"I was 18. My parents lived on the other side of the country. My ex and I lived together with roommates to make the rent. We were so poor we each got one can of Spaghetti-o's a day. I had no prenatal care and went into preterm labor at 6 months. I spent the rest of the time on bed rest and got my prenatal care by going to the hospital once a month to make sure the baby was ok. She was born on my due date, 6 pounds 2 ounces. She is now a healthy 28-year-old.
The biggest thing I remember is how hungry I was all the time. Toward the end, we were making a pot of black eyed peas and cornbread and we would eat that freaking same pot of black eyed peas for the whole week. Sometimes we would splurge of fried salt pork and fried cabbage.
This was in the 1980's. Food stamps were harder to get and Medicare was impossible. 0/10 would not recommend."
"It definitely changes everything. By everything I mean the rest of your life. I was 17 when I fell pregnant and 18 when my son was born. I would have had an abortion but my mom sent me to a crisis pregnancy center (she didn't know what their mission is) and they totally changed my mind.
Fortunately, I had graduated high school already (early). I canceled my university plans and started studying up on parenting. The pregnancy and birth were pretty easy and breastfeeding came naturally, which was lucky. My son was happy and healthy and usually a joy.
My mom supported us totally at first. The father faded away after the first year, which was for the best. I went to community college for awhile but started working nights after he was weaned. Then I moved in with a friend a who had a kid the same age. That worked well because we were a two parent household and split the kid duties.
Looking back I think I was crazy. I was such a child myself. I wasn't always a very responsible mom, and I wish I could go back and do many things differently. He wasn't neglected or anything but I could have done better. I was the only one of my friends who had babies young that always kept custody of the child. Usually the grandparents or somebody stable eventually took over. That's a pretty weak accomplishment though: "I never had my kid taken away!" Um, good? I never went on welfare either, though I probably would have qualified. He is turning out pretty great, I think. Sometimes he has anxiety/low self-esteem and I suspect he wouldn't if I had been a better parent early on.
Now I'm a housewife with a new baby. The difference between having a baby in your teens and having a baby in your late twenties is something I think about a lot these days. I welcomed my son with love and joy, but honestly, sometimes he felt like such a burden. It's not like that now. It's the difference between an obligation and... a privilege if that makes sense. Being married and stable took all the stress out if it."
"I became a mom at 16. It was hard and I sacrificed a lot, but it was totally worth it. If I had to go back, I wouldn't do a thing differently. It shaped me and made me who I am today. I was not able to finish high school, but I got my GED less than a year later. I eventually went to school for a year and became a nurse. I'm 36 now and my daughter is 19.
She grew up knowing we didn't have a lot of money for toys, but that also made her appreciate what we did have. It also made her hyper-vigilante against getting pregnant.
I was extremely lucky to have an amazing mom who was and still is my rock. 3 times a week my girl, mom and I have a three-way phone call to stay in touch.
My throat swells up every time I think of her and how amazing she is. She was able to leave our tiny town and go away to college and is studying abroad next year.
To the girls that are struggling with little ones now or are pregnant, stay strong. It will be the hardest thing you do. There are times you'll be overwhelmed and break down crying, but if you work hard and keep your head on straight, I promise, it's worth all the struggle."
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"I got pregnant on my 18th birthday, give or take a day. It was two months after I graduated from high school, so I don't know if it still counts as the type of teen pregnancy you are speaking of, but it counts to me. The physical pregnancy was very smooth, minimal morning sickness, and my baby bump was pretty cute. My boyfriend, who I had only been dating for around a month and a half, decided he wasn't feeling the whole pregnancy thing and didn't talk to me for the first five months. Also during this time, slept with one of my 'best friends' for a few months. Then changed his mind and we worked things out and have been together for three years. But he kind of sucks, and we have been working on separating for a couple months. My daughter is very happy and smart, I love her to pieces. But as my friends all near the end of college and get big-girl jobs, I am still hostessing for 8.50 an hour which sucks. I went to community college when she was a baby still and between being a new mom and working, I really did not do well and got my financial aid suspended. My family is very supportive, and my mother and sister take turns with babysitting while I work. Hopefully, I can go back to school for the winter semester. Fingers crossed! I also may have partied a bit too much when I was nineteen, which I am sure I will get some judgment for, but nothing too crazy. Baby or not, we can't all be awesome decision makers at that age. I didn't get into trouble or anything like that, but at nineteen after being pregnant with nothing to do for nine months it can be tempting to go out with your friends and do normal nineteen-year-old things. My philosophy is that people make mistakes in all areas of life. Parenting is no exception. I truly think I am a pretty good mom, with a happy, healthy, smart toddler. I have made mistakes, with going out too much and stuff at times, but I learned and continue to learn and do better."
