“I never thought being 15 and pregnant would be my life. Where I grew up there was quite a bit of teenage pregnancy, but I simply thought there was no way that would ever be me. Well, it happened: in April of 2003 I became pregnant. I didn’t tell a single soul. I kept competing in high school athletics and living my life as normal as possible, hoping and wishing this ‘thing’ would simply go away. Then it happened… I felt the child inside of me kick for the very first time. I was completely terrified. So many thoughts were running through my head, and I simply had no idea what to do. I just wanted it to all end. Depression and anxiety completely consumed me. I was paralyzed with fear.
Still to this day, I don’t know how it all happened or who told my parents, but I came home from school one chilly fall day in October and my parents were waiting there with a pregnancy test. My heart was broken. My pregnancy would now be out in the open for the whole world to see. I saw disappointment in my parent’s eyes. I proceeded to take the test and it showed pregnant in a flash. At this point, because I was still in denial and not ready to open up about it, no one knew how far along I was.
I remember sobbing that night harder than I had ever cried in my life. I walked into the kitchen to my mom and dad, and my mama looked at me and said, ‘Marlys, we will make sure this baby is healthy and do everything we can to ensure this pregnancy goes well.’ She proceeded to read me my horoscope, and although I could cut the disappointment in the air with a knife, I could also feel the deep love my parents had for me as their daughter. That night, I lay down next to my mama and she put her hand on my belly. She instantly knew I was VERY pregnant.
My mom made me an appointment at her OB/GYN and, within a few days, I was at the doctor preparing for an ultrasound. I remember walking back to the ultrasound with my mom by my side. The room was dark and scary. The machines were so big and cold. How was this my life? I was supposed to be living it up. It was my junior year, but instead I was pregnant and my whole life was forever changed. I lay down on the ultrasound table and within a few seconds EVERYONE knew how pregnant I was. The baby growing inside me showed I was 7 months pregnant and it was a girl. I don’t remember much of what was said in the remainder of the appointment. All I knew was that I was pregnant and I had no idea if I could survive this.
My mama proceeded to take me to get some maternity clothes because my size 2 pants weren’t going to fit much longer. The craziest thing was that within a few days my belly grew, and it was obvious I was pregnant. Like a basketball belly on a tiny teenage girl who’s frame was not meant to carry a child at my age.