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I was at the end of my 16th year when I got pregnant and realized it about 4 weeks later due to I couldn't stand the smell or taste of a cigarette at all. I would get violently nauseous so I quit.
Telling my mom wouldn't be too hard but my dad would be a whole other ordeal.
I waited until my dad went back on the boats to work in the Gulf of Mexico for an oil supply company.
My mom explained maybe it wasn't that and I just needed a shot to bring my af down.
I knew better I had been sick.
We went to the clinic and my test came back positive.
My first craving was chocolate covered cherries.
My mom and I enjoyed a box of them together then I didn't want any for the rest of my pregnancy.
My dad came home and when I told him the news, his first words were "whore!" Get an abortion!
I cried and said I can't do that and I'm not a whore!
At that time I thought I could keep my baby and get a job thought I could do it.
By time I was two months pregnant I turned seventeen.
I didn't have a highschool diploma or GED but I knew many jobs in 1984 still didn't require one.
My baby was due September 11th 1984.
I wanted to make it on my own so despite the morning sickness I took the morning shift at Popeyes chicken. I wasn't going to be a welfare queen that Ronald Reagan complained so much about.
My oldest sister knew her cousin in law wanted to adopt a kid cause they could only have one so she tried to persuade me that way. I was determined to do this on my own and not even get Medicaid I chose charity hospital New Orleans if it was good enough for me it would be good enough for my baby. I worked until I was almost 6 months pregnant then the heavy bleeding started and my dr told me to quit. He ordered me to stay off my feet.
Throughout my pregnancy I heard stuff like this "look what you did to your moma"
Especially by my moms mom. My dads mom though she said "hold your head up high honey"
My older sister told me early on "if you miscarry it just wasn't meant to be". I was hurt because I figured at this time I needed my older sisters support especially since she had her first baby a year before. At one point she said I should go to a maternity home at another point she suggested her cousin in laws and once early on when I spent the night at her place she jokingly told her husband to hold me down while she gets the clothes hanger.
Once when I visited one of my older brothers and at the time his first wife was expecting his first kid. He tore me down and said "I guess you think this is going to be all honky doory!
I said no and I cried he didn't care!
They all wanted to punish me for being pregnant.
I was planning with one of my checks at Popeyes that I would buy my baby a 200 dollar crib it would be my whole check including tax but I did not care I wanted the best crib!
My 3.35 an hour would come to 217 after two weeks I was excited!
Then my mom told me that because my dad called so much from offshore the phone bill was 200 dollars and they needed it! I had to give it to them and later on I got some rickety crib from a flea market! We had to tie the sides to keep them up!
Then after I had to leave my job due to being high risk I was told to go get welfare and Medicaid and wic. I protested and protested but I was forced.
It was so degrading especially when the worker gave me a dirty look and told me and I quote "this is not a gift this is a loan you will have to pay this back do you understand?" I said yes with tears in my eyes. Contrary to popular belief you don't walk out with benefits in hand.
You walk out with your tail between your legs and an emotional beating.
My medicade didn't show up until two days before my baby was due.
I knew I was having a girl without an ultrasound I just knew.
My mom did persuade my oldest sister to host a baby shower and I got some nice things to prepare for the baby.
I did manage before I left Popeyes to buy blankets and clothes and some diapers.
I had her two weeks after her due date.
I took her home took good care of her but was catching hell constantly!
Less than three weeks after she was born I went to work at Shoneys to wait tables.
No matter how much I tried and how much I worked somebody beat me down at home.
My older sister came for a visit and was pissed off at something I said and jumped through the window and attacked me when my baby was four weeks old.
My mom drove me to the Salvation Army women's and children's shelter that evening.
Me and my daughter homeless and I was 17 with my four week old baby.
The next day after not knowing what to do or whee to go I called and pleaded with my mom to take me home.
After two months of working at Shoneys one evening the manager threw one of the round disc trays at my ankle and it bruised my ankle and pride.
I quit and went to work at the grocery store.
My dad got mad at me for working and would acuse me of neglect by asking family members to help. I was catching hell from all sides!
Once he snatched her out my arms and told me I couldn't have her and if I tried to take her he would call child protection on me.
I was doing good at the grocery store but still catching hell at home!
No matter what I did was not good enough there was constant chaos!
Constant be ratings and belittlings!
My baby meant the world to me I wanted to keep her.
Everything I earned I spent on her and had no regrets.
One day my family moved out of the area and I had to leave the grocery store.
Right before my baby was eight months old my mom and I were coming home and the car broke down. My older sister came and got us.
When we got home my sister asked me to come spend a few days so me and my baby went to my sisters. I was 18 by then.
She asked how I was doing and I said I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.
She then brought up that cousin in laws of hers and thought maybe they could foster till I got on my feet.
The woman said I don't know fostering is such a big step I would have to ask my husband.
As soon as I mentioned adoption she said sure we could do that!
I told her the only way I could do it is if I had regular visitation and she agreed and assured me that they would do that and make sure I got regular pictures. She even said my family would get to see her and all these glorious things.
Within two days I was at one shell square in New Orleans being told and assured by attorneys that I would have visitation.
I knew my child and I were drowning and if she could be saved I was all for it but I would have to be guaranteed to have visitation.
Oh they all agreed including my sister that I would see her on scheduled visitation.
Oh there was all this talk of me being this beautiful person to do such a beautiful thing!
I was wonderful I was practically a saint!
Oh all the lies and deceit to an 18 year old naive girl!
After that my dad kicked me out stating that I had kicked my daughter out so he was kicking me out.
And with no place to go while I was still grieving I had to go live with my sisters dad and be a nanny to his two daughters while his wife had surgery.
After my 30 days to change my mind was up I was told just get over it and get on with your life over and over again!
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