I remember the moment I knew I was pregnant, standing in front of the mirror in my Mother's room, 16 years old, and initially not really that concerned. A visit to planned parenthood confirmed what I already knew about a week later. I was not in love with the father and honestly was ready to break up with him before I knew anyway! I called my Mom at work (bad choice in judgment, I know that now) and told her as if it was not really that big of a deal. The arguments that we had were horrible! She told me that "this child is not a gift from God!", you can't live here, you will never be able to take care of this baby, you won't graduate from HS, and on and on. I felt like if I heard another statistics quote from someone I was going to throw up! She even went so far as to schedule an abortion for me without asking if that was something I even wanted. The day of my appointment, I didn't go home from school! That was the day I grew up! That was the day I decided that if was old and mature enough to get pregnant, than I was old and mature enough to stand my ground and refuse the abortion! I was scared to death of the abortion process and figured child birth would at lease not leave me scared for life but with a beautiful baby who belonged to me.  More fighting continued between my mother and I. Next she tried very hard to convince me that I should give the baby up for adoption. She made the appointment and I went just to keep her off my back for a few days. I listened to what they had to say, looked through their books of family's, and looked at the worker and said "This all seems real nice but my Mother and you are crazy if you think I am going to just give my baby (that I want by the way) to a complete stranger and just walk away! My Mom's face turned bright red and she rolled her eyes and told me that if I wanted to keep this baby then I would have to move out! I told her that was fine, there was a home for unwed mothers about 20 min from our house and I would live there! She ended up helping me rent an apartment and paying my rent for me until I turned 18! That of course had a lot to do with me telling her that "you may not be responsible for my baby, but you are definitely responsible for me until I turn 18!  Looking back on how I stood up for myself and refused to let other people tell me what was best for me, I am very thankful that God gave me the courage because I am still not sure how it was so easy for me to this day! Now that I am 32 and my baby girl is 15 I know that all of the negative comments from my family, friends, counselors, doctors, and other adults were made out of their personal fear,uncertainty, and false knowledge that society provided with all its teenage pregnancy horror stories.  All these people saw was a 16 yr old girl who was pregnant and because STATISTICS said that my chances for success were low so I should not have the baby!! They were trying to scare me into doing what they wanted me to do. When Kayla was born all of these same people were so over joyed and in love with her immediately that is was like someone flipped a light switch. I can not tell you how many times my Mom has cried and apologized to me since Kayla was born for her words and actions. I proved her and everyone else WRONG and they know it!! Today she is proud of me beyond words for standing my ground and being a wonderful mother. I did finish high school, I did go to college, I kept jobs, now I own my own business, have been married for almost 7 years to a wonderful man who never hesitated to date me when I was 21 with a 2nd grader and have more love an support from the people who told me to have an abortion than I could ever ask for. Here is kicker! I found out when I was 26 that I can no longer have children. If I had terminated my pregnancy I would very likely never have been able to conceive again! My point is, EVERYTHING happens for a reason and even though we may experience unpleasant things during the process we must understand that one day it will have all been worth it for a very specific reason that God knew all along! Keep in mind when making your decision to give life or not, that millions of teenage moms are grown now with fulfilling lives, great well balanced children, and undeniable proof that it is possible to do. They have defied those statistics society tries to scare you with and given hope to young mothers everywhere!!

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