Being a teen mom forever changed my life. This is the story of how I discovered I was pregnant at just 15 years old. I hope it is a help and encouragement to other young mothers.
I never considered being pregnant. The thought of it just wasn’t one that I had cared to entertain. At the advice of a friend, I went straight from school to a pregnancy crisis center. I still remember the lady behind the desk. I didn’t realize until later the amount of familiarity she showed on me that day. I guess that goes to show that young teenage girls were nothing new in that office.
I was called back and told to pee on a stick. The whole idea seemed absurd. But I peed on the stick and went back to my assigned room. I waited and waited. Eventually a lady came in and began asking me what I thought would happen when I died. Wait… what?? I thought I was there to prove to my friend that I wasn’t pregnant not to discuss my death.
Eventually, I realized she was trying to show me Jesus. I wasn’t interested; I just wanted my results. She sighed, looked at her clip board and looked at me.
I was pregnant.
As I exited the office, the air seemed different. My steps felt different. My head was spinning. I couldn’t comprehend that there was something growing inside me. Someone growing inside me.
I dreaded telling my mother, but as it turned out she already knew and was just waiting for me to confess. Mothers are like that.
I told two people at school that I was pregnant- my best friend and my boyfriend. The next day everyone knew and I mean EVERYONE.
Some people shunned me, others showed support. Some people thought it was neat and others called me terrible names. My boyfriend stuck around for about a month and then moved on. I knew he was an immature idiot and not someone’s help I needed (or wanted) in raising another human being. I wasn’t all that heartbroken when he decided to keep his distance. Please don’t mistake those previous statements for bitterness. It’s just the truth. Sometimes a gal has got to know when to move on and let it go.
My best friend never left my side, at least not until months after I gave birth, then our lives were just too different and we drifted apart. I don’t blame her for that. I probably would have done the same thing had the roles been reversed.
During those next eight months it wasn’t my own conscience that made me feel like I had done something wrong. I actually enjoyed being pregnant and was looking forward to meeting my son. It was the looks and responses from others that made me feel bad. At one point I was even embarrassed to go in public. I didn’t want to deal with the looks of disapproval and disgust.
I quit school a month before giving birth. My plans were to go back and finish after he was a couple months old. What a joke- I was so naïve. About a year later I did go back and get my GED. I did so well on it that I was offered a full scholarship to a local college. Unfortunately, the person who received that letter didn’t tell me about it until it was too late to respond.
My friends at school weren’t the only people in my life who responded unfavorably to my pregnancy. Some of my family members wouldn’t talk to me or even acknowledge me at family functions. Oh how I wish knew Jesus back then.
On May 25, 1999, just three months after my 16th birthday, I went into labor and had my son, Oscar.
To be honest I don’t remember those first couple of years, but I do remember our first night at home. I didn’t sleep. Oscar slept in a bassinet next to my bed and I checked on him every time he made a sound.
I wish I could say that I remained the doting mother. Thank God for my mother who watched after us both.
To define what a good mother is, is tricky because the term is so subjective. To me, a good mother is one that puts her children before herself… every time. She chooses to get up and rock the baby when it cries instead of letting it cry itself back to sleep. She chooses healthy foods over convenient junk. She chooses story time and playing cars over watching a TV show or scrolling Facebook. A good mom parents the whole child- starting with the heart.
I was in my early twenties before I finally became a good mom. He never went without or hungry or anything like that. I just wasn’t a good mom.
This is so hard for me to write. Remembering all the times we failed our children is rough. As I sit here typing, so many bad memories and choices flood my mind. Thank God for the blood of Jesus! Being a teen mom is unexpected and hard, BUT God has a plan.
It wasn’t until I got saved that I truly became the mother he needed.
Tricia Goyer has written a book, Teen Mom: You’re Stronger Than You Think, that I believe every young mom should read. Oh how I wish it had been available when I was that teen mom.
Tricia writes from her own experiences and speaks to the heart and soul of young moms. Through personal stories, applicable parenting tips and introducing Jesus, this book is exactly what teen moms need. It addresses the hardships you’ll endure and helps you rejoice in the wonderful experience that is motherhood.