I Was a Teen Mom

I Was a Teen Mom- Interview with Snap Mom Nicole Groom

We had the pleasure of interviewing a very special teen mom. This is an in-depth look into her unplanned journey. Enjoy.

How did you find out you were pregnant?

I remember it like it was yesterday. Although I believe my subconscious has purposely blocked some of the most painful memories of that time in my life to spare me the sorrow, what I do remember is as clear as day. There I was, 16, the youngest of 3 kids, the only daughter to two conservative religious parents who raised us in church our entire lives, pregnant and terrified. I had thought my life, up until then had been challenging, but I had no idea the road that lie ahead. Yet here I am, nearly 12 and ½ years later, my son about to turn 10, celebrating 8 years of marriage this year, and since then, have had two beautiful and wonderfully made daughters. Yes, I had sex before I was married, I got pregnant when I was a teenager, but I have never, not even for a moment, regretted my child. While I don’t remember the exact moment the thought crossed my mind that I may be pregnant, (mostly because I feared my whole life, if I ever had sex before marriage, if even only once, I would be the one to get pregnant) what I do remember, is my boyfriend, (now husband) driving me to the drug store to buy a pregnancy test. We didn’t say a word. We were both terrified. I could feel the anxiety flowing through the air like electricity through our bodies. I took four tests. Three out of four all showed the same result…positive. I already knew the answer before I peed on that first stick. And with each test, I cried out to God. Please, please don’t let this be. What will my family do? But there it was, the + sign that changed my life forever.

What were the reactions?

My initial reaction, at 16 ½ years old, was terror. Why me? What am I going to do? How can I graduate from school? Will my boyfriend bolt? Will my family disown me and leave me to stand on my own? What will my friends think? What will my school say? (a private Christian school, my odds weren’t