“I was 19, in college pursuing a nursing degree, living 2 hours from home when I unexpectedly became pregnant while religiously taking my birth control pills every day. Yes, on birth control pills. I was scared, alone, and nervous for my future. I grew up in a small town in East San Diego and raised in a Catholic home, where I was taught abortion was wrong.
The night I found out I was pregnant, my boyfriend and I went to dinner with our friends. I ordered a steak and garlic mashed potatoes. I could not even look at my plate once they put it in front of me because the smell made me instantly sick. I went to the bathroom and my boyfriend said, ‘What is wrong with you?! You love steak!’ We went to our friend’s house later and everyone was hanging out, but I told my boyfriend we needed to go back to my apartment because I was so sick. We were driving past Walmart and I said, ‘Maybe we should buy a test..’ He said, ‘A test for what?’ I said, ‘I don’t know what’s wrong with me, maybe I’m pregnant??’
We got back to my apartment and I told him we should just go to bed and in the morning I’d take the test and surely it would be negative, but we could go to urgent care if I wasn’t better. I couldn’t sleep so I got up and took the pregnancy test and it was almost instantly positive. WHAT!! How?? I even had an alarm on my phone reminding me to take my pill every single day! I went to the ER, because I had horrible cramping and spotting and I thought maybe I was having a miscarriage.
They sent me for an ultrasound and when I asked the tech to see the baby, he said, ‘Oh it’s not a baby yet. It’s just a clump of cells.’ I said, ‘A clump of cells with a heartbeat?’ I was then told, ‘You’re just another teen pregnancy statistic. This isn’t a baby yet. You have options.’ What?! To me, there was no option. I would keep the baby.
I was embarrassed and ashamed to be 19 and pregnant, but I knew one day it would all be okay. I took the ultrasound pictures to my parent’s house the next day and told them I was pregnant and honestly, I was devastated. I felt like I was such a disappointment. My parents cried with me, hugged me, and told me it would be okay. They said, ‘We will help you financially and we will figure it out together.’ I will forever cherish my parents, if it wasn’t for their support, I’m not sure where our life would be today. My friends were shocked, but supportive. They couldn’t relate to my pregnancy struggles, so it was hard for me.
My boyfriend on the other hand was shocked, scared, and nervous, since he didn’t have the support I did. I had a lot of pressure to ‘just abort’ and ‘move on with my life’, but once I saw the baby on the ultrasound, I knew my only option was to give our baby a chance at life and I’d figure it out. I spent the next 9 months on my own, as my boyfriend figured out what he was going to do, since he was also a full-time college student living at home.
I found a local pregnancy center, who offered me counseling, an ultrasound to see the baby and let me hear his heartbeat. It was a boy! At this point, I knew God had a plan for me. I had a rough pregnancy with morning (all day!) sickness, while working part-time and going to school. I went home on the weekends and was blessed with love and support from my parents and family. We scoped out tons of baby resale shops in San Diego and I was able to get almost everything I needed for a fraction of the cost of buying new.
I was in labor for 26 hours and it was long and painful. My parents were both in the room, along with my boyfriend. My parents ultimately just wanted the best for me and my son and had hoped once my boyfriend saw the baby he would connect with the life we created.
Our son, Brayden, was born on June 24, 2016. He was absolutely perfect. I cried and cried thinking, ‘What if I would have aborted him? He is so perfect, so innocent!’ He instantly became my purpose and the highlight of our entire life. We moved in together shortly after we came home from the hospital and have been together ever since. I opted for an IUD at my 6-week checkup because I had dreams of finishing school, getting married, and owning a home before expanding our family. We still don’t know why I conceived on the pill, but I had weight loss surgery (vertical sleeve gastrectomy) at age 18, and figured maybe it was due to malabsorption.
Fast forward to December 31st, 2017, I remember feeling so sick. My dad and I were at Costco buying steaks for New Year’s Eve and I couldn’t take the smell of the meat department. Yep, same food as last time! I told my mom how sick I was and she said, ‘Jenn! Are you sure you’re not pregnant? Take a test!’ I laughed, ‘Mom, I have a 10-year copper IUD. There is no way!’ She insisted I test anyway…Sure enough, it was positive. How could that be? My IUD was still in place!
I had to have my IUD removed around 8 weeks gestation with a high-risk of miscarriage. Luckily it was a smooth pregnancy. We got married, bought a home, and were so excited for our surprise IUD baby! I carried our daughter to term, she was healthy and perfect in every way. Brynlee was born August 10, 2018. Again, we don’t know how I conceived while my IUD was still in place, but nothing is 100% effective and she was the 1%. Truly a miracle baby. I decided to get an IUD again because the chances of pregnancy are slim, I’m allergic to latex, and the pill isn’t as effective.
I am now 23, married, a homeowner and a stay-at-home mom to a 3 and 1-year-old. My husband works full-time and is a supportive, hardworking and amazing dad and husband. I am so thankful I had the courage to choose life, not once, but TWICE, with TWO unplanned pregnancies at 19 and 21!
My advice to other young moms who are facing unplanned pregnancies would be to reach out and find community resources. There are tons of resources for young parents that can help with healthcare, formula, diapers, car seats, clothes, etc. Find local resale stores and consignment shops to help offset the cost of buying new. Look for support groups and parenting classes. A baby is not the end of the world! It doesn’t come easy for everyone, but let me tell you, it is so worth it! Bringing new lives into the world is my biggest blessing.
If there is a way, there is a will! It has not been easy being a young mom, but it has been so rewarding and I can’t imagine my life any other way!”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Jenn Lundy of Southern California. You can follow her journey on Instagram. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
Read more unbelievable stories about surprise pregnancies here:
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‘Something’s coming out of me!’ SPLASH. There was a baby in the toilet! I had no idea I was pregnant.’: Mom delivers ‘shocking’ surprise baby in bathroom after battling PCOS, infertility for years
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