Life Can Be So Unexpected

February 8, 2010
By , Alpharetta, GA
Teen pregnancy is a big issue in the United States. Every year around 750,000 teenagers will become pregnant. I became part of that statistic at age 15 and I know first-hand the effects of becoming pregnant at a young age. I love my son to death, but I never planned on or wanted to have a child this young. It comes with tons of sacrifice and huge responsibility that one can't even imagine unless in the situation themselves. Being a young parent is in no way something I ever planned on doing, and I hope that my story and opinion on the matter can be helpful to other people my age in preventing themselves from ending up in the same situation.

Shows on television such as “16 and pregnant” are more realistic than most, but they still glamorize pregnancy. There is nothing glamorous or fun about being pregnant at a young age. Sure, it’s cute to hear his heartbeat or feel her kick for the first time. I promise, though, it is not something anyone around my age is ready for even if they think they are. Pregnancy comes with a lot of changes to your body and as teenagers our bodies are still growing, so the effects can be even worse on us. Morning sickness, backache, muscle soreness, headaches, nausea are among some of these things that any pregnant person may (and most will) experience, but as teenagers these symptoms can be increasingly worse. For nine months you have to take care of yourself like you never have before. Your body is no longer just yours; it is shared with another growing human being. The baby already, when you’re pregnant, depends on you for everything it needs to grow, develop, and have a healthy pregnancy.

Being pregnant is only the beginning of this huge responsibility. Yes, it’s cute to have a small baby in your arms and to be able to say that you created such a beautiful thing. Yes, every baby is a cherished gift. But, what many people at a young age don’t realize is that there is much more to having a baby than holding his cute face in your arms. A baby isn’t a toy, when he cries you can’t turn him off. When she’s hungry, you can’t ignore her and put it off until later. That baby will depend on you for everything and the brutal truth is if you don’t care for the baby in the way that it needs, he could be taken away from you by government officials or she could just die. Having a baby is a difficult responsibility for someone that is 30 years old and the responsibility grows even harder as someone as a young age. I, from my own experiences, know that even with help from loving family and supporters it is still very difficult to raise a baby. All of your friends will go on to “live it up” like a normal teenager, but with a baby, you no longer have this luxury. Being a parent is all about sacrifice. I have sacrificed much of my social life, my free time, and many other things for my son and it doesn’t end there. Being a parent to a young child is an enjoyable responsibility for most people, but it is a hard one that is very difficult to deal with when you’re still a child yourself.

For any pregnant teenagers/new teen moms out there: I know what you’re going through and it won’t be easy. Being pregnant isn’t fun and raising a baby at a young age is difficult, but it isn’t impossible. You can do right by your child by taking responsibility and doing what’s best for them. Don’t try to do this alone, seek out help from your family and loved ones, because they are there for you, even if you think they aren’t. I know you’re probably very confused right now, but it will be okay, you are not alone. Also, if you choose to give the baby up for adoption do not feel guilty. The decision of your baby is yours to make and yours alone, but you can get non-biased facts on each from many resources and that may help in the decision making process. Don’t let anyone pressure you into a certain decision, because this decision (whichever one you choose to make) will affect the rest of your life. Good Luck!

On a final note, I’d like to say that I love my son dearly and he has given me the motivation and confidence I need to make a good life for him and myself. I do consider him a great thing in my life, but I never planned or wanted to be pregnant. I wish I had been more precautious and could have had my son at a better age. I hope my story helps motivate you to be careful and WAIT to have a child, because it will change your life forever.

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Strawberry123 said...
Feb. 11, 2010 at 9:28 pm
Wow. This article is wonderfully written and very personal which makes it that much better. Great JOB!!
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