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I'm Having My Baby and Dealing with the Consequences

YO! Youth Outlook Multimedia, Commentary, Melshawnda Parker Posted: Aug 14, 2008

Editor's Note: Teen pregnancy is up for the first time in 15 years, according to a recent report. Melshawnda Parker, 17, tells the story of her own pregnancy and how it has affected her life. Parker is a participant in the Changing The Odds/YO! Youth Outlook Multimedia summer internship.

SAN FRANCISCO -- My cousin Tete and I went to Walgreens to go steal some pregnancy tests. We both had a feeling we were pregnant. I wasnt using protection and I had had sex a few days after my period. I wasnt on birth control and was just being careless.

We got the pregnancy tests and went to my boyfriends house, which was right up the street. We went in the bathroom together and did as the instructions said. I asked my cousin, What does yours say? She said, I only got one line. I asked her what mine said as I was still peeing, and she said, Yours has two lines! Even though I knew it was true deep down, I still couldnt believe it. A few days later I went to the Haight Street Clinic because they take walk-ins on Thursdays and they confirmed it.

I was in shock. I didnt know what to do. My mind was already set not to get an abortion. I feel like if you have unprotected sex, you deal with the outcome. It wouldnt be fair to get rid of the baby. Its heart had already started beating.

I was four to six weeks pregnant when I found out. I called my boyfriend, whom Ive known since the seventh grade. We used to say back then that it was puppy love. But there was so much s--- going on in his and my life that it was hard to be together. Plus, we were really young. Now that were older, we plan to be together for a long time. What we have feels really different from all of my past relationships.

When I told him I was pregnant, he wanted me to get an abortion. I thought maybe he didnt feel the same way I felt about him. He tried to tell me that we werent ready and that our lives were never going to be the same that we were too young. He tried to convince me that I didnt want this. I went back and forward with him, saying, Yeah, Ill get an abortion, and then changing my mind. Finally, we had a long talk about the baby and our relationship. He told me he loved me to death and that I was the only person he wanted to be with. He said he wanted the baby and he was sorry for telling me to get an abortion, that he was just scared and didnt know what to do. Now, we are planning to raise this baby together.

I told my parents about my pregnancy at different times. My parents dont have a very good relationship they split up because they were both on drugs. I was taken away from my mom at the age of three for the same reason. My dad was in my life but when my sisters and I were younger, he used to doubt us and say we aint gonna be nothing. Both of my parents are doing well now and I live with my mom. My dad is in my life, but hes mostly with his wife and my little brother and sister on his side. I have a good relationship with my mom. I can talk to her about anything.

I told my mom I was pregnant the same day I found out. She was in shock, but happy. She knows Im capable of being responsible and I wont make the wrong choices. She trusts my judgment. My two sisters ages 15 and 16 were happy, but surprised. They were saying things like, Oh, I thought you wasnt having any kids! and You? The smart one? The straight A student, Honor Roll member? We thought you was going to be the last one of us to get pregnant! The quiet ones are the sneaky ones!

Everybody knew I was pregnant after I told my sisters, everybody except my Dad. I was scared to tell him because I knew how he would react. I knew he was going to be disappointed in me. He expected more from me because Im his first child. I was four months pregnant and I kept going back in my head whether I should tell him while I was pregnant or just wait until I went into labor. I know that sounds shady, but thats how I felt.

I finally picked up the phone and called him. I said to him, Dad, I have something to tell you. I took a deep breath and said, I know youre going to be mad. I dont want you to be mad but I know your going to be. He said, What? Youre pregnant? I said, Yeah. He asked me, So, what are you going to do? You have your whole life ahead of you. This baby thing aint temporary. Its for life. I told him I decided I was going to keep my baby. He told me hed call me later, but he never called back.

Later, I ran into my cousin on my dads side of the family and asked her what he had said about me. Apparently, he told her he was not going to talk to me until I was six months pregnant. At that time, I was only four months pregnant. After she told me that, I said, Forget him! Im not inviting him to my baby shower or letting him know when I go into labor.

But then, when I was going into my sixth month, he called and asked me if I wanted a ride to school. We had a long talk about the baby, my boyfriend, my future goals and me. He opened up and told me how he really felt. Since then, my dad and I have been cool. Hes bought the baby some things and that show me that hes still going to be a part of my life, no matter the situation.

My man has been there since day one, even though he was scared at first. He now knows that we can raise our son and still be successful in life.

Now Im almost due. Im getting more scared as the weeks pass by. I know its going to hurt. I have all sorts of things running through my mind: Am I going to be a good mother? Am I the right person to be his mom? My boyfriend and I have our differences just like other people but we work through them. We argue, but its not over things that are worth breaking up for. We live with my mom, but were working on getting our own spot.

He and I have been through so much growing up. Its been hell, but even though our childhood was s--- we plan to make our sons childhood the best. I dont want our son growing up without me or his dad.

I could care less about what anybody thinks about me being pregnant at a young age, saying things like Im ruining my life. Im going to do what it takes to make my son happy. I dont want him ever to want for anything or want to give up on life because his life isnt going well. I dont want to be the reason he feels life aint s---, or to be asking himself what he was sent here for, or why he got f---ed up parents or ask himself why did I even have him if I wasnt going to be a good mother all the questions that I asked myself growing up.

I want to go to college, open my own hair salon and major in nursing. I want to get a good paying job to support my boyfriend and our son. I want to get my own house and a car because I want to take my son places Ive never been. I just plan to be the best mother I can be.

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