I’ve got a friend, who is 16 years old, and she just found out that she is pregnant by at least 4 if not 5 months. Yes, that is entirely possible. Some people don’t find out until almost the last month! Its rare, but it happens. Anyway, after helping her deal with all of these problems, I thought I’d write a letter to girls in this situation.
Dear Too Young To Be Pregnant,
Well, obviously you aren’t, at least biologically. Hurrah! However, mentally you are freaking out. This isn’t exactly a world open to life, love, or charity. Its harsh, especially to young people like you and I who find ourselves in “whoops” situations. I was the result of a whoops situation. Its not that fun.
I want to tell you right now that it is okay to feel what you are feeling. You’re probably scared, terrified, angry, intrigued, depressed, confused, and a whole host of other emotions I can’t even begin to list. You probably also feel that no one understands you. You could be right. I don’t think that adults in general take the time to empathize with young teenagers or with younger adults, and as a result they actually do not understand what the heck makes you yourself.
However, this is one of those points in your life where you just have to say screw it, and go have a very deep conversation between you and God. And yes, He does exist, and will take care of you. That doesn’t mean a path of flowers and sunshine, but it does mean that you can make it.
So, are you worried about Mom, or Grandma, or Dad or some family member and what they will think of you when you come out with the news? Have they told you, “Don’t you dare get pregnant” and then spelled out how exactly getting pregnant will ruin your life and the reputation of everyone within 10 square miles? It feels shitty thinking about it that way- not only do you now have a baby, but your family has flat out told you that its all your responsibility if “something happens” and therefore they will feel qualified to give you as much grief as possible, ESPECIALLY if someone in your family “messed up” in the past.
I’m going to go out on a limb and hope that your parents are part of the 99% of parents who were just not very clear on their own feelings and what they were trying to say. Here’s what the translation should have been: “Daughter, don’t give the greatest, most mystical gift you have to some boy who isn’t even a man yet. Don’t put yourself in a position where you are going to have to age and mature so much more quickly than everyone else, because with sex comes the possibility of a child, and right now you can remain a child a little while longer.”
You see, parents for the most part are not mortified that you are bringing another life into the world. They are mortified that their little girl is going to have this huge huge huge huge responsibility- that you might choose to adopt out or to raise the child, and that either choice is very difficult. Your family is not ashamed of the baby, or even you. Instead they are thinking, “Why didn’t I protect her more? What could I have done?”. They are wondering if that boy you were with actually loved you and respected you in any shape or form, and they are strongly leaning towards the word, “nope”. Especially in a culture that encourages using women for sex toys, boys often don’t seem to make the leap into manhood and don’t take care of the “leftovers”.
If you do have a boyfriend that actually does cherish you, or at least wants to be a part of the baby’s life, don’t force him out. You don’t have to remain in a relationship with him, but a baby needs a father, even if that father will join you in making a decision for adoption.
Your family and friends are not mortified by a living baby, they are mortified that you are going to grow up in a matter of months instead of years. Yes, it will be painful, just like any growing time- but you can make it. Pain is just an indicator of interior growth, and is not completely evil as society would have us all believe.
The truth is, your family would rather have a safe you, a safe baby, and a hopeful plan for the future. Now that you have a little one inside your own womb, they’re going to do what they can to help you. Yes, there is going to be anger, sadness, disappointment, and everything else, but that will clear away after awhile. They would much rather hear “I’m pregnant” than “I was pregnant, but I had an abortion, and didn’t tell anyone” until years later.
However, lets say you’re like my other friend, who we’ll call Andrea, who got pregnant in college. Some of her family members, namely her own mother, were mortified that there was a living baby inside of her. Her aunts called her nasty names, told her she was going to go to Hell if she had “that thing”, and made it very clear that she should choose abortion. They claimed she’d never be able to finish college, get a job, work outside of the home, or do anything other than “be a drain on society”. Her own mother told her that “a fetus is not a baby” therefore not human, and that the only reasonable choice was abortion. She even said, “That’s the reason there is the right to choose- you are supposed to choose abortion”. Eventually, Andrea’s mother came out directly and said that if Andrea chose to give birth, Andrea would no longer be a part of the family.
