I had a two hour drive ahead of me. A part of me wanted to speed home. But the other part didn’t want the drive to end. At one point I began to lie to myself that everything was going to be okay. As I appraoched the driveway of my house, the nerves came rushing over me. My heart felt like it was going to jump out of my chest. My dad didn’t know I was about to change our lives forever. Before my dad could ask me about my day, I blurted out, “I’m pregnant.” My dad walked away. He didn’t say a single word to me for the remainder of the night.
I was seventeen years old when I found I would become a teen mom. Almost “legally” an adult, but still a kid nonetheless.
I was at military school when I found out I was pregnant. I had three months left until graduation. So my boyfriend and I decided to hide it. We figured the best thing to do was to make it to graduation and then figure out the rest.
But graduation came quickly and BAM! Just like that, reality set in. There was something living inside of me, and I had no idea how we were going to tell our parents.
It was hard telling our parents. There was many different discussions about what we needed to do. But in the end we figured out the best plan for our situation.
Being a teen mom wasn’t easy, and the emotional support I had was nonexistent. So I decided to share an open letter of my experience. I hope it finds someone in need of encouragement or maybe helps someone understand that teen moms are human too.
My Open Letter
Dear Teen Mom,
Being pregnant young is not going to be easy. The day the pregnancy test turned positive was the day you became a mom. One of the hardest things you might have to do, besides giving birth, is tell your dad/mom/grandparents you’re pregnant. The disappointment that crosses their face is an image you might never forget. However, that is just the beginning of the emotional toll of being a teen mom.
Disappointment is Normal
Disappointment will become a new norm. Sometimes it will feel as if you have disappointed the world, but understand that isn’t the case. The only feelings that matter at this point are yours and yours alone. There will be whispers, stares, and out-loud criticism. But that is beyond your control. Just nod and carry on.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions at your doctor’s appointments. If there was one thing I could change, it would be to involve myself more. Educate yourself about pregnancy and what is to come after the birth. There will be many changes to your body during pregnancy and after birth. Also know that stretch marks are normal, but coco butter helps.
Being a Teen Mom Isn’t Ideal, but You’re Already Pregnant
Lastly, slow down and enjoy it. It can be hard when the world tells you the opposite. Remember that the baby can feel everything you feel. I used to always worry about what everyone else thought. I felt as if I had to constantly punish myself. Being a teen mom is not ideal, but at the same time the deed is done. You cannot punish yourself forever. The best thing to do is move forward and prepare for what is to come.
You Won’t Be a Teen Mom Forever
If I could leave you with one last piece of advice, it’s to breathe! Being a teen mom is tough, but understand that when you become a mom, there is not a particular perfect way to be a mom. Remember there will always be someone handing out advice. But you will find your own way and your own parenting style. Everything comes with time.
Alyssa, a fellow teen mom
Originally published April 2019.