Courtney and Annessa
I wanted to share my experience with others in hope of helping
people realize that teenage parents are capable of more than
stereotypes allow. To begin, I am 18 and my daughter is six months
old. I found out that I was pregnant the day before my senior
year of high school started. I was scared and excited all at
the same time. My daughter's father left me when I was two months
pregnant and didn't call till a month after she was born. I went
to school for three periods a day and then went to work. I worked
full time the whole time I was pregnant. My water even broke
at work, but more about that later.
I knew that I had to tell my parents as soon as possible. I
told my mom first, then she called my dad and stepmother. My
parents were mad at first, but then they realized that they couldn't
change it and they finally accepted the fact that I was going
to have a baby. They were going to be grandparents. I started
my senior year almost two months pregnant.
At first, after her father left, I really questioned my ability
to provide for my daughter on my own. I knew that it would be
hard but there was no way I could give up my baby. I believe
that abortion is murder and I do not think that I could handle
my child being raised by strangers not knowing where she really
comes from. These are just my opinions not meant to offend anyone.
I graduated mid-term from my high school
and worked full time and attended four nights of night school
for 2-4 hours a night. I was due on April 13, 2003 and my water
broke at work on February 20. I was working as a childcare
teacher and stood up around 11:00 a.m. and my water broke.
At the time, I didn't know that was what had occurred. I called
my doctor and told her what had happened, and she suggested
that I come in and be seen.
I got there and the first thing she said
to me was if your water has broken, you've bought yourself
a hospital visit till she is born.
she examined me and my water was broken so I was sent
to the hospital immediately. I lay there till about
9:00 p.m. when my contractions started. I was rushed to another
hospital because my local one could not take a baby that early.
My labor was stopped and remained stopped for eight days. I lay
in the hospital scared to death that my baby may not make it.
I was to be induced on March 2. My daughter was born on February
28. While I was pregnant, I dreamed of that first time seeing
my baby and holding her, but due to the fact that she was only
three pounds, all of that was taken from me. I didn't get to
see my daughter until she was almost five hours old. She lay
in the ICU for three weeks before they finally let her come home.
Now people told me that I should take the time to rest and get
ready for her to come home, but who can rest when your baby is
in the hospital and someone else is taking care of her? I cried
every night that she was there because I felt bad that someone
else was taking care of her and I, her mother, couldn't. The
nurses were great, and they helped me out a lot in understanding
what was going on, but it's the fact that only they could give
her what she needed then.
I was the youngest mother in there at
17. The other parents looked at me funny when I would walk
in and tell my daughter
that Mommy was there. I know what people think about teenage
parents and, to some extent, I can't blame them for having a
bad outlook on us, but I wish that people would see teen parents
for what we are, not just what we did. I know that there are
teens out there who aren¹t ready when their baby is born,
and it is our mistake, but there are some of us out there who
are really trying to make a difference in our child's life.
My daughter watched me graduate high school and I couldn't have
been prouder that I did it. I am now getting ready to start college
and receive my degree. To some people, I messed up my life by
choosing to bear my daughter at a young age. The way I see it,
I'm no different than any of them except I will be a little younger
when she graduates high school and college, and she will be a
little older when I die.
To all of you who say that teen parents are irresponsible and
don't deserve anything due to the mistake we made, I say this:
There are two sides to every story. Whichever side you choose
is your business, but don't look down on us till you know what
we have been through. I made a mistake and I admit that, but
my daughter is the best consequence that could ever be. I am
not ashamed of her and I do not regret her in any way, shape
I am a teen, I am a college student, and I am a mother. What
better job could a woman have?
written by: Courtney Callis