It was the end of my junior year and like many, I was looking forward to summer. Unlike most kids at my school, I was also going to be a mom. I kept wondering if I would be able to take care of a child at the age of 17. I was too young to be a mom.
During the nine months of pregnancy, I was faced with lots of obstacles. School was a lot harder than I expected, with everyone staring, pointing and laughing at me. I had always struggled to get good grades and once pregnant, it got a lot harder. Everything became more difficult as the months passed because I got tired more quickly. Just getting up for school was a feat.
In the final months, I was getting scared - scared of the delivery and scared that I wasn’t responsible enough to take care of a helpless child. I was so busy trying to get everything ready for the baby that I barely had time for my family or myself. I was working after school and on weekends to earn money to take care of my baby. I kept telling myself that everything would be okay after she was born.
This past Christmas I went to the hospital to have my baby. I was scared and anxious but after 14 hours of labor, I finally had my baby girl. The doctors warned me that it wouldn’t be easy taking care of a baby, and it isn’t. The pressure of being a mom is almost unbearable. I got up every hour for many nights and was completely exhausted.
I have found a babysitter who watches my daughter while I am in school. This is my last semester of senior year but it is really hard to take care of my baby and attend school. No one can understand what it is like to have a baby at the age of 17 unless they have experienced it themselves. I am now 18, but still too young to be a mom. I am going to struggle to go to college in the fall, but I think I am strong enough to handle work, college and a child. I have realized that life is short and I am not going to be able to experience my teenage or college years like most, but I am lucky to have been blessed with my daughter.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.