I had a child when I was only a child. Try telling me that at the time (like so many people did) and I wouldn’t have listened. I was 16 years old when I gave birth to my baby girl. She was 6lbs and 4oz, 20inches long and perfect. I have only two pictures of my pregnancy and none of my birth. I think I was slightly embarrassed of my changing my body. I am so angry at myself now for not documenting that beautiful experience. I’m mad my little girl won’t be able to look back and see my naked belly, carrying her. I’m mad she won’t be able to see herself entering this world. I pray she doesn’t resent me for not documenting this time in photos, though I did write to her often. I hope she doesn’t think I was embarrassed of her, because of her- I would never be. I loved my pregnant body, though I felt to ashamed to allow the world to know I loved it. I remember when I had gotten that first positive test, I went into the bathroom and pushed my belly out to see what I ‘might’ look like. I gained almost sixty five pounds, but I never got a stretch mark on my belly. I have them lining my upper inner thighs all the way up to my vagina. I have one single stretch mark about 3/4 of an inch long smack dab in the middle of my pubic area. I’m glad I can hide these stretch marks, but I’m also thankful when I look down and see that solitary stretch mark it reminds me of the coming of age I experienced, some would say, much to soon. It reminds me that I can handle any dirty look and mean comment, and that gossip has no effect on me anymore. I can hold my head high, even when others are trying to force me to keep it down. The “god have mercy on that unborn child” I heard in the food court during my 27th week makes me smile now. The lord did have mercy on my child. He gave her to a herd of people who love her so much our hearts could explode. He gave her to a mother that could not possibly imagine loving her more. Though I threw myself into the whirl wind of motherhood that has brought me up, down and everywhere in between, at a very young age, I would never change it. My daughter was sent to me because I needed her, and because she needed me. She is my heart, and we all know that you can’t live without your heart.