In 2000 shortly after meeting the love of my life, I found out that I was expecting my first baby. It was truly one of the scariest moments, considering the fact that I had just turned 17 and wasn’t ready for a baby at all, as my life was just really starting. The first reaction from my mother was that I should go for an abortion and I refused. My theory was that this was my own doing and that I had to take responsibility for my actions. This was something that I had to do and it was an easy decision to make. After I had sat down with my mom, I went to tell the daddy to be… Of course that didn’t go down well and I was faced having to deal with the trauma of having to take a step back and saying: “I can do this without you.” That evening I had to tell my dad…. Oh my hat! He gave me one look and asked me if I was proud of myself. I could just see the disappointment in his eyes.
Three weeks went by in which we didn’t speak. I remember sitting with the Doctor’s office just crying and saying to him that I have no idea what I am going to do. Well needless to say, baby daddy came knocking on our door apologized and so we decided that together we would make it work. Shortly afterwards, we packed our suitcase, got on a train and moved to Durban where his entire family resides. Strange place and new faces, I tried my utmost best to make it work, but I couldn’t. I felt so alone and isolated from the rest of the world. We weren’t in Durban long before I decided that I was going back to Port Elizabeth and even if I had to go on my own.
We were driving an old red escort that was breaking down on a regular basis and this was our only means of getting back home. The trip was to last 12 hours and turned into 17, as we broke down in the Transkei. By the time we got home, we went straight to bed and that is when the real drama started. That night I woke up covered in blood. Blood everywhere and only 4 months pregnant. I was rushed to hospital, where they decided that they were going to abort the baby without even knowing whether or not the baby was still alive.
My partner had put up such a fight that evening and eventually it was determined that the baby was still alive. From that night I had spent at least two nights a week in hospital going into early labour. At 6 months I was given steroid injections to develop the baby’s major organs as they expected me to have a very early delivery. They were right! We welcomed a 2.3 kilogram baby girl into the world at 7 months. Kaede! The most beautiful baby I have ever seen in my life. I knew that I loved her so unconditionally from the first moment that I looked at her.
Her daddy ran back to me with tears in his eyes after making sure that she was okay and shouted: “She has ten toes and ten fingers!” My life had changed completely and I suddenly felt that it had purpose. I would do anything for her and would never want to change my life to what it was then.
But times have changed and I look at how difficult it was for me raising her, questioning why there are so many young girls out there leaving school to become mothers? I admit today that I was very young, but not everyone is as lucky as what I was to still have the baby’s daddy in their life who supports you.