“My journey of motherhood has been unique and beautiful in its own way. I became a mother at 16, when I unexpectedly found out I was 16 weeks pregnant with my now husband and I’s first daughter.
I met my husband in our freshman year high school gym class. We were both 14, and we had the silliest little puppy love. We quickly became inseparable, and everyone knew how real the love we had for each other was, even so young. Through our first year of dating, we already knew we wanted to be with each other long term. We got to know each other’s families, each other’s stories. A year and a half into us dating, we were both 16, and I started to notice myself feeling off. I was becoming sick for weeks at a time, having random cravings and aversions. Yes, you guessed it: I fell pregnant.
In December of 2016, I woke up for school one morning feeling completely off. That night, I had had a dream I was pregnant; I shook it off. I continued to get ready to catch the school bus, as school was very important to me – I couldn’t miss a day. But as I was getting ready, I started to feel so sick. I stood in front of my mirror to put my shoes on, and I watched myself as my eyes suddenly turned to black. I fell to my knees, shaking. I had no idea what was going on, but those few minutes it was happening felt like hours. I eventually came back, and I ran into the kitchen where my mom was making my lunch. I told her what happened. She told me to stay home and rest, but I refused; I had a huge test that day, I couldn’t miss it.
I hopped on the bus minutes later, and the whole ride to school, I felt so uneasy and fearful that the event might happen again. I texted my husband, then boyfriend, and asked him if it was possible I could be pregnant. We both knew it was a possibility, but we kept pushing the thought aside. I hadn’t had my cycle in months, but it was normal for me as I’d always had irregular cycles. I tried to push through the school day as normal, but something inside wouldn’t let me. I texted my mom from my first period class, and she asked me if there was a possibility of pregnancy; I responded, ‘Maybe.’ We texted back and forth throughout the school day – she was reassuring to me. She told me when I got home that day I would take a test, and lucky enough my boyfriend was coming over after school, so he’d be there too.
After a dreadful ride home that day, I walked into my house and walked into the bathroom with my mom. I took a pregnancy test. Sixteen-year-old me stood there, already knowing what the outcome would be. Two lines. My mom and I started crying. I fell to my knees. ‘What am I going to do? I was supposed to graduate. I was supposed to go to college.’ My mom looked down at me, ‘You will.’
After what felt like hours, but was only a few minutes of my mom and I crying together in my childhood home bathroom, my mom jokingly said, ‘We can’t stay in here forever.’ But nothing inside me could laugh. My boyfriend and my dad were waiting outside the door the entire time. My mom left me standing there, contemplating my next steps. My entire future felt like it had shattered in those moments.
I finally walked out of the bathroom, walking to my bedroom where my mom, dad, and boyfriend, now father of my child, stood talking. They were so calm, I couldn’t understand how. Their first daughter, who had been their straight A student, shy and quiet for as long as they could remember, was pregnant. How were they not angry? How were they not angry with my boyfriend? Thankfully my parents and I, and my boyfriend and my parents, had a great relationship.
Talking the situation over as I sat on my bunk bed went better than I could have imagined. I actually felt an overwhelming sense of love from my parents during that talk. They asked me what I wanted to do, what goals I still wanted to accomplish, and they assured me they’d help make it happen. My dad even joked, ‘We’ll just have another little munchkin running around!’ I couldn’t even fathom that at the moment, but… six months later, I had my daughter.
I decided to homeschool and finish out my junior and senior year within those 6 months, so I could stay home and raise my daughter. My parents made a bedroom for us 3, my little family, to stay in. They repainted my bedroom, added some new floors, bought us new furniture. A crib, a bassinet, my daughter’s dresser. My husband even had his own mini dresser to store his clothes in. It was the perfect space for us for the time being. They even made me a little school desk setup in the corner, where I sat writing final essays while breastfeeding her.
I graduated high school a year early that year. I worked on school work 10+ hours a day during my pregnancy so I could finish up and become a stay-at-home mom. I knew I didn’t want anyone else raising my child. During my pregnancy, I had already created a normal, motherly bond with her. I went through that pregnancy just as any other mother. We had a baby shower, bought clothes, and all of the typical mommy things. I didn’t treat my pregnancy as something to sorrow over. I made it exciting, and I made becoming parents exciting, despite our different situation.
My husband stayed in school after my daughter was actually born. He was a senior in high school, and he worked long hours after, so I was home with my daughter alone often. Motherhood soon became isolating to me. I spent my daughter’s first year of life navigating how to care for a child, not only as a first time mom, but as a teenager. And I will say, I did a great freaking job. But, just as any new mother would agree, being a mom isn’t easy for anyone.
My husband graduated just after our baby’s first birthday, and I soon turned 18. One week after my 18th birthday, we moved into our own home. We used our measly savings to furnish what little parts of our home we could, but we felt so accomplished. I was finally getting the hang of mothering, and my husband was finally going to be around more to help. Things were looking up for us.
We soon decided to try for baby number 2. Many probably wondered why we would want another baby so soon, and still so young, but parenting became the most amazing job to us. We were told time and time again how we made being young parents look so easy. And we decided we wanted our kids close in age, so we tried again, and got pregnant right away. We miscarried that baby. But 6 weeks later, we conceived our second daughter. We were ecstatic.
Midway through my pregnancy, I developed depression. This is where I turned to social media. I decided to open up online about my struggles, as well as the ups and downs of my journey as a mom. I began sharing a lot of raw posts on Instagram and videos on YouTube, and other moms began to resonate with them. I talked about my journey with pregnancy depression, my journey as a teen mother, and how I navigated my way to this point. I shared tips that helped me in my motherhood journey, and/or just day to day life. And while others felt I was helping them, I found they were helping ME. I felt less alone, just as they did. I felt so much support. I finally felt a sense of community. A judge-free community.
I had these other moms begin watching me and my family grow, and feel a connection to my story. I had them watch my husband and I get married just last year, with our two daughters at our wedding. That is where my passion with social media began, and that is where I currently stand. I share the real and raw bits of motherhood with fellow moms. I share the things that some feel ashamed to, and I try to make other mothers feel less alone in their struggles.
My journey of motherhood might look different than most. Maybe it looks similar. But sharing my story is something I will always do. Sharing the real and the raw is where I stand. I will never hide behind a perfect image, because I will never have a perfect story. I am a mom, a teen mom, a wife, a spouse, and most importantly, a human.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Frankie Glover of Pennsylvania. You can follow her motherhood journey on Instagram and YouTube. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
Read more stories like this here:
‘What will everyone think of me?’ I was a naïve 16-year-old, browsing ‘symptoms of pregnancy.’ I knew the only option was adoption.’: Teen mom details pregnancy and adoption journey, reunites with daughter 20 years later
‘One line. Please, one line.’ I was 17, peeing on a stick in a McDonald’s bathroom. 3 minutes later, two pink lines showed my fate. Pregnant.’: Single teen mom becomes twin mom, birth mom, adoptive mom, and stepmom, now mom of 8
‘You’re too young to be that serious.’ ‘It won’t last.’ I ignored it all. I knew deep down it wasn’t just puppy love.’: Teen mom marries young, births 2 kids despite criticism, ‘When you meet the love of your life, you’ll know’
Provide beauty and strength for others. SHARE this story on Facebook with your friends and family.