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February 11, 2007 at 2:40 pm #15118mommytoele
Hi there- To those who have read my story under "Sisters" by: mommytoele… I want to Thank You for doing so, and to those who left a comment… Thank You… Here is a "new" update to my story…
Please let me know what you think.
“I am a teenager who had a daughter.”
By: Nicole Kirby
Teenagers are invincible, or so we think. Later on we learn we are not. When you are a teenager, a world of fun and no responsibilities await you every morning. It is one of the best times in our lives, although, as many have learned, as I have, it can be confusing. Your adult life starts as an empty book, waiting to be filled, but it can slam shut quickly.
You see it everywhere you go. Teenage girls pushing their babies in strollers, chasing after their toddlers in the grocery stores, walking through high school halls with growing bellies. Did you know almost half of the teen girls in your community thought they were pregnant, or are pregnant? Have you ever thought of the United States to have the highest rates of teen pregnancy and births in the western developed world? Today, thirty-four percent of young women become pregnant at least once before they reach the age of 20, which is about 820,000 a year. Eight in ten of these pregnancies are unintended and 79 percent are to unmarried teens. I became one of those statistics at age fifteen.
Teen parenting isn’t easy. A teen parent must live two lives, one as a teen, and one as a parent. A teen mom faces so many more issues than an "older mom." Dealing with the day-to-day chores that involve a baby, trying to take care of a baby, and getting an education can be very demanding.
Going places isn’t the same. Before, I would spend all my time getting myself ready, but now that I have a baby, how I look doesn’t matter anymore.
Trying to go to school, raise a baby, and still grow up, is not easy. A teen mom faces more than just the bills and the baby. She often deals with becoming stereotypical in the eyes of those around her. That includes strangers, friends, and even family. Many teenagers don’t want to acknowledge the fact that it only takes once to get pregnant.
When I am in school, you might it’s an easy "get away", but deep down I miss my daughter more each time I leave her. Being the talk around town often hurts. Closer to home, teen moms have to deal with relationship problems. Boyfriends of any type tend to drop out of the "picture," or promise to be around only to disappear later. Often, teen moms will realize he isn’t the best person in the world to be a dad, boyfriend, or husband. Child support is a problem, since most young dads are still in school or not making very much money. There are some great teen dads out there, but unfortunately, they are rare.
Did you know that every hour, 52 teen girls become pregnant? I didn’t until I got pregnant, and I didn’t realize how big the pressure of meeting the needs of a child would be when I became pregnant at the age of fifteen. My family didn’t want to accept it, as any family would have a hard time dealing with their fifteen-year-old being pregnant. I had a wonderful pregnancy, and for a while my boyfriend supported me. I gave birth after thirty hours of labor, to a healthy 8 lbs. 1 o.z. daughter, ‘Elizebeth’. She had ten toes and fingers. She was prefect, and I thought my life was too. It was the most painful thing I have ever experienced, but everything has a way of turning out in the end, and she is definitely worth it.
The hospital stay and the first week with Elizebeth felt great. I never felt more loved by Elizebeth’s father, and never felt more like a family. But that all changed, Elizebeth’s father and I no longer could stay together. I’ve been part of the court system as of August 2004. I have been through court for custody, visitation, and child support.
Court laws can be very stressful and they are not as helpful as I thought they would be. Just because you think something is wrong or right doesn’t mean that the court system is going to agree with it. However, you have to do what’s right for your child. Now, could you imagine spending thousands of dollars on a lawyer, and going back and forth to court, and trying to find time on top of everything else, still being a teenager?
I loved my daughter’s father with all my heart, and I have a part that still does, because he gave me her and she is the best thing in my life. It breaks my heart to fight him in court. But being taken away from your baby is the hardest and most devastating thing to ever go through. Having your baby taken away from you for even one minute can seem like forever. However, because of the court ruling, I have to be okay with handing my daughter over for different visitation days and time, during the week. I usually do not know how she is doing, or where she is. I know that it’s good that her father wants her in his life, and I am at least thankful for that.
Although I’m only eighteen years old, I’ve had to experience how mean and cruel people can be. I also had to experience a controlling and abusive relationship with my boyfriend. I never expected any of this to happen to me, but most of the time you don’t want to believe that it can happen until it’s too late. Although my family and friends kept trying to tell me I would get hurt in that relationship, I never wanted to listen to them.
When I am in school, some say, "Aww", when I show them pictures of her, or "I wish I had a baby. They’re just so cute." I usually sigh and roll my eyes. It’s not a fun little game having a baby. You might think it’s cute and fun to dress them up and show them off, but taking care of a baby when you’re still a kid yourself, and to top it off, still trying to go to school, is so hard. It’s a lot to deal with. Yet it’s something I know that I have to do, to prove to myself and to my daughter that I can make it, even with people saying, "You’re too young to have a child." People ask me if there’s anything that I regret, and I say, "As painful as my experience has been, I would never regret it. It is making me a stronger person."
I have conquered the challenge of going to school, doing the homework that was asked of me, and handing it on time. “I have graduated!” The past 3 years that my daughter has been here, I’ve been doing everything I can to stay in school, and graduate. Now, that I have graduated, I am looking for a part time job. I am also applying at a community college to become a legal and medical secretary.
The only thing that I regret is putting myself through the lies, secrets, and heartbreak of my relationship with my daughter’s father, thinking we had a chance just because we had a child together. Having a baby doesn’t create a marriage, and it never will.
Though it’s tough being a young parent, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. My daughter can be a handful at times, but she also brings me so much happiness. I feel blessed to have her in my life. She is beautiful both inside and out. Her personality shows more on a daily basis. She has definitely changed my life for the better. I can’t imagine not having her here. I’m proud to be able to call her my daughter, and be known as a proud mother of her.
Telling your parents that you’re pregnant is the best solution to a healthy pregnancy, labor, and delivery. You need prenatal care to help you keep the baby safe. If you can’t tell your parents, tell someone whom you can talk with. If you don’t get the proper care that is needed, you can end up harming the baby, and yourself.
Believe me, there will still be time to do all you want to, and your childhood can still be the best time of your life, if you let it. My message that I want girls out there to remember is, “don’t make yourself an adult before you’re ready. If a girl does find herself pregnant, I would say give the child the chance to live. If you know you’re not going to be able to keep it, give the child up for adoption to someone who will be able to keep it and love it.April 28, 2007 at 3:36 pm #17133cwest8
i am glad u are happy your daughters father is part of her life thats the way it should beApril 28, 2007 at 3:39 pm #17134Michelle780
I’m happy that your family supported you through your pregnancy. It must of been hard to tell them that you were pregant at 15. What exactly happened to the boyfriend issue? I just can’t believe he never stuck around. Does he still talk to her or you? Message me sometime.
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