**This is the song link. Enjoy.**
"Joel, We're having a baby."
That's how easy it should have been. One line, acceptance, and then growing joy in anticipation for a little angel to enter our world. The key word there is should. Should. It was hardly easy, and I met anything but acceptance.
Let me take you back, way back, to the day we told Joel.
I'd called him over, to talk. Of course, that could have meant anything, but what was I going to say over the phone? Exactly. Within a little while, he came over, and we all stood tense at the door.
No one wanted to answer the door. Dusk quickly developed a deep hatred for Joel, and Mom was almost shattering her teeth her jaw was clenched so hard. She was supporting us, and being as open to ideas as she could, but in all honesty, her baby was pregnant by a boy at 17. It was hard.
Eventually Dusk moved. My gut told me it was a bad idea to let Dusk talk to him first, but I didn't stop him.
"Hey bro, What's up?"
Dusk tensed himself, obviously fighting all his willpower not to scream at Joel's casual comment.
"Not much up really.. but I do need a word with you. Step out back with my quickly?"
We could hear the thud of fist to face from inside, indicating Dusk's athletic background had aided him in a punch that did the damage he wanted.
Joel walked in, cool as ice, blood smeared up his face from his nose. A failed attempt to hide his defeat, apparently. He sat beside me, and no one spoke for a while.
"Is anyone going to tell me why I just got smoked in the nose by my best friend, or am I gunna have to guess?" he spoke with an ice in his voice I hadn't heard before.
Everyone's eyes turned to me. I suppose it was my job... okay here goes.
"I have something to tell you Joel. It's not bad news, not really... but not the best either."
Dusk scoffed under his breath, and I knew he disagreed. To him, it was the worst news possible.
I closed my eyes, blocking the reaction I knew would come, but couldn't read yet.
"I'm pregnant, Joel. It's yours."
"Mine? You're pregnant? It's mine?"
Well I just heard.. the news today. Seems my life, is gonna change.
I nodded, just once, but it was enough.
I close my eyes, begin to pray. Tears of joy, stream down my face..
"How could you have let this happen? It was your job to take the pill, or something, Dawn. What's wrong with you?"
"What's wrong with her? Joel, shut your fat mouth for twenty seconds, and think of someone else for a change. It's as much your fault as hers. More so, really."
Tears started to leak past my glasses, silently, but surely. It was both our fault, but it was also both our fates I'd sealed by choosing to keep our baby.
Joel spun around and walked the few steps to Dusk. his anger had been redirected.
"HA! My fault? That's rich, really, coming from you! None of this is my fault, when it boils down, is it Dusk?"
Dusk's face changed as quick as I'd ever seen it do so. Pure fear, and guilt washed every ounce of anger off his face.
"Joel, shut up. Now. No one needs to know about this, that was a deal between us. Don't go that low."
"Hey bro.." Joel began mockingly "do me a favor? go out with my sister for a while? Short term thing, so I can bag Marie without feeling bad? Nothing could go wrong."
It'd all been a lie? I'm carrying the baby of a man who was set up to go out with me. Every kiss, every touch.. meant nothing to him. I suddenly lost every ounce of regret for keeping this baby. Now it wasn't ours, it was MINE.
"Your the one who can't keep it in his pants, okay? I never told you to go out and get my sister pregnant! Nope, never said that!"
"STOP IT, RIGHT NOW!" I screamed. From the look on their faces, they had forgotten what this fight was about. Me, and my baby.
"Joel, man up. This is your baby as much as mine. You want in on the baby's life, or out? I need to know, and now. There's no rematches from today on."
"I don't know what to do. I have three scholarships lined up for universities all over the country. A baby will break me, Dawn."
I was about to retort, as I felt my stomach twist, and I had to run for the bathroom.
As I came back, Joel took my hands into his, and wouldn't let me pull away.
"Dawn. I know what I have to do. I have to marry you."
Have to? Sure. Well it's better then leaving, right?
But I don't think anyone else was too pleased...
