Stephanie’s story

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My name is Stephanie I am currently 21 years old. I am a mother of 2 children.

I had my daughter at the age of 15 two weeks before my 16th birthday. Having my daughter was hard I won’t lie. Being a teen mom isn’t easy and T.V. show’s like Teen Mom don’t show all the hard times you really go through. Your baby is going to cry, you will lose friends and even family, you give up going out with friends and being able to sleep, eat and even shower when you want to. I had my daughter with my then boyfriend. We met when I was 13 in middle school and started dating shortly after. We didn’t have sex right away but when we did I told my mom so I could get on the pill. After being on it I started missing days taking the pill and just stopped which was irresponsible on my part. I was in 10th grade at Osceola High School when I started showing sgins of being pregnant. I had horrible morning sickness and heartburn. I told some friends but we all just blew it off and said I couldn’t be pregnant. One day I went to my school counselor and told her I thought I was pregnant. She said that by law she had to notify my parents. I broke down, I knew my mom and dad would be upset but my counselor helped me tell them. That day I took a home test and went to my doctor for a blood test. The home test was positive and I got the results from the blood test a short time later confirming it.The next day at school I told one friend and by 3rd period I had people I didn’t even know coming up to me asking if I was pregnant.

I had never considered what I would do if I got pregnant. I never thought it would happen to me. Honestly, I was the girl who judged another girl for being pregnant and being a teen mom. But the truth is it can happen to anyone. My boyfriend at the time and I decided to keep the baby even though my dad was agasint it(which lead to me moving in full time with my mom). His mom wanted us to let his aunt adopt the baby. I started COPE after christmas break of 2006, Osceola High School told me it would be the best option for me and still let me finish high school. I didn’t want to go, But I did. At COPE I had the most amazing teacher Mrs.Debbie and I met other teen mom’s that really changed my life.I gave birth to my daughter Gabriela Jade on June 27,2006. My life changed from that day on. My daughter was born at 2:02pm at Winnie Palmer and was 5 lbs. 11 ounces. Almost immediately she was taken to the NICU. She had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck and had fluid in her lungs. Watching the nurse take her was the hardest thing ever. Thank God
Gabby was able to come home 7 days later and has been heathly ever since.

When I first had Gabby it was hard and there were nights I would just cry with her because I was so sleep deprive. There were things I missed out on and things I couldn’t do. I had to learn to give up things I wanted and make sure she had the things she needed. I hated school, As all my friends from COPE knew as well as Mrs.Debbie, I would find any reason to go home. But In May of 2007(On Mothers Day) I graduated High School and started working fulltime at a fast food resturant job. It didn’t pay much but my mom helped with what I was not able to cover. Her father could not hold a job down and after she was born her dad started partying and drinking alot and was not around. My mom basically filled in where he should have been. I stayed with him even though he was never around and always getting into trouble because I wanted my daughter to have her dad in her life. I tried hard to make it work even when the realtionship turned abusive. I stayed with him until my daughter was almost 3. What made me leave was he had not only been abusive to me but he had now started being abuisve to our daughter. I left him that day and took my daughter. I thought I needed to stay with him even after all the cheating and abuse because I thought my daughter needed her dad. But what i didnt realize was that he wasn’t a “real” dad. He was a boy who couldn’t grow up. We as moms have to be the strong ones and understand that we can’t stay with someone just because we have a child together, especially when you are in an abusive relationship. After we split my daughter’s father didn’t have much to do with her. He does not pay child support or see her. I met my current fiance shortly after leaving Gabby’s dad and he immediately stepped up to support Gabby. We eventually moved out of state to Tennessee where his family lives. On Febuary 18, 2011 I gave birth to our son Mason. He was 6 lbs. 4 ounces and 100% healthy. That fall Gabby started Kindergarten. I currently stay home with the kids for now but this fall I plan to enroll in school so I can give my kids a better life.

I have come along way since I was 15 and I have learned alot of life lessons. Being a teen mom was hard but I did it. I learned you can’t make someone grow up or be a dad, and you shouldn’t stay with someone just because you have a child together. You will lose friends and even family but at the end of the day the people who matter are right there with you.

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Debbie Newell