At 15 years old, I got pregnant!
After finding out that I was pregnant, my life changed. People were telling my mother to kick me out of the house, or insisted I abort my baby. A friend of mine told me she overheard my daughter’s father telling someone that he needed money so that he can abort the baby. Everyone seemed to think that abortion was the right choice. Everyone, but me!
My mother was disappointed but eventually accepted the fact that I was going to have my baby and be a teen mother. There were times where she cried when she saw my peers going to school, and me sitting at home.
As I was sitting home one day, I said to myself that my life will not stop because of this situation. I told my daughter’s father that I wanted to go to the Women’s Centre, and he assisted me with registering at the Centre.
My first day at the Women’s Centre was one of the worst days of my life. People saw me wearing the black and white uniform – the negative perception people have of those who wear the infamous black and white uniform has created a stigma. The piercing eyes of shame and the words of disappointment left me emotional, ashamed and discouraged.
Despite the negative reactions, the Womens Centre welcomed me with open arms, and treated me with the respect. During the time I was attending the Centre, my daughter’s father was not allowed to be in my vicinity because he was 3 years older than me. There is a law that states that anyone who has sexual relations with a minor (16 years and under) will be punished by law. My brother also threatened to have him arrested.
After I gave birth, my mother was very supportive and ensured that myself and my baby were always okay. My daughter truly gave me the strength to look past the indignity, and was the reason I was able to consistently attend the Women’s Centre.
At the Centre, I completed my grade 9 achievement tests and reintegrated to Dunoon Park Technical High School. At Dunoon I met the best teacher ever, Miss Bridgette Desouza. She taught me a lot, and helped shaped me to be the woman I am today. I can proudly say that I am now working towards a better future! I successfully passed 9 CXC subjects, and completed a level 1 Tourism course at a vocational institution. In addition, I am looking forward to returning to school in May to pursue my studies in Aviation.
My advice to young mothers out there is to never let people’s words break you. Aim for the sky and you will achieve all you desire. Hold your heads high for your child, and become the super woman that you are, for your child. It will be hard but don’t give up, just keep trying!