Everything I had ever known in life changed the Morning of January, 13th 2003. I remember feeling like I came down with the flu, except it was a little different. My abdomen was tighter and I just wasn’t quite feeling like myself. I happened to be in class with my best friend and telling her how I was feeling. She said “maybe you are pregnant” in a joking manner. My heart sank instantly. Could that be it?
2 weeks after my 17th Birthday I found myself in the bathroom of a Burger King 2 blocks away from my high school taking a pregnancy test on my lunch break. It seems as though it showed a bright pink line almost instantly. I for sure thought I wasn’t reading it right. My friend and I went back to her house, ordered a pizza and waited for the urge to pee again. This couldn’t have been real. I was taking nursing classes at the Tech Center and I had plans. This was not one of them. To my surprise, the second test came back just as positive as the first.
All I could do was cry.
I felt so guilty. I was always a good kid. I didn’t drink or smoke. Never really went out with friends. I had good grades. How could I let this happen? Telling my mom and grandparents that I was pregnant was by far the hardest thing I have ever had to do. They were always so proud of everything I have done, I knew telling them would crush them. I remember my grandparents not speaking to me for weeks. It killed me. I didn’t even think about the impact being pregnant would have on my own life. I was so worried about what everyone else thought. And of course, it was the typical girl gets pregnant, the boy is nowhere to be found textbook teen pregnancy. I wouldn’t dream of having an abortion. Could I give my baby to someone else to raise?
It was a long 9 months, to say the least. I went into my senior year 8 months pregnant. Friends disappeared, people gossiped and stared. It was not easy, but I was determined to finish school and get my diploma. I was going to prove everyone wrong and show them that with hard work anything can be done. The morning of October 1st I remember having back pain. My teacher noticed I was in pain and called my mom. We went straight to the hospital and after 4 days of active labor, I delivered a beautiful 7lb 2oz baby girl.
Giving birth is a total miracle no matter your age.
I remember just staring into her eyes and thinking now what? I read the books, watched the movies, but to have her in my arms was a different story. A friend who came to visit us in the hospital changed her first diaper because I was mortified I was going to hurt her. She was so tiny and perfect.
3 weeks after giving birth I went back to school. That was when shit got real. Waking up every couple of hours to breastfeed and still waking up to get to class on time, coming home for lunch to breastfeed and then back to school. I have to thank GOD and my family that I finished my senior year with good grades and walked with my class. That was the first time in a really long time I was proud of myself. My 6-month-old baby was in the audience watching her Mom graduate. From there I got a job, an apartment and put myself through college.
God has blessed me in countless ways. It hasn’t been an easy journey, but it’s one I don’t regret. I learned so much about life and true love. Entering motherhood a little early has brought me so many struggles that I never expected to deal with. But at the end of the day, after wiping snotty noses and endless nights of listening to a crying baby, it’s worth it. My daughter gave me purpose. She helped me figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life. Of course, it’s nowhere near ideal to be a teen parent, and I would never want that for my own daughter, but it’s also not the end of the world. I wanted to share my story in hopes to inspire and change people’s thoughts on teen moms.
Here are a few things I learned from being a teen mom:
- MTV has it all wrong
- Having a baby is the best form of birth control
- Judgment is harsh!
- Being a grownup and a parent is very expensive
- You trade the good for the bad and bad for the good.
- Friends aren’t friends unless they are there 100% of the way
- You can’t choose your relatives, but you can choose your family
- Teen pregnancy doesn’t mean your life is over
- Having high expectations is overrated
- This too shall pass
- God does not give you more than you can handle, it’s what you do with it that matters
Jennifer saysJanuary 2, 2014 at 1:44 pm
Love this! I was just like you, only I had two months to go until I graduated and started what I thought was ‘my life plan’. God knew me so much better than I knew myself. My baby is 19 years old now and I can’t imagine my life without her. Yes, it was hard, but like you said, so worth it. Wouldn’t trade my girl for anything!!!
Missi saysJanuary 2, 2014 at 1:50 pm
Thank you so much for sharing. Your words are powerful. I am glad there are other AMAZING teen moms <3
Erin saysJanuary 2, 2014 at 3:54 pm
I am the product of a teen pregnancy. When my 16 year old Chatholic school girl mom was pregnant there was no MTV, and judgment was harsh! I was 2 when my mom graduated high school and 4 when she joined the Army, I remember well the struggles, the worries and the hardships she went through. I am now 41 and she is 57. I think we get closer in age the older we get, lol! My mom always said we grew up together and that made us closer than other mothers and daughters. Thanks for sharing your story.
Katie saysJanuary 2, 2014 at 5:03 pm
You and I have had a similar teen pregnancy experience. I just wanted to let you know that sharing your story has meant a great deal to me and my daughter. Thank you.
Missi saysJanuary 2, 2014 at 5:44 pm
LOL yes. My daughter is now 10 and we are getting closer to wearing the same size. Perks! Couldn’t agree more about growing up together. It happens. And I am amazed at how much you can learn from such a little person. Thanks for sharing!
