My engorged belly protruded far beyond what I had imagined. Impregnated with his seed I waited nervously in the doctor’s office. It’s wallpaper peeling from the walls and decorated with paintings of babies and memorabilia from Puerto Rico, Dr. River’s home country. This office had been here since I was a baby. I wondered if, when my mother was pregnant with me, she had ever imagined that the baby kicking inside of her would find herself here at seventeen.
I wasn’t ready for my life to change or the challenges that would need to be addressed by my adolescent brain, but yet here I was. I awkwardly fumbled through parenting magazines with the hopes of gaining some insight into the world I was about to enter, soon and not without pain I was certain. This little boy I held inside me, so vulnerable and subjected to having me for his mother. I couldn’t give him the world, I couldn’t give him much of anything but my love and attempt at being the best caregiver I could manage.
I watched the clock, sweating and shifting in my discomfort. My feet were swollen and my back ached. I was ready for it to be over but not ready for what was to come. I looked at the teenaged boy beside me, pretending to be a man. I saw his smile from the pride he had in what he had accomplished and all the while my pride had been destroyed. I resented him and yet I depended on him to help me through this. Mixed emotions of love and disdain for this “man” that would be the father of this child. I had thought to end it all, to not go through with it. However, it was too late for that and the moment that I felt this tiny human kick and move I was moved to love him beyond comprehensible words.
I was called back and went through all of the preliminary checks before entering the cold room, and my son’s father with his stupid prideful smile entered in silently behind me. Upon the table the doctor checked me and said that I could go to the hospital that night. I was a few days past due and in too much pain to bare it any longer. I left the office with knots in my stomach, heartbroken that my life had taken such a turn and that this little human being would be placed in my arms helpless and I was none the wiser than he.
When I finally gave the last push to release him from my womb, the place where he was safe and protected, I felt relief and regret. The regret I felt was not for myself but for him. How could I raise him to be a responsible person when I had fallen short in that area myself? Yet I heard his cry and I reached out, waiting to grab his pink naked body and shield him from everything bad in this world. I lay him next to me and realized the one thing that I had not thought of, it didn’t take a genius to know how to love a child. I would protect him and I would care for him with every ounce of spirit I had within me. He would grow to be someone who knew that we all make mistakes in life, but yet we can make something good come from them. He would know LOVE.