This is my story: My name is Angela and when I had just turned 17 I found out I was pregnant. I found out in January of 2010 and I was 7 weeks along. I took a home pregnancy test during winter break from school. I was a couple weeks late on my period and was feeling very sick all December. I asked my step sister to buy a test and it was positive. That day I threw up. I wasn’t worried about my boyfriend Matt leaving me, we were together over a year before I got pregnant and planned on getting married after high school. When I told him he was fine with it and we knew right away we were keeping the baby. Luckily I got pregnant to a very responsible 17 year old. He had already had a job and a car and was starting college for accounting. But that is all the luck I had.
I was living with my dad and he was very upset with me when I told him. For the first time he was silent, but still angry. I still remember his face when I told him. He was so disappointed. I almost wish he yelled at me, but instead he was quiet. Eventually he calmed down and came to terms with me keeping the baby. My step mom was very childish about the whole thing, she has always been the childish type and when she found out she was very hard on me about it, like she didn’t want me pregnant. She got in a huge fight with me and pushed a chair hard into my stomach. My dad had called the cops because things got way out of control. I decided that it would be safer if I moved in with Matt and his mom. They lived just down the street so my dad was fine with it.
Matt’s mom wanted me to get an abortion. That is the first thing she said when we told her. I told her that is out of the question. She never mentioned it again but she was still unsupportive of the decision and made life very hard for me there.
At almost 8 weeks I went to a pregnancy crisis center where they did free pregnancy tests and ultrasounds. I confirmed my pregnancy there and got to see the baby’s heart beat and got a picture. I was excited to be a mom. I had always been a mom pretty much so I knew I was mature enough to handle this. Before I moved in with my dad at 15 I lived with my mom and older sister. My whole life I took care of them. My mom was a bad alcoholic and was out every night and some nights she would throw parties at the house. I would always wake up seeing strange men on the couch and my mom on the bathroom floor passed out. It was always up to me to make sure she kept her jobs and didn’t blow her money. I also got her up for work every day and made sure she ate food. My sister was into drugs and always stole what little money my mom had left to pay for it. I always used my birthday money or money I’d find to pay for things we needed. After 15 years of that I decided to move from Pennsylvania to Minnesota to be with my dad. Unfortunately instead of finally being able to be a kid I got pregnant within a year.
Thankfully I had Matt. He was the best boyfriend. He was always there for me and knew I had it rough and since he didn’t have a dad he knew he would be the best one he could be for our baby.
I was hit with morning sickness very hard. I was sick every day and had such bad heartburn. I also hated all food and always had a bad taste in my mouth. I had to force myself to eat but really I couldn’t stand the taste of anything. I started showing almost right away and with all the stairs at my school I knew I wouldn’t be able to finish the year there. I decided to finish my junior year online. Matt finished up his senior year and when I was 6 months we went to prom. Everyone was shocked that I was pregnant because when I left I told no one. My friends have told me one day I was there and then I disappeared, so it was shocking for them to see me with a big baby bump!
Soon after that I was put on bed rest. It was summer time and mostly I sat at home or I went swimming to get a little exercise. I was so excited when we were going to find out the sex. I remember that day, I was hoping for a boy and Matt didn’t care either way. Unfortunately we had the rudest ultrasound technician. Instead of making it a fun experience she said nothing the whole time. I kept having to ask her what we were looking at and even then she would just mumble it in a mean voice…”that’s the arm”….”It’s the head”….she would snap. Also at a certain point I told her I had to sit up because I was gonna throw up because laying on my back too long made me sick. She told me that I should suck it up because she wanted to get this over with. I sat right up and pushed her aside before I was going to throw up. After a few seconds sitting up trying to settle my stomach she kept asking me if I was done already. Finally I laid down so she would shut up because I was so done with her attitude. Near the end I had to ask her if she was going to tell me the sex. She said maybe at the end if she had time. I was so upset I wanted to cry at that point. When the end came she looked for a couple seconds and said it may be a girl but she wasn’t sure and she couldn’t get a good look even though she only glanced for a second or two. When we left we were insure if it was a girl or not, we were so confused. We decided to take a chance a assume it was a girl and we picked the name Charlotte Lorraine. Lorraine is my middle name and my great grandmothers name who is still alive and a proud great great grandma at 96.
The summer was almost over and my due date was coming soon. Matt had enrolled in college and I was figuring out birthing classes, medical assistance, WIC, and getting plane tickets for my mom to come out for the birth. I found out I had high blood pressure and since I already gained 40 pounds and was dilated to 3cm my doctor decided to induce me early. He set the date on August 25th which was Matt’s 18th birthday. My mom wasn’t flying in until the 28th so she wasn’t there for the birth.
