I was raped over and over and over again. It started before I was old enough to have my period. So I was 11 or 12. I got my period when I was 13. Got pregnant at 14. Delivered a beautiful, healthy, perfect, baby girl 6 days after my 15th birthday. And signed away my rights to her six weeks later so she could be adopted. I spent four days with her: the time I was in the hospital.
At the time, I was hidden away in a home for unwed mothers. Becoming pregnant was a huge shame in the family. Because I was molested by my brother, the shame was ten-fold. I kept the secret as long as I could, but my body betrayed me. My nipples began to leak at five months along. I denied being pregnant to myself and to the world as long as I could.
When it was found out, there was only about a month left of school until summer break. I hid it well. As soon as school let out, I “went away for the summer to camp.” When school started up in the fall, I “had gotten sick and was in a hospital in a neighboring state. And no one could visit me.” I was only three weeks late returning back to school in the fall. I was a mother and I could tell no one. Not even my best friend. To this day I have siblings that still don’t know.
I have been a mother for over thirty years now. But I’ve only been able to celebrate it openly since I had a child that I had in a socially acceptable way. A child that I have been able to celebrate being pregnant with, celebrate the birth of, and celebrate being a mother to. So, even though most of the world thinks I celebrate Mother’s Day as a mother of one beautiful child, I will always know that I have two children in my heart.