Seventeen years ago this month, I saw two pink lines that forever changed my life. Two pink lines that filled me with fear, with joy, with anticipation and anxiety all at once. Two pink lines that meant one thing:
I was pregnant.
Being nineteen years old and living with a group of friends in an apartment in Pennsylvania while barely skirting by and having absolutely no family around for support is not the most ideal situation.
But that is where I found myself, nauseatingly so, sitting on the toilet, wondering how on earth I would tell my boyfriend. After processing the words I’m pregnant, I’m pregnant over and over, I eventually called him in and let him know.
Between the both of us, we must have taken twenty more tests over the course of the evening that confirmed a) he definitely was not pregnant, and b) I definitely was.
Admittedly, neither of us took it well, though some deep part of me smiled and smiled oh-so-bright. I’ve always loved children, and I’ve always known I wanted children. But my boyfriend didn’t. He didn’t want to be a father. He didn’t want to bring life into the world.
And we definitely didn’t belong together.
But there was this life growing inside me, precious and small and totally dependent upon me, and me alone. And I took that seriously.
So I listened while my boyfriend discussed topics like abortion and adoption, and even though abortion was instantly ruled out for me, that was my choice, I tried to imagine my child in the arms of someone else. I scoured the internet for families who couldn’t conceive. I even chatted with agencies and mothers, and there was a family, a sweet, wonderful family, who I know would have been great parents to my child. But there was a problem.
I wanted to keep my baby.
I have always been headstrong and independent, and the idea of giving up a child didn’t sit well with me. So I said no.
I. Said. No.
I stopped communicating with the agencies, which upset the boyfriend, so I stopped communicating with him too. I moved out of Pennsylvania and back into Virginia, with his parents, and I looked for good jobs. Every day I applied, went on interviews, and eventually I found one. A good one.
And then I rented an apartment.
And then I moved out of the boyfriend’s parents’ house, finished my pregnancy, and had a baby boy named Ethan.
He was wonderful and sweet and small and smelled like Heaven. And because of him, because of my pregnancy with him, my life forever changed for the better.
Some people may say I grew up too early, or too hard, or went through a lot of struggle, and I did, and I like who I am because of it. It’s made me realize I can accomplish anything. It’s made me realize hard doesn’t always equal bad. It’s made me me. Headstrong and independent and rash and caring and loyal and loving ME.
Which is why I adored Because I Love You. Which is why when I was bawling my eyes out by the final pages I had to say yes. YES YES YES. So I hope you’ll read it, and I hope you’ll understand how very true, how very real, Andie’s feelings are, and I hope it leaves an impression.
Because that is what I hope all Blaze books do.