Missi saysJanuary 2, 2014 at 5:45 pm
I am so glad. I want to change the thinking about teen moms that MTV has screwed up 🙂 Thanks so much for reaching out
Mary Ann saysJanuary 4, 2014 at 3:09 pm
Thank you for sharing. As a teen mom myself I watched many of the mtv shows and thought ” not even close”. The hardest part was hearing people say that my life was over and I could say goodbye to college, career etc. Hmmmm, I have 2 Masters degrees, am currently finishing my Doctorate and was at the top of my field by the age of 30. My children are honors students now juniors in college and high school. Glad I didn’t listen to the nay sayers. Best of luck to you.
Missi saysJanuary 4, 2014 at 6:04 pm
Love your story!! Thank you so much for sharing with me. I am so in love with mom success stories and it saddens me that more people don’t share them. All we hear about is the negative. High five! You are amazing!!
laura saysJanuary 7, 2014 at 2:24 pm
Thank you for telling your story. I had a baby at 17. While I was pregnant, I got very sick and was put in the hospital ( preggers and in the pediatric ward-yay, me!) A nurse on the ward adopted my son- I never once had regret for the choice I made. Actually, it was empowering for me to have to make right a poor choice. My son and I have never met, but I sneak on Facebook to see him maybe once a year, he is married, in school, and expecting a baby. What more could I ask for, he is happy, loved, and has a blessed life.
Missi saysJanuary 8, 2014 at 10:06 am
That is one of the beautiful things I have ever heard. Thank you so much for sharing with me. I am so proud of you!! You need to share YOUR story as well! It could be a total life changer
Brandi saysJanuary 10, 2014 at 9:36 pm
God bless you for giving your son and his adopted family that chance.
Tay saysFebruary 7, 2014 at 5:08 pm
Kudos to you!
I delivered my son 1 month before my 17th birthday. Having a child at a young age was a struggle but I am proud to say I beat the odds that were stacked against me. I won’t say life has been easy, but it has been worth it. My son is almost 11 now and he is definitely the love of my life!
Jessica saysMarch 20, 2014 at 10:39 am
As I sit here in tears, I can completely relate. I had my son at 17. It was back on October 1, 2000. He is now 13 and I still haven’t quite gotten over the way things happened. Although my family was 100% supportive of me, their support has often turned to an ugly form of back stabbing. I, too was always a really good kid- never drank, smoked, did drugs. Teen pregnancy is not the end of the world. There can be worse things that bringing a life into the world at a young age. Thank you for sharing.
Missi saysMarch 26, 2014 at 9:00 am
Thank YOU for sharing. You go girl! Means so much!
CouponGal saysJune 16, 2014 at 12:56 pm
thanks for writing this – somethign i need a little more of – compassion…
Dawn Webb saysNovember 12, 2014 at 4:27 pm
I just wanted to thank you for your honesty! I teach girls that are pregnant and have babies in high school and use this story to open up opportunities for discussion and to help them to see what it will be if they embrace their resiliency to push toward the future! I was a young mom too at a Christian college. Now we are married with 4 teens and although timing wasn’t great, I would not have changed anything! Thanks for sharing and being a resource!
Missi saysNovember 12, 2014 at 4:48 pm
I must tell you that this comment means everything to me. It took me a long time to get the courage to write this article. I wrote it with the intentions of changing a lot of the ways people think and hope to encourage other girls to keep moving forward always. Thank you so much for reaching out! You made my day.
Kaylene saysDecember 30, 2014 at 4:42 pm
I was a teen mom as well, and you described it perfectly. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but also the most rewarding. I have three little boys now, I am a stay at home mom getting married in June to a wonderful man, and I’m about to finish my business management degree. Teen moms can make it!
Missi saysDecember 30, 2014 at 6:21 pm
Yes they can!!! Thank you so much for speaking up. And high five on the business degree. You go girl!
Sarah @ My Joy-Filled Life saysJanuary 4, 2015 at 1:46 pm
I’m sure it wasn’t easy to write this; thank you for your courage to tell your story!
It’s girls/women like you that are my heroes! I admire your strength, faith, and courage for having a baby at such a young age. I got pregnant when I was 16 and I ended up making the most regrettable decision of my family; I had an abortion.
That was 20 years ago and it’s been a tough road as I struggled to forgive myself. I am thankful that I am finally there and I have found hope and forgiveness in Jesus Christ. I still regret my decision and cry about the choice I made, but I’m reassured that I will be reunited with my baby one day.
God Bless you and thank you for choosing life.
You can read my story here – http://www.myjoyfilledlife.com/2013/05/17/my-biggest-regret/
and here – http://www.thepurposefulmom.com/2014/10/hope.html
Missi saysJanuary 4, 2015 at 10:54 pm
I am moved to tears by your story. Thank YOU for sharing. And thank you for letting others know they aren’t alone as well. You have to forgive yourself and remember that you made that choice for a reason. I admire you on so many levels. We may have to do some chatting 🙂 Your story is powerful, but it’s not who you are. You are one strong and powerful woman. Never forget that!!
