“I’m pregnant!” Those where the first words I said when I saw my pregnancy test results. I couldn’t believe it: I was going to be a mom.

In February 2013, when I didn't get my period, I thought, "Oh well, since there is no thirty-first in February, I will for sure get my period at the beginning of March." A week passed, then a couple days more, but no period. So I was casually walking down Wal-Mart's pregnancy test aisle and I saw one for $0.89. It was cheap for a pregnancy test, so I decided to buy it.

I went home and immediately did the test. I waited a couple of minutes before looking at the result, but when I did, I saw two parallel, purple lines that meant "positive." The lines were so clear the purple seemed to pop out. I felt so many emotions at the same time. First, I cried because I didn't know what to do. After I calmed down, I laughed because I was going to have a baby and I was the happiest person.

When I showed my boyfriend, who is now my husband, he said, "Oh wow! This can't be. Let's go buy another pregnancy test." So we went back to Wal-Mart and bought five more. I did them all, and they all came out positive. The next day, my doctor's office confirmed it: I was six weeks pregnant. I was excited but scared. When my husband and I picked up my mother from work that day, we were speechless; we didn't know how to tell her I was pregnant. I remember my husband laughing and laughing like he was having a nervous attack. But then, we just said it. She took it okay; she was sad to know her 17-year-old daughter was expecting a baby, but at the same time, she was happy for us and gave us kisses and hugs.

I started to think differently about how I acted and said things. I felt more grown up. I thought about how my life would completely change because I would have bigger responsibilities. I thought: No more parties; no more going out late and not coming home for the night; and especially no more drinking alcohol at parties or being around crazy people. I liked going out and having fun with my friends, partying and not sleeping for days; but I wouldn't be able to do that any more. I also thought about how things had changed just in the past month and a half. There were days when I got home from school and all I'd do was sleep. I wouldn't get up for anything. I remembered my sister's baby shower, when I was putting up balloons and got really dizzy but didn't know why. I had been suffering from bad headaches and being mean to everyone around me.

I am so thankful to my husband for never leaving me alone. He was and still is by my side to support me, give me hugs when I need them, and hold my hand. He never missed a doctor's appointment. At my appointment to listen to the baby's heart, we sat together, really nervous, before they called us to an exam room. It felt like the doctor took forever to come check me, but it was only our imagination: It had only been five minutes. It seemed like eternity because we were so anxious to hear our baby for the first time. When it was time to listen to the heartbeat, my husband started laughing—whenever he is anxious or excited he will burst out laughing. Then we heard the bum, bum, bum, and my husband and I both started crying. He got up from his chair to hold my hand. He stood right next to me and stared at my eyes, kissed my forehead and said, "I love you." I will have that special moment in my mind and heart for the rest of my life.

It seemed like my stomach got bigger faster than I could stop to notice, but I tried to take a moment to look at it. I had a stretch marks coming out: They weren't that dark, but I could see them. As we got close to my due date, I thought more about getting things ready for the baby. The first things we bought were the diapers, then a pack of lotions and shampoo. My mom gave us the best gift, the crib, and my husband put it together. Finally, the only thing missing was the baby.

My last visit to the doctor was on Monday, November 11, almost two weeks after my due date. The doctor said she would induce my labor if the baby wasn't born by Wednesday. I was scared, but then I told myself, "Who cares if she induces me. The good thing is that my baby is going to be with us already."

Monday passed, then Tuesday, and nothing. On Wednesday I woke up early. My doctor had said I should be at the hospital at 7 am, but a nurse called to say they weren't ready for me yet. So I ate breakfast, and my husband and mother made me go walk at the mall. As we went into Sears, I felt something dripping and wet in my undies. I walked as fast as I could to the restroom, but you can't really walk fast when you're pregnant. I went into a stall and realized my water had broken.

When we got to the hospital, they had a room ready, and everything was nice and calming. The nurse came, put an I.V. needle for fluid in my arm and, after a couple of hours, injected Pitocin to help me begin contractions. I started to get really hungry, but the nurse said, "No. No food at all for you." I was angry because, well, there I was, pregnant, hungry and with contractions. Somehow, though, I fell asleep and slept all afternoon. Around 9 pm my contractions became really painful. I couldn't get up and I wasn't even able to smile. All night long I was waking up and falling asleep. After a whole night of pain I needed a break, so I decided to get an epidural. When I got it, I felt like, "Wohoo! This feels great!"

Almost 12 hours later, the delivery doctor said it was time. I started pushing and pushing—it was hard and very painful, but my baby boy was born. He was 8 pounds, 11 ounces, and 21.5 inches long. We named him Mateo Gerardo Garcia: I knew Mateo was the perfect name for my son, and Gerardo is his dad's name. Now he is eight months old, healthy and really chubby with really big cheeks. He is the one who brings joy to our home and brightens our days.