«

»

May 01

Teen Pregnancy: My Story – Can we stop the cycle?

How did an academically excellent student, class officer & athlete end up pregnant? Being a teen mom was one of the hardest things I’ve endured in my life. When I got pregnant, I was ousted by my dad, my coach, some teachers, and my mom. I was told that I should consider abortion, that I wasn’t going to graduate from high school or make anything of myself, “I don’t know what to tell y’all, but I’m not helping you with anything;” and so on. Hell, I wasn’t expecting anyone to do anything, but I wasn’t expecting them to be jerks about the situation either. I’m sure they were shocked and didn’t know what to say or do, but to tell someone that they won’t amount to anything is a little harsh. Those words deeply effected me, but I continued on with my “whatever” attitude and made it work for us. As I got older, I fully realized that they really didn’t know what to say or do. Them not knowing what to say or do is partially the reason I ended up being a teen mom in the first place.

My daughter was born 2 weeks into my senior year of high school. It’s kind of funny because we were watching a live birth in Physics class the day before she was born and I was joking that I was in labor. Little did I know, I was actually having contractions! I stayed out of school for the next 6 weeks and returned with a lot of catching up to do. My mornings began at 4:30 and my days ended at midnight. I would get up to catch the first city bus out to take my daughter to daycare and get to school by 6:30. I was in the co-op program, so I was able to leave early in order to get to work by 1pm. My daughter’s father would get her from day care and I’d pick her up from him when I got off work around 9pm. I’d take the bus home and prepare to do it all again the next day.

Upon returning to school after giving birth, I was faced with so many questions and it seemed that many of the girls were elated that I had a beautiful baby girl. They’d ask things like “Oh, why didn’t you have a baby shower, and how much did she weigh, and who does she look like and blah, blah, blah?” I WAS ASHAMED DAMN IT, that’s why I didn’t have a shower! Was having a baby at 17 years old supposed to be a glorious and glorified occasion? Why didn’t anyone understand that I was ashamed? Why didn’t anyone understand that I was tired? I was a baby with a baby, little support, and a statistic – another one drowned by the social perils faced by many.

Although, I still graduated in the top 8% of my class, I was very disappointed in myself. In my opinion, my GPA sucked. I was not able to be in National Honor Society because I missed the first 6 week period of school. I didn’t properly prepare for college the way I should have. I didn’t even apply for scholarships or anything. As smart as was, I didn’t know everything. No one in my family had gone to college before. Well, no one that I was close to, so I had very little guidance and very little knowledge about the procedures. While the other kids were soaking up the help and guidance of the school counselors, I was busy being a mom. I saw all of the other kids constantly going to the counselor’s office to get help and fill out financial aid and apply for scholarships, but I didn’t fully understand what they were doing. I also subconsciously felt that I was a failure and that I wouldn’t amount to anything. If it wasn’t for one of the coaches, I probably wouldn’t have gone to college at all. She asked me what school I was going to and I just simply shrugged my shoulders and said, “I don’t know.” That was quickly followed by a severe tongue lashing that I truly needed. I finally applied to Texas Southern University; it was too late for scholarships, but I did enroll in school.

So, I ask again, how did an academically excellent student, class officer & athlete end up pregnant?

I was careless and needed attention; however, I still feel that my daughter’s father and I are only partially to blame for my pregnancy. Don’t look confused, I did type that we are only partially to blame. I take full responsibility for my role, but I’m not the only one who should be held responsible. Some of you may think I’m full of *ish, but let’s put this in perspective. I was not properly educated about teenage sex or birth control. I wasn’t told about the physical or emotional ramifications of being sexually active… UNEDUCATED. I was not raised by both of my parents…DIVORCE. Because there was discord at home, I left the first time at the age of 14…BROKEN HOME. I left because my home was faced with another social peril…DRUG USE. The drug use led to distance and LACK OF ATTENTION. I’m not making excuses, but these are facts that contributed to my situation. My situation was not different from many others at the time and the same thing continues on now, we need to do everything in our power to break the cycle and it starts at home.

6 comments

Skip to comment form

  1. JustTonyaB

    @Monica, you are welcome. Thank you very much for reading. I recently had the opportunity to share this with a dear friend. His family was able to benefit from this post.

    @That Tech Chick, despite the fact that so many people understand what teen parents encounter, no one addresses it truthfully. Kudos to you for obtaining a college education and just know that you ARE doing the right things! Just simply talking to them and providing awareness is way more than what we received.

    (I apologize for the lateness in my reply. I didn’t receive notification of these two comments.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>