18 years ago

18 years ago I got pregnant. But I didn't know it right away. I had recently had a miscarriage, and had just stated birth control pills. I was 22, not married, had recently broken up with the guy who had asked me to marry him after dating for less than 6 months. I was a mess. I was not ready to be a mom to anyone, I still needed my own mom.
My family was going on a vacation to see my relatives (family reunion) in South Dakota. So I tagged along. I had no job, nothing. I had quit smoking, I was trying to figure myself out. But it felt like I was always doing that.
During the reunion I got really sick, like everything made me want to throw up. Water with lemon? Gag. But my little brother was also sick, so I thought nothing of it. That drive home from South Dakota to Arizona was the longest car ride ever. We stopped and visited people, I tried not to throw up.
After we got home, nothing made my stomach feel better. One day I was sitting at my good friend's house, she was 6 months pregnant, and mentioned that maybe I was.
We went to the store and bought a pregnancy test. The second line appeared almost immediately. I was excited, scared, worried.  My mom and dad were so supportive. They helped me get insurance (through the state, because I was too old to be on theirs) payed for a few college courses so I wasn't sitting at home feeling miserable all day. I don't know what would have happened to me if they hadn't been so supportive.

As for the father? Well, we emailed a bit. We met once while I was pregnant. It was all so awkward, because I was a mess and he was afraid. He wasn't with me through the pregnancy, or even the birth. I regret not inviting him to important appointments, like the anatomy scan where we found out baby was a girl. But soon after she was born, we started dating again, and went on to get married and have 3 more beautiful daughters.

You never really know what path you'll take. Even if you have a clear idea of what your life will look like. But that journey is what makes you the person you are, who pay attention along the way, and enjoy your life.

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