With arms wide open, under the sunlight. Welcome to this place, Ill show you everything.. With arms wide open.
So here I am now, 17, pregnant, and engaged to be married. Um.. yay?
The first thing I did after Joel found out was buy a crib. It meant losing my dresser, but I have priorities now.
I tried to stay in school as long as possible, but lost it after a few months. Rumors got to me, teachers purposely graded me harder, as if I wasn't punished enough.
Well I don't know if Im ready, to be the girl, I need to be.
In the first few months, all I did was eat, eat, eat. Enough was never enough for me, but that was probably because I was throwing it up as soon as it got down...
I take a breath, stand him by my side. We stand in awe.. We've created life!
After hours of arguing, and bargaining, and later searching, we found Joel a job. It didn't pay well, but the hours worked so he still had time to play football. That was the bargain though. No swim, no track, no soccer, no tennis, and no basketball. Just football.
Half the time I was awake was spent with my face in the toilet, throwing up everything Id eaten that day. In the end we went to see someone, and got some pills for it, but it never stopped. Id be constantly ruining meals, and quiet moments by my horrid retching.
With arms wide open, under the sunlight.
So after every vomiting spree, I brushed my teeth. This gave a lot of time for thought, too much really. If you recall, my mind is a bad place to be left lonely. What would I teach my baby? Would I have a boy, or a girl? If it was a girl, would she be in my position 17 years down the road? I sure hope not.
Ill show you everything, with arms wide open...
Now everything has changed, Ill show you love. Ill show you everything. With arms wide open.
So when I wasn't puking, I was crying. Hormones, they said. Maybe it was hormones, or maybe it was overwhelming guilt for bringing a baby into a place to unprepared for the arrival. Yea, poor Sprout was in for it from the start.
What? You don't know who sprout is? Well it's a belly name for the baby. We don't want to know the gender, and Mom wanted to call him/her wiggles. WIGGLES.
Now see, I partially didn't want wiggles because I hadn't actually felt Sprout wiggle yet. Until one morning when I was eating breakfast. I've never come so close to a heart attack/chocking fit untimely death in my life.
After the shock though, I went into a hyperactive fit. My sprout moved! It's no longer a figment of our imaginations, it's a baby! My baby!
During the later months of my pregnancy, I went through some bizarre 'stages':
The ' I am so full of germs poor Sprouts probably dying' stage.
The cooking stage.
The absentminded stage.
The sleeping like the dead stage.
And basically from day one all the way through: The barefoot stage.
It was a rollercoaster, to say the least. My whole family suffered, including Joel.
I grew bigger everyday, and soon enough I found it hard to do much more then eat, sleep, and watch TV.
If I had one wish, only one demand.
I hope She's not like me, I hope she understands.
Everyone got involved once Sprout started getting bigger, and more active. No one wanted to say it, but they were already fighting for favorite relative, before poor Sprout even had a chance to meet any one of them!
I hope she understands, that she can take this life. Hold it by the hand.
After some long hard talks, discussing everything from names, to our past, and our future, Joel and I we're back on.. *ahem* speaking terms.
She can greet this world.. with arms wide open..
Then one day it happened. Every book I'd read told me about the intense pain, and unusual twinges. I felt all this, and instead of the happy vision of my skipping to the hospital cool as a cucumber vanished. I was intense pain, and all I could do was scream and cry.
With arms wide open.. under the sunlight.
Mom and I rushed to the hospital. I was taken from the waiting room and into the L&D ward within minutes. I was in so much pain, then all I knew was that I needed to push, now.
And so I did.
And Amethyst Carmody was born, a healthy 7lbs, screaming and yelling for all the world to hear.
Welcome to this place, Ill show you everything.
I took my baby girl home within the evening, all bundled up in a pretty pink swaddling. I held her in my arms, and just savored the beauty of my baby.
We both did. Together. A Mommy, a Daddy, and a Baby girl. No longer the Girlfriend, the Boyfriend, and their mistake. No. Never again.
With arms wide open....