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We pave our own way in life - This is my story
Member Name: benz2922
Advantages: Young or old, having a child is still a wonderful and life changing experience
Disadvantages: Not every teenage parent makes the right choices
Giving birth is by far the best experience that any woman can go through. After my daughter was born, I was filled with love, pride and joy, the feelings experienced my most new mothers. I was so euphoric with my new baby, I could do no more than love her intensely, I spent hours staring at her tiny, perfect features with the biggest feeling of 1 million emotions surging through me. At times I thought that the rush of emotions was actually that strong that it was causing my heart to hurt. I thought it was an unexplained, natural experience. Unfortunately It was not. Looking at my baby one last time, I handed her over never expecting to see her again. After two weeks of comas, medication and the care of amazing doctors and nurses, I was awake, I defied the astronomical odds and I was there, living. You see after I gave birth to my daughter I came down with a rare heart condition called cardiomyopathy which I was very if not extremely lucky to survive. I was told around 12 hours after giving birth that I should say goodbye to my daughter. Throughout my ordeal the doctors told my family to say goodbye to me. The fact that I am here now, living and of course writing this review is a miracle in itself. So if I asked you now what sets me apart from other new mothers, your answers would come in the form of, you had a tragic ordeal, you were separated from your child for two weeks, you missed that chance to bond. My family and other stereotypes would answer, what differs between you and other mothers Is that you are 16 years old. This is my life and my story.
Falling pregnant at 15 was not something I had planned into my life, at that age I was a keen artist and I could see nothing more in life than a pencil and a piece of paper. I had of course planned my future, I would have 3 maybe even 4 children, the first when I was around 30 after I had built up a successful career. Unfortunately nothing in life works the way you plan and sometimes you just have to go with the flow. As I was only 15 I had a lot of interference from teenage support workers etc all the way through my pregnancy, they backed of after I was about 20 weeks due however because up until this time they were trying, of course in very professional and subtle way, but they were trying to get me to have an abortion. This was never even a consideration for me. This to me is no better than murder, I know people have different opinions on this however and of course I respect that but I was not going to abort my baby.
I decided very early on in my pregnancy that I was going to do everything I could to stop me from being labelled, to stop people from judging me. I didn't want my daughter being born into a strained and un positive atmosphere, I wanted different for her. I continued with school throughout my pregnancy, I actually stayed there until 2 days before I gave birth. At this time my partner was very supportive, being 2 years older than me he was at college studying to be an electrician. He decided to take a night course in replace of the full time course he was doing and he got a full time job in the day.
Now this teenage pregnancy midwife of mine was very set on giving me a label, I know her job is to make things easer for me but I hated being treated different because of my age, I mean I had everything every other mother had but I was labelled as though I wasn't good enough to have what other mothers were having. Instead of mothers and tots it was teens and tots, instead of a midwife it was a teenage pregnancy midwife. Being a very independent person I was fed up of the labels and categorizing of people. At the end of the day I was a mother like any other. I refused all of the advice given to me, not because I was being vain or difficult but because I wanted to do things my own way, just because I was young did not mean that I needed my decisions made for me by people who thought it was for the best. I was given paper after paper of free this and free that, a list of benefits that I could claim, a list of second hand shops and a list of nursery's dotted around the rough areas of town. I really couldn't help but feel that I was another teenage parent that was being categorized because of a stereotype.
As wrong as it my be, my goal in life at this time was to prove everyone wrong. From the day my daughter was born I was eligible to claim benefits but I never have, I was entitled to a lot of things but I never wanted them. My parents don't have a lot of money so they weren't able to help out, but we made our own way through the tough times which is what everybody has to do regardless of age. When I was pregnant I spent 3 days a week at school and I would spend a considerable amount of time doing home working which was exhausting, packing envelops, I had countless paper cuts and It worked out at about £2 an hour but I didn't care because that is how much I was determined to beat the stereotypical label that had been placed on me. My partner worked ridiculous hours as well and together we managed to buy everything and more that we needed for our new baby. We had moved out of our parents and started renting a house in a nice part of town and we did everything that a normal family would do when pregnant with there first child.
