"I never imagined I would get pregnant" is usually how teenage mothers begin their story. Even with the knowledge of how babies are made and the safe sex/ no sex lectures from parents and authority figures, many girls still get pregnant years before they are mature enough, emotionally capable, or financially ready. Many teens can't picture themselves with a big, round belly and a baby growing inside. It happens to other girls, never to them. But as these three young mothers tell us, it does happen. And when it does, it changes your life forever.
Three Girls, Three Stories
Claire's Story: "At the time I decided to have sex with my boyfriend, I was so in love," says Claire, now 23. Love, for most girls, is the overpowering reason why they choose to have sex with their boyfriends. She was just 17 when she got pregnant with Jojo, her boyfriend of three years. While she thought they end up together, she never imagined she would carry their baby so soon, so unexpectedly. "I was a college freshman. It was an exciting time in my life wherein I was meeting lots of people and experiencing the thrill and freedom of college life,' she recalls. "At the end of the first semester, it all came to an abrupt end. I found out I was pregnant. But Jojo was supportive and said he wouldn't leave me."
Though love makes the world go round, it sent Claire's world spinning out of control. Jojo's parents didn't take the news of his impending fatherhood like proud grandparents. Instead, they sent their unico hijo abroad to study there. "I felt so alone and sacred. I didn't know what would become of my life, my dreams, my hopes," says Claire, who chose not to enroll the next sem. "I didn't know how to tell my friends about what happened. I felt awful for disappointing my parents. All of my boyfriend's promises disappeared. Before I knew it, he had another girlfriend and I was left alone with the responsibility of having the baby."
Angie's Plight: For 19-year-old Angie, pregnancy came as a total shock to her. The student was employed part-time at a fast food place and two years shy of getting her college diploma when she began experiencing stomach pains. "I thought it was ulcer so I went for a check-up," she recalls. He doctor found nothing wrong. He asked Angie if she had a boyfriend and she said yes. "Then he asked if we were having sex. When I said yes, he offered to give me a pregnancy test. I didn't think that could be the reason for my stomach problems." The result was positive. What was Angie's first reaction? "I thought of my baby's name. I wondered what would be a nice name."
"I heard people say 'malandi,' 'sa loob ang kulo,' 'like mother, like daughter.' Really hurtful stuff." - Angie
Nina's Tale: Just weeks before her college graduation day, Nina discovered she was having a baby. She and Mike had been steady-dating for three years. Theirs was a passionate relationship. "He was there when I took the (pregnancy) test. He was right beside me. He got freaked out for awhile, but I did, too," recalls Nina, now 26 and a freelance writer and editor. "We took some time apart to think about it. I told him, 'decide if you want to be in on this or not. If you don't, tell me and I'll just do this myself.'" Prior to the discovery, the couple had ambitious post-graduation plans for respective careers. They even considered living together. "We were definitely planning to get married, though not right away," recalls Nina. "And we were definitely planning on having kids, though not right away." But all these plans came to a grinding halt when Nina was tested positive with a baby. "When we got pregnant, there was suddenly a reassessing-were we really sure we were gonna get married? We always thought we were gonna end up together. But (when you're) suddenly faced with the fact that you had to do something, it was a totally different thing. Suddenly you weren't just playing house in your mind anymore. You actually had to take care of someone."