16 and Pregnant

There I sat on a one-ply toilet paper lined seat staring at a urine-soaked stick. It was a warm Nebraska summer evening. The kind where the day extends forever. The sunset was the swirliest of orange and yellow mixed with the fading blue sky. It embodied cinematic perfection. It was also the last summer night of just being sixteen with a bright future and not a care in the world. In contrast, there I sat in the dingy flickering lights of a Walgreens restroom. I sat staring at the double lines that changed the trajectory of my life forever.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2000, roughly 157,661 girls ages 15 to 17, experienced that sort of life-changing moment. In April of 2001, I gave birth to my first child. I had just turned 17 and was clueless about how much I would need to fight for my future. While the rate of teen pregnancy is frequently reaching “all-time lows” in reporting by the CDC.org, the number has yet to reach zero. Therefore, until teen pregnancy is non-existent, there are young mothers who need examples of hope. Hope is crucial.

Two things were crystal clear after learning of my pregnancy. First, I was keeping my baby. Second, we were going to make it. I wanted to be a wife, have a family, live in a beautiful home, have a career I was proud of, travel, etcetera. I knew that if I promised myself not to commit the same sin twice, God would help me figure out the rest. My life is a testimony of the love and grace of God. I am grateful to have an outstanding outcome as a mother of three children, wife of husband M.D., teacher, and to know that my story can help a young woman believe that an exceptional outcome is possible.

Has a positive pregnancy test given you a new life direction? I know first hand that this will be one of the most significant tests of perseverance in your life, but remember YOU CAN DO IT! Even when it seems everyone around you wants to see you fail, you have to get up, keep pressing, and fight for your life. The life that you are carrying or recently birthed depends on it. I believe in you.

Much love,

Monique

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