A teenage parent’s experience in brief

I became a teenage parent at the age of 16, a very daunting experience! I remember the day i found out 2 weeks after my birthday. My world had changed! It was like a wall of white was surrounding me and i couldn’t think straight. I had taken the test on my own at home, both my parents were out, my mum was studying and my dad at work.

Being alone i went up to my friends to be with her, i remember feeling like i should have an abortion as that is what would be expected of someone my age but deep down i couldn’t bear to think about it, i had done a project on abortions at school and couldn’t bear to do that to my baby although i had only just found out i was pregnant. I told my friends and others i would consider an abortion as i thought they would think i was irresponsible.

My parents were angry and upset but not for long as we discussed things and the thought of the pregnancy became real. They became very supportive, which i am very grateful for, i love them so much, i dont what i would have done without them.
My mum booked a doctors appointment, the doctor of course tried to discuss abortions with me but i knew deep down i would regret having one so i declined.

My parents protected me so much from negativity about my pregnancy, i remember my grandfather coming round one morning, i was upstairs and overheared my mum telling him that if he would be negative or unsupportive in any way he wouldnt be welcome as she wanted me to have the best experience i could have, incase would be my only pregnancy in life.

Friends of theirs were very supportive too, the amount of generosity and well wishes was wonderful. Of course there were the exception, people would shout abusive comments to me in the street, children would gossip and say horrid comments at school. I dont blame people for being negative too, a 16 year old being pregnant is quite devastating, i realise now at age 30 what you miss out on in life having children so young. I didnt see it at the time, i just wanted what was best for my baby, i continued education and got 5 GCSE’s, doing my exams three weeks before my daughter was due. I read up on pregnancy as much as i could so i could make the right choices. I chose to breastfeed as i knew that was best.

My boyfriend at the time wasnt great, although he was kind at heart he couldn’t do responsibility so i decided to go it alone. I never stopped him seeing our daughter, he was also present for her birth.

The birth came and was the most amazing experience of my life, because i read so much i wasnt particularly scared, although the pain was horrible. No one can prepare you for labour, I had gas and air which made me sick and that wasn’t pleasant. My age effected the birth of my daughter because my body wasnt quite developed enough and so i tore quite badly internally.

The moment she was born was the best experience, she was so beautiful, so tiny, dark hair, big beautiful dark eyes that were still squinting from the bright hospital lights, tiny perfect finger nails, i couldnt believe i had created such an amazing being.

Breast feeding was tough at first but we got through it and continued for almost a year, of which i am very proud!

To wrap this up- 13 years on, she is a teenager! I have learned that being a mum is hard at any age, no one can prepare you. I will never regret my decisions despite knowing what i missed out on as a teenager.

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