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Monday, 27 October 2008

Liz on Teen Pregnancy

Written by  Liz Hill

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You're late. At first you figure it's just nerves. After all, you took precautions. I mean, you were always careful, except maybe that one time...

So you buy one of those home pregnancy tests. You sneak it into the house and spend one crazy, long night reading the instructions over and over again. The next morning, your entire being becomes fixated upon that unmistakable, red POSITIVE circle sitting at the bottom of a plastic tube.

For the first time in your life, you understand the full meaning of the word "panic". Your heart drops into a deep, dark place you had no idea existed in your body, but you know it's not moving until you get yourself out of this mess.

The crazy thing is that while your world is falling apart, some neighbor down the street took that same test and also got a positive. Only she's running down the hall to tell her husband the good news. But life's sort of funny that way.

Okay girls, I know how you're feeling - believe me, 'cause I've been there. Now, we're not going to talk about Pro Life vs. Pro Choice-- this is not about that. This is about taking control of a difficult situation by surrounding yourself with the people who love and care about you the most and getting some good, solid guidance.

Your first step may be to contact a school counselor or empathetic teacher. You'll probably need someone to help you approach your parents. Now you're thinking, "Liz, there's no way I can tell my parents". As rough as this may seem, believe me, it can be done.

I'd like to share something with you. Several years ago I was staring at my positive result at the bottom of a cup. If only I had known then what I know now, but I was just too full of myself to ask for assistance from the right people. I decided to do things my way...

Back then, I figured that "Pro Life" meant no life left for me and whoever coined the phrase "Pro Choice" had a sick sense of humor. I mean wasn't it my need to be free and make my own choices that got me into this mess? Believe me, there was nothing free about being a pregnant teen. And feeling that there was no way out other than abortion wasn't much of a choice.

I couldn't bear the secret alone, so I told my best friend and of course, I also
told the father. But I guess this news was just too hot for them to handle, 'cause by the time I got to school, all eyes were on me (or maybe it was just my imagination).

My "trusted" friend volunteered to contact the local abortion clinics. Meanwhile the other "responsible" party figured he could raise at least most of the cash. After all, he was the father.

As the days went by, the panic and fear only became worse. I couldn't sleep. I looked like hell and my body sort of floated through space, like I was no longer grounded and I didn't know where I was headed. And I kept saying over and over to myself, "What have I done? What have I done?"

Then my day at the clinic arrived. He came with me and so did my "friend", who had by now told the whole continent.

The counselors were nice enough. They calmly informed me of the procedure and risks. They answered questions and for one selfless minute I thought to ask, "will the baby - er... fetus, embryo or whatever - feel pain?". But that fleeting thought was overtaken by fears for myself and instead I asked ,"Will this hurt a lot?"

A few hours later, I lay at home no longer pregnant and the relief that I thought I'd feel took the form of reflective depression mixed with anxiety, 'cause I had to keep hiding all bathroom evidence from my mother.

Aside from a phone call, I didn't hear from him much. But that's okay, 'cause I didn't want to repeat this episode again. But believe it or not, two weeks down the road when I was feeling lonely, hurt and vulnerable, he showed up at the door. You see, he had that urge and I was fair game once again. But things were never the same between us.

Hey, don't get me wrong, it's not like I didn't survive all of this. It's just that, well... take it from me, there are some things in life that you never forget.

Last modified on Sunday, 03 July 2011 08:34
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Liz Hill

Liz Hill

Liz (Elizabeth) Hill is a pseudonym that is a composite of a number of WholeFamily writers who remember what it was like to be young.

Reader Story - Teen Pregnancy

Well, I just want to tell my story of how I got pregnant and how I live my life today. When I was 13 years old I meat this guy. He was much older than me, and at first I didn't like him, but as time passed by I kind of "fell in love" with him. He was about 27 and I was 13. I know what you're thinking - what the heck is a thirteen-year-old girl doing with a 27-year-old guy? I was probably desperate to runaway from my problems at home, and I didn't know I was getting into a deeper problem. My family was O.K. with the relationship, and we were about to get married (with the consent of my mother of course) when I had a problem with my new step-dad. I couldn't stand him. My boyfriend proposed to run away. We were still going to get married, or at least that's what he said. So one day, I ran away with him. We had the apartment and all the basic necessities. After like two months I became pregnant, at the age of thirteen years old. I wasn't even finished 7th grade! I decided to have my baby. (Don't ask me why. I don't know.) He ended up cheating on me. I spent six and a half years with this person until I finally decided to end my relationship. I went to school pregnant. All the looks I got, all the comments I received, really affected my life. But I finished junior high and I was on my way to high school. While my friends were thinking on going out to the movies, I had to think about making dinner and changing diapers. It was hard, but I did it. I didn't give up. I had to wake up at six a.m. to change the baby, dress up, and go to school. I had to be at the bus stop by seven to be in school at 8:15 a.m. (They had childcare in the school, but only if you maintained a good academic grade.) I had to go through childcare, homework, uniforms, and all the rest of that stuff. I was a full-time student and worked part-time, and still had to come home and take care of my son. I graduated high school with the Class of 1998 with all my friends. I'm currently a college student in California, working toward my accounting degree, and I'm also working full time for a law firm. I just turned twenty and I have a five-year-old boy that waits for me to get home and give me a kiss, and say "I love you mommy." My message to all the teens out there is to never give up, you can make it. Hang on - life is hard, but in the long run, it's worth it. Good luck!

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