Home Our Series Early Pregnancy Dilemma How I became a Teenage Mother of Two in Quick Succession

How I became a Teenage Mother of Two in Quick Succession

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By Maryanne W. Waweru

For many teenage girls, the idea of getting pregnant -even when they are sexually active -is a thought that is often far removed from their minds. This is the story of 25-year-old Jackie, a mother of two girls aged 8 years and 7 years.

“My story is not special and it is not uncommon. I’m just an average young lady who went to school, did my studies -and did a bit on the side… this is my story.

Being a teenager, there are always two sides to your being; the one you put across to your parents, and the one that you are when with your friends. There is what your parents have taught you, and then there is lots of peer pressure. Add hormonal changes to that mix and you have teenagers behaving in all manner of ways and doing all sorts of things.

Finding out I was pregnant

I found out I was pregnant when I was in high school in Form Three, aged 17 years. When my period delayed for a week, I remember being so nervous about it, terrified at the thought that I could be pregnant. I had been sexually active so I knew that pregnancy was a possibility, but which I nevertheless wasn’t expecting.

As much as I wanted to take a pregnancy test to confirm my fears, I couldn’t do so at that particular time because I was attending a church camp. There, I made friends with a girl who I confided in and thankfully, she was not judgmental.

When the camp ended, I first took a detour to her house because I really needed to confirm if I was pregnant and I didn’t want to do so at home. I did not have money to buy a pregnancy test kit, but my friend had some savings and bought one for me.

I took the pregnancy test.

I remember being so nervous as I waited for the results. I was an emotional wreck. After what seemed like endless hours, but which was actually just two minutes, the two distinct lines appeared, confirming what I had been dreading most.

I was pregnant!!!!!

Telling my boyfriend

The first thing I did was share the news with my boyfriend. I had kept him abreast about my missed period so he too was waiting for me to confirm whether I was pregnant or not. When I told him, he was shocked, but he nevertheless took it all in and offered to support me. He was 24 years old at the time and staying with his parents.

When schools reopened, I reported as usual, keeping my secret to myself. It was a boarding school and I endured my first trimester while trying to focus on my studies.

But keeping the pregnancy a secret was so tough! I had to hide it amidst terrible bouts of morning sickness. When the nausea became unbearable, I confided in a few close friends and roommates who helped me cope and covered up for me where necessary. Those girls really came through for me! They ensured that neither the matron, teachers, nor fellow students knew about my pregnancy that whole term.

Breaking the news to my mother

As the pregnancy grew, I knew I had to inform my mother. See, she is a single mum who had been through so much already, raising me as an only child, and this made me even more apprehensive about breaking the news to her because I knew she’d be so disappointed in me.

But I had to do it. I wanted her to hear it from me first before she started seeing my bulging belly.

When I broke the news to her as soon as we closed school, I didn’t get the reaction that I was expecting. Surprisingly, she was quite calm about it. My mum told me she’d already suspected as much because I hadn’t asked her to buy me pads for a while –as I usually did.

My mum wasn’t exactly thrilled, but she told me that no matter how or when they come, children are always blessings from God.

Let me say this: When a teenage girl finds out she’s pregnant, in her mind, it’s the worst thing to have ever happened to her. At that specific moment, she needs all the support she can get, otherwise she can easily harm herself or fall into depression. Thankfully, my mother never stopped showing me love and affection; she would always check on me to ensure all was well. Honestly, this is what kept me sane throughout the pregnancy. I love my mum so much.

Refusing to Return to School

When schools reopened the next term, I refused to return. This is because I was already in my second trimester and I was showing. By that time word had already gotten out that I was pregnant. My classmates were talking. The teachers were also discussing me. There was no way I was going to return.

So what I did was search for an adult education class where I continued with my studies. I was determined to complete my high school education. My mother supported me.

At my new ‘adult school’, learning with older people was not as difficult as I had thought it would be. I didn’t feel out of place with them because they understood me and my situation. In fact, they were very supportive. Also, my interaction with them helped me see life in a different way and made me realize that it’s never too late to pursue your dreams and ambitions.

Getting Pregnant –Again!

I went on to have a smooth delivery and was delighted to hold my newborn daughter in my arms. When she was six months old, I enrolled in a tuition center closer to home so that I could dash home to breastfeed during the lunch break.

But then, something happened that almost threw me into real depression this time around.

I got pregnant again!!!!

It happened when my daughter was just a few months old! To say that I was distraught would be an understatement. I was overwhelmed with grief and sadness.

To be honest, talking about my second pregnancy is hard because I felt so disappointed in myself, and it felt even worse because I knew I had disappointed many other people, especially those who had helped me deal with all the drama of the first pregnancy. How could I have let them down again? So soon? My poor mother.

When I thought about what people would say, and how they would judge me, I felt so terrible. Thoughts of having an abortion filled my mind. However, I decided to accept the situation of my own doing and take responsibility for my actions. I was going to have the baby. Period.

As expected, people talked and talked and talked!

“Didn’t she learn anything from her first pregnancy?” they asked each other.

But I decided to remain strong. I remember sitting for KCSE when I was pregnant while still taking care of my daughter who wasn’t even a year old! You can imagine how tough that was. Thankfully, I performed quite well in my exams.

What I Have Learned

As a woman, having a child changes everything. It makes you grow up really fast. It also makes you have a new purpose in life. I used this and made it my drive to make myself a better person. I returned to school and made effort to ensure that I wouldn’t fail in my exams. Today, I am a stronger woman and have used my children as my newfound drive in life. My experiences of being a teem mom of two helps me talk to other young ladies into being more informed about their sexuality and to empower them to make the right decisions.

My experiences have taught me that young people need to be given more sex education. Teenagers need to keep being talked to, to broaden their understanding on sex. Maybe if I had had more information, I wouldn’t have gotten pregnant –and pregnant again –so soon.

I often say that we should never judge anyone because there are things in life we don’t anticipate but yet they happen to us. In addition, everyone has their fair share of mistakes or things they’ve done in their lives that they aren’t proud of.

All in all, I thank God each day for my two daughters, who are such a blessing in my life and give me so much joy.

I am now 25 years old. I successfully completed my bachelor’s degree and I have a good job. My mother remained my pillar of support, helping to raise my daughters while I was in university. We continue to raise them together.”-END

Cover image courtesy of Iwaria.

Do you have feedback on this article: Comment down below or email me on wawerumw@gmail.com 

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Maryanne W. Waweru is a Kenyan mum raising her two sons in Nairobi. A journalist, Maryanne is passionate about telling stories and hopes that through her writing, her readers learn something new, feel encouraged, inspired, and appreciative of what they have in their lives. Maryanne's writing focuses on motherhood, women and lifestyle. "Telling stories is the only thing I know how to do," she says.

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