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Vicky Smith 

Challenges of Teen Pregnancy

I became preganant at age 15 and gave birth to my first child at age 16. It was a beautiful baby boy. After becoming preganant I was place in an unwed mother’s home with a plan to have my child adopted but when it was time to sign the papers, I just could not do it. As I became older, I realized that I did not think enough about the needs or the future of my child. I primarily thought about how it would look to others, specifically about how it would look to my family. I was not aware of anyone in the family who had ever gave their child away. I did not realize that going to the unwed mother’s home would give me an opportunity to make some decisions that would be beneficial to me and the child. After leaving the unwed mother’s home with my son, I went back to the town where the child’s father lived and moved in with him and his family. My son’s father became physically abusive. After he hit me one time, I left and flew back to my home town. My son was about 6 months old at the time and I did not see his father again until he was 3 years old. By then, I had my second child who was also a boy. Again, I did not think much about how I was going to provide for my children. My second son’s father and I dated off and on throughout my teen age life. I felt he was the true love of my life. We lived together for a couple of years but it was a very scary and shaky time. He was also physically abusive and I also learned that he was drug addicted. Once I realized the extent of his drug problem, I did what was necessary to exit that relationship. I now look back and thank God that I did not go to jail or end up with drug addiction which could have led to death. In fact, my second sons’ father’s addiction eventually led to his death. I am so grateful that I got out of that relationship with my life, with my health and with my freedom.

I got married shortly after to a man who was in the navy. I moved to Omaha Nebraska, continued my education, got a job and bought a house at age 18. Although I had no children from this marriage, the relationship did not last long after realizing the man I married had serious mental health problem.

I tried several types of birth control but felt the side effects were too much. I eventually settled on using the birth control shot. Although one of the side effects was weight gain, I thought another pregnancy was not an option so I just accepted the side effects. I developed a career as a certified substance abuse counselor and continued to provide for my children.

In Omaha I met the father of my youngest child. At the age of 24 we had a baby girl and got married. For the first time I felt I was ready to be a mother. Although it was difficult bringing 2 children into the new relationship, the children got older we all matured and continued to grow.

The common thread in this story is that none of these events were planned and what was left out mostly was not taking time for myself to be able to grow as a person before bringing a child into the world. The message in this short story is, although I learn from each mistake, if I could do it over, I would have learned to love myself first. I would have slowed down and would have taken some time to be a child and then to grow up before bringing another life into the world. I now realize that the child deserved better and so did I. 

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