“I didn’t mean to get pregnant!” Tina sobbed as she buried her head in Eloise’s pillow.
Eloise sat down on the bed beside her best friend.
“It’s okay, Tina. We’ll figure out what to do.”
“Maybe I should… you know… get rid of it.” Tina sat up as she spoke, turning just in time to catch the horrified look that flicked across Eloise’s face. “I know you hate that idea Eloise, but… I’m only sixteen. I can’t look after a baby.”
“What about Scott, have you told him yet?”
“He told me I’m stupid to let it happen. Then he said he never wants to see me again.” A fresh wave of tears overtook Tina and she buried her head in the pillow again. “At least Mum doesn’t care. She was only eighteen when she had me.”
Lord, please give me wisdom. Eloise continued to pray silently as she tried to decide what she should say.
“Before you make a decision, let’s go to the library and check out some stuff about pregnancy. We have to look it up for the biology assignment anyway.”
“Wow! Look at this picture Eloise. That’s only five weeks into the pregnancy.” Tina pushed the book across the library table for Eloise to see. “It says the baby already has a heartbeat, and look at its little arms and legs.”
“Oh, yeah. Wow. Isn’t that awesome.” Eloise pulled the book closer to read the blurb beside the picture.
“Look at this picture over the page.” Eloise tried to hand the book back before realizing Tina was transfixed by something across the room.
Following Tina’s gaze, Eloise saw a young mother curled up on the cushions in the children’s corner. A curly haired girl sat on her knee, chubby fingers pointing to the pictures in the book. Her childish giggle could be heard from where they sat.
“Eloise,” Tina didn’t take her eyes off the child. “Do you think I could have a baby that cute?”
Eloise chuckled before answering. “Tina, if it’s a mix of your’s and Scott’s looks, your baby would be even cuter than that.”
Tina finally dragged her eyes away from the child and back to the book they were looking at. Every page held something that interested her.
“Look, Eloise. By twelve weeks all the major organs are formed and just need to mature.”
“Hey, it’s got eyebrows by sixteen weeks. How cool is that?”
“Oh, look at this picture at eighteen weeks. It looks like it’s sucking its thumb. That’s so cute.”
“Ooooh, there’s a picture of it being born. That’s gross. I couldn’t do that. Uh, uh. No way!”
“Tina, look at this.” Eloise pointed to the picture of the foetus at eight weeks. “That’s about what your baby looks like now, right. Read what it says. Your baby… your baby, Tina, has a heart that is beating, taste buds in its mouth, fingers and toes. It even has tiny muscles and is starting to move. Tina, do you know what abortion will do to that?”
Tina looked at Eloise, eyes wide and scared. She pointed to a picture in the book she was holding.
“Look what pregnancy will do to me though.”
They placed the books side by side and compared the pictures. One showed the swollen belly of a woman in the final stages of pregnancy, and the other was of the tiny, eight-week-old foetus.
There was a long silence as the girls studied the pictures and details about how a baby grows.
“Eloise,” Tina finally said, “I don’t know how I will do it. I’m terrified of going through pregnancy… and labour. I’m even more scared of being a mother, but it’s not the baby’s fault I got pregnant. Do you remember at youth group last week, when we were talking about consequences? Well, I know there are consequences for what I do, and I really want to give this baby a chance. Will you help me, Eloise?”
“I’d love to help. Of course, I expect to be called Auntie Eloise.”
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