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My Battle With Guilt (Anonymous)

February 25, 2013

I met my boyfriend in high school, freshman year. We were officially a couple a little over three years ago. I think we may have used a condom for the first couple months and gradually I started to let him not wear one, being stupid, young, and in love. Well miraculously, it took me years to get pregnant (wasn’t trying) and I was a couple months before turning 18. My mom was already okay with our relationship considering we were together for so long, and finally took it seriously, basically letting us live together for the last couple years. So, she wasn’t so in shock when I got pregnant around 18.

I suffered a terrible amount of guilt and was considering abortion. I knew the fact that my diet was complete shit, that I was smoking marijuana, cigarettes, getting wasted all the time wasn’t good for the baby. I had heard that women start cleansing their bodies in preparation to getting pregnant, and was very scared. I was having pelvic pains, so after the doctor confirmed I was pregnant, I was taken in for an ultrasound. I found I was 8 weeks pregnant. The heart was already beating, and instantly I knew I never could have an abortion. Hearing her heart beat was the more beautiful music I had ever heard in my life.

So here I am, 39 weeks and ready to pop any day. But, about 18 weeks in I come in for a routine ultrasound, and they had discovered a mass somewhere in her abdomen. Never in my life was I so frightened. I come to find out after trips to UCLA, that this was a CCAM/Pulmonary Sequestration. It is a rare mass that occurs in the lung, and in her case was so large it was pushing her heart completely to the right side. They had advised me to “terminate” the pregnancy. I knew there was no way in hell I would. I remember sitting in the office listening to these doctors tell me in detail about her mass, during the fetal heart echos, and 2hr long ultrasounds, and all I could think was why? Here I am 18 years old, changing my whole life around, becoming a mother so young, dealing with this shocking news I was responsible for another life and NOW I’m hearing not only is there complications, but a very rare one, that is known very little of.

Around 23 weeks I moved to a different state. My boyfriend came with, and I continued care with a new OB in one of the best hospitals in the US, because of the insurance my stepdad was able to give my daughter great care and a fighting chance. Although, when I had come up here I knew they had little hope for my daughter. Long story short, I was told she will me immediately taken from birth to the NICU for her care, and that there was a chance she can come out not even being able to breathe. And that even if she was healthier than ever, she still needed to be transferred to the NICU to run tests, and determine when her surgeries will be. (surgery is necessary, it’s not an if it’s when)

So, with all this on my mind, I have a tremendous amount of guilt. I feel that what I did before I was pregnant, and when I was pregnant but didn’t know I was, the things I was doing somehow caused this to happen to her. I was told it wasn’t, that it is genetic, but I am scared it was my fault. On top of this, I’m 18 years old, 239 lbs, and looking my absolute worst.

I gained weight previous to the pregnancy. I blew up in about 2 years, going from 145 to 190. After being pregnant I shot up to 239 lbs. I am 5’7, went from 36DD to 40E, and I have stretch marks all over my body. From my sides, my hips, one or two on my butt, and all the way up my belly. I hate my body. I feel miserable. I wear the same black long sleeve maternity shirt every other day, the other day is a dark grey long sleeve maternity shirt, and sweat pants. I used to dye my hair consistently because I hated my natural hair color, I used to do mystic tanning because I am naturally pale, I used to wear fake nails, etc. All which I cannot do anymore and it actually does bother me. And I feel terrible for worrying about such stupid and vain things while I should be focusing on what’s happening with my daughter and be thankful that she has made it this far. I’m constantly comparing myself obsessively to other 18 year olds, perfect slim bodies, belly pierced, no stretch marks, perky breasts, able to show it off comfortably any time they want. I’m jealous. And obsessive. And it’s on my mind constantly. I love my daughter with my whole heart, she has become my whole world, and I haven’t even met her yet. But I hate my body. And I am so scared I will never lose the weight, nor the stretch marks, and that my body will never be the same. And I knew this is wrong.

