Just a few days after my seventeenth birthday, I read an article in a teen magazine about the signs of pregnancy. I casually mentioned to my boyfriend, that I had a few of these “signs”. A week or so later, during my spring break, when all of us teen girls were enjoying a week off of school, I made a trip to Wal-Mart and purchased a pregnancy test. Only seconds after urinating on the stick, I got the affirmative two pink lines.
I immediately knew that life as I knew it was OVER. My dreams of going away to college were shattered. I was not a “kid-friendly” person. I did not like babies, and they did not like me. I had no idea how I would achieve my dreams of in life with a baby in tow.
I had no idea how my boyfriend would react. This is the pivotal point where I was luckier than most teen mothers, my boyfriend immediately vowed to be by my side. I was also lucky enough to have been dating someone that had already graduated, thus he had a job and at least some money.
I planned to wait to reveal the news to my parents until after my junior prom. It was a time that I was looking forward to and I did not want to miss it. However, as with teens, I told one friend that I was pregnant, and within a week half of my high school knew I was pregnant. I decided to tell my mother before she could find out from someone else. Her initial reaction was tears, of course, and non-belief in a home pregnancy test. She gathered a doctor’s number and set up an appointment so we could learn what I already knew.
A few days later, my mom and I went to the doctor, to once again, confirm that I was pregnant. My mom was finally out of denial and knew that I was making her a grandmother many years before she had anticipated. She did cooperate with me to not tell my dad until the prom was over in a few short weeks.
I had a great prom, as I danced with the boy who would soon have to become a man and a father well before he anticipated. The next day, I told my father, the secret that was not so much of a secret anymore. I expected him to get angry, but he instead had an “it figures” attitude, which, I found, was much harder for me to swallow.
My pregnancy was spent like most other expectant mothers, picking out baby clothes and reading books on pregnancy. I attended prenatal visits, where I was amazed to see my little being when he was only eleven weeks gestational age. While most other expectant mothers were going to work, I was spending my days going to school and studying calculus and physics. When my school day was over, I would go to work as a waitress, trying to save money so that I could try to pay down my loan on my Chevrolet Camero (which I would soon learn is not the most baby-friendly vehicle). I also remained active in my high school’s National Honor Society, much to the director’s dismay. She had told me that she would “understand” if I choose not to attend functions during my pregnancy, as well as hinted that I should consider giving my child up for adoption.
As my waistline continued to grow, so did my confidence in becoming a mother. I knew that things were not going to be easy, but I decided that I was going to make the best of the situation and be the best mother that a senior in high school could be.
On a November day of my senior year, the pain began. It was mild at first. I told my friends that I thought it was the day. I finished out my school day, went home to change, and headed to work. The pain increased as I worked waiting on customers. Finally, I went home to get ready to go to the hospital. My mom and boyfriend went with me to the hospital, which I was to enter as a teenager and leave as a mother. After labor that lasted all night, and into the morning, my son was born.
Reflecting back eight years later, I am proud of the mother I have become. I choose not to fall into the statistics of so many other teen mothers. I graduated high school with honors, and my six month old son was there beside me. I went on to complete college. My son is now in the second grade, is academically at the top of his class. He participates in sports with me on the sidelines cheering him on. He does not realize that most people my age are just beginning to think of starting a family; he just knows that he has a mom that is always by his side.
I have a wonderful family now, but I realize that being a teen mother is beyond difficult. While still struggling to find one’s own identity, a teen mother will make decisions that will shape another person’s life. Teens are generally not ready emotionally, nor financially to raise a child. I think that, ideally, a person should wait until they are approaching age thirty or beyond before becoming a parent. That being said, my son is the best “mistake” I ever made.