It all started when I was 13 years old. I was very experimental and somewhat wild. I tried smoking, drinking, and having sexual intercourse. I tried not to be so independent and started hanging out with friends more. On my 14th birthday, I was invited to a party. There is when I started drinking a lot and sometimes even on school nights. After some time, I found out I was pregnant. I thought all my dreams of becoming a nurse, doctor, or a teacher were gone. I started skipping school and planning to have a baby; however, there was still hope because I found a school that helped teens with babies with day care in it. I went back to school my sophomore year. Four months later, I had my beautiful baby boy, Ethan. It was hard because I got through it all own my own.
When Ethan turned three months old, we found out, he had a hole in his heart. The doctor said it was normal and it would close on its own with a little help from some medication. However, when Ethan was a month elder I took him back to the doctor for his check up and his heart did not close yet. I took him to another doctor and he said it was not normal so he set up an appointment.
Ethan was ten months old when we got his appointment. The doctor saw Ethan, did some test, and came back telling us that he was going to be rushed into emergency open heart surgery; otherwise, he was not going to live. The doctor said, “No news is good news.” She also told us that his heart would have never closed on its own. Eight hours later he came out of it okay, except, now his lung pressures were up and they did not know why. They did more testing and diagnosed him with PPH (Primary Pulmonary Hypertension). They told me he has a life expectancy of 18 years old. I thought I was going to die right there.
One month later, I could not stop thinking about what the doctor had told me that day. As a result, I started dealing with it in the wrong way. I started drinking and partying again. After two years, of the same nonsense life, I ended up pregnant again. I thought to myself it was time to change once and for all. I went back to school and finally graduated with the support of my family.
On June 1, 2006, I gave birth to my second child, Erionna. I had my own little family now, and I would not change it for anything in the world. Now, I have a job, I am trying to get my college degree, and I am engaged. My family is my support and my kids are my life.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.