The police car finally arrived at the group home and in the back was me, Aurora Jennings. After weeks of sleeping on park benches, I had finally arrived to a “safer place”.
Or that's what the group home leader, Mary said to me upon my entrance to the May Institute. Which was a female only group home just past the border of Connecticut into Foster, Rhode Island.
Group homes are for people like me who are alone in this world, jumping from one foster family to another. At this point though, I don’t care.
I’m just a year away from being 18, then I can finally be on my own, away from people like Mary.
At least the rooms were nice here, though I had to share it with a butch looking girl named Samantha, but she liked to go by Sam.
Sam towered over me by at least a foot, her pale skin splattered with brown freckles and ginger mane made her basically the opposite of me.
Here I was 5 feet tall brunette and 90 pounds, though I’ve been thinner. That’s why Anna is a miracle, a miracle baby growing inside of me. Though, it will be a miracle if she is ever even born.
I don’t know exactly when I realized I was pregnant, but I knew it was Nicks. Slowly we fell in love, but our love was forbidden.
We lived under the same roof, shared holidays together, then eventually we were sneaking into each other’s bedrooms at night.
Up until Amy, our foster mother and Nick’s biological mother walked in on us. We tried so hard to not get caught, but eventually everyone at the house would know about our little secret.
Then Amy packed my bags and made arrangements to have me sent away. Before she could though, Nick packed a bag too and took us far away from Connecticut. Anna was conceived a month later.
Shortly after followed Nick’s arrest. We needed money bad, in a panic Nick robbed a convenience store. Something I still haven’t forgiven him for. That was his final strike though.
Now he’s paying the price in juvie. I won’t see him till he turns 18…
If the number on the scale today is low enough I can eat dinner, that is after I do my crunches. In the mirror I clasp my sides, I hate what I see.
So even though it is warm out, I wear my brown baggy sweater and black leggings. I can’t stand the thought of Anna inflating inside my lower stomach. Now I am crying, crying for Anna.
What a terrible person I am, so consumed by the voice inside my head when I glance at the mirror every day. I know I have to fight with the voice, but I don’t know if I’m strong enough yet.
Someone will notice sooner or later, one day I’m just going to blow up.
I spill the beans about Anna. I couldn’t sleep at night knowing every starving day was hurting my baby. Mary was understanding, and we set up an appointment to meet with a nutritionist.
Most importantly though, today I got to see Anna. Even though it was on a tiny monitor, I loved the beating of her heart going lub-DUB, lub-DUB, lub-DUB.
November 23rd will be the day we get to meet. About eight months from now and I can hardly wait till the day she is in my arms.
News travels fast around the group home. A couple days after my ultrasound all the girls learned about Anna. Though I didn’t want anyone to know.
I didn’t want any congratulations or to even hear the words baby shower because I don’t know if Anna will even make it another month.
I’d like to say that my pregnancy has stopped that criticizing voice inside my head, the voice that reminds me how fat I am, but my mind is worse than ever.
I’m constantly stepping on the scale, every morning, after every meal, and just at odd hours of the day. The worst part is Mary is watching, hell all the girls here may even be watching me.
I’m like a ticking time clock, ready to give into my tormenting thoughts, and somebody must be there when I blow.
Another torturing week in this place goes by. This morning the scale read 95 pounds to me. An improvement though it doesn't look like one.
Chunks of my hair vanished from brushing out knots and no lotion on the planet could fix the flakiness of my pale-yellow skin. I’m dying, but I can’t quit now.
I won’t let the voice inside my head win. My only goal at this point is to make it past twenty weeks. That's approximately 15 weeks from today. Then I’ll know that Anna is safe.
She has helped me in many ways. In fact, Anna may very well be saving my life. Without her, I may literally have been dying.
Finally, the first day of May has arrived. I couldn’t sleep at all last night from excitement.
Everything has been going as planned and I’ve even become friendly with some of the girls here. Though a worry has set inside me.
Where will I be living once Anna arrives? Will we put a crib here at the group home? It hard to breathe suddenly...I just want the best for Anna. It’s time to step on the scale though.
I haven’t in a week.
Stupid me. Poor stupid me. I’m in such a rage I don’t even realize I’m throwing the scale far across the bathroom. Guess I don’t know my own strength. The scale read 99. That’s it.
Four pounds in about three weeks. I need help Anna. Professional help. I won’t be able to do this on my own. I stomp over to my closet and get ready.
After a lot of fighting with a receptionist, I was able to see my doctor. I’ve never cried so hard Anna. I have no control over anything I’m doing anymore.
I up and left the home and must of walked 5 miles to the clinic. The doctor said I had to eat more, but I’ve been eating Anna. I promise.
I’ve ate more these last three weeks than I ever have before.
It was like butterflies. Almost like a tickle, I couldn’t help but laugh. I’ve felt better since my last trip to the doctors two months ago except for my sore throat.
Could be the start of cold. Though I haven’t felt those tickles lately Anna. Where are you? I think maybe I'll play you some music Anna, that will wake you up.
I get up to find the red cd player but then everything is spinning. Its blurry and dark in my room and these cramps are making it extra hard to get back to my bed.
Grabbing on to everything beside me I’m quickly trying to get back. I forget I’m wearing socks on wooden floor. I reach for the wall as support but it's too late.
I’m on the floor and a pain erupts on my side and all around my back. My weak bones can’t take a fall like this.
I yell for help, but my throat is swollen shut, the pain having traveled to my chest. I close my eyes, all I can do is wait for help.
A stillbirth. A god damn stillbirth. Without Anna I am literally empty. A vacant hole, that just wants to be swallowed up into nothing.
Anna was never safe with a mother like me, I was so naive to think so. My tragedy doesn’t even end here, I still must give birth Anna.
Though I shouldn’t even use her name anymore, she no longer exists. I’m going with an induced labor.
The safest bet would have been to naturally go into labor, but the doctor told me that might take up to two weeks. I couldn’t go through with that, I no longer want to see this bump.
It’s a reminder of what could have been.
I’m heading back to the May Institute. I spent an extra day at the hospital and I’m ready to just get back into a normal routine. I haven’t spoken since her death, mainly I’d been sleeping.
It’s easier than being awake, I don’t have to live the reality that is my life. Though I must face everyone at the group home and I’m being forced to see a therapist with the coming days.
I probably look like hell because as soon as I enter through the door everyone has a worried face. When I get up to my room, I see some of her clothes and I gulp down the tears.
I think I’ll just crawl into bed and get lost in my dreams.
I awake to the bright sun shining down onto my eyes. It burns until I raise my hand up, covering the harsh sunlight. The shock of seeing Nick to my right completely woke me up.
I don’t feel mad, though I don’t feel happy to see him either. He came to see me though, after everything, that must count for something. To my left I see rose. Many roses.
“I got you these for your- Our loss” Nick said in a sympathetic voice
I stand there, unable to speak, I can’t look at his face as my eyes begin to burn, yet a handful of tears still come out. Nick opens his mouth but before he can speak I am in his arms.
I don’t want this moment to end.
“I’ve missed you so much” I manage to say gulping down tears.
“I’ve missed you too Aurora” Nick replies
And then suddenly everything seems better…