Looking at it from my outside point of view, it seems that Andrea’s family was hell-bent on making their dire prophecies come true- they took away all of her support, both monetary and emotional- and especially spiritual.
You might be reading this, and you might have a family like that.
Guess what- Andrea chose to have the baby, and she chose to raise him. She did manage to finish college, although it took a lot longer, and she’s now the mother of three little boys, happily married, and is a teacher. Her family did throw her away, disown her, and did everything in their power to make sure she couldn’t succeed. Her life was very hard in the beginning, and still has hard times. She still misses her mother, and she works very hard.
However, she is the first to laugh when people tell her she will be chained to the kitchen and a man. She lives and loves freely, and doesn’t care what others think about her or her children.
You, Miss Too Young To Be Pregnant, might have to do the same. You might have to take a deep breath, let it out, and start every day with a “Fuckem” attitude. It might be a necessary one for a while. Know that you do have friends and possibly family hidden everywhere, and we will all come out of the woodwork as soon as you start asking for help. Don’t be afraid to ask- there are people out there that jump to help others. We’re a pretty tight-knit community, and if you contact one of us you might as well have contacted the entire family. You are going to have to be very very very strong in order to have your baby, and you are going to become one heck of a “don’t screw with me” mom. After this ordeal, a lot of things you used to find impossible are going to seem laughable.
Just remember to listen to that still, small voice. There is hope, and love, and kindness already around you- just listen to it. Don’t let the negative voice get to you- all the negative voice can do is repeat the same bullshit over and over. Its very unimaginative.
You might choose to keep your child, or adopt your child out to a loving family who can’t have kids of their own. You might choose to go for a semi-open adoption, a closed adoption, or a very wide-open adoption. Know that you have the right to give the gift of life to the world, and that its not just your right it is a calling. Mothers are spiritual soldiers- you might not have chosen this path but you can make it through to the end.
What I will say, though, is please don’t choose the other “option” that many people will try to shove down your throat. As disappointed as Grandma or mom might be, the sadness that comes with a dead baby is always much more dark than the sadness that comes with a crisis pregnancy. In the end, you will have to live with whatever decision you make, and the decision to abort could drive you crazy.
I’ve had a few friends choose to keep their baby, adopt their baby out, and give birth, but I have also had friends who have aborted their baby.
Kendra aborted two of her pregnancies, and miscarried a third. It might be up to more now, but I never see her anymore. The people at the clinic won’t tell you the facts about abortion. They will deliberately avoid letting you know exactly how or what procedure is done. They won’t talk much about side-effects, and they certainly will not key you in on the impact abortion will have on your psyche. White-washing doesn’t begin to describe what goes on in the counseling session of an abortion clinic. They will never tell you about women having to be taken to the hospital by friends, because the clinic doesn’t consider it their job to make sure that patients receive emergency care in case of a complication. They might not let you know if the clinic is even still legal, or is run by people who have multiple malpractice suits against them.They certainly won’t let you know that the women who leave the clinic without an abortion usually come out smiling if a bit scared, while those who leave the clinic after an abortion are exhausted, depressed, drained, and often crying from emotional and physical pain. The bottom line with an abortion clinic is not to help women- its to make money.
NO, really. There’s a lot of stuff that doesn’t end up in the news, because its not “politically correct”.
My friend Kendra had an abortion. She was pressured into it by her boyfriend Jake. (No, these are not their real names.) He not only pressured her into it, he paid for it, bragged about it, and refused to let her mourn for the little one she had lost. She got pregnant again, he pressured again, he paid, she aborted, they broke up. She got pregnant a third time, but this time it miscarried. Miscarriage is more common among women who abort, because the procedure can damage the uterus and other organs. It also messes with the hormones, so that if you do it enough times, your body might spontaneously abort without you getting a doctor.
