In honor of “Sanctity of Life” week, I would like to share my first pregnancy story as a 16 year old. I actually found out I was pregnant just before I turned 16.
I didn’t tell my Mom right away. Actually, I didn’t tell her at all. I was sitting at the kitchen table, my mom was cooking and no one else was in the room. That didn’t happen often because growing up we had a full apartment of 7. My mom and 7 children total. My older brother was not home often so I assumed the role of an oldest sibling. Anyway, as my mom was cooking, right out of nowhere, she says,”Dinora, are you pregnant?” I was shocked she knew to ask but relieved I didn’t have to confront her.
To this day the words she said after I said, “yes”, have not left me and changed the way I view life today. She said, “Well, it’s not the end of the world. It only makes things harder.” She asked me a couple of questions and told me to make myself an appointment with the doctor to start prenatal care and that was about it. Abortion was not a word ever mentioned. I knew where she stood on the issue and her life was evidence of it.
When I found out I was pregnant I was scared. I had no idea how my life would turn out if I had this baby. And I knew the relationship with my boyfriend was over. I didn’t mind that. For some reason that didn’t make me scared and I didn’t chase him down. It was actually a relief. I did consider abortion for a brief moment but I knew that would never be something I could ever live with and dismissed that thought right away.
My whole pregnancy was great. I had the usual morning sickness but no problems to take note of until, my routine lab. Test came back abnormal. They said it should that would probably have a down syndrome baby. That really scared me and for the first time was really nervous about things. I thought I could handle a normal baby but how could I ever do it with a downs baby.
They told me the percentages of how like the test were accurate and they asked if I wanted an abortion. I knew I didn’t want an abortion but how could I actually take care of this baby now. They suggested I have an amniocentesis done to get back results that would give me a 100% accurate result. I agreed to that.
I remember that day so well. I was so very nervous and scared. My mom went with me to that doctor’s visit. We talked. I kept telling her my concerns about having a downs baby. I told her I was considering an abortion if the results were positive to a downs baby. She stayed quite. I knew that decision was totally on me. I carried the weight of this all by myself.
Before the procedure, I was given a standard counseling class to make sure I understood everything that was going to be done and the risks involved. Out of that whole meeting one thing that was said stood out to me. If my due date was wrong all my lab work would be wrong. I signed the papers, changed and walked into the room where the ammnio would be done. I met the doctor that was going to perform the procedure and lay on the table. The doctor started walking me through everything he was doing. The ultrasound was first to find the position of the baby and would serve as a window for the doctors to see. As he moved the wand around, he had a peculiar look on his face. He asked what my due date was again. Asked if I was sure and looked at my records again. He said, “The dates are wrong, she is not 26 week she is 22 weeks”. I said, “I am not 26 weeks?” doctor says, “no”. He went on doing what he was doing. I said, “So, since I am not 26 weeks that’s why my blood work showed a problem”, doctor says, “yes”. I say, “I don’t want to do this anymore”, “it’ll be okay, don’t worry, you don’t want to take a chance”, “no, I don’t want to do this, I’ll take the chance, the test are wrong”. I got off the table and all I could see was the frustration and anger on the doctors because I wasn’t going to go through with the test. My mom stayed quiet the whole time and just stayed by my side. She let me speak for myself and she let me make the decision. What a blessing.
My whole pregnancy family, doctors and professionals looked at me with pity. Poor dumb little 16 year old girl, is what they thought. What a wasted life. To some extent that was true. I was poor. I was 16 but I never thought I was dumb. I never believed my life was wasted.
By the grace of God, on September 16, my healthy sweet little baby girl was born. God planned her to be born. He planned her to be my daughter and he planned that she would be raised with a mom and dad that would teach her the ways of the Lord.
God plans parenthood not man. God directs our path not man. Sin in our lives and rebellion can and does lead us down roads we regret. But repentance leads us to everlasting life. Only God can take a wasted life, in the world’s eyes, and make something useful of it. Only God can take foolish things and make them wise. Only God can use a 16 year old girl to glorify himself.
The best thing to happen to me happened in July of 1997. That was the day God opened my eyes to the truth and I have never been the same. May I never be the same again. May I be more like him tomorrow than I am today. May His story in my life continue in my 8 precious children’s lives until he returns!
To God be the glory, forever!