For it was the night before this that I had five different tests all of which said the same thing in different ways, I was pregnant. I was not ready for this kind of responsibility. I was not ready physically, emotionally, and financially to take care of even myself yet now I had to find a way to provide all of those things for a child. I was only seventeen, turning eighteen in July; I was still a child myself. To many people I would be viewed as a delinquent because of getting pregnant. On the other hand, others might have seen this coming since my mom also had me at a young age.
Many also believe all teens who get pregnant will fail. Although these beliefs and views from others were in my head at the time, I knew I needed to tell my family I was pregnant, find out how far along I was, and make a life changing decision. When I decided to tell my mom and stepdad I was terrified. I was so scared they would shun me and tell me they didn’t want me to live with them and they wouldn’t be supportive. I was also afraid my mother would be disappointed in me for following in her footsteps.
To my surprise, their reaction was actually the opposite of that. They didn’t judge me at all. In fact they both hugged me and reassured me that everything would be okay and we would all get through this together, like family should. After telling my mom and stepdad I felt a weight lifted off my shoulders because I knew I had the support I needed. My dad on the other hand was not as supportive. He judged me right away and told me I was just trying to be like the people on the shows Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant.
He also told me he was disappointed and pretty much shunned me from his life just as he had did to my mom when she was pregnant with me. I was so upset he automatically assumed I was pregnant because of shows on the T. V. However I was even more upset he treated me the same way he treated my mom. My own father, along with many other people, believed I was influenced by people and things around me to become pregnant. Although my dad and other people viewed me as a disgrace and a copy cat, I didn’t let that affect me because I had other things to worry about. One of which was how far along I was.
My mom already was way ahead of me for this situation and already called for an appointment with Mayo Clinic to find out how far along I was and to meet my doctor. When we finally went to the exam room, after countless minutes in the waiting room, the nurse revealed to me that I was eight weeks pregnant. After she went through about forty questions asking about my health she began telling me about services that would help me. Such as: social workers, the WIC program, public health nurses, and counseling groups for young mothers. She also had me do a number of tests to see if I was on drugs or under the influence of some sort.
My mom was a little skeptical of this because when she was pregnant with my younger sisters, at a far older age than me, the doctors and nurses did not offer her all these programs nor did they make her take as many drug tests. So the fact that I was a teenager who was pregnant the medical professionals needed to offer these sorts of programs and do those tests. They believed out of most pregnant women that teens will need the most help so they do not fail. I was a teenager and was going to become a teenage mother. The thought of that still gives me shivers to this day.
Maybe I did need the extra help to lower the chances of failing. Even though these thoughts of failing were present I wanted to look into the other options I had. For the first option adoption, I knew this would be a perfect opportunity to find a family that was more than capable of raising my child and giving it a better life than I could. This option would also give me the opportunity to better my life by going through school without having to worry about a crying baby. However I knew people who have done adoption and they seemed so sad and depressed that their child called some other woman their mom.
This made me reconsider the option because I was afraid of just that; seeing my child calling another family theirs. For the second option abortion, I knew that this would be an easy way out. This would be the best way to forget about the whole situation but it was also wrong and a cruel thing to do. If I were to get an abortion I would not only throw myself into the wagon of ‘bad people’ and ‘killers’ but I would get judged by every person who knew of my pregnancy. Since adoption and abortion were both a no go, I only had one option left; to raise the baby myself.
This idea frightened me, and I even went back and tried to convince myself that adoption would be a better option. Raising a baby would be stressful and very difficult but the outcome would be worth it. So maybe I could be able to raise a child, I had the support of my family, had a job, and also had enough programs to help me through it all. All of which would lower the chances of me failing. Now all i needed was the little voice in my head to say “you can do it”. To this day that little voice is screaming those four words louder than ever.
Even though others view me as a misfit, disgrace, or a follower to those around me; I know I will do the best I can possibly do to not fail, and to also provide my son with the chance of a good life. By getting the support from at least some of my family members, finding out how far along I was, and choosing the right option to take; I know I can make it through this. I was going to be a teenage mother but I am enrolled in fall courses at RCTC, working food service at Mayo Clinic, and basically growing up for the sake of my child’s future: therefore I could in fact do it, I could raise a child on my own.