Friday, January 29, 2010
Lately there have been many things on television trashing teen pregnancy and parenthood, such as the LifeTime movie "The Pregnancy Pact," "The Secret Life of the American Teenager," "Channel One," and even MTV's "Teen Mom" at times. All of these things try to portray teen motherhood as an awful thing that ruins both the mother and the babies life.
"The Pregnancy Pact" tried to make it look as if teen mothers were irresponsible in every way by drinking, smoking, and partying. That they did not love their babies after they were born because it was not as easy as they thought it would be, and that all guys leave the mothers. I have never smoke, drank, or partied in my life. I love my daughter more than life itself, and it really isn't much harder to take care of her than I anticipated. And lastly, the father of my baby has been here the whole time. He loves and takes care of her as much as I do.
"The Secret Life of the American Teenager" portrays teen moms as lazy and more focused on themselves then the baby. I can tell you that I am not one bit lazy. I take care of my baby, do my school work, clean everyday, and cook dinner for my entire family almost everyday. And I have only been out one time for myself since my daughter was born and that was to do a community service project with a friend for a school club. My daughter is the center of my world. She goes almost everywhere with me, and is always my first thought when I am asked to do something.
"Channel One" a news type thing that schools play in the mornings (mine does) did a story on teen pregnancy and motherhood stating that "it is an epidemic." I don't know about other people, but I don't like being accused of being a part of an epidemic. They also said that teen moms don't drop out of high school and live in poverty.. there are people who drop out of high school and live in poverty who have never even thought of having a baby. I am set to graduate in 3 months and I am going to and then I am going to go to college. I will not live in poverty.
And lastly, there is "Teen Mom." It is the best at portraying how things really are, but it still leaves a lot out. It mainly focuses on the trials and tribulations that the girls have, and if the problem is overcome they just move on to something else. They never really show that not everything turns out bad or is bad in the first place. They never show the love you baby brings to your life.
I guess you would have to be in my shoes to really see the truth, but do not believe everything you see and hear. Remember that most things in the media are not true or are edited in some way or another. I can tell you that none of that stuff applies to me. I also have 3 friends who have babies and have either already graduated or are fixing too, and one of them is 17 and in college already. I may be one of the one-third of girls who gets pregnant before the age of 20, but that I just a statistic. Before I had a baby I was just not one of the one-third of girls.. still a statistic.. but in reality I am a person. My own person, not a statistic, and I make my own future for my baby and me.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
In my post earlier I talked some of what it was like to be pregnant and a mom in high school and of my plans for the future, but I would like to elaborate on those things.
Being pregnant in high school was not really what I expected. On tv they make it look like everyone looks at you weird, and that you are basically just an outcast. It may be that way at some schools, but not at mine. I will say that once one person finds out basically the whole school knows. I even heard that one person found a note on the floor talking about how I was pregnant. It kind of made me mad at first, but I do not really hold grudges so I just let it go. People definitely did stare, not really in a mean way, just out of curiosity and noisiness. I actually think that the staring may having worse when I wasn't showing because everyone was finding out, and by the time I was showing everyone knew. Most of my friends were excited, but I did hear plenty of comments and questions from people who were not my friends. One day I was walking in the hall and this guy stared me down and then right as he walked by he goes "Everyone in this freaking school is getting pregnant." And then there was another person, a girl I walked by, who also stared me down and then as soon as I walked by she stopped my friend and asked her if I was pregnant. I actually thought that was kind of funny because I was obviously pregnant. Most of the questions were routine... "is it a girl or a boy?" "when are you due?" "what are you going to name her?" But then sometimes people got a little too personal... "is the dad still around?" "are you going to finish high school?" "who is your doctor?" Things like that. And then there were the girls who thought they might be pregnant so they would ask me all kinds of questions. I never really minded the questions or the stares or anything like that.
I never had morning sickness, so that never conflicted with school. The only thing that I was really worried about was going into labor at school. I had a teacher who was terrified of that too... she had a fear of child birth, so luckily that did not happen. After I had her I was out through Christmas break, but I still passed because I did my work at home. I am back in school now and her dad watches her while I am at school. I miss her terribly while I am there, but I figure it's really no different than if I was a working mom. I'm only gone for 3 and a half hours, so it is not too bad.
As far as plans for the future I have most thing planned out. I am going to go to a local university and study to be a kindergarten teacher, with the hopes that I will earn my degree on time. If I do then I will graduate right around the time Grace should be starting school, then hopefully I will find a job quickly and I can enroll her at the same school I teach at. I realize that there are many factors that could change in this plan, but at least I have one. There is one thing that is not certain... where we will be living. Right now we live with my mom, but I am desperate for our own place. Don't get me wrong... I love my family, but my mom and I have different parenting styles and it is a small house. I have two younger siblings, and we needed another room before Chris moved in and Grace was born, and now we have no space at all. Plus, they are constantly making messes that could be hazardous to a small baby. We may have the opportunity to move out within the next two months, and if we do we will definitely take it. We are hoping that we will be moved out by the time she is crawling so that she will have room to explore. If that happens it will make our lives so much easier and better.