"I got pregnant a month before my 18th birthday, my mom kicked me out and my father very generously took my boyfriend and myself in. He didn't require us to pay rent and I'm more than grateful for that. Every penny we made went towards food and baby supplies. A year later, we own our own house, both have well-paying jobs and our son is doing incredibly well. I'm beyond grateful for the help of my father. If it weren't for him, I guarantee we wouldn't be where we are today. It's still quite difficult to stay sane because sometimes it feels like more than we can handle. But we're going to make it work for the sake of our son, and I wouldn't have it any other way."
"Haven't openly talked about this with anyone other than my current partner but here it goes...
I was 14, he was 18. We were together for 3 months, I lost my virginity to him. I got pregnant. I never told my parents and he was the only one i told. He had so little sympathy for what I was going through. I was sick, tired, weak and scared. All he cared about was still sticking his thing in something. I explained to him it was best if I aborted but he guilt tripped me until I felt morally wrong and disgusted with myself for even considering it.
3 months passed, still kept everything concealed, he would belittle me daily call me fat and promiscuous and say the baby wasn't his at all.
Found out a week later he was cheating on me.
I had a melt down. Self-harmed. Got expelled from school. Stayed out all night. My parents assumed it was a horrible break up.
By the start of the 4th month, I started to experience excruciating stomach cramp. Then came the bleeding. I had never felt so distraught in my life, it's an experience id never wish upon anyone.
In between the manipulation and guilt, there was a part of me that truly wanted a life to care for, something I could do right but even that failed.
I've thankfully moved on with my life, but now I'm at that point where me and my partner want a baby and it just doesn't seem to be happening, I'm worried that it has something to do with that loss and if perhaps it's messed up my body for good."
"I was 14.
It was the worst thing that could possibly happen to me (as far as I was concerned at the time). I had my entire life planned out. I was an A* student and had very high expectations of what life was going to hold for me. My parents earned a fairly substantive wage each and have been together since they were 14 themselves. As far as I was concerned, that was where I was heading in life.
I was a quiet kid, not one of the girls you 'expected' it from (which worked in my favor for a while when I hide the pregnancy as no one believed I would possibly end up pregnant).
The relationship rapidly broke down, we'd been together a year but he couldn't deal with me being pregnant (he was only a year my senior).
I didn't want a baby. But I didn't want an abortion more. And the end result of not having an abortion is having a baby.
I spent all of my pregnancy severely depressed and for some significant time after. I thought my life was over.
I hated what I'd lost by becoming a mother, but I actually loved motherhood itself and know I provided well for my son. Financially my parents supported me until I was old enough to support myself/receive some state benefits. And I continued with my education.
Life was hard for a long time.
Fast forward 8 years, my baby is not so much a baby now. I have just graduated university with a first class honors, I'm now a midwife and I'm in the process of buying my first home. I'm only 23."
"Pregnant at 16, had my son a week after I turned 17. Surprisingly, my friends, teachers, and staff at the school were incredibly supportive of me (same for my parents when they were done being pissed at me). I had a wonderful pregnancy, no symptoms and took very good care of myself. My emergency c section was pretty damn terrifying.
I decided to stay at home with him and finish my senior year online. Almost 3 months after his birth found out my son had a rare birth defect called schizencephalic. He was born perfectly healthy but his brain for some reason did not develop properly during my first trimester and is missing a very large portion of one side of his brain. Soon after the seizures started and he was also diagnosed with Infantile spasms. We, fortunately, got them under control from medication by some damn miracle but the damage was already done. He had complete global development delay, Hemi-paralysis, hypotonia and a list of other issues. We started early intervention therapy (PT/OT/speech) and I worked at home with him along with my school. The most difficult part of it all was the seizures and the absolute heart ache that comes along with raising someone with special needs. You grieve for a very long time.
It's been hell. Surgeries, hospital visits and stays, therapies, specialist appointments, and so on. Took me longer than I wanted to but I did graduate. After 6 years of therapy (still going) my son is currently in school and is no longer considered developmentally delayed. He's walking, running, riding his bike, and just doing amazingly. He is a heart throb, so damn smart and the most attentive and caring boy I have ever met. I've been a single mom for 3+ years now and run a small business from home. We still have a long way to go.
But I would do it all over again for him."
