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I Am a Mother This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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I remember the day quite clearly. It was dreary, just like most in Oregon. The weather wasn’t even half the cause of my gloominess, though. It was the news I received.

I was 15 years old and dating the bad boy of all time. I was young, and stupid. I thought I was invisible to drugs, sex and pregnancy; boy, was I wrong. After dating for only two months, we broke up and I found out news that would change my life.

The word came to me in a room with white walls covered by posters about pregnancy and options. I sat on an overstuffed sofa. A woman came in and I handed her a black film container with its lid snapped on tightly. When she opened it, it was not film she exposed, but my fate.

Positive. The word ran through my mind a million times, and dizziness set in. I slouched and forced myself not to cry. I knew my mom would be so upset and that my life would never be the same.

I arrived home and the weather began to change. But it wasn’t the sun making me sweat, it was my mom’s questions. I told her the truth, and the screaming began. For seven months we fought. She did everything in her power to make me see that adoption was the best option. I knew she loved me and didn’t want me to throw my life or dreams away so, confused and worn down, I gave in. For a month, I searched for the best parents for my unborn son and I finally found them. Two days later, at school, my water broke and labor began.

I was in agony for 19 hours. The contractions hurt, but the fear of losing my son killed me. I knew that when he was inside me, he was mine. Once he was born, I felt my life would be over.

I held my precious son for the first few seconds of his life, then a nurse gave him to my mom so I could rest. Two hours later, when I awoke, she was still cradling him.

The next day, the adoptive parents came to get him. As they stood outside my room, I broke down as I held my tiny son. I knew then that he should never be taken from me. After hours of crying and begging, my mom agreed to let me keep him. I guesss the two hours of bonding did some good.

Here I am today, a 17-year-old mother, attending college and working part-time. Every day I face new struggles, but nothing compares to motherhood. My son is almost 20 months old. I wonder sometimes if he would be better off with a mother and father who could afford the world, but not once have I regretted my decision to keep him. This is not to say that being a teen parent is easy. I sometimes feel guilty about being selfish and wanting him for myself, instead of giving him a better life. Every day I let him know how much I love him.

If I could go back in time and change some of my choices about drugs, sex and friends, I would. I would have listened to my mom more, because now I know where she was coming from. Being a teen parent is the hardest obstacle I have ever had to face. There is nothing glamorous about waking up every two hours at night, or rushing your child to the doctor when he has a seizure or another asthma attack. I hate the nights when he’s afraid and screams for me, even though I am by his side. I fear the day when I have to tell him where his father is and why I made the choices I did.

I am no longer the same person. I live for my son now, and my success comes from him. I am a mother.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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