Putting the Happily Ever After in Teenage Pregnancy

This post was originally published June 8, 2013, one week after my oldest daughter graduated from high school. I’m republishing this post as a way for old and new readers to get to know me as I figure out this whole blogging thing again. Not sure what I mean about again? Feel free to check out my post about cartwheels here.


I don’t know what was going through her head when she stood there in her cap and gown with her baby on her hip.

It’s sad because I really want to remember.

I know she was overwhelmed and confused and not understanding why so many people kept telling her how proud they were of all she had done. And I know how much she hated all of that attention.

I wish that she didn’t get so anxious over things that she couldn’t control.

I wish that she didn’t let her mind linger in the dark places telling her awful things.

I’m so thankful she never followed through on any of those horrible things she was thinking.

I wish she understood more when people told her what a great mother she was.

I wish she knew the enormity of the words, “I could never do what you are doing, I don’t have it in me.” when they were spoken to her.

I remember the anger that she felt when someone would talk down about teenage mothers. The letters she wrote to different talk shows hosts explaining that there are decent teenage mothers in the world; ones that don’t disrespect their parents, ones that take care of their babies, ones that the world wouldn’t call whores.

It was with much sadness that she realized that the world doesn’t want to hear those stories. What is there to sensationalize?

****

I look back at my life and I know that my daughter made me into the person that I am today.  She molded me and made me want to be the best person I could be.

She has been one of my biggest cheerleaders, always encouraging me to go after my dreams.

She has made me change the way that I look at myself, because I never want her to have the same fleeting thoughts go through her head that plagued me for years.

There was a time that I felt guilty for deciding to keep my daughter.  In those early years I would sometime wonder if her life would have been better had I decided to give her up for adoption? Life isn’t like a ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ book and I can’t go to page 73 and see that she would have been happier.  I have to know that I decided to do what was best for myself and my daughter.  I raised a responsible adult who has made the world a better place with her being in it.

Teenage parenting is always a tricky topic; when I talk about the pros I don’t want someone to think I am encouraging it. Each situation is different and you have to chose what is right for you and your family. I chose to parent. I talk about it here in my space because it is part of my story.

Teenage pregnancy isn’t a death sentence.

Let’s just let that sink in a bit; Teenage pregnancy isn’t a death sentence.

I know that I didn’t understand the enormity of the choice that I was making when everyone around me had their opinion on what my choice should be.

I knew that I would never be able to give my baby up and that I would do whatever I could to ensure that she had a better life than I had; between divorced parents, poverty and childhood molestation the bar wasn’t set very high.

My then boyfriend decided to join the Navy and asked for my hand in marriage.  My parents did all that they could to help me finish school.  Teachers,student celebrates graduation with mother under arbor mentors, and friends reached out when I didn’t expect them to.  They encouraged and supported me and saw that spark of potential in me that I didn’t even knew I had.

 I wish I could go back in time and tell her to keep her chin up because in just 18 very short years you will be standing here on this same track watching that baby you have on your hip walk through those same arches. You can do hard things, you were made for this and I love you.

Because a thing seems difficult for you, do not think it impossible for anyone to accomplish.” – Marcus Aurelius

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Comments

  1. Oh hell. Now I’m crying. And thinking how awesome you are and how awesome Alexis is and how you make me so glad to know you and learn from you every day!

  2. Fan.Freaking.Tastic.

  3. Great post. I was also a young Mom and now have an incredible adult son. I just hope the kids I’ve had in my thirties turn out half as good.

    • Thank you. I am sure that they will 🙂 I peeked at your sight and just wanted to let you know that I will be praying for Kellen and your family. I look forward to getting to know you through your website.

  4. Amazing post. Congratulations to giggles on her graduation and to you for the living your happily ever after!

  5. I love this!! So well written and you story is not only very similar to mine but seems we were going through it at the same time. My son is 18 and graduated this year as well. I had him my senior year of highschool. His father and I are still together 19 years later. Thanks for putting this into words!!

  6. Oh my, this made me all teary.

    “I struggle with talking about Teenage Pregnancy because I don’t want people to think that I endorsing it.” ME TOO. I graduated high school when I was 8 months pregnant. But I fought and I kept my baby and raised her myself (till she was 4.5 and I got married). My teachers supported me and my parents supported me. It wasn’t easy, but it was (is) so worth it.

    Gongrats on your graduate!!

    • Jen, you are such an amazing woman and even if there are bumps you are still living out the happily ever after. Big hugs my friend, big hugs!

  7. So beautiful! I love this, especially since I was that mom with an infant in college her third year, and pregnant her entire second year of college. This speaks volumes. VOLUMES and I thank you for sharing. Big hugs and congrats mama!

  8. Love this. Love YOU.

  9. sandybradstock@yahoo.com says:

    This was a very well written article Heather! Loved it, and congratulations on making good decisions in your life…like you said, life isn’t always easy, but determination will take you far. We ALL just muddle through the best we can, and we all struggle. Great job!

  10. I FEEL THIS SO MUCH. It’s so hard talking to my teenager about sex and wanting her to make good decisions. I don’t want her to do what I did but at the same time I want her to know that I am thankful for her. It’s a tough conversation. Thanks for writing this!

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