21st December 2007, 01:59:30, after 32 hours of labour, I held in my arms a tiny, screaming, bright pink, baby boy. My baby boy.
Rewind 9 months. March 2007, on a wall outside of a recording studio I met him. He was about to try out as a singer for my friends band. He was 19, and so cool, and hot. What followed was 4 weeks of meeting in his college room after school, and spending hours listening to music and having sex. Not all of it was safe sex. the first time with him I remember it definitely wasn’t. All I could think about was that this older boy wanted me, and I wanted him. I remember thinking, “it won’t happen to me”.
I was 15.
May 2007, I was on a family trip to Colchester Zoo for one of my sister’s birthdays. I was sick in the car but brushed it off as just travel sickness. Later in the day I fainted, we were watching the sea lion show. But still we all just assumed I was coming down with a bug. I was always ill with one bug or another. I had no idea, my family had no idea. I then had the odd day here and there where my breakfast didn’t stay down, or I fainted with no explanation.
This carried on until the morning of my first GCSE exam, it was an RE exam. I was sick, again, and at this point my mum began to get worried, she asked me outright if I was pregnant. I told her to not be so daft. I was a Catholic schoolgirl, from a good Catholic family. I wasn’t pregnant. I couldn’t be.
The 3 weeks my exams took up were hell. My Russian oral exam had to be cut short with a special exception, my German oral exam had to be rescheduled. The first one I tried I burst into tears because I couldn’t remember the German for ‘lift’ (it’s ‘das lift’ if you ever need it!), my teacher stopped the tape, pulled me into a seperate room, called my best friend and my Russian teacher and made me tell them what was wrong. By this point I knew in my heart, but my head still wouldn’t accept it. I got through the rest of my exams, and only 3 adults knew my secret. My 3 favourite teachers.
21st July 2007, my best friend’s sweet 16th. My present to her? Me doing a pregnancy test. She gave me almost no choice, we needed to know. So in the shopping centre, she went into superdrug, bought the test and in the ladies I did the test. I was so far gone by this point the test didn’t even take the 3 minutes to give me it’s result. It was instant. It was positive. I was pregnant. I cried.
It was another 3 weeks before I told my family, my stepmum was the first, she and my dad had noticed and guessed. Then my I told my sister, by text. I then told him, over MSN. He didn’t believe me, and told me he wanted no part in it and to leave him alone. My mum cried, my stepdad got angry, my other sistercried and my brother got angry.
I still couldn’t get my head around it, I wasn’t like the teenage mums I knew of from my town. I didn’t go to ‘that’ school, I went to the posh Catholic one in the city. I didn’t do it on purpose for a house or money. I hate to say this, but it was an accident. I wanted to carry on with school, I wanted a degree, I wanted to travel. I wasn’t like ‘them’.
My GCSE results were good, 5B’s& 5C’s. I went to sixth form, until October, my sixth form was brilliant, and held my place for when I was ready to return. I got 2 AS levels. I was proud, I had got good grades and by this point had a brilliant well behaved, highly intelligent 18 month old son, and I was just about to turn 18. We lived with my mum until I felt ready to move out. I was 19 when I made that decision, and I moved into a private rented house. I was determined I wasn’t going to be put on a council house list. Remember, I wasn’t one of ‘them’.
I am now 23, my son will be 7 in a few weeks (as I write this). I am married to an amazing man. We live in a beautiful place, and my son goes to a wonderful school. He gets shining school reports, and is working on KS2 stuff. This year I finally decided to start my degree. It is going to take me a long time to get to the end, but I will do it.
I never felt ashamed for being a teenage mum, because as far as I was concerned, I wasn’t. But I look back on the last 7 years, illness and upset alongside happiness and celebration, and I am now beginning to feel proud about being a young mum. I have done it all for him, that tiny pink screaming baby boy.
Posted on Sophie Alice and M.E.