My name is Christina and I am 17 years old (I will be 18 on February 3rd). I am starting this blog to show that not all teenage mothers are terrible like the media tries to portray them. My blog will always be completely sincere accounts from my life. I want my story to be heard. Just a year ago I was a seemingly normal high schooler. Then in March of 2009 I found out that I was pregnant. My fiance, Chris, and I have been together since July 24th, 2007 and we have been engaged since February 3rd, 2008. He was excited when he found out, but at first I was scared because I did not think that my baby would have all the things I could give her if I was older, but I loved her no matter what. We are both completely against abortion, so that thought never crossed our minds, and adoption was not an option for us, we created this baby and we were going to take care of her.
There was only one thing in our way.. the parents. His mom was excited when she found out. My mom was disappointed, but not mad.. Then there's my dad. He was devastated for me and I am pretty sure he wanted to kill Chris. He blame Chris for all of it, saying that he ruin my life, and that I was never going to finish high school, and things like that. However, I am an self-proclaimed overachiever. I have a 4.0 GPA. I have made all A's in high school. There was no way I was dropping out right before my senior year. That would just be selfish on my part. Having a high school diploma will make life better for my baby and me. I also plan on going to college, but we're not to that point yet. As time went by my excitement grew. The first time I saw my baby on that ultrasound screen was amazing! I loved getting ultrasounds to see how she had changed and grown. And when I found out she was a girl I was so excited! Chris wanted a boy, but I could tell he was secretly a little happy when he found out she was a girl. We started buying clothes, and planning our life. My due date was November 3rd, and Chris moved in with me about 3 months before she was born, so that he would be there for us.
I loved being pregnant, however, I was the talk of the school.. "Omg I never thought you would be the one to get pregnant" was something I heard a lot. I guess that was because I have never drank, smoked, or done drugs in my life. I was the typical "good girl," but I didn't feel that awkward because there were 3 other girls at my school who were pregnant at the time and several who already had children. Plus all of my friends supported me. They did not treat me different at all. In fact I began talking to a girl who already had a baby girl, so that maybe I could get a heads up of what was to come, and we are best friends now. She has been amazing and such a big help to me, and she is a great mother herself!
The closer it got to her due date the more excited I got. The only things I wanted were for her to be healthy and that she not be born on Halloween. We had everything ready for when she came, and the most important thing.. we had her name picked out. Her name was Amberlee Grace. We picked Amberlee because my middle name is Amber and Chris' middle name is Lee, so we named her after both of us, and we decided that we would call her by her middle name, Grace, which means blessing, because she is our little blessing.
We had made it passed Halloween, and I was induced at 6:00 am on November 3rd, 2009 and Grace was born at 4:28 pm that same day (she was born only 50 minutes after one of my friends gave birth to her son Cayle). She weighed 14lbs 7oz, was 21 and a half inches long, and she was completely healthy. The moment I saw her I was speechless. She was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. She was perfect, and she was mine. I could not believe we had created something as wonderful as she was. I had only known her for a few seconds, but looking into her eye I knew I loved her more than the world itself.
She is almost 3 months old now, and I love her every bit just as much. There have been many sleepless nights and noisy days, but I would not change my life for anything. Every time I think I cannot possibly love her anymore she smiles at me and I realize it is possible. She is my world.
I had six weeks of maternity leave from school so I finished out the semester at home. Even with a baby I made all A's, so it is possible to go to school and have a baby. I am now back in school for my last semester. I only go half a day because I already had all my credits and I only needed to take Economics and Algebra 3. That allows me to spend more time with my baby :)
As far as Grace goes, she is wonderful. She does not cry a lot, she's healthy, and she's strong! She smiled about 5 minutes after she was born, and she was pretty much holding her head up from the start. However, she has had RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) twice, but she has not had to go to the hospital either time, which shows just how strong she really is. She also rolled from her back to her tummy for the first time on the bed just last week (which I missed because I was at school, but her daddy saw it), and yesterday she rolled from her back to her tummy on the floor (which I did see)! However, we also discovered yesterday that she is teething already!
We are hoping to move to our own place within two months. I would love to be able to say we had our own place!
I believe that is a pretty good summary of everything so far in my life as a teenage mother. Not all my posts will be this long, but I will try to post on here almost everyday.