SHIFT NC

Belly Bump: Finding Out

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Note: In May 2015, the Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Campaign of North Carolina (APPCNC) became SHIFT NC (Sexual Health Initiatives For Teens). 


Belly Bump is a series where we compare the pregnancy experiences of two women: Delsie, a prevention advocate and UNC student who became a mom at age 17, and Mary, APPCNC’s Community Programs Manager who decided to have a baby with her husband Anthony. See previous Belly Bump entries.

Delsie

In my last entry, I told you all about how I thought my boyfriend – Mr. Arrogant – would turn down sex altogether if I insisted on using a condom. He turned out to be really persistent, and convinced me it was okay to use the withdrawl method…

Weeks went by and I started to get worried… Where was my period?  I told Mr. Arrogant my problem, but he was sure that I was worried about nothing. I still felt that something wasn’t right.

My period had never been an entire month late before. I had heard that stress could cause a late period – and I was certainly stressed out! I still had the nagging feeling that something wasn’t right. Not knowing was the worst part.  I decided to get a pregnancy test and take it at school after classes. That way I wouldn’t have to take it home and my parents would never find out.   

My friend and I went to the CVS before track practice one day and bought a pregnancy test.  We got in the car and headed back to the school and I began praying like I have never prayed before in my life. I made promises to God that if he got me out of this pickle that I would start praying more, reading my Bible more, I would do anything as long as the results came back negative.

Back at school, we went into the restroom, making sure that no one else was in there. I closed the stall door and my heart began to race. I was convinced there was no way that I could be pregnant. This could happen to anybody else but NOT ME! I was a straight-A student, in the marching and concert band, and a member of the track team. I was preparing to enter into my senior year and contemplating which universities I would apply to. It couldn’t happen – I had too much going for me. I guess the pregnancy test didn’t get the memo.

After the two longest minutes of my life I got my result… POSITIVE. A second test the next day confirmed it.

I had never felt more alone. I was seventeen and pregnant.

Mary

While unplanned pregnancies don’t just happen to teens – about 49% of all pregnancies in the US are unplanned – Anthony and I were planning and trying to get pregnant.  And we tried….once.

Now, I’ve made a career out of preaching the gospel of “it only takes one time to get pregnant” but even I was shocked when it only took us one try. I’ve known lots of people who had to do lots of trying, and lots who had “oops” moments of unprotected sex that very luckily didn’t result in a pregnancy.

It didn’t even occur to me that I could be pregnant so soon. One day at work, I was so tired I ran to the Starbucks inside of the Target near our office to grab a cup of coffee. It dawned on me that my period was late. Deciding it couldn’t hurt to check, I grabbed a box of pregnancy tests. I took one at work to set my mind at ease. (A funny side note here: I’m not the only person to have taken a pregnancy test at work. Delsie took hers at school. I’m starting to think those pregnancy test ads showing women at home in their fancy bathrooms are pretty unrealistic.)

Before I could blink my test turned positive.  No two minute wait for me.  Incredulous, I took another.  Positive.  Now, my story is nothing compared with the drama of Delsie’s, but I can say that the shock of finding out was immense.  I was surprised that I could be pregnant after our first go around. I suddenly felt alone, and unprepared for motherhood.  What would Anthony say?  What would my friends say?  Can we afford it?  I think every mom-to-be has this moment of panic at some point in her pregnancy.

After a good cry in the privacy of my car, I took one more test just to be sure.  Hooray for pregnancy test multi-packs! After work, I raced to Planned Parenthood. I still needed confirmation from a doctor that I was actually pregnant.  Giddy after a fourth and final test, I grabbed my fistful of positive pregnancy tests, and headed home to tell Anthony.

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