I got out of the centre as quickly as possible, trying to not be seen by anyone from school; the last thing I needed was that added stress. The abortion was booked in for a week’s time, the earliest I could get an appointment. I didn’t eat that evening, claiming I was still feeling sick. My mother was still worried about me, but I’d be fine by next week. I emptied out my bag when I got in, pulling out my notebook to get on with some homework. You get a lot when you’re off ill. As I dug around for my pen, shuffling through the rubbish that I’d been lugging around, I found my scan print; that tiny little smudge with a heartbeat; the little ball of cells that would keep dividing inside me until it was a baby. My baby.
I lay staring at that little piece of plastic for hours, just staring. How could I be pregnant? How could I have another person growing inside me? That little tiny scrap of plastic was nothing and everything at the same time. My dad came up stairs,heading towards his room, before knocking at my door and poking his head around it. I scrambled to hide the scan and look as if I was just relaxing and working.
“Mum said you weren’t feeling well. Did you want anything?”
“I’m fine thanks,” I replied, trying not to sound as anxious as I felt.
“What’s up? Want to talk about anything? You know you can talk to me, right?” I just nodded and told him everything was fine. I couldn’t talk to him about it, and if I started talking now I’d never stop. He left, looking back at me worriedly. I tried to give him a smile, hoping to convey that I was alright, but I’m pretty certain that I failed at it. I pulled out the scan once again, looked at it briefly, before slipping it in between two seasons of Charmed. I put on some music, leaving my iPod on shuffle so that I didn’t have to bother with it. I crashed out, not really bothering with the work that was due.
All night, I kept dreaming about my baby; about all the little things that would change. To start with it was just dreams about shopping for baby things, about smiling, bouncy babies. Then the dreams changed to nightmares, as I thought of all the negatives. I thought about having to hide the pregnancy, of people finding out and condemning me for it. I was about to give birth, my contractions were every couple of minutes and lasting for a couple of minutes, and I was 10cm dilated, and needing to push. There was no one with me, and I could feel the pain, then someone came in, cut me open for a caesarean section and then left with my baby, leaving me open and bleeding on the bed.
I woke from the nightmare with a start, drenched in sweat, breathing fast and clutching at my stomach. I couldn’t let the person take my baby. I reached for the light switch on my lamp, flicked it on and looked around, slowing my breathing. I could hear mum’s footsteps coming up the hall. I’d cried out and woken her up. She came into my room, looking worried. “What’s wrong Amy?” I could hear the worry in her voice and the tiredness. I looked at the clock on the wall, to see that it was gone 3am.
“I’m sorry, I just had a bad dream,” I replied, trying to ease the worry. “I’m fine. Go get some sleep.”
“You shouted “No”.” The look on her face said she wasn’t going to just go back to bed.
“I just had a nightmare about being back at school and a load of books and papers fell over on top of me and crushed me. It’s just the extra catch-up work, I guess.” She seemed to relax a bit more after that, though she was still tense. I just hoped “no” was all I had said, and nothing about my pregnancy.
“Goodnight sweet pea. Try to get some more sleep and don’t worry so much about school.”
“You too mum,” I replied as she stepped into the doorway and headed back to her room, closing my door behind her. I slowly laid back, turned off the lamp and tried to get back to sleep. My mind was in over-drive though. I laid awake through the rest of the night, just thinking over the dreams and nightmares.