- First Pregnancy 18 years old
- Photos taken at 38 wks

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10 Responses to “My Battle With Guilt (Anonymous)”

  1. Greendoula Says:
    February 25th, 2013 at 10:04 am

    i love your photos. you look gorgeous pregnant beautiful. its true, its genetic. same goes for your weight, which by the way i cannot tell from your shape in your photos whether you are a tiny 5 ft woman or what. every pregnant woman looks pretty much like you in these pics, and many small people get stretch marks. it sounds like you are ready to take responsibility for your daughter and yourself like a grown woman and mother. but please dont blame yourself for falling into the trap of eating like an american person, and having your metabolism affected negatively. you have so much love in you, i hear you expressing it toward your daughter. you also deserve to love yourself that much, and i hope you feel adored as much by your boyfriend. sending you best wishes for a life blessed with joy, good health, family, and beauty all around you.

  2. shannon Says:
    February 25th, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    I am so sorry to hear that you are going through so much. I cannot say “I know how you feel” because every situation is different.

    That being said, I got pregnant with my first child when I was 19. I had him when I was 20, I had no idea he would be sick, well he was beyond sick. He was born with Marshall Smith Syndrome (he was diagnosed when he was 2.5 weeks old). It is also very rare. When he was diagnosed in 2006 he was the 34th case EVER diagnosed is the world. They told me he would not live past 7. He had to have a tracheostomy, and a feeding tube (among other surgeries). I didn’t get to hold him until he was almost 3 weeks, I didn’t even get to see him when he was born. He lived for 19 incredible months. He is the best thing that ever happened to me. He may have been sick, and had a lot of limitations, but he was so happy. He made me who I am today. I am a nursing student now, I will graduate in just 2 months! This is all because of how much my amazing baby boy inspired me. He passed away 4.5 years ago and there has yet to be a day I have not thought of him. Children with challenges are amazing.

    I wish you all the luck in the world.

    As far as blaming yourself goes, it is normal. I did not do any drugs, no smoking, no drinking, I didn’t even drink coffe during my pregnancy, and Connor was still sick. You can do everything right, and things still happen. You found out you were pregnant at 8 weeks, I seriously doubt you did anything that hurt your daughter. As a mother, it is normal to blame yourself…because we want a reason. We want to know “why?”. I also blamed myself.

    Your body looks normal to me! I gained about 50 pounds with Connor. I am 5’2″ and got up to almost 190 with my second child. You will lose it eventually. Will you ever look the same, no…but ti is ok. I still do not LOVE my body. I still get sad about it, and I lost a child. Does that make me a bad mom or a bad person? No. It just makes me human! You are human too!

    Good luck mama. Enjoy your baby girl for however long you have her. Take a video of her kicking while you are pregnant….and cherish that!

  3. Karla Says:
    February 25th, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    Honey, I pray for peace for you and your family. I pray for your little one as well. It’s easy for me to say it, but I hope one day you will see it’s true: you are not guilty. If the Dr.’s told it’s genetics…it is genetic., there is no way around it. Look, I have never smoked, have never drink alcohol. I did all the recommended things in order to have a healthy baby…guess what? My first son has autism and my little daughter has a genetic disorder that affects one in 3000….see? Bingo! Two out of two! My husband jokes that with our odds we should buy the lottery :)
    My point is this, you are not responsible for your genes. Nothing that you could have done could have prevented the genetic disorder in your daughter. Enjoy every minute with her and fight for her. Blessings!

  4. Sarah Says:
    February 26th, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    First of all, praying for health for your beautiful baby. Do everything you can to fight for her and don’t feel scared to because of your age. :) You are a strong woman now – stronger than most. Yes, those other girls run around with their short shorts and perky breasts, but they haven’t gone through what you’ve gone through.

    Weight can be lost – especially with breastfeeding! :) And exercise and eating right! Perfect combo. Stretchmarks fade with time. Takes about a year or so, depending on the lady.

    Those of course are less important than your beautiful daughter! :) Lots of love. You have a beautiful tummy!

  5. Molly Says:
    February 26th, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    I think you look truly beautiful. And as others have said, weight can be lost if that’s an issue once your daughter is born.

