Author Bekki Sayler
See the baby, not the mistake.
When my brother was 16, his girlfriend got pregnant. She was terrified of her parents’ response, so they didn’t tell anyone. He stood by her side, but kept silent out of respect for her.
Her little body was so stressed it held the baby inside. I was married at the same time and pregnant with the first grand baby. My belly was huge, she looked like she had just put in a few pounds.
She stayed silent.
One day, we woke up and my brother was missing. When we finally listened to the voice mail, we heard her crying his name softly and him saying he was on his way. She sounded terrified.
These kids were so young.
We called her house, nothing.
Both kids were missing. After 8 hours, my brother called home and I answered the phone. We had guessed her parents had found out she was pregnant and they were hiding.
She was in labor and delivery giving birth to a full term baby! Full term!!
After our family had a heart attack, we sped to the hospital to meet our newest family member. We flipped from shock to joy in a second. A baby! He had a baby!! My son was only a few months old and now there were two!!
Her family didn’t rejoice.
Security had to be posted at the hospital door because her dad was threatening to kill my brother. It was awful.
We watched these 16 and 17 year old kids cringe in the corner because of the way her dad responded. My family is far from perfect, but we saw the “new baby” not the “unplanned pregnancy”.
Eventually, life moved on and the girl’s dad fell in love with the baby too. But not until he had said too many unforgivable, unmentionable cruel things.
A year and a day later, I answered the phone and received a confusing call from someone who said, “It’s been five days, we need to know what to do with the baby boy.”
The color drained from my face.
They did it again. They had another secret baby again.
This mistaken phone call (she wasn’t suppose to say anything) was a gift.
I called my brother’s girlfriend. “I know you’re at home. But answer yes or no. Did you have another baby and give him up for adoption?”
It turned out they got pregnant again and were so terrified by her dad’s response the first time they vowed to say nothing.
The girl had a C section this time and was continuing with life like she had a stomach flu. But by the time we found out, she was acting like nothing happened.
This time, when her father found out he fell to his knees and wept. Big ugly tears.
We rallied the troops and got the baby and he grew up with his sister.
My poor brother had been carrying around a Polaroid picture of his son. He was devastated to have “lost his son”, but too scared of her dad…
The unplanned babies are 364 days apart and now full grown adults, but they lived a hard life torn between families and knowing that they were shunned at first.
I was an unplanned baby myself. I’m 50 years old now and I’ve never felt unwanted my entire life. I’ve called my mom many times and thanked her for having me and for both my parents choosing to see the baby rather than the mistake…