure to subscribe! Part VI coming soon!