Kendra went from being a loopy, carefree kind of girl to depressed, to partying all the time. Ever seen those people that even though they are laughing, drinking, and carrying on, they just seem a bit off? They laugh too loud, their smile never gets past their mouth, and they drink anything alcoholic with a desperate attitude. That was her after her abortions and miscarriage. Eventually she ended up being on many different drugs. She didn’t mourn because she was told by everyone to shut up about “it”, and it isn’t as if “it was a baby” anyway. So she drank, did drugs, drank some more, dropped out of college, and had a ton of sex with just about every guy she ran across. She kept having sex without a condom, saying she liked the feel…but I wonder if it was the effect that I’ve seen on a lot of women who have abortions.
They have an abortion, they get pregnant again. They can’t admit how guilty or horrible they feel, and they re-live the experience over and over.
Please, Too Young To Be Pregnant, don’t put yourself through that. As hard as it is to have a child, raise or adopt a child, it is so much harder to be alone through abortion. Abortion is not a choice, it is more like a rape. Don’t let people get to you- you are much stronger than abortion. You are already a mother. Love is always much stronger than hate, even if it doesn’t appear that way. Love yourself and your baby, and don’t let yourself be forced to choose which one of you that you love more- you can love your baby just like you love yourself.
Love creates, it never destroys. Just like energy.
Too Young To Be Pregnant, if you find yourself like my friend Kendra, being told that it is the baby or the boyfriend- ditch the boy. He is not a man- only a very sad, selfish little boy would tell you to kill your baby to be with him. Jake still ended up leaving Kendra, for someone younger, dumber, and more pliable. He used Kendra, bragged about his abortions, and then he left. Any boy who tells you that it is between him and the baby is someone that should be pitied. It is also God telling you, “This boy does not really care for you. What he is really saying is “I’m already gone, but I want power over you, so choose me.” Don’t let him do that to you! He already used you once, but you can make it so that he will not use you again.
Too Young To Be Pregnant, speaking of God…from whatever religion you come from, remember that God forgives and loves. So you let your feelings get the best of you, and you had sex, and now you have a baby. God knows all the reasons why, and He still loves you as his own special daughter! He died for you so that when you do make a mess of things, He can come into your life and change it for the better. He loves you and your baby, and He will take care of you. Yes, sex before marriage is a sin. However, Christ fell 3 times on his way to his crucifixion, but he got back up each and every time. You have tumbled a bit, but get up- you might find many people who want to help you!
The same goes for if you had the abortion. It is horrible, terrifying, and sad. But God is waiting to love you, and you are loveable and worthy of love. You are a victim as much as you are at fault, and God does not want to see his daughter so depressed.
Too young to be pregnant, you are a good person. I hope you make it through this life, and that you can smile. Remember that a baby is not the end of anything- he or she is the beginning. If you know you can’t raise a child, remember that there are options in adoption.
Perhaps you are worried that you might give up your little one only to have him or her abused. Don’t worry. For one thing, adoptive families are checked out very well. For another, even if it does happen (I know of one case of that, too) take it from someone who was abused as a child myself.
I am living, breathing, and I am happy to be alive. My fiance loves me, my Maid of Honor loves me, my bridesmaids love me, my friends, and God all love me. I have touched a lot of lives, possibly even yours. My worth, and the worth of your baby, and the worth of your self, rely on much more than the perceived “quality of life’ to determine our worth. We are worth everything, because God gave us that worth, and no amount or lack of money, luck, or reputation can change that. You and your baby are worth so much more than abortion.
Too Young To Be Pregnant, you are a mother. Let me be one of the ones to say to you, “Congratulations!” The world can never have too many babies, and you are both welcome. May you find love and happiness,
Pregnancy Resource Center (Find one in your area- they also do STD testing and FREE ultrasounds!)
http://www.ncregister.com/blog/abortion-is-just-like-getting-a-tooth-pulled (Good article, short, and the comments are worth reading.)