--2 Family Dynamics by Maria Campos
         
Sept. 29, 2016
mother tongue white board
A brainstorming session from a Mother Tongue class
Lauren Whitehurst

Mother Tongue: Teen Voices 4

Family Dynamics by Maria Campos

August 12, 2014, 3:00 am
By Lauren Whitehurst

It's amazing how you can love someone more than yourself. I regret many things, but just this time I don't regret what I've done.

I cried when my son, Julian Andrez, was born. I cried when he was laid on my belly—not from pain, but from relief that I was finally meeting him. I felt full of happiness. I could hardly believe that I was holding the baby I’d seen by ultrasound four months earlier.

I hadn’t expected to get sentimental at my ultrasound, but, yes, I did. The tech led my parents and me to a room and instructed me to lie on the exam chair. When she put the ultrasound wand on my stomach we saw my baby moving and twisting all around my uterus. We saw him in three dimensions and picked out the details of his little face. It was the first time I saw my dad cry. Seeing my baby inside me was an experience I never imagined when my pregnancy was confirmed. 

I’d taken a home pregnancy test but I hadn’t believed the positive result. A couple months later, my mom asked if I was pregnant. I didn't know how to answer because I thought the test had been wrong. So my parents took me to the clinic and we waited together for the results. They were furious with me for having sex and risking pregnancy, and I was afraid of my dad kicking me out or something. Then the nurse came in and said, “Honey, you're pregnant.”

Those words got inside me and made me start shaking and crying. I didn't know if I was shaking because I was scared, nervous or mad; I didn’t know why I was crying; I just didn't know. All I thought was, “What did I do? What will I do now?” The nurse estimated that I was three months pregnant, but I was really five. My parents looked at me and nodded. I was ashamed and disappointed that I had let them down.

After that, my mom didn’t speak to me and my dad wasn't the same. I felt ignored, like my parents hated me. A week later, my belly popped out. There was no hiding it. Finally, my boyfriend faced my parents and we agreed he would come live with us.

Now I have our amazing baby boy and this interesting bond with my parents that I never saw coming. We went from ignoring each other to seeing the ultrasound together to relating as parents. I now know they went through some awful experiences, and they don’t want me to take those steps.

My relationship with my boyfriend has changed, too. It's shocking how a boyfriend can turn into your baby's dad and your life partner in less than a minute. This is something way different from a boyfriend. More is involved: learning how to be parents, having different feelings about each other and being a family. We argue a lot. For a while, he went to California, but then he surprised me by returning because he couldn't take us being so far away. I think the trip did us good: We get along better and are planning for the future. My first Mother's Day was especially sweet because my boyfriend, baby and family were with me.

We are now a bigger family living together, but we have fewer arguments and more joy. Julian has made a good family picture possible. A baby is not something you regret, it's someone you love and, yes, that's exactly what I am doing.

 

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