Against The Odds - Successful, Single, Teenage Mom

by GEM Magazine / May 01, 2015 / Comments

I lay there on the stretcher with the curtain pulled closed and my Mother out in the hallway as the doctor asked for privacy. My heart was racing – Why was he asking my mother leave?

“I have bad news and worse news, which would you like first?” He said and after I didn't reply, he continued... “Do you know what STD’s are? Are you aware of what HIVand AIDS are?” I sat there, terrified and confused. I was able to spit out that I wanted the bad news first. “You’re pregnant, around 15 weeks, and the worse news is you’re going to be admitted because of a bad kidney infection”.

My life turned completed upside down. How did this happen to me? (I mean, I know how – but I thought I was invincible). I was fifteen.

My Mom and I weren't close so I racked my brain on how I was going to explain that I was pregnant, despite the times I'd said “no, I’m not sexually active." Although a kidney infection was not good news, it was almost a positive as I didn’t have to go home for a week.

When I returned home, it felt as though no one wanted to talk about this baby growing inside of me. I woke up most mornings to new statistics on my bedroom door, taped their by my Mother about teenage Moms. Not favourable statistics – how they never graduate, they end up living on welfare and have more babies.

That wasn’t going to be me, I promised. I was going to be the best Mom to this baby.

High school was difficult too. I remember people berating me in public about being pregnant at my age. The rumours and stereotypes must have all been true... right?

I moved into a home for pregnant teenagers and was assigned a social worker and a child protection worker because of my age. I attended school in this new home, learned some cooking and sewing skills and lived with 15 other girls in my situation. I felt alone.

I lost most of my friends; naturally, I couldn’t party anymore. My family, although supportive, weren’t too sure on how to handle it. And the other participant in this creation was absent, to put it politely.

It was just the two of us.

The day I experienced contractions, I knew was going to be the day that would make up for the last months of sickness (kidney infections continued), rumours and ridicule.

23 and a half hours later, my beautiful son was born and I was discharged from the hospital. I didn’t go home yet. I decided, at that moment I wasn’t going to break my promise to my baby. I was going to be somebody in this world. However, the odds were against us.

My son stopped breathing at 2 weeks old. When the Ambulance and Police arrived, I was being questioned in the police car instead of on route to the hospital with my son. “You’re young, his crying was bothering you wasn’t it, you wanted to make it stop?”

Everything started with; “you’re young”. This continued for months… years. My son was in and out of hospital, and most doctors didn't take me seriously. I mean, what did this young girl know? Even when applying for full custody, I had a judge tell me that attending school full time and working a part time job was irresponsible. In the eyes of others, I couldn't do anything right.

I carried on through it all with that promise burning inside of me. Challenge after challenge. Disapproving comment after another. It fuelled me to keep going until I realized I had defied all the odds.

The statistics were against me and I had proved them wrong. I graduated college, have a full time career and I am an entrepreneur.

My advice to other Mom's is to always strive for better. Believe in yourself. And remember that you are responsible for a life.

Never let the odds keep you from doing what you know in your heart you are meant to do.

I love being a mom, it’s part of my purpose. And I would not change it for the world.

By Catherine Nikkel.

Catherine is a mother, youth worker, blogger and entrepreneur from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Follow her inspiring story at; www.90daysinmyshoes.com
IG - @catherinestime

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