My Story: Dropping Out of High School and Raising Billy
Before I got pregnant, I was carefree and hanging around with my friends. After I got pregnant, I had responsibilities, however I was joyful about being a mom. The problem I experienced was all the interference I got with people regarding my pregnancy and no one helping me to be a successful mom.
My idea is to start a coalition for the unborn and for teenage pregnant girls. This is my experience with an unborn grandchild and a child from a teenage pregnancy:
I lost a grandchild by abortion. It is a devastating experience. I named him Daniel. I would rather remember waking up for 2 a.m. feedings and rocking him to sleep than remember my loss as a grandmother through abortion. It does not matter whether you believe in God or not, abortion is a sorrowful experience for the family.
Also, I had a son when I was a teenager. Here is my story.
I had a boyfriend when I was a teenager that I loved very much. I got pregnant from the relationship. Six months into the pregnancy he wanted to leave. I wanted to stay. I had to leave high school. I then became a student of the School of Hard Knocks; no tuition required. I went to finish up my grade at a place for teenage pregnant girls. The only other resource I had besides my doctor was a nutritionist. She told me I could not eat any more peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches and that I had to drink skim milk. I asked if I could put chocolate in my milk. She said, "No." I was still a kid. How do you tell a kid that they can't have any more peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches and chocolate milk? What else could go wrong?
Bill was born on June 7, 1970. They put me to sleep and took my baby. They didn't want to tell me what I had. I pleaded with the doctor, "Please tell me." He told me I had a boy and took me off the maternity floor. I finally pleaded with the doctor, "Please let me see my son." I looked through the glass window of the nursery, and he was so beautiful. They let me stay for 15 minutes, and they took me back to my room. When it was time to leave the hospital, my brother said, "Let my sister have her baby." Finally, two weeks later, I was called back to the hospital, and they tried to get me to sign him over to a convent. That was my first encounter with the law. I refused to sign the contract. They reluctantly had to give Billy to me. I left the hospital with my brother and my son. I was a teenage, unwed mother and a high school dropout. I was not a loving teenage mom who adores her son and loved him very much. I was a statistic.
It was not easy raising Billy. I faced adversity, but I did it. Bill had a good childhood. My pet name for him was Charm. He played sports and was great in school. He now lives in upstate New York. He is a math teacher in a high school academy near his home. He has a lovely wife. He has a beautiful daughter, who is a little lady. She plays soccer, softball and volleyball. The number on her shirts in all three sports is number 10. She loves to ride horses. She is so proud when she tells me in the letters she writes to me. Bill has land and horses and had a house built in New York. He is probably doing better than the rest of us. I am still the same loving mom that feels joy for her son; the same way I felt when I was a teenager. No one knows this. I am only a statistic. That's a discrimination that will follow me the rest of my life. I don't care. The most important thing is that Bill doesn't hold it against me.
God has given me gifts he has not given to others, and he has given me struggles he has not given to others.
Nancy Ianniello, lives in Youngville and is a student at Vance-Granville Community College