How I ended up being a twenty-nine year old grandmother.

The title isn’t a joke nor is it the premise of a new sitcom. It is my reality. I sit here five and a half months from my thirtieth birthday trying to process the fact that a month or so before I turn thirty my first grandchild will be born. That is not something I thought I would be planning for any time in the near future. 

I met him when I was thirteen. It was almost exactly five months until my fourteenth birthday. I was a soon to be eighth grader enjoying my summer break. He was a nineteen year old with a truck. Yes that played a big factor in the attraction. We met at the laundromat where I was washing clothes with my mom. He was Mexican and I was rebellious. Interracial relationships were not something my grandmother condoned. As most teenagers do at least once I was pushing limits and testing boundaries. The conservative Christian values that were a new regular in my life really cramped my free spirit. I would sneak to smoke with my friends, had experimented with drugs, shoplifted more times than I like to admit now. If it was “bad” I wanted to do it. This guy was the ultimate bad and I had to chase it. I started talking to him and for some reason he liked me. This socially awkward teenager. He attended church with my mom and me. After that I started sneaking out to go visit him while my mom worked. I got caught leaving school one day and the police department was called. They came to speak with my mom and me about truancy. I let it go in one ear and fly right out the other. Fast forward to January if you don’t mind skipping a couple of months of a brooding teenage girl. It was the first day back to school from winter break. School went by as normal, it wasn’t until I got out that things took a turn for the worst. Around 7pm one of his friends showed up to the house to tell us that he had been arrested several towns over. We all piled into his truck to go see what was going on. It turns out he was arrested on multiple felony offenses. Apparently his “business” involved forging documents. While he was in jail he became mean. He was constantly accusing me of cheating on him. We worked with his attorney to try to get him out into March. During this time I started getting very sick. I went to the Dr and she just said it was stomach problems and prescribed me some medication to help. About a week later I hadn’t gotten better; as a matter of fact I was a lot worse. My grandmother took me to the Emergency Room to be seen. The lady at the registration desk asked when my last period had been. When I told her it was on Christmas she told my grandmother to just take me back to my primary care doctor. Once there the Dr swore up and down she had asked me when my period was and I had told her I’d been having a normal period. It took three nurses and two doctors to determine I was pregnant. I was in shock. Yes I had attended the mandatory sex ed class at school, but it couldn’t be true right? When I told him I was pregnant he swore up and down the baby wasn’t his. His uncle eventually talked some sense into him. I was scared. Very scared. I was an embarrassment, or so I felt. We kept my pregnancy secret from most people until after June when I married him. I vividly remember bawling my eyes out the day before because I did not want to marry him. I did it because I didn’t want my child to grow up in a broken home and because it was the right thing to do in God’s eyes. Shortly after we got married we found out the baby was going to be a girl. October rolls around and due to medical concerns I was induced. At 1:20pm on October 1st this beautiful 8lb 130z and 23in long baby with thick black hair made her way into my life. She was perfect but my life was falling apart. I didn’t know how to care for a baby. I was practically a child myself. My mother took most of the responsibility of caring for Kayla. My relationship with her father soon became very violent. He started drinking a lot. I was confined to the house or my grandmother’s house. I could not be around any males, including my best friend and cousin, without him going into a fit of rage. Only a couple of months later I found out I was pregnant again. I was young and dumb. I thought maybe this baby would fix the problems we had. When I was roughly four months pregnant we moved to Mexico so his family could be part of our lives. I became extremely sick and lost an obscene amount of weight. Life continued on its downward spiral. I was treated bad because I was different. I was in a completely different world. I was a child playing adult, and terribly at that. On my sixteenth birthday I gave birth to another beautiful baby girl. This time the baby didn’t even weigh 5lbs and was barely 19in long. She had a head full of black hair. I suffered severe post-partum depression, though I didn’t know what that was at the time. I felt like I could do nothing right. Before the baby was six weeks old I had fallen pregnant again. I was petrified. Here I was sixteen with two babies under two years old. I was forced to have a chemical abortion. Shortly after that my ex decided to take a job out-of-state. He left me with those two children and no money, no formula, no diapers. I took a job teaching English in town. I ended up being offered a full-time position, but it required a weekend training seminar. I set up child care for the girls and went. When I returned home I was told I was no longer welcome at my home. Now I was sixteen, homeless in another country, no money and definitely no way to care for the girls. I made an agreement with their family to care for them and moved from home to home for five months until I returned to the US. Without the girls. I drank a lot and did a lot of drugs to numb the pain. Years went by with little to no word on how they were. Five years after I left Mexico I was contacted for a divorce. I willingly signed divorce papers. At that time I was reminded that I was a terrible mother for abandoning my children. Fast forward to last year, 2015, I get a message from a girl on Facebook telling me they are my daughter. We connected and caught up with how things have been just to find out that Kayla, now thirteen, was married. Another almost year later I find out she is five months pregnant and I am going to become a grandmother. Two days ago I was worrying about back to school stuff for my children that live with me and passing my college classes with an A and now my  world has been shaken to the core.

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