“It hurts,” Amanda said as she gripped her mother’s hand.
“Of course it does. Did you think it wouldn’t?” her mother said back, not a lot of emotion in her voice. Not a lot of caring or sympathy either.
“Why won’t they give me something for the pain?”
There was sweat on her brow and every other part of her body. Her stomach was tight and the pressure was massive. It felt like her midsection was full of rocks. She’d bet a board could be broken across her belly.
“It was too late. You already started to have contractions and were too far along,” her mother said in the same know-it-all voice she’d used on her daughters their whole lives.
“Why do I have to go through this?” she whimpered.
The tears were running down her face. As if she wasn’t in enough pain this was all going to be for nothing.
“You didn’t have to and you know it. You went against our wishes and this is the price you pay. This is why seventeen-year-olds shouldn’t be pregnant.”
She’d been hearing this for months…ever since she’d told her parents she was pregnant. Thankfully she wasn’t showing by the time she graduated and no one really knew in school.
But Randall knew. Of course he did. She’d told him the minute she knew about the baby.
He’d panicked and told his parents who wanted her to end the pregnancy. Her own parents did too. Randall never really said one way or another what he wanted, but she didn’t care. It was her child and she was having it.
Randall wouldn’t stand up to his parents either. Not when there was money involved. He went off to college at Harvard a few months ago and they’d only talked twice. The last time was well over a month ago.
She’d have to assume they were done, though he never actually broke up with her. Must be the hundred-thousand-dollar check that was delivered to her two months ago was enough for him to wipe his hands of her.
She wasn’t going to be bought. They couldn’t make her end her pregnancy either. She didn’t give a shit what anyone said.
That check was going to set her up to raise this baby on her own.
Or that had been the plan.
The plan that wasn’t going to happen now.
“I wanted this baby,” she said, sobbing.
“We don’t always get what we want,” her mother said.
Amanda let out another scream and the nurse came in. “There, there. I know it’s hard. And I know it’s painful. It won’t be much longer. Breathe through your mouth. Slow breaths. The doctor is on the way.”
Her mother shot the nurse a look as if to say, “She deserves this for bringing shame on two families.”
“How much longer?” she asked. “I can’t take much more.”
“Not long. Your contractions are really close and you’re almost ready to push.”
“It doesn’t matter though,” she said. She wasn’t sure what was worse. The pain in her body or the one in her soul.
“I know, sweetie. I wish there was another way.”
The doctor walked in a few minutes later and told her to start pushing. She was pretty positive it sounded like she was being murdered in the room, and it sure the hell felt like it, so why not shout it out.
It wasn’t just her body that was being ripped apart, but her family and her heart.
She’d be leaving this town the minute she could. She was taking her money and she was going far away.
No one supported her. No one cared about her.
Hell, the nurse was showing more compassion than her own mother.
“You’re almost there,” the doctor said. Embarrassment was thrown out the window at this point with her legs spread wide, naked under the gown. Who knew what mess was on the floor from her body and she didn’t even care. She just wanted this over with.
“I can’t do it again.”
“One more,” the doctor said. “Just one more big push. I’ve got the head in my hand.”
Hearing that was enough for her to gather all her strength, grind her teeth, and push with everything she had.
“That’s it, I’ve got it now,” the doctor said. “Just relax for a minute.”
There was silence in the room. Only her breathing could be heard, her mother looking over at the doctors and the nurses at the other side of the room.
“Do you want to see the baby?” the doctor asked her while the nurses cleaned up the newborn.
She was having trouble catching her breath. Not just from the delivery but the pain in her chest. “Yes. I want to name my baby. She’s really gone?” she asked, even though they’d told her hours ago there was no heartbeat when she had her appointment.
She was only seven months pregnant and had pain so she’d called the doctor and drove herself there. The past six hours had flown by in one instant and lasted forever in another.
“There is no heartbeat,” the nurse said coming over and running her hand on Amanda’s sweat-dampened hair. “Do you want to hold your daughter?”
“Yes,” she said, taking in a deep breath. “Please.”
Her mother got up and walked out of the room, not even looking at her daughter or granddaughter.
Three weeks later, Amanda walked out of her parents’ life for good.