FabAfriq Magazine

What happened after My 16th Birthday


It’s Friday morning, first period and I am in my human biology class; a typical kid in a college classroom. I'm sure you can picture it -- 'the heart and its four chambers ... bla bla bla…’ The lecturer reminds us our coursework is due in 3 days. A moment like many others in a teenager's life.

Then my phone rings.

"It’s nursery". I excused myself from the class and hurried to answer my phone. One reminder that, I wasn't a normal college kid. I was a teenage mom attending College while my son was at nursery.

"Erm, you forgot to leave your son's nappies”, she told me. Ashamed, I confessed I had accidentally left them at home and asked if I could borrow someone else’s till the next morning.

“OK” but it was hard to miss the tone. I could almost hear the thought, as if to say, ‘careless kid’.

Such moments - and there were lots of them that year - made me realised how out of place I felt in college after my son was born. I finished college some time ago now, thank goodness. I can't ignore the fact that my life is really weird compared with the lives of most kids my age.

Every thing changed soon after my 16th birthday. I met a guy and we became really close; great friends. Soon, one thing led to another…  Even though I am very close to both Mum and Dad, I found I couldn't tell a living soul once I knew I was pregnant. I was eight months along when I dropped that bombshell.

It wasn’t fear of a scolding that kept my mouth shut. It was fear for my baby. I was convinced either family would compel me to have a termination. I knew I was too young to be a mum but an abortion was never an option for me. I would do the work it took to be the best mum ever. I decided to teach myself everything I could about pregnancy and child rearing. I read a bunch of pregnancy websites and learned all about how babies develop.

 

I’m a big girl so my baby bump didn't show as I progressed. My pregnancy was considered high risk because I was only 17 but it turned out to be pretty ok. Labour was a simple and straight forward affair. I was induced and 12 hours later, Donnell David Jones was born. He had a full head of black hair and gorgeous big eyes. He was beautiful and healthy and he was mine.

I couldn't wait to leave the hospital but the second we got home, I froze.

"Oh, no! I have a baby! What do I do now?" I never felt more like a little kid but with lots of help from my mother, I gradually figured out how to hold him, feed him and bathe him. I couldn't sleep for the first few days. I would just stare; watch him sleep.

 

I went back to college when Donnell was 4 months old, worked hard and got my qualifications. Now, I am a second year psychiatric nursing student. No way I could have done all this without the strong support network I have in my family.

My relationship with Donnell’s dad ended when Donnell was 18months old. I guess he never really understood his responsibility to our son.
 Our relationship wasn't a nurturing environment for a baby.

I don't regret having my son. I love him with every fibre of my being. He is my inspiration, devotion and focus. He needs a mother that can stand up for him and say, "Present". He needs a warm home and a good example. I am that example and that is my reason for making my life better. I am here to be somebody. I will get my degree and go on to do a Postgraduate in Law. It doesn’t matter how hard it gets. I’m going from one glory to the next.

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