This innocent 15 year old simply wanted to sit in the park sketching trees on a beautiful sunny day at the end of June 2013. Normally she wouldn’t have gone alone but that day her mom said yes. It was broad daylight. It just didn’t seem dangerous. Little did she know she would not be alone that day. “The man’s voice still rings in my head to this day of him screaming at me as I ran away,saying he would come after me if I told anyone,” she said. He stole her innocence that day. So terrified, Iva told no one and just didn’t want to come out of her room for months. “A month or so after it happened, I started to notice I wasn’t having my menstrual cycle. I was so nauseous whenever I ate anything in the mornings… so out of curiosity, I got on Google and typed in, Pregnancy Symptoms. As I read down the list, I checked off almost all of the symptoms that I had. And sure enough, I was pregnant.”
One of the biggest fears for females who are raped is what others will think, Iva was no different. “I was terrified,” she said, ” Mostly terrified that my parents would’ve been disappointed in me, because all of my life they said, ‘Don’t get pregnant before you get married.’ So I just kept going with my life.” Iva kept thinking she wanted an abortion but knew there was no way she could do that without her parents finding out. She went on with school and her life as normal but she says, “I just was not normal.” Telling no one she continued to keep her secret even after feeling her baby move. That was a turning point for Iva. No longer did she want to abort that baby. This baby belonged to her! “But once I felt the baby move in my tummy, I knew i wasn’t going to get an abortion, I was going to keep my baby. So to keep hiding it, I wore baggy shirts all the time.” She didn’t go to the doctor during this time and took no prenatal vitamins. That may seem shocking but many teens will do what they must to hide their pregnancy for fear they will be blamed or worse harmed or killed.
Though Iva wore baggy clothes her walk could not be disguised. “My friends didn’t even find out I was pregnant until I was 8 months. All because my friend made the comment, ” You waddle when you walk”. And I responded, “8 Month pregnant women tend to waddle.” Well, over a short period of time, everyone found out, “Hey Iva is pregnant!” Iva’s secret was out. As the word circulated about Iva not having prenatal care, a friend told a teacher and that teacher told her counselor. With everyone knowing at her school it wasn’t long before Iva had to face her parents. “I was afraid, and shocked. My parents WELCOMED and LOVED the baby that was in my tummy at the time. They supported me in every way possible.”(All caps written by Iva) Indeed blessed to have such loving parents Iva is very grateful to them. It’s not always the case that girls find support from parents. Many girls find their mothers are the ones pushing them to abort.
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