Whether your pregnancy was meticulously planned, medically coaxed, or happened by surprise, one thing is certain – your life will never be the same. – Catherine Jones
Early pregnancy and motherhood vary by education, wealth quintile, and region. It is more common among young adult women age 15 to 24 with less education than among those with higher education (44 percent for women with elementary education versus 21 percent for women with college education). – PSA
I would say that early pregnancy is a choice. A choice that I would never regret.
I was raised by a relative that I barely know after my father died when I was 7 years old. My mom left me saying that she would come and get me after a few months. 3 years have passed but I’m still in the hands of my abusive aunt. Have you ever played outside and got slapped just because you went outside and just because you’re a kid and you just wanted to bond with your friends? We’re you abused by someone who is supposed to protect you? We’re you ever hit just because they feel like it? These are just some of the experiences that I had when I was a child.
At 10 years old when my mom finally went back for me I was already damaged. I was so mad and I became a rebellious teenager. At 12, I already know how to smoke and drink liquors. I often skipped classes just so that I could hang out with my so-called “friends”. I ran away from our home for too many times. I got my first tattoo when I was just 14 years old. I just don’t want to be with my mom because I thought I would never ever need her again. I was rehabilitated for a year and they enrolled me in a baptist school thinking it would change me.
But, of course, none of these worked. I chose not to get help. I chose not to stop drinking and smoking. I chose to stay with my friends. I chose to believe that I can take care of myself.
Until one day I met this guy. Thinking that it would be him, thinking that I finally found my man at the age of 15. Funny right? But of course, me being 15 and dumb I ran away with him and after 3 months of being together, I got pregnant.
Then it hit me, I was with a child, clueless on what to do. For the first time, I felt scared. I know I had to make a choice and that choice was to keep my daughter and made sure that I would be able to provide all the love and needs that she deserves. Love that I have been longing for so many years.
I told my mom that I was pregnant on Mother’s Day. Greeting to her and my sister with a “Happy Mothers Day! I am now a mother too!” on messenger. I was expecting that they would just ignore me but surprisingly, after all the things I have done they did not. My sister and my mom were there during the 12 hours labor period. Realizing that I’ve been fooling myself thinking that I would be able to do it without them and still continues to support me.
Of course, as you would expect the father of my child and I broke after 2 years. I tried to save our relationship too many times because I don’t want my daughter to grow up with a broken family. I want my daughter to grow up with a mom and dad on her side just like I dreamed of when I was a kid. But it’s never gonna work. He’s wasn’t able to find a stable job to support us and the needs of our baby were being provided by my sister and mom. Since I was only 16 years old at that time and I’m not even a high school graduate, I worked for my sister in return for the milk and diaper.
This is the time when you really have to face reality. It was when I decided to go back to school. I went to the Alternative Learning System so that I would be able to take care of her while I’m studying and to be able to get a high school diploma as soon as possible. Luckily I passed The Alternative Learning System Accreditation and Equivalency (ALS A&E) Test and finally, I have my high school diploma.
While I’m waiting to turn 18 years old, I took TESDA welding class – (SMAW AND GMAW). I was thinking of becoming a female welder so that I would be able to work in Australia but in order for me to do that I have to gain experience first. I tried applying but failed to get a job because female welder is not in demand in the Philippines.
I tried applying to a Call Center Company but was not able to get the job because I was not able to speak in English at all! I thought it was just easy – peasy like they tell you but, man! I was really nervous until the interviewer just asked me to get out!
So I took a short course for call center agent and I promised myself that this time I would be able to get a job. I can’t apply to any other industries because of my tattoos and because of my educational attainment. After passing the course I tried applying again and guess what? I got hired! I am a customer service representative for almost 5 years now and an aspiring freelancer!
After all, this clueless teenage mom before was able to provide for her child now. It’s the choices that made me who I am today. It’s because of them I am now a strong independent woman. I am not going to stop my self here. I am still trying to explore and learn new things. I regret most of the choices that I made before but not when I made my choice to survive and be better.