I was induced at 6 or 7 am that morning and started feeling the contractions around 11 or so. I got an epidural and thankfully had the nicest nurse ever which made it a breeze and I barely felt it. She was an older lady and had me sitting up and put my head into her chest and she rubbed my shoulders and made hushing sounds the whole time. After the epidural I was fine and tried to sleep but the baby’s heart rate went down and the only way to stabilize it was me changing position every 30 minutes, and since I was numb every half an hour 2 nurses had to come in and turn me…needless to say I got no rest. I was dilating very slowly and finally at 9pm I was ready to push. It was a slow and quiet process. It was just one nurse in the room who was very nice and talked me through the whole thing. I pushed for 2 hours and was so tired I could barely go on. I had to have oxygen. Finally at 11:17pm Charlotte was born.
I was so tired I barely remember much. I didn’t see Matt cut the cord, but I remember them putting her on my chest and we all were crying even Matt. Apparently she pooped on me on the way out but I don’t remember lol. The next day I had broken blood vessels on my face from pushing so hard and so long. I hadn’t gotten sleep that night or the day before so I was still tired. I still couldn’t walk even though the epidural was out and they had me on IV’s until we left. I had to be taken to the bathroom and bathed by the nurses. I had no control of my bladder and since I tore I had stitches and spent the days at the hospital with an ice pack in-between my legs. The day we left I couldn’t walk much and needed help and I needed help walking and couldn’t control my bladder until a week or two after birth. I tried breast feeding but after 2 weeks I started bleeding and had to stop. Charlotte was very healthy and was 7lbs 4oz.
When My mom came she helped a lot until 3 days before she left she started fighting with everyone. Sometimes my mother goes nuts and she went off on everyone. She left and we didn’t talk for a long time. Matt started college and I tried to do my senior year online. But with a newborn I never had time to log on and slowly my grades slipped. When Charlotte was about 6 months old we decided to move back with my dad because Matt’s mom’s house was falling apart. It had rats and bugs and holes everywhere and there was mold all over the place. My dad had 2 rooms for us since my step sister moved out and I also decided to drop out of online school.
I had the idea to get my GED but that summer I found out about an alternative school program in my district that allowed students to take only the credits they needed to graduate. I signed up for daycare assistance through the county and enrolled. A bus came and picked up me and Charlotte and it took her to daycare and me to school. I was supposed to graduate in 2011 but since I dropped out I had to start senior year over again, but I only needed a few credits so I graduated in January of 2012.
We had gotten a home visitor through the county to come and help us make sure we are good parents and teach her everything she needs at certain milestones. We wanted to be the best parents we could be. Charlotte has always been ahead of kids her age and everyone is always impressed by her. I didn’t work so I was with her everyday. I taught her as much as I could so she grows up right unlike me. She started talking at 5 months old and by the time she turned 1 she could say 2 to 3 word sentences. She started walking at 9 months old and could walk all by herself at 10 months old…Everyone told me not to even try teaching her to walk so early but I knew she wanted to learn.
I am now 20 and me and Matt have been together for 5 years. Charlotte is three and is the smartest girl in her head start class. She speaks full sentences and has very good manners. She knows how to spell her name and recognizes all letters and numbers. She reads some words and she can do simple math with small numbers such as 2+1 or 4-2. Ever since she was 1 she memorized all the words to songs on the radio not just children’s songs. I tried so hard to give her every opportunity I never had and it all paid off. I didn’t use any websites or anything else to teach my daughter, I sat with her and taught her everything she knows. My mother did none of this for me. I didn’t know how to read until I was in second grade. I had a speech impairment until 4th grade and I had no personal hiegene because no one taught me how, now my teeth are bad because I never knew to brush my teeth. Charlotte always washes her hands sometimes after just touching something, she loves to brush her teeth and take baths and loves to take medicine, she is the best little girl in the world.
It goes to show you no matter where you come from you can always succeed and live a happy life. I am lucky, not all teen moms have their boyfriend stick around. We plan on getting married and soon having more children. I know I have done right and I am a good mom everytime I hear my daughter say please or everytime someone tells me how smart she is. Being a teen mom doesn’t always mean you are irresponsible or you will be a bad mom. It also doesn’t mean your life is over. I chose to keep my baby and now I cant imagine my life with out her or Matt. I love my family and I am strong and I know that I can make a difference. I had no help from family but I made it. Now Matt’s little sister is pregnant at 17 as well. I am giving her what I didn’t have, someone who understands, someone who is there to help. I help her with every thing I can and I am the only one who supported her decision. She even chose me over her own sister to be there in the delivery room with her.
I am very blessed and I have no idea where I’d be without my daughter. She made me who I am and I vowed to try and make a difference for people just like me. I was part of organizing a parent support group and I always give advice to girls I know in my situation. All I can say is it’s better to wait and have sex, but if you get pregnant…no matter what anyone says…you know what is best for you and your baby and you will make the right decision. You don’t need people behind you backing you up you don’t even need a boyfriend, all you need is you to tell yourself you can do this. I finished school and I am going on to become a Pharmacy Tech. and fulfilling my dreams. Hopefully others are lucky like me and overcome their past and make a future for yourself. Hopefully other teen moms are lucky enough to have their boyfriend stand up and be the dad they hope for, I know mine did. I couldn’t ask for a better happily ever after.