Julie saysJanuary 5, 2015 at 9:13 am
Thank you so much for sharing your story. You and your daughter are blessed to have each other! My son and his girlfriend had a baby in their teens (19 and 17). She’s 2 now, and I wouldn’t trade her for a kajillion dollars! What joy she brings to this world! When I was struggling with the ‘stigma’ of my son’s teenage pregnancy, I had a good friend remind me that God gets His blessings here one way or another even when it’s not how WE think it should be. God bless you!
Missi saysJanuary 5, 2015 at 10:34 am
Yes! I heard that exact thing from the same people that told me I was’t making the right decision for keeping her. It’s easy to make decisions based off of emotion. Thanks for sharing! And may God bless your for being a rocking’ Grandma. I hope your son knows what a blessing you truly are.
Kayla saysJanuary 5, 2015 at 12:13 pm
This is such a beautiful blog post! I was also a teen mom! Got pregnant at 16 and delivered at 17. My sons father and I are now married and ended up having another child later on but being a teen and pregnant was hard. He had graduated high school and got a job but I was also going to school and working. My group of friends became smaller and smaller but my 3 best friends stuck by my side through it all thankfully and made it a bit easier. I ended up graduating early and going on to college but it was extremely difficult. But like you said I honestly am so thankful for my family for helping me with graduating early. And I still remember having to tell my parents I was pregnant that was probably one of the hardest thing I have ever had to do as a child.
Stephanie saysJanuary 5, 2015 at 1:52 pm
Wow! It sounds like you did an amazing job and were incredibly mature at 17! I was terrified when I found out I was pregnant the first time and I had been married for a couple years and was 21 🙂 It’s great to hear a story that breaks the stereotype that is floating around out there and it sounds like God is rewarding you know for toughing it out during those rough times!
Shannen saysJanuary 12, 2015 at 5:42 pm
Thank you so much for sharing. I find that as my daughter gets older, people get more confused by how close we are in age (I got pregnant at 16). I thought by now the “babies having babies” ordeal would be over, but it’s more prevalent now than it has been for a long time. Keep strong, and keep doing what you’re doing! There are some really fun aspects to having a teen when you’re in your 20’s/30’s. 🙂
Colbee saysMay 4, 2015 at 5:10 pm
Very nice article. I too was a teen mom. Pregnant at 15 and gave birth just 21 days after my 16th birthday. What a violent shove into reality that was! I must say though that I did completely throw myself into being a mother. I dropped out, got my GED, started working as a server and eventually worked my way up to Event Manager. I too am now a stay at home mom married to a wonderful man who adopted my first daughter and gave me a son. Life is good – and I’ve had many great people in my corner throughout it!
Missi saysMay 4, 2015 at 5:29 pm
Beautiful story! Thank you so much for sharing it with me!
Leslie saysJuly 3, 2015 at 1:35 pm
You & your daughter are precious! I was 17 years old when I found out I was pregnant too. I was a good girl who had so much respect for my parents it damn near killed me to have to look them in the eye & tell them their baby was going to have a baby! 3 weeks before I graduated high school, with honors, I gave birth to my daughter. I put myself through 4 years of nursing school & now have 2 younger children and an amazing husband. That baby girl I had 23 years ago just finished undergrad & is heading to law school! I was determined to not become a statistic! I enjoyed growing up with my baby. We have a special bond that only other single teenage mothers can ever know!
God bless you and thanks for sharing your story!!
Marie saysFebruary 6, 2016 at 9:32 pm
I think you spoke to a lot of teen mom’s and that is a good thing, but in your title, I believe you were trying to speak to the people out there who might be judgemental. I was never a teen mom, but I have some thoughts on the subject. The Bible tells us that we should wait until marriage to have sex. However, there is no one in this world who doesn’t make mistakes. What a wonderful thing that you valued the life growing inside you, yet because you chose to continue with your pregnancy, you suffered the judgement of people around you. You could have quietly aborted the baby and those same people wouldn’t have given you a hard time. How very sad. You, and the women that commented are very courageous. One time I heard a sermon about Romans 8:28. The pastor pointed out that when it says, “all things work together for the good to those who love God” that all means all. It doesn’t mean everything except poor choices. I have a son who struggles with some poor choices he has made and I frequently remind him that God will bring good out of those things as he chooses to walk with God.
Lisa saysMay 9, 2016 at 12:17 am
Thank you for sharing your story. I had my first son one month after graduation in ’90. I too was the good child. Didn’t drink, smoke, or do drugs. MTV sure has it wrong. If they want to show what it’s really like, they shouldn’t be paying these young ladies. I always say age of the parent doesn’t matter, as long as the child is loved and taken care of.