Over the last 16 years I have seen many programs, blogs and interviews on teenage motherhood. But what I have never really seen is someone, a teenage mom, expressing how I felt during this time.
My First-born King turned 16 this week and it has bought me to this place of reflection all about my own teenage pregnancy & life’s changes when my baby boy first arrived.
At 17 having a baby was the last thing on my mind, truth be told when I was younger I did not want to have children at all.
I was enjoying Sixth form life, was heavily involved in a variety of dance, sport and educational activities and was set to be a successful young woman academically - instead teenage pregnancy bought me to success of a different kind.
I did not find out that I was pregnant with Connor until I was quite far-gone, the naiveties of a teenager meant that I was blind to a lot of the early pregnancy symptoms. I decided to continue my education, as I wanted to complete my A-Levels. I enjoyed school and learning and still to this day do not understand why people thought it was something special because I was not allowing my pregnancy to hinder my plan in life.
The opposite in fact was happening! Being delivered this bundle of responsibility just increased my drive and desire to succeed- I was so excited. From a young age, due to circumstances I always had an inner toughness. I was aware of what many were saying behind my back and did not have the support of my family or teachers, but I did not care.
The heartbreaking thing when I look back on the situation was that nobody was happy for me. Not once was I told that this could be a good thing and never was I told that this situation could be positive. From the perspective of the adults around me I was ‘wrecking my future prospects’ and from my friends I would no longer be able to be free to socialize.
Being judged did not bother me in the slightest as no one knew everything and no one lives their life perfectly- something that at the time I felt many would have done well to remember.
At the same time I knew and appreciated the uniqueness of the situation. Me rocking up daily with a big belly to Sixth Form, walking past the younger students was somewhat of a novelty; although there were the perks of not having to wait at lunchtime in the que and my friend Nicole rubbing coco butter on my belly daily in the common room- to ensure I didn’t get stretch marks!
My very first lesson of motherhood came when Connor decided to arrive into the world prematurely by 7 weeks! After always being an avid ‘planner’ and a highly organized person I always felt that I had everything under control. Connors’ early arrival quickly showed me that is just not how it works with children!
I knew from that moment every plan and decision I would make would involve and impact him- as obvious as that sounds, when you are 17 that truly is life changing. I think at this point my naivety combined with a zest for life really was a blessing. In a way my immaturity led me not to necessarily worry about the things that actually later on in life when having children, I have chosen to consider.
I just simply loved and enjoyed every moment of him. He fascinated me, each new word and each new skill; I was totally mesmerized and dedicated to this little baby boy. I didn’t read any books on what he ‘should be doing’ or care about the pressure of the ‘red book milestones’. I just lived freely and completely in the moment with him.
We were inseparable! Besides when I had to leave him to study, he never left my side; and even then there were many nights where I studied and completed coursework with him strapped to my chest! He was mommies Prince and the best motivation I could have wished for!
Of course now as an incredibly independent 16 year old its just ‘not cool’ to spend all your time with mom- but now the time we spend together is different. It usually involves me being a taxi, travel arrangement PA and GCSE revision buddy! All of which I am more than happy to be!
It’s been an amazing 16 years of Mother & Son memories and I look forward to creating so many more!
“Love you Son” xx