The Story of Me | Teen Ink

The Story of Me MAG

March 14, 2015
By Lalupu PLATINUM, Springfield, Illinois
Lalupu PLATINUM, Springfield, Illinois
21 articles 0 photos 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Scars just mean you were stronger than whatever tried to kill you."

---Author Unknown

My birth was atypical.

I was born at 25 weeks – three months before my due date. My mother calls me her “miracle” or “alphabet soup” baby, for all the three-letter acronyms for my various conditions. At birth I weighed 1 pound 10 ounces and was given a 50/50 chance of survival.

When I did survive, I was expected to be severely disabled – both physically and cognitively. Slowly, I was taken off the ventilator as I learned to breathe for myself. In time, I learned to breastfeed without sucking milk into my lungs.

I vaguely remember my three years of physical, occupational, developmental, and speech therapies. Neither I nor my mother remembers when I first learned how to … crawl? Walk? Speak? Only that it happened slowly, with two steps forward and one step back, for months.

I couldn’t read – at least not independently – for the first 10 years of my life. At 15, I’m almost ashamed to say I spell only adequately.

Despite all this, I learned to speak fluently, honed my motor skills, and learned to follow along both physically and mentally. Steadily, I was molding myself a normal girlhood.

There are always those quick to remind me of my journey. When I started school, not everyone was accepting of my differences, and even some who set limits on my future potential. These assumptions deeply angered me. To think that almost strangers could see me and decide who I was, who I was going to be, based on what I had struggled through in the past. When I saw these same biased views cast on others, I felt obligated to protect them. Experiencing my struggles attuned me to the struggles of others.

Throughout middle school, I was there for my bullied friends. I supported my friends who “came out” in school. And I was the voice against racism in my Girls on the Run team as we watched a group of young black men get racially profiled by police.

Throughout my life, I have learned to covet my firm belief in this, above all else: Doing what you can, when and how you can, and doing it one step at a time makes a difference. All change happens as a series of steps – we reach our destination as we keep moving, going slowly, one foot at a time.

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This article has 4 comments.

on Nov. 15 2015 at 1:11 pm
Lalupu PLATINUM, Springfield, Illinois
21 articles 0 photos 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Scars just mean you were stronger than whatever tried to kill you."

---Author Unknown

That's amazing! I never thought I'd find another person like me. I've met other preemies, but they've always ranged between two to three pounds. I'm glade my story inspired you. Keep fighting!

on Nov. 11 2015 at 9:24 pm
sharpened_pencil GOLD, Warren, New Jersey
11 articles 1 photo 38 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Life can suck, sure. Mostly though it's a blank canvas. If you want to see something brighter in it, you might have to add it yourself." -Patrick Stump, Fall Out Boy

This is absolutely amazing! I found your article in the magazine and I"m so glad I did! I'm just like you, I was born at exactly 25 weeks and 1 pound 10 ounces. The doctors thought the same thing and as a child I had similar physical and developmental problems. It was so incredible to find this kind of story, I never thought I would. I love this essay so much, it's very profound and thought-provoking.

Axela17 GOLD said...
on Mar. 19 2015 at 5:03 pm
Axela17 GOLD, New Bremen, Ohio
10 articles 0 photos 44 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live by the body, I live by faith in the son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." -Galatians 2:20

I wish there were more people like you in the world. You are the kinda person that would be my best friend, and from your story, I would never even think twice about you having some sort of "disability." I love your story, please publish stuff one day!

on Mar. 19 2015 at 4:29 pm
hannahelizclark SILVER, State College, Pennsylvania
7 articles 2 photos 4 comments

Favorite Quote:
“There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep on rolling under the stars.” ― Jack Kerouac, On the Road: The Original Scroll