My name is Kathy and I would like to tell you a story of my life and how one night of fun changed it forever. It is a true story of my rough teen years, the choices I made and the consequence I paid because of these choices.
First I want to tell you that all these statistics that you see about how nineteen percent of all United States births were to teens, how one million teens become pregnant each year, and more than five hundred and thirty thousand of them do give birth; this my friends is not a lie. I am one of those to statistics as a matter of fact. I am one of those million teens that thought it could never happen to them but later found out that I had thought wrong.
When I was eleven years old my parents split and I was highly set off by this. My life went down hill from here. My grades fell, and I began making decisions that I will regret for the rest of my life. When I made it into high school I began exploring myself somewhat and met a guy who I thought I was in love with. Having set sail with the new love I thought I had found little did I know there was an awful storm waiting in my path. Our relationship became physical very quickly and like many teens I had the ” It’ll never happen to me syndrome.” We began sleeping around. I was never home. I was either out with my man or hanging out with my friends who were not a good influence on me at all. “You are who you hang out with,” they say. By the fifth month of our relationship, I was pregnant. My mother and I were both devastated. My boyfriend and I married but by eighteen months time he was gone.
After finding out the news of my pregnancy, I had many decisions and responsibilities to make and fulfill. The most important decision I had to make was weather or not I wanted to have this baby. I had never read much about abortion but had a gut feeling that I could not bring myself to take the life of a child. I went to the library and read up on abortion. There were two types of abortion, medical and surgical. Medical abortion is done by taking medications that will end pregnancy, while surgical abortion ends pregnancy by emptying the uterus with special instruments. The more I read about this sad topic the more I told myself that I could not do this to this child or myself. I knew that if I did take this life that I could never live with decision and would regret it for the rest of my life. I was going to go through with it. I will have this baby and love and care for it as best I can. I told myself that it could not be that hard. I knew that teenage mothers were more at risk of pregnancy complications such as premature or prolonged labor, anemia and high blood pressure. The doctor told me that I must eat healthy and that I must refrain from smoking, consuming alcohol or taking drugs, or my baby would be at risk of being born with major health problems.
Days went by and it was getting closer to my babies birth date. All I could think about was how uncomfortable I felt and how ugly those stretch marks were gonna be after I got through this pregnancy. She ended up coming two weeks early which scared me because teen babies are pruned to be premature and have a low birth weight. This may have meant that Cassi’s organs were not fully developed and that she was forty percent less likely to live than a baby with normal weight. This was not the case with my beautiful Cassi. She was born and was, for the most part, healthy.
As a mother, school is the only activity I had with my friends. When the last bell rings, I must go straight home to Cassi who stays with my mother during the school day. One in three teen mother’s end up dropping out of high school and if it wasn’t for my mother, I may have had to do the same. My friends stand in the hall after the bell rings and discuss their plans for the evening. But I, I had to return to my routine day of going home and sitting with Cassi and watching television, occasionally getting up for a bottle or to change her diaper. Cassi had changed the priorities in my life. My concerns used to be with what I was going to do with my friends, but now when friends drop by spontaneously and talk about going to a football game, I remind them that I have a baby now. I was unable to live the typical life of a junior in high school, unable to play sports, hang out, or just be a teenager.
I hear all these kids at school saying that they want a baby of their own. I think to myself they must believe that by having a baby they will either have someone to love them feel they will have a secured type of future, or will get many financial benefits from the government. Sure you do get many benefits from the government but it is still not worth it.
Trying to be an adult before I have been a teenager has been an awakening experience for me. I look older now with stretch marks on my body from the pregnancy. I do love Cassi more than anything in the world, I just wish I had waited until I was married with a complete education before I had her.
I n closing I will tell you that I am a living example of a teenagers life that was not fulfilled because of one simple decision. Please know that it can happen to you. Don’t be one of the one million teens that got pregnant at an innocent age and threw her childhood away. If you have already become impregnated then please know that you are not alone. I understand your fears and pains. Listen to what your parents and teachers have to say. New life is great but it needs to be with the right person at the right time. Please learn from my mistake. Say no!