I was exceptionally blessed in that my parents (and later my family)- after getting over the initial shock- were fully accepting of my pregnancy and looked forward to Damien's arrival like any grandparents would! My parents were in their late thirties at the time and so were understandably surprised! They also backed my decision not to marry my baby daddy- I wanted to finish school and study further before I even thought about getting married. Back then, South Africa's education department policies did not allow pregnant girls to stay at school and as a result, we decided to keep my pregnancy as quiet as possible so I could finish the school year. But after I split with my son's father we were still going to the same high school, so I saw him every day. I cried non-stop for weeks on end, which caused endless rumours to spread around the school- everything from me having a drug problem to my supposedly committing suicide!! It was very hard... especially since he continued to live as though this were a "normal" break up and started dating again soon afterwards. Since I was not behaving like this was a "normal" break up; the rumours spread quickly- reaching the teacher's ears, as these things do. By the time the school's vice principal confronted me about the stories, I was almost four months pregnant and we only had about a week to go before the year's final exams started. My ex and I were called into the office after the vice principal asked me if I was pregnant and I simply said "yes" (and I'll never forget the look on her face) and we were then told we could complete our final exams, but would not be allowed to return to the school. Our parents were contacted as well of course. I went straight from the principal's office to recess, and told all my friends what was happening- that I was pregnant and that I had been suspended and would be keeping my baby and everything I could think of apart from that! Since I lived near my school and had younger sisters and a brother who did (and would) attend the same school, and since I had no intention of vanishing off the face of the planet like so many girls who fell pregnant at school, I didn't want any mystery surrounding why I was leaving the school. That was my last day at school, and pretty much the last time I spoke to my son's father- apart from a couple of lame attempts on my part (while we were writing our exams and I saw him at the school) to get him to see what was going on. Honestly, I think at that stage I still harboured a slim hope that we could keep contact if only for my son's sake... He showed no interest in anything I said and by the time December came around and the schools closed for the Christmas holiday, I knew there was no hope for us- not even for a part time parenting relationship. 

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