As regular readers may know, I was a teenage mum. Pregnant at 16, I gave birth to Bee a few months after my seventeenth birthday. And I got a degree and everything. Honestly, who’d have thought it?
Today, to prove that yes, there is more than one teenager in the UK who has managed to have a baby and not end up leaving school and relying on Jeremy Kyle as her sole source of income, I have a guest post from a young mummy called Elle. Her story is pretty shocking, but incredibly moving. When I first read it I actually cried, which was a bit awkward as I was in a cafe at the time, but it bought back such powerful memories for me, and made me so proud, even though we’ve never met. It was all a bit overwhelming.
Please make Elle very welcome, and go check out her blog, Tales of a Young Mummy, if you want to read more teenage mum stories. We’re not all bad you know.
I’m seventeen. Just over a year ago I found out that I was pregnant. 33 weeks pregnant. This, of course, came as a shock. I didn’t know what to do, where to go. If it wasn’t for the support of my lovely form tutor at school I’m not sure what I would have done.
I suppose my story begins within the innocence of a Triple Science lesson. My form tutor knocked on the classroom door, “Come in!” my science teacher called.
“Can I have a quick word with Elle?” She asked, “Grab your stuff El and follow me”. So I did as I was told and totted off behind her. A few moments later I found myself being offered a chair in the company of the student services ladies.
“Elle, there’s no easy way of saying this, but we’re worried. You’re meant to be flying to America next month, but we’re concerned you won’t be able to go…”
“What? Of course I can fly…” I was confused, the following month I was supposed to be going to Florida with my boyfriend and his family. Why did these ladies think I wouldn’t be able to go?
“Elle, we think you’re pregnant.” Of course, in that situation I didn’t know what to say. So I said the obvious: “How?” I didn’t mean how did I get pregnant!
After they explained to me that they had seen me gain a bit of weight and had noticed that my boobs had grown I was still confused and wondered how they were so confident that meant I was pregnant? One of them was trying for a baby herself and had been reading all the baby books.
So now that was cleared up in my mind, what was I to do? My form tutor made me call Tyler, my boyfriend, who was on home study that afternoon. I met him and we walked into town to Superdrug. We were overwhelmed by the amount of pregnancy tests on the shelves – which should we chose?
Sat on the edge of the bath, wondering what the hell I was meant to do with this stick in my hand was the weirdest feeling I’ve ever experienced. I can’t explain it. I did the test. Within seconds, I didn’t even get a chance to get up off the toilet, the colours changed. It was true. I was pregnant. “Tyler, look.”
“But it’s not 5 minutes yet…SHIT” I wasn’t ready to be a mum.
The next 3 weeks are a blur in my mind. So much happened. Went to doctors, I was told 20 weeks pregnant. Went for scan, I was told 33 weeks pregnant.
3 weeks later, at 36 weeks gestation, I was sat in a labour suite at 4am. At first I was told I wasn’t in labour. Just as water was being run for the birthing pool the midwife asked if she could just check if I was dilated. I didn’t much like the sound of that! Minutes later, my waters had broken and I was pushing. By 6.20am I was laid with my beautiful baby girl in my arms. Willow Lillah Beere, weighing 7lb 2oz.
A year later and we’ve been through a lot. We’ve spent a total of about 2 weeks in the children’s ward at our local hospital. Willow has had whooping cough, bronchiolitis 3 times, a swollen abdomen which was thought to be a gluten intolerance, a burnt hand and a perforated ear drum. The list is never-ending, but she’s as beautiful as ever.
I went back to school when Willow was 3 weeks old to study for my exams. I sat all of them, except for drama as Willow was in hospital with whooping cough!
I came out of my GCSE’s with 5 A grades and 4 B’s. So anyone that assumes all teen mums are useless might want to think again. We’re not all like that you know!
I now studying for my A-levels. It is hard with a one year old to look after as well, but I’ll get through it. I want to build the best future I can for myself and Willow. And yes, I am still with Tyler. He’s been through everything with us the past year, he’s been my rock. Well, my Mum has too, I’m still living at home with her, and I’m so grateful for that. Without my parents and Tyler around I wouldn’t be coping anywhere near as well.
I have a huge support network around me, and I am so thankful for everyone. I wouldn’t be where I am today, on my way to success, without my family.
Tyler is working full-time as an accountant and gave uni a miss so he could be at home to look after his daughter, and work to provide for her. He doesn’t live with us, but he does live just down the road so we do get to see him every day, and he gets to see his beautiful little Willow.
We have our first family holiday coming up in July, and oh I’m so excited! It’s only to Butlins, but we get to spend the whole weekend together!
Young Mummy xxx