My life completely changed in May of 2019. It was the middle of May when my girlfriend had came back from a religious festival. Soon after she came back she started getting odd symptoms. First it started off with simple headaches and nausea but eventually it got worse and worse.  Towards the end of May, her parents finally decided to take her to Urgent Care since she couldn’t handle it anymore. On the way home on the 210 Freeway I received a message and it said, “Hugo, I’m pregnant”. At first I thought she was playing since she was on birth control but eventually she continued telling me that she was and she didn’t know what to do and I was in disbelief.  I was shocked with the news I had just received especially when we were getting ready for finals and I just turned 18 this year. At first, I didn’t know how much responsibility it would be but I did know that I had to comfort my girlfriend since she had literally just found out she was. When I got home I called her and told her, “ It’s okay don’t worry I’m going to take care of you no matter what we’re going to get through this, I know it’s difficult right now but just know that I’m going to take care of you”.  She said, “I’m scared Hugo, I don’t know what I’m going to do. I don’t know what I’m going to tell my dad I don’t know what’s going to happen.” 

Sadly, she had to go to work and when she left, I was confused, I didn’t know how to handle this. I was afraid of not being a good father, I was scared of everything and anything especially knowing that I might not be able to provide for my future family. I didn’t know where to begin. I was lost, I didn’t know if I should drop out of school or finish high school and go to college or just work full-time and be able to afford a baby and take care of my girlfriend (who now is my fiance). I sat down with my dad and talked about it and he told me what I should do and shouldn’t do. First, he told me to finish High School or else no job would accept me. As the end of the year started to come and finals were approaching us, my fiance and I both had a difficult time deciding what we were going to do. So we both started doing research on being parents and where to begin. We were both indecisive of going to college just because we know it will be difficult for the both of us to continue studying and maintain a baby; let alone knowing that I was going to be working. As time kept on passing and we went to our first ultrasound and our first OB appointment and we got to hear our baby’s heartbeat and even look at our little baby, something clicked inside of me. I knew I had a big responsibility on the way so I started applying to places and nobody would hire me and not even a call back and I started giving up I honestly. I thought I wasn’t going to be able to afford a baby. It scared me because as I kept on applying no response, no call back from anything or anybody and things were getting harsh. We had multiple external factors making our life difficult and with my past I didn’t know what to do. I had messed up in my past before I met my fiance and I still had troubles and I was scared and eventually I just didn’t know what to do, how was I going to maintain a family and be able to help a baby and protect my baby if I can’t even protect myself or even take care of myself in general. How could I help someone if I can’t even help myself let alone have someone depend on me?  I talked to my dad and mom I told them, “No places are calling me back and I’m starting to freak out. I don’t know what to do”. They both told me, “Be patient. Not always are you going to get everything right away, give it time and start asking your friends to see if any companies are hiring.” 

I gave it some time and I started focusing on my mental health and looking at ways on how I could be a good parent. I started looking at YouTube videos of teen parents and DIYs for certain things that could be expensive and I could just do myself. With lots of hours watching videos i actually found out how to create a bib for a baby and even how to build a crib from scratch! I also learned a few tips from teen parents videos which showed more of an insight with their daily lives and how they maintain each other and take turns even if they are both exhausted. A few days passed and I went to a kickback with my brother and I asked my step brother if he knew any places that were hiring and he told me,  “Yeah I do actually FedEx is hiring! Let me send you the link.” Thinking it was going to be like the rest of the jobs I applied for I expected nothing in return but I still applied and I waited for two weeks and finally I received a call. The operator told me, “ Are you available for Monday around 11 a.m.?” I replied with, “ Yeah of course I am!” She then stated, “Amazing! Your appointment is at 11 in the morning on resources drive, I’ll see you then!” So I went to my interview and I nailed it, I got the job. Now that I have a job, what do I do next? I was still lost and did not know if I wanted to continue school. So my fiance and I talked and we decided to give school a try. Still scared I would not be able to be a good dad I started asking my dad for help, “Dad, I don’t know what to do next, I have a job now and I’m going to school but what do I do next?” He replied with, “Focus on yourself and start preparing yourself mentally because being a parent is hard work.” Eventually, he made me a list of things I am going to need and things I should do that will prepare me for this big responsibility. The list contained numerous things that involved: buying a crib, buying multiple packets of diapers, therapy, writing things out, letting go of my past and much more. So I started off by letting go of my past and becoming more aware of reality and the present. I started talking to multiple people who were parents and were able to give me tips and wisdom. A few tips they ended up telling me consist of observing the baby, for example, when a baby is hungry, their hands are in a fist and when they are full their hands are opened. Also, not to spend too much money on luxury baby wear since they will grow out of it fast and would need new clothes. I started saving up money and buying little things like a portable crib and blankets. Now that we’ve hit the fifth month of pregnancy I was a bit more at ease and started telling myself I can do this. So I continued what I was previously doing which was asking parents for tips and buying small things but I still did not feel ready. Finally I had one last talk with my fiance and she was worried that the baby was not moving I asked, “Let me talk to our little baby.” So she put the phone near her stomach and I started talking, “Hi my little baby!” That’s where it happened, she started kicking and moving when she heard my voice. My fiance told me and that very moment I knew I was ready, just knowing my baby recognize my voice gave me that motivation I was lacking to fully be mentally prepared to be a parent. So I continued working hard and saving more and more money, asking for help and looking at videos and blogs of being a parent. Going to college and taking care of my fiance, everything was just going my way now. I started going to therapy which is helping me release my past and preparing me for the present and future. I learned how to continue through hard times. I never expected working 10-12 hour shifts doing physical labor, how to do something, and look for different things to do meanwhile one thing is not available at the time. Even though fear can swallow you up and toss you around nothing is impossible especially when you ask for a helping hand and advice from people; not even that itself but putting in the effort, not just for yourself, but for your baby. To any soon to be parents or anyone in my situation just know nothing is truly impossible at all, and yes you will become overwhelmed by everything and the responsibility but with the right mindset and effort you will succeed and give your baby everything you did not have. As of today the fifteenth of September of 2019, I am ready to be a parent and ready for any obstacle. Now it is just a matter of time when the baby arrives.