18 years ago today I was 17. It was my senior year of high school or at least it should of been. I was that girl. You all knew her. That girl in high school who suddenly disappeared from the halls-the girl who got pregnant in high school. Let me tell you, it wasn’t trendy 18 years ago to be that girl. There were no television shows or magazine covers to glamorize it.
At 23 weeks pregnant I went into preterm labor. For a week they were able to pump enough medication into me to delay delivery. Halloween 1995 at 24 weeks pregnant I welcomed my 1 lb 12 oz baby girl into the world. The doctor laid her briefly on my chest before being whisked away by a team of doctors and nurses. Hours later I was wheeled down to get a glimpse at my daughter. She was covered in tubes and wires and her eyes were still fused shut. She was beautiful despite it all.
Her outcome was bleak. I was told to prepare for wheel chairs, feeding tubes, extreme mental impairments and the list went on. Some said it was what I deserved for being a teen mom, others said that I got myself into this so I would have to deal with this on my own, and I was ridiculed by the rest. Let me tell you, it was a dark, terrifying, lonely time.
No matter, everyday I was there mothering her as much as I could under the extreme circumstances. Two and half months later and one month and one day before her due date, Alison beat the odds and came home months ahead of schedule weighing a hefty 4lbs 7 oz. Not only did she come home but she stayed home. The first few months were rough. Sleeping for only 45 minutes at a time, countless doctor appointments, and financial hardship.
Alison beat the odds in ways that doctors can’t explain. It wasn’t an easy ride but we made it.
I could go on, the story is good….well, at least I think so:) I share the good with the bad. The triumphs with the tragedies. No, it wasn’t ideal to be a pregnant teenager. I see my daughter now at the age I was when she was born and she is such a baby still. I think back to the girl I used to be and I see a scared young girl in need of a little compassion, guidance, and forgiveness.
I think sometimes we dismiss people who are hurting when we feel like they brought it on themselves. We pick and chose who is deserving of mercy and compassion and when we do we are playing god. Loving someone who is hurting because of their poor choice doesn’t mean you agree with or support their transgression. Indifference and humiliation further breaks the person. We serve a God of healing and mercy and sometimes that healing and mercy comes from you.
Today, I rejoice and thank God for the miracle who sleeps down the hall. I thank God for giving that 17 year old girl such love and compassion for that tiny baby, and I thank God for His compassion and mercy on me, and for being the God of second chances.
*Photo is of the first time I got to hold my daughter*
~Be Blessed and be a Blessing~
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