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Jaimie Fiedler
Rhiannon Catherwood
English 103
Tuesday March 25
th
, 2014
Delving into Teenage Pregnancy
Imagine this, youre 19 years old, fresh out of high school, you have your high school sweetheart
and you both have life planned out. You are going to get an education and live the perfect life together.
Then you find out after your very first sexual experience ever, youve become pregnant with his child. What
do you do now? How do you make money to raise your child? Do you go to school? Do you get married?
Do you even end up together or do you let the stress and families get between you? I personally feel that
even though there is a lot about teenage pregnancy in the media we dont exactly understand it. We just go
off of the information or TV portrayals. Who better to learn from than someone who has personally
experienced it? I interviewed my mother because I found her story particularly interesting. Its not the
typical story like the ones on the show Teen Mom. The issue of teenage pregnancy is not to be taken
lightly. This is a pretty serious topic, you dont always get paid a lot of money to share your experience,
have nice cars or get your nails done. Rather this is a decision that you must live with and more importantly
struggle with for the rest of your life.

In 2012, there were 29.4 births for every 1,000 teenage females ages 15-19. In other words; 305,
420 babies born to teenagers in this age group. Almost eighty-nine percent of these births were outside of
marriage. The likelihood of a mother giving birth a second time is five times greater than one who has not
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yet given birth. More than 20% of teenage mother live in poverty while in their twenties and early thirties,
compared to the 7% of women who postpone childbearing. The younger the teen mother was when she
had her child; the more likely she will live in poverty. In, 2001, only 30% of teen mothers received child
support.

My mother was 19 years old when she found out that she was pregnant. She was raised catholic,
so she knew telling everyone she got pregnant from her high school sweetheart right out of high school was
not going to be easy or taken lightly. How do you tell family and friends you got pregnant? More
importantly, how do you tell your boyfriend that you are going to be parents? The first person my mother
had to tell was my father. She said I remember telling him I was pregnant and him saying really? Like I
was lying about this or joking. She said she threw the test at him which of course shocked him further. She
said she her whole life she never did anything wrong, she was the fourth of six children who were raised
with strict parents and rules that you HAD to follow. She told me she can remember walking into the drug
store to get a pregnancy test and putting it on the counter, she could feel all eyes on her and she felt
judged by everyone, including the cashier. After telling my father she knew her parents were next, she also
knew they would be extremely mad and disappointed. She told me: I hid at a friends house that I had told I
was pregnant and called from there to tell them. When I called my mom and told her I had to tell her
something she yelled John pick up the phone!. So now I had to tell them both at the same time and deal
with them. My mother said her parents were calm but upset. Her mother said that her father was on the
way to pick her up so they could talk. Then they had to tell my fathers parents. Who werent exactly happy
about it. They were mad and said they thought they taught my father about having proper sex. To which he
said no. My fathers siblings were upset but none more than my aunt Sharon. She had just gotten married
and wanted to have the first grandchild. So she was pissed off. My mother said Sharon said it was a
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mistake and that they werent supposed to have the first grandchild. After telling everyone my mother
recalls her family saying she could always adopt her son away. My fathers family were all doctors and said
they could send my mother away and she would come back like nothing happened at all. So it can be
easily concluded that the hardest part is telling everyone the news. Family reactions can be a very hard
thing to deal with during a teenage pregnancy. You dont want people to have you or scold you. You
definitely dont want to hear someones negative opinion or suggestions.

My mothers family became supportive, I would venture to say extremely but they were interested
in her and the baby. She said that her oldest and only sister was mad because she couldnt have children
so she wasnt very supportive or happy for her. Her family kept throwing adoption around and saying that it
was perfectly fine to adopt because this would give the child a chance at a good life. But my father was
against it because he was adopted and didnt like it at all. My father and my mother met a counselor for
adoption but ended up changing their mind when their son was born. She said when I held him in my arms
I knew I was going to keep him and that no one in the entire world was going to take him away from me.
She said despite the negative opinions from everyone around her she kept her son in mind and didnt let it
get to her. My mother is an advocate of support is everything. Support can either make or break you,
depending on whether it is negative or positive. If you are surrounded my negativity then it is not very likely
you will keep your baby, you have to have the inner confidence to make the big decision and keep the child
despite the world telling you no. My mother says to do what you want no matter what people say, because
the world doesnt know you or what you want, you do.

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After my brother was born, my mother worked at a day care, so she enrolled Mark there and
worked there. She said she didnt make a lot of money but at least she knew Mark got a meal once a day.
She said if they had leftovers from lunch the ladies she worked with would send it home with her so she
and Mark had food to eat that night. She worked very hard at this job. She said if she didnt have a lot of
money or food that she would at least feed Mark and she would go without eating. She got married to my
father and they lived in an apartment together with Mark. My father was a volunteer firefighter and
paramedic so he had crazy hours. Then one day life got between them and one day my mother called her
family saying how hard it was and her father and brothers came and packed her and Marks things and
moved them out before my father got home. This put a strain between both families. My dads family didnt
like my mother or her family and my mothers family didnt like my father or his family. They got divorced at
the young age of 20 and remained civil towards each other and shared custody of mark. Eventually they
knew they had feelings for each other still and wanted to be together no matter what their families said so
they got remarried and now have three daughters and Mark. My mother said: I dont regret having Mark or
any of you, you are great children, but I regret having children at such a young age. The struggle your
father and I still deal with today is not one I would ever want any of my kids to have. When you turn on Mtv
and you watch Teen Mom or 16 and Pregnant, while it may be just a show to you, its more than that for the
people and their families on it. When you see these young girls with these big nice cars and their nails
done, thats the show paying them for being on it. They dont show you the real struggle of having a child at
such a young age. My mother often says she feels bad for those girls and that it sometimes is insulting at
how easy it looks to be a young mother. They dont show you these girls who have both families tearing
them apart, they dont show you the negative suggestions that people offer to the mother. They dont show
the real struggle these young women will have to deal with the rest of their lives. While a baby is cute and
cuddly, the stress that comes with it is the exact opposite.
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My mother is still married to my father, they have my brother, two sisters and I, and there is still
financial stress from earlier. My mother and fathers families are still butting heads and trying to pull them
apart. My mother went back to school and got a nursing degree and is trying to better our lives. So in all
this chaos there is some good.

Having a Child as a teenager is not a life ending experience but more so a life-long change. It is a
tough thing to get through but it can definitely be gotten through. It may not be glamorous work but not
many things we work at are. You give up yourself and who you want to be for the love of your child and
who you want them to be.