I knew there was something wrong with me in high school, when I was home alone I would hear a voice calling my name. I never told any body what I heard I thought the apartment was haunted.
I have always been a introvert, shy and kept to myself, so it was a shock when at 15 years old I turned out pregnant. I was 6 months by the time anybody put it together. You couldn’t tell because I always wore baggy clothes to hide my figure, my mother had taken me to the doctors for what we thought was the flu. I had morning sickness, and the smell of food was nauseating. But no one thought I could be pregnant.
When I came home from a function at my school I had on a skirt and blouse and one of my friends on the cheerleadering squad turned to me and said I looked pregnant, I got highly upset. I came home home and told my mother, “well are you?” I confessed that I didn’t know, and she gave me $40 and told me to buy a pregnancy test. I went to Rite Aid and bought one.
Oprah was on tv and the topic was teen pregnancy. My mother had the day off and when I got home from school she was laying on the couch watching Oprah.
I went to the bathroom and because I was already in my second trimester Peeing was the easiest thing to do. So I opened the pregnancy test box and peed on the stick, with in two minutes two lines popped up revieling that I was indeed pregnant. I screamed, my mother started to cry. I had become a disappointment. I was only in the tenth grade. The school year was ending, I had to miss the last two weeks of school.
When I told Kioko my boyfriend he put his head down and said he would be there for me, and he would have to tell his mother. That was my last day in school. I don’t know what excuse my parents told the board of education to get me out of school for the last two days, but my mother didn’t want anyone in school knowing that I was pregnant.
Shortly after finding out,from a confirmed pregnancy test my father came home. And my mother told him I was pregnant. He got so pissed off. He started telling, ” do you know how much it costs to raise kids” “I can’t afford this” he went on and on about the cost diapers and formula and the insidentals that come along with caring for a new born.
One of the choices was giving up the baby for adoption, or my mother adopting the baby herself. But I didn’t feel right about that. My baby being my little brother or sister. I said I would quit school and get my GED, my parents weren’t having that. I was told I was staying in school to finish my high school career.
The following weeks where packed with doctor appointments. My father never quite looked at me the same.
I had to see the obgyn and my pediatrician. My first obgyn appointment I had a sonogram and a papsmear test. The pediatrician was to make sure I was healthy. I was so scared at the obgyns office. Then I heard the heart beat of the baby growing inside me. I got to find out the sex of the baby and found out I was 26 weeks pregnant which meant I was shy 6 months. I was 5 and half months pregnant.
During that time the family on both sides found out that I was having a baby. We only had a two bedroom apartment so it was decided that my room was going to be shared with a crib and changing table. It was summer time, my mother decided that she and I would take a trip to our favorite place, Terry town in Westchester. We stayed at the Hilton hotel. We went shopping for maternity clothes and stayed in Terry town for a week while my father got some things ready back home.
I was hearing voices but only when I was alone. A voice calling my name.
We got back from Terry town and I had a doctor’s appointment with the obgyn. I was high risk because of when I found out I was pregnant. I went two trimesters with out prenatal care, so I had to have all the tests done with in a few weeks like a glucose test and HIV test. I had to see the doctor every three weeks then every two weeks once I was in my third trimester.
The end of my pregnancy was normal. I still had morning sickness, but Kioko stopped coming to see me. His family had moved from Brooklyn to Staten island. But he stopped contacting me, when my mother called him and told him that I was alone all the time and he should really making his way over to check in me because this was his baby too. Even though my mother didn’t want anyone to know that I was pregnant at school I told my friends Zuehai and Marisol that Kioko and where expecting a baby.
My due date was August 29th 1997. But I didn’t go into labor until the evening of September 4th when my water broke. He was born September 5th 1997. Kioko made it to the birth of his son. My childhood friends from the building all where busy with their lives but came to see me once I brought Aaron home from the hospital.
My life had changed. I was no longer able to go out freely I had a baby. I suffered with post pardum depression . When I gave birth it was the first day of school September 4th. I went back to school the next week.
I was 30 lbs pound heavier and I had all my hair cut off at super cuts because I was experiencing alopecia after having a baby. I was starting the 11th grade and staff and teachers didn’t know I had a baby. My mother said she adopted a baby and was able to get maternity leave with pay from her job at The Dalton school where she was the high school librarian. So while I was in school she was at home with my son for 12 weeks. By the time she went back to work we had a baby sitter in place.
