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“After crying buckets of tears and wondering how on earth I would manage, I decided I would find a way.”
An eighteen-year-old girl, who had already been through an abortion at 16, describes what went into her decision to go through with a second unplanned pregnancy. A true story.
(For further reading on unplanned pregnancy and pregnancy loss issues for women and men, including articles for health and welfare professionals, go to Open Doors Education pages.)
TEEN KEEPS BABY
When I found out I was pregnant I was really scared. I had an abortion when I was 16 and didn’t want to go through that again. I was just so miserable and it took ages to stop feeling guilty.
I always wanted to be a mum so when I became pregnant again at 18 I knew I would have the baby even though it would be difficult. That doesn’t mean I didn’t think about having another abortion – I did … but I just couldn’t do it this time. It felt a bit like I had been given a second chance – a chance to prove myself.
The baby’s father didn’t want to know about the pregnancy so I couldn’t expect anything from him. He took off the week after I told him about the baby. My mum wasn’t too impressed either. She told me I would have to leave as she didn’t have room for me and a baby and couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t just have an abortion again. I felt so alone.
After crying buckets of tears and wondering how on earth I would manage, I decided I would find a way. I didn’t quite know how at first but then I started to look at what I would need and ask for some help to get myself established. My mother said I had to move out well before the baby was born. She was busy with her own life. That was a bit shattering as deep down I was hoping she would understand.
I found a counselling centre, Open Doors, where I could go to talk about my worries and, boy, I certainly seemed to have a lot. I had no money, nowhere to live and nothing for the baby!
With the help of my counsellor I was able to get accommodation – temporary at first whilst something more permanent was organised. I was given priority consideration and before the baby was born I had housing which helped a lot. Even though the whole thing was rather daunting I felt freer than I had in ages and my counsellor helped me contact support groups, set up pre-natal care and get things together for my baby. She was a great help – a real lifesaver! She met with me every week and sort of became a substitute mother, in one way putting me in touch with services that could help me.
She visited me when Jaden was born and really shared in my excitement. It meant so much. My mum finally came around a bit and started visiting. It was a bit hit and miss at first but then Jaden was so gorgeous that mum came more regularly.
I know having Jaden isn’t easy at times but this experience has shown me a part of myself I might never have known. I found that I was not helpless or unable to manage. I learned how to budget and plan a future for both of us. I hope one day to meet a nice guy who will want to be with Jaden and me and that we will be become a family. I guess I have grown up a lot and I‘m proud of that.
(Names and other identifying details used in this story are fictitious to protect the author’s confidentiality.)
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