    More importantly, you have no reason to feel guilty. These things happen, and as hard as we try to figure out why, it often comes down to genes, as it has with your baby. Please, please try not to beat yourself up; it is so obvious from what you wrote that you already are a wonderful mother. Never doubt that.

    You and your little girl have all my best wishes for health and happiness.

  6. Candace Says:
    March 4th, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    Oh, sweetheart. I feel for you, it’s like reading a story of my life. My son was and is healthy, but your body images issues, your stats, everything. I wish I could reach out to you. I’m now almost 20, the mother of a 13 month old boy, and happier with my body than ever even imaginable. It’s possible, don’t give up. You are beautiful!

  7. Tmf Says:
    March 10th, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    Well I don’t know if this will help and I can’t day that I know exactly how you feel but I’m 20, Iwas 19 when I got pregnant and am due in june, befor I got pregnant I smoked a lot of pot, drank alot of beer and smoked a pack a day up until I found out I was pregnant at 12 weeks. Quitting drinking wasn’t that hard. It’s been irritating that’s for sure since I love beer, I even had dreams of opening a brewery. It was quitting pot and cigarettes that about killed me (not to mention I almost killed my fiancĂ© a few times) marijuana is my antidepressant, my antianxiety, my anti nausea. It was my everything honestly it got me back into a healthy mindstate and out of therapy years ago and goes hand in hand with my love of beer, needless to say it has been painfully stressful and nearly impossible to quit especially while quitting beer and cigarettes. My point is, I had to come to terms with the fact that I didn’t plan on getting pregnant and that’s how It happened, my son is healthy. What really matters is that you care enough to quit. I’ve hear enough about women who smoke cigarettes and get drunk through their whole pregnancy with no remorse. what you did before you knew you were pregnant did not cause your daughters condition and you should not feel guilty. Your doing your best and at your age that’s all anybody can ask. And don’t worry about all the other teenagers. They may not have stretch marks but they also have never experienced something as beautiful as pregnancy and do not have the maturity that comes with it

  8. Nikki Says:
    August 10th, 2013 at 9:25 am

    It’s normal to go through all ranges of emotions in your situation and I understand your feeling of guilt but let me try to reassure you here: I got pregnant while my husband and I were still using protection, so I had no idea…I am a smoker and have a habit of having a cocktail after work and wine over dinner…every night… So when I found out I was pregnant, I pretty much went over the same guilt you are feeling right now. When I got to my first appointment with my OB, she only asked me if I had been smoking or drinking since I found out. The answer was no but I did ask, what about before I found out? She told me it basically didn’t count! I was relieved and didn’t give it another thought! My point here is, listen to your doctor! They know what they’re doing and if they tell you it’s genetic, it surely is!!! Don’t beat yourself up and be strong for your little girl! As for body issues, if after the birth you start a strict work out regimen and eat 5 small clean meals a day, you’ll lose alot of weight fast! and with the right work out program, get toned too! My daughter is only a year old and I’m in the best shape I have ever been, no kidding, it’s possible to achieve it with lots of discipline and hard work! Good luck to you and I wish all the best for you and you daughter!

  9. Justus Says:
    September 9th, 2013 at 10:16 am

    You are very beautiful. You can be proud of your natural body.

  10. Paula Says:
    September 26th, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    First of all, when you compare yourself to other 18-year-olds, you seem to assume that they are all slim with beautiful perky breasts: that is simply not true. 18-year-olds come in all shapes and sizes, just as 30-year-olds do and 40-year-olds do and every other age does. Second of all ,you are assuming that the ones that are slim and perky have a perfect life as a result. You cannot judge the happiness or desirability of someone’s life by their bra or pant size. You seem to have a man and a family who love you. YOU! the way you are! And you have a healthy and normal concern for the health of your child that shows you know what is truly meaningful in life. Believe me, it is possible to get back into your old jeans again, but you will never be the same person you were before. It is who you are INSIDE that makes you beautiful!

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