But I wasn’t feeling myself. I was heavier and lactating. kioko had invited me and Aaron to stay in his home for Thanksgiving in Staten island. My dad drove us out to Richmond road. His mother Patricia had Kiokos bedroom made up for me and my infant son. Kioko stayed on the couch. But our relationship was not the same. Kioko was distant and distracted and I spent most of my time caring for Aaron. Kioko took me to the movies to see Titanic at the movie theaters while Patricia stayed with the baby. But by the time Christmas came Kioko and I had called it quits. Kioko had just graduated and was looking for work and had a new little friend who was female, I forget her name and I was interested in Lanell Tate who was on the basketball team in school. He was also in my class and he took interest in me also even knowing that I had just had had a baby.
Life went on but that didn’t stop Kioko from slamming me with papers from family court for visitation of his son. We had a battle in court with a referee instead of a judge and that’s when kioko won visitation but he would have to travel to Manhattan with his mother and my mother was the buffer. I was not allowed to attend visitation.
Visitation didn’t last long Kioko stopped showing up it was only Patricia Kiokos mother who showed up. I was only receiving $25 dollars a month for child support but I was granted full custody of Aaron.
A whole year had flown by and Aaron was turning one year old. With in a year I had been to court 6 times for visitation and made a new boyfriend.
Lanell would come over to see me after school and on the weekends, but we never had sex. He had a fetish he wanted me to rub his his penis with my feet. I did it but I was wondering why he didn’t want to have sex with me. Then I found out he had a problem with the fact that I had a baby. He said my vagina was stretched out. Lanell and I only lasted a year by 12th grade things had fallen apart. I was in the throws of mother hood and also applying for college.
Prom was a nightmare I ended up going with friends. Lanell and I had broken up it was the first week of senior year when he broke it off with me. I was heart broken. He said he couldn’t deal with the fact that I had a baby and by his rival Kioko. I wondered why he even persued me.
I was planning on going to prom with Lanell. But he too grew distant and started playing the disappearing act. And still staff and teachers didn’t know I had a baby. So after school I got on the train all the way from Jamaica estates the q17 bus would drop me off at 179th and Jamaica to the F train. The F train to 47-50 th street and then transfer to the B train.
I went to school all the way in Jamaica estates because I have a learning disability and my mother had me tested by the board of education and found I had dslyxia and discalculia. I had already 4 different schools before getting into The summit school.
At first I was taking a yellow bus to school. I started Summit in the end 7th grade when I transferred from Holy name school of Jesus a Catholic school on west 96th street across the street from where I lived. I had to wear a maroon uniform everyday. My weekend clothes where sweat pants.
There was always something wrong with me, from my academic career to not having many friends in school. I was in introvert. I was always being bullied and made fun of. I was hyper active and the only time I was happy was when I was home. So it was a surprise to everyone when came out pregnant.
I think I was a good mother or so I thought. I tried to find jobs that paid so I could take care of child care or after school programs, wondering how people like Nonie made it after her mother passed away from aids. She was an older woman in my building who was also Aaron’s baby sitter while I attended Mandell school of allied health. She had 4 children in a two bedroom apartment. She ended up working for 1199. I interviewed for a job at 1199 but didn’t make the cut. Nonie had 3 kids that where all around Aaron’s age which made it easier for we to care for him while I was in school.
I don’t know why I choose Mandell. I was looking for something that would pay me back for attending school and learning a trade, not realizing that I actually had to apply myself. Going to school wasn’t for me. But I had to try.
I think the one thing I blame my parents for was not telling me how to be an adult outside of high school. I relied on them for everything. So when I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder I had to rely on them even more. Not realizing that a debt was a debt.
So as Aaron got older we had a wall put up in the dining room which became his room, because him and I couldn’t share rooms anymore. Not once did I think that I was going to have to move out and get my own place. My mother was looking for bigger apartments that would accommodate myself her and Aaron, we also had pets.
When Aaron was ten my parents divorcd my father had moved out because he couldn’t take that I was a single mother and it drove a wedge between my mother and father. My mother was more on my side then my father. I was the black sheep of the family. I have 3 cousins who are doctors and one cousin who works for att u verse in Jersey.
I could barely hold down a job. And this is why I’m where I’m at today. In a mica shelter. I am deemed an unfit parent, lost custody of my two children to my mother, diagnosed schitoaffective which is bipolar and schitophrenic, I have to find a way to start my life over with out the title mother attached to it.