She sat down next to me without warning and blurted out, “I’m pregnant.” She said it confidently but I still felt like I had to ask, “Are you sure?”
I pulled the headphone out of my ear. I knew she could hear the shakiness in my voice, and see the look of shock in my eyes. We were friends. I didn’t have to hide things from her. I looked around the hallway of our high school, almost as if I was checking to see if this was reality or a dream. We had about a half hour before class started.
She took her purse off her shoulder and sat down on the floor next to me, leaning against the wall. Then she opened up her purse, to reveal to me what looked like 5 positive pregnancy tests, all different brands. “Yeah, I’m sure,” she said as she let out a faint, sarcastic laugh.
I knew she was scared. But what was I supposed to do? What was I supposed to tell her? 16 was too young to have this all figured out.
I wiped my hands down my face, then smiled. I remember smiling cause it caught her off guard as she was looking for my reaction, and my advice. With a sideways smile she asked me “what?” Then I stuck out my hand for a high five. She erupted with a small laugh at my gesture then slapped my hand softly. I scooted closer to her side then leaned up against the wall again. I began to swamp her with questions I knew she had already went over in her head. I gave her the best advice I could but most importantly I told her I was here for support. And we sat there in that hall running through oceans of possibilities before just another normal day of school started.
That December, Ally laid on an exam table in the ultrasound room with cold goopy gel smeared across her belly. The magic wand glided over her stomach, and she was able to hear the sound of her baby’s beating heart, and see that adorable round head, flailing arms, and kicking legs.
Seconds later, she found out she was having a precious baby girl.
Names began swirling in her head, and the fantasy of having a pink nursery filled her thoughts. She became overwhelmed with the memories they would build together, and how close their relationship would be. Visions of teaching her little girl how to ride a bike, and taking her to get her ears pierced, of helping her get ready for her first school dance, and of her graduating high school flooded her. Who would this baby be? A doctor? A teacher? A lover? A fighter? Would she like to sing, or play basketball? Would she struggle in school? And how many times would she fall in love? Would she be adventurous, or collected?
There were so many dreams in that moment, in that room.
Feelings of hope, and of power. And especially of love.
That January, Ally laid on a bed in a hospital room with a stiff cold gown drappred around her body and tears streaming down her eyes.
5 months premature, baby Olivia Grace was born into the world and the doctors said her life was likely to only last a couple breaths, just a couple seconds. But she fought for over an hour in the arms of her beautiful mother, and father.
I wish I could say little Olivia Grace overcame great odds, and that a miracle happened but I can’t.
I was sitting on my bed that Saturday morning, finishing up homework when I got the news. Literally, my very breath was stolen from my lungs, and in that moment I was paralyzed by hurt, and fear, and loss. More than anything I had ever experienced before. I hung up the phone then ran downstairs. My dad was in his office working and looked up as he heard me sobbing as I collapsed on the staircase. He ran over and wrapped me in a hug, not knowing what had happened. He squeezed me tight to help me from shaking, and as I buried my face into his shoulder I whispered, “Dad…she lost her baby. Ally lost her baby.” I could feel him hug me tighter and his breathing began to change. I could feel him begin to cry with me.
It’s funny, cause when a child loses their parents they are called an orphan and when a spouse loses their partner they are called a widow, but when parents lose their child there isn’t a word to describe them.
It’s probably because death can’t unmake a mother or father.
Even though Olivia is gone, Ally is still making parental decisions. She wonders what type of flower is Olivia’s favorite and which would honor her most. She enjoys speaking her baby’s name. She collects drawing of butterflies, and quotes that touch her heart, and writes her name in the sand and in the snow.
Ally remembers. She remembers all the time. She remembers the fear in finding out, the love overwhelming her in the ultrasound room, and she remembers every details of her angels face after studying it for that hour.
Whether you’re 16 too young, or old enough to make sense of big situations, I pray today that you would at least understand how to appreciate things while you still have them…even if they are just for a little while. But most importantly, you may know that God may, or He may not, but regardless, He still loves you so much. He has a hope and a future for you and He is working on your behalf.