Pregnant? Really? Are you sure? When should I tell my mom or how should I tell her?
What am I to do next? Is the father going to be around?
I'm about to be a mom and I'm only 17.
These were the questions that constantly ran through my brain as I attended my routine appointment for my refills for birth control. Each time you are given a new prescription, they give you a pregnancy test. It seems as though none of the birth control agreed with me and here I am on a new pack of pills called Triphasil.
Oh how I could not believe the results. It only takes one time. But how could that possibly be when I had protected sex with a condom(which broke), on birth control and that was November 1990. My first and last time of having intercourse.
I was in tears and just thought that my life was over.
One semester away from graduating from high school. Excited and ready to embark on a journey to become an Accountant and one day be a Midwife. I had so many goals of going to college, to the prom, being a teen and having fun with my friends.
I made sure I went to the prom and graduated though. :)
Still confused on the results. I just couldn't believe it. I showed no signs and felt no type of movement, I slept a lot, which I thought was because I was working part time at Six Flags and going to school.
All I could think about at that moment was what if something was wrong with my child. I had been taking birth control all this time. When I found out I was expecting, it was spring break in April. After doing an ultrasound, they told me I was measuring 26 wks/5 days and my baby was healthy. I had missed my period for April, but I had a period from December 1990 until March 1991.
3 days and on time. I was use to my period skipping for a month each time my Gynecologist changed my birth control pills. I'm still in shock.
The ultrasound also revealed that I was having a little boy and he looked right at me as if he could see me through the monitor. His eyes were open and I fell in love immediately.
Prenatal visits had to start immediately and everything was rushed. Time for a plan!
1st: A good support system is what I need, which I didn't have much of any. Except my grandmother. My mother was not too thrilled of course. She wanted me to be successful and just the thought of me having a child so young would put a damper on my dreams and goals. Little did she know I had other plans. I will be successful.
2nd: Childbirth Education: I took every class I could find and read every book I could think of in ways to have a natural birth experience. I wasn't going to be like all my other classmates and neighbors that have had cesareans and used drugs in labor. No not me! I was active, I ate healthy and because I was having a summer baby, I stayed in water aerobics.
I know you probably are thinking, I'm young and what do I know. Let's just say I'm beyond my years as my Granny would say. I just knew I was different and regardless of how young I was, I was smart and determined to have a beautiful experience regardless.
3rd: Postpartum Care: I had no clue of how being a mom would be. I'm young with no support or friends. All my friends turned away from me because they thought that having a baby so young would ruin my reputation. I didn't care about that, I was about to be a mom. I had to grow up fast. I helped my mom raise my brothers. I am the oldest, so I knew about being a mother first hand and I kind of know what I needed to do, I just needed a little guidance. After all this is my child and no one else.
Early morning around 2 am of August 12,1991, I lost my mucus plug following a lot of blood with little contractions. They were not intense as I thought they would be. At least I didn't think it was. I was so anticipating this day and was ready for it. My grandmother was so supportive and she told me to take a warm bath, then go walk outside barefoot, to let my feet touch the earth and allow the process to just happen. "Walk the stairs and walk the porch" she says to me. No Fear, No doubt. Just breath and welcome the pressure. Then things started to change and I was feeling the urge to push in just a short time. Laboring at home really works. I did it as long as I could.
At 5:30 am the ambulance was called and when they arrived, I chose to walk to the ambulance instead of being on the stretcher.
I felt so empowered, so strong and saying to myself "I'm about to be a mom!" Wow!
At 6:39 am on a rainy Monday morning I arrived at the hospital at 7-8 cm. The only thing I could think of at that time was washing my feet. They were so dirty from walking outside earlier. My mind wasn't really on my labor anymore after that. It was like I was somewhere else. So different the feeling was. The midwife says to me: "It won't be long now sweetheart, you are doing so well." I have never seen a teen come in quiet before. Usually they are screaming sugar. I still remember her. She was a white older lady with colorful glasses that hung slightly off her nose. I smiled softly and felt the urge again to push and my body was doing it for me, I could not control it. I heard a knock on the door and to my surprise, my mother made it just in time. The midwife then turns to me and says: "Baby girl, can you turn on your side for me, your baby doesn't like your back much." I replied: "I thought I was suppose to be on my back." She said: "Not all the time."
I said: "Well that was the first I've heard."
After 2 good pushes, he was here! I had to have an episiotomy because he was coming with his hand on his face as I was told by the Midwife. 2 stitches was all that was needed.
At 10:39 am on that rainy Monday morning my son was born after only 4 hours of labor. He weighed 6lbs 4oz and 18" long.
I couldn't wait to put him to my breast. I was told that teens didn't breastfeed and we were only offered Similac or Enfamil.
They didn't educate teens very well on breastfeeding back then. Just offered formula. Special thanks to my grandmother assisting me with that. I'm so grateful for her. Well I proved them wrong. I breastfed him for a full year.
I was up walking around immediately. I had so much energy and just looking down at my baby's face, I was so in love.
I didn't know that I could be in love with something so precious, that I knew that he would love me back unconditionally and with no judgement.
I graduated from high school in June and gave birth in August. I attended DeVry the following semester. I wanted everyone to know that just because I'm a teen mom,
I still have goals and my son just gave me even more of a drive to achieve them.
I am living proof that you can achieve it with no limitations and a child should drive you even more to do it.
I achieved most of my goals that I wanted out of life. From finishing college with a degree in Accounting, Associates in Nursing, and Healthcare Management/Technology. I've been working in healthcare for over 20 years and now living in my calling of being a birth worker(doula). Hope to be a Midwife one day. I got married and had 3 more children. They are all now 23, 21, 15, and 12. I love them all very much and I wouldn't change being a mother for the world.
If you are a teen and expecting, please tell someone, confide in them and seek immediate care. Not only do you put yourself at risk, but your baby. I was not aware of my pregnancy earlier on and I'm glad that when I did find out, I received prenatal care immediately.
Being a teen mother is nothing to be ashamed of.
Get support throughout pregnancy, choose the birth you want, breastfeed and have a great postpartum support system in place.
The transition to motherhood should not be experienced alone.
Here are some great articles on teen pregnancy:
Positive Teen Birth Stories
"Being a good mother has nothing to do with age, but more of the size of your heart. If you can love enough to know that you will do anything to protect and care for your children little else matters." ~ Author Unknown