As I have mentioned, I had a difficult birth and it was extremely hard afterwards to bond with my baby, but that would be a natural feeling. It wasn't because of my age like my family had suggested, at the first sign of weakness in my guard that I had built around myself they were straight in with the comments on how I couldn't cope because I was so young, not because I had missed the first 2 weeks of my daughters life. I did find it difficult at first, but only because I was worried that she didn't know me and I felt jealous that other people had spent so much time with her whilst I hadn't. It was difficult dealing with this, but every mother has problems, so I did what everybody does and just got on with things. Eventually it became easer then I found being a parent the most natural and wonderful thing.
Shortly after my daughter was born I started selling Avon. I would do this and take my daughter in her pram whilst my partner was at work and then in the evening when he got back we would pack envelopes and take it in turns doing the night feeds. We were both exhausted all of the time but it was worth it. When my daughter was one, I had finished school and was going to college so I had to stop all the work I was doing as it would have been to much. My partner carried on however and he worked so so hard.
Everyday I would battle with comments and stares and the worst part was that these came mostly from my family. I have my mum and dad for support but with a close nit family of over 24 including aunties and uncles etc I would have expected more. I tried very hard to prove to my family that I could be a good mum, and I would have proved them right, except they haven't been around to see it. Out of three years they have seen my daughter around 10 times at the most. I have, over the three years become used to being a cast out but it is not fair on my daughter. There have been two family events this year, a family holiday, the only family members not to be invited to this holiday was me and my daughter, and then there was also a wedding. I was also not invited to this. I have become used to it now and I have my own family and as much as I would have liked to be a part of theirs it doesn't look set to happen.
The last three years of our life has been a struggle but we have done it. We had managed to raise a beautiful daughter who is so clever and smart for her age. For the last 2 ½ years she has been attending a lovely nursery down the road from ours and she has developed so much into a little character. We are currently in talks with the landlord about buying our house, my partner has just got a great job as an electrician and after finishing college with 3 A levels I have now just finished my first year at university. Art is no longer a passion of mine but my daughter seems to enjoy it as much as I did! Not every parent is perfect but I have tried damn hard to remove a label that everybody just seemed to place on me. I am not bothering to hide who I am anymore, I'm not letting people get the better of me, I know that I am a good mother and that I have a splendid child and the only person that I need to prove myself to is her, because she is the only one who matters.
I know that not all teenage mothers make the choices in life that I have and that really is a shame, also some other teenage parents might need the support and guidance that is available to them, this is not a bad thing, these services are in place to help and I am sure that with most people they really do but being such a strong and determined character I vowed to do it without this help. I would like to think that this review could help teenage parents who have unsupportive families to realise that they don't need to prove anything, life is too short to waste it trying to be accepted. We are who we are and we pave our own way in life, I would just pledge for those who read this that do label and stereotype to get to know a person first before judging them because you could really help people feel accepted without them having to worry about what people are thinking and what labels are placed on them. I know that not all teenage parents are deserving of this acceptance because I have met my fair share of mothers young and old that are perhaps not even deserving of children but just think before you judge, get to know a person first. One of my worst experiences has come from a stranger, at the tills in asda I got asked for ID to buy some scissors, I happily handed it over and she looked from my ID to me and then to my daughter, pulling a discussed face she said 18 hey? Obviously she's not your child then? I didn't say anything but I cried as soon as I got into the car. It is the un-acceptance that young people receive that make them feel like outcasts, it's the worst feeling to have.
Thank you for reading my review, I have wrote this, mainly to prove to myself that I am no longer scared of being judged, I am who I am. Thank you.
Summary: Life is too short to spend it in fear of being rejected from society