the bravest mom I ever knew

Today is the anniversary of Roe V. Wade; I wanted to share a story. It's not my own, I had the privilege to see it unfold what feels like a lifetime ago. Today is the saddest anniversary in American history (purely my opinion), but stories like this one give me hope that life can be fought for and the right choices can be made.

when I was a junior in high school, a very dear friend of mine told me she was pregnant. I remember my mind racing, what was she going to do, how is she going to do life, what in the world… how could this have happened. I sat quietly for a couple minutes and then I asked what she was thinking; she started talking about her room, how she would have to re-arrange things to fit things for the baby. I remember thinking that we were on such separate pages. 

In high school you hear that your life will be over if you get pregnant. That you can’t do what you want anymore. She was a cheerleader, really good at sports, really smart... really good at everything. Everyone always hears "there are options." My friend knew the options; first being abortion which she NEVER even discussed (well out loud with me), second adoption… she understood, she was adopted, and third being becoming a mom. dreaming a new dream.

I remember asking if she was going to keep the baby, she said these exact words “I’m going to be a mom.”I had never seen such bravery in someones eyes. I had never seen such fight in someones face. Like she knew it would be so hard but she was ready to fight for this baby to live and thrive, and that she so desperately wanted this baby. With no plan, no money, in high school. She was becoming a mom.

I remember as she grew and people found out; the judgement, laughter, the people that said things behind her back. I also remember so many people loving her and supporting her, as she was. I remember when she was late for first period because of morning sickness. I remember decorating her room and making space for that little baby. I remember when she found out it was a boy. I knew he would be the cutest thing because she was the most gorgeous girl ever.

I remember I was driving down the road and got a flat tire when she texted me she was in labor. I was freaking out, because then I didn’t know that childbirth took awhile. I was terrified to miss it. When I got to the hospital I saw her laying there, she looked so uncomfortable. I didn’t know how I could help her, I knew I couldn’t. She had that same look in her eyes, so much bravery.

I sat in the hall and prayed and prayed that she would have the baby quickly. I listened to her fight for that little boy to come into this world. It was the most frightening and courageous sound I have ever heard. I walked into the room, there she was arms shaking from adrenaline and pain, holding the most precious little boy I’d ever seen. 

Fast forward over the next weeks; my friend trying to keep up with school, raising a newborn, and still trying to be a high school student. It wasn’t easy. It was never going to be. But she loved that little boy. 

I still see updates of her on Facebook, her little boy is bog now and as handsome as I knew he would be. I still admire her, even more so now that I am going to be having a baby.

Her and I didn’t stay as close as I left for college and worked in a different town. It may even seem weird that I’m choosing to write about this story but it changed my life. Her bravery and her willingness to love beyond herself changed my life. I don’t know if at 16 I would have been as strong as her. On days like today, the anniversary of Roe V. Wade… all the scandal surrounding planned parenthood, I think of her. That if she can do it, then its possible. 

Today even as I mourn so many babies lost, I celebrate stories like this one. I hold onto them with so much hope, knowing that women can be so much more brave than society expect them to be.