“If you keep going down this road you’re going to become a teen mom and drop out of high school.” Those words rang in my head on a loop as I waited. At seventeen I was taking my first pregnancy test; and as I watched the second line form I couldn’t shake the overwhelming dread. While I was already two months into my first semester of college, I couldn’t help but feel like I was becoming a statistic. I felt so ashamed I texted the news to my family. I couldn’t bring myself to look them in the eyes and tell them.
This shame was a trend my entire pregnancy. I missed appointments, withdrew from friends, and kept much of my pregnancy on a need to know basis. I was mourning what I thought was a loss of my life instead of celebrating the one I was creating. I was young, afraid, and didn’t know what kind of life I could possibly provide for a sweet little baby.
I delivered my oldest daughter one month after my eighteenth birthday. To say she flipped my life right on its head would be an understatement. The shame was stripped and what was left behind was a Mother. Not a teen mother who had “thrown my life away” but a mother, who like this beautiful baby in my arms had just been born that day.
In the 5 years since her birth I have carried two more children. I am a mother. No shame necessary.