"I was 16 when I fell pregnant, had my daughter at 17. Currently 26. I had already left high school so I didn't have to deal with all of that kind of stuff. When I found out I was pregnant, I was going to have an abortion but my boyfriend talked me out of it. After I had gone past the 12 weeks, he started to abuse me, said I should've had the abortion and I found out he had been cheating on me. He ended up having a kid with the girl he was cheating on me with the next year. I also never saw him from when I was about 5 months pregnant onwards. He is in neither of his daughter's lives. When my dad found out, he never spoke to me until my daughter arrived. Not one word. He completely ignored me. If it wasn't for my mum I would have no idea where I would be. To be honest, it has been the most hardest thing I've had to do in my life. I have a pretty messed up background and bringing someone into the world at such a young age as a high school drop out with no qualifications, no partner and barely any friends, it's tough. BUT I have always worked and made a way for my child to have things I never got and to have a better life and currently just became a qualified personal trainer (always been my goal in life) And you know what? I have the most amazing, beautiful, smartest kid you can imagine. Our relationship is completely open, she knows I was young when I had her, I have never kept anything from her but speak to her in age appropriate ways, we talk about everything and anything. She does great at school and she loves sports and animals and wants to be a vet when she's older. I couldn't have asked for a better kid. There are times I wish I knew what it would've been like to go to uni at 18, work and have money saved instead of always buying kids things but I wouldn't change it for the world. She taught me to better myself, to grow up and show her that she can do anything she wants in life if she puts her mind to it. For her, it has been worth it."
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"I am 17 and currently maybe 8 weeks pregnant, and it's absolutely horrible. My partner and I were being stupid and lo and behold, here I am. Every day looks like a vicious cycle of morning sickness, random aches and pains, fatigue, and mood swings. I also don't want sex anymore. Nobody except my partner knows, so I'm constantly making up excuses for feeling bad or running late to class at school. I can't get an abortion yet but I'll be 18 in a few weeks so I'm just dealing with it for now. On a positive note, my partner has been very supportive through this entire process even though I haven't been much fun to be around lately, so I'm thankful for that. Aside from the surface stuff, it's hard knowing that I'm growing our fetus because deep down we both want to keep it. Neither of us is in any position to raise a child right now. I'm going to college in the fall and he's in college. It also isn't easy amidst all of this anti-abortion conflict that has been happening lately. It's like getting slapped in the face every time someone I know expressed their feelings about it. It's hard not being able to tell anyone. I know my mom would not be supportive of my getting an abortion whatsoever, and my partner's mother would probably kick him out. It makes me feel kind of like a disappointment to everyone I know. And it may not seem like it, but I'm just trying to get through this positively."
"It was horrible. I was in a bad situation. My dad had just committed suicide, My mom was a full fledged addict (pills, alcohol, cocaine) and I was dating a guy who was extremely manipulative. We were both 17 and he convinced me that if we had a baby my mom would sober up, and he wouldn't cheat anymore. Well, he continued to cheat, and my mom didn't sober up at all. I lost the baby at 14 weeks, and unbeknownst to me, I have Von Wilebrand's. The sheer amount of blood was terrifying. My ex said that I was faking it and went to a party and my mom was passed out. I walked to my neighbor's house and begged them to call an ambulance. I ended up having to have a blood transfusion. I still have nightmares about that night. The mixture of grief from losing the baby and the fact that I could have bled to death was overwhelming. To top it off, my mom threw a party when I got home because she "was stressed". We found out she was pregnant a month later, and the only time the father was around her was at that party. So essentially, she conceived my younger sister because I had a miscarriage."
"It was pretty awful. I (15 yrs old) was assaulted by my then-bf after I tried to break up with him (I found out he was cheating on me). My mum found the positive pregnancy test & lost it. I can understand why she was so disappointed because she had me at 16 & wanted me to do better.
One school friend got suspicious when I started to show & suddenly had boobs (I was a skinny kid). She kept quiet for me. Thankfully it didn't get around, that was the only part that went OK.
I was pressured into aborting by my mum. I am 95% sure I would have come to the same decision myself, but I wanted more time to think. The process itself was OK. My mum called me a murderer on the drive home, despite being the one to pressure me into the abortion. I was too dopey after the anesthetic to do anything but cry. The rest of high school was OK, but my home life was pretty terrible before this happened & just got worse.
Now - I'm married to an incredible man & we're planning on starting a family next year. I'm terrified that I've ruined my chances because of what happened. I think about it every day. It may seem silly, but I was convinced it was a boy. He would have been 16 this year. My mum is a born again Christian but I've never let her too close into my life because of how she treated me then. I know what she is truly like under that happy clappy mask."
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"It was scary. I was 14 when I became pregnant. Had no idea what to do. Was shamed by my family and all of my friends weren't friends anymore. I was terrified, to say the least.
I looked into adoption because I knew I couldn't give the baby the life it deserved. I would have been a mom at 15 if I had carried the pregnancy full term. I lost my son at 18 weeks.
When I was younger, I didn't handle it well. Multiple suicide attempts, two hospital stays. Years of therapy later, and I am doing much better. I keep my son's ashes in a fireproof safe and miss him every day. Thanksgiving is a really hard holiday for me, seeing I miscarried the day before.
Not sure if I want kids later on in life, but who knows. I'm terrified of it happening again. I was diagnosed with PTSD and sometimes, the thought of having children scares me"
"I found out I was pregnant when I was fifteen, had my kids when I was 16. Having a baby when you are young is rough but having two at one time is nearly impossible to handle. But I did handle it. I am forever thankful to those who would still associate themselves with me as my twin boys grew into very angry toddlers. I dropped out of school, and jumped back in a total of five times and still couldn't finish. Seeing how I couldn't do that, I went to find work. I've been working ever since and supporting them to the best of my abilities. The father was absent. He would come and go, but I never forced him to love his children. He never did willingly, either. It worked out okay because I'm now in a very loving and stable relationship with a very kind man who accepts my children as his own! Wouldn't change a thing. Definitely still get rude looks from people in public while toting my two young kids around and being so young myself. But those people don't matter, so it's fine."
"I got pregnant at 17, my boyfriend was 24 and not a good person at all. He lived in his parent's basement, cheated on me a bunch and put me down. My home life was in ruins and we were almost homeless. My relationship was toxic...it was just too much for me.
I got an abortion and have never regretted it. It was sad and difficult to go through, but I'm happy with my decision. I'm now 29 and 23 weeks pregnant, married to a wonderful and supportive man who makes me feel special every day. I'm excited and I feel ready for parenthood, well as ready as one can feel."
"I got pregnant at 17. The pregnancy itself was...problematic. I had pre-eclampsia and was induced three times without success and finally, they left me to go into labor on my own...11 days late! I was also told that the ultrasound showed the baby was a girl (and you have ultrasounds 3x per week with pre-eclampsia) until after the baby shower when a new tech told me the previous had been wrong. My son wore some pink, white and green clothes in his babyhood!
I had finished high school a year early (which had always been my plan) so I graduated when I was four months pregnant. However, I decided to change career paths to go into the sciences so spent the first four years of my son's life in night school four nights per week. We lived at home (my son'sv father decided not to be a part of my son's life) so my parents looked after my son while I went to school. During the day I looked after other kids so that I could be with my boy until he was 2 1/2, then I worked at a general contracting firm. We had daycare subsidies so it worked well. At the same time, my father was dying of cancer and died when my son was 3 1/2. My dad lived as long as he did to give my son as much of him as he could. It was...well, it just was. It's hard to talk about, 16 years later.
When my son started kindergarten, I started university full-time. We lived on student loans. We moved out to our own apartment after my first year, and while it was difficult, we made it work together. After I graduated, I started work in a professional environment just like any new graduate with a BA (I went back to my original plan, but am so glad to have a science and math background).
Would I do it again? Good question. I don't know. We made it together - my son is now 19 and planning to join the army. I am now well-established in my career in advocacy and we have everything we need AND two doggies! We are happy and healthy and my son is basically a superhero for all of the amazing things he does for our family, including taking care of his disabled uncle when he could be at a bar with his buddies and helping his great-grandmother and her friends with whatever they need from a strapping young lad. But it was a hard life for a long time. We grew up together and I wouldn't change my son for anything. I'm glad I don't have to worry about whether I would do it again.
Make no mistake, though, I don't recommend that life for other young ladies. Be responsible for your birth control and never use an expired condom - ever. If you are on hormonal birth control, ask your doctor or pharmacist when you are prescribed medication if there is an interaction and whether you need a backup method. Then look it up for yourself to make sure. Yes, it's a few extra minutes and some effort but a baby is the rest of your life.
If you're a pregnant teen, find out what resources are in your community - daycare subsidies, grants for school, anything that will help you stay. in. school. Education is the silver bullet for you and your child. And for god's sake, don't have a second baby or marry the father just because he is the father. Getting out of a marriage is much more difficult than not doing it in the first place - and life will be twice as hard with two kids. More children can wait til you're in a real, adult relationship and are settled. Think! When your child is a teen, they can babysit! Do everything you can to stay in school - I can't say it enough. And if you need help or just someone who understands, send me a PM. My inbox is open.
One last thing. Make sure you do everything possible - get legal aid or find a pro bono lawyer - to get a court order for child support and use your government's support enforcement agency. That money, although not even close to enough, saved us occasionally. And it's important. So don't let it go. My son's father owes tens of thousand of dollars and evades it in every way possible but I will NEVER let it go. Don't be too proud. Pride isn't the point. You need help, take it. And when you are a college graduate and making enough to pay taxes, that's when you'll be giving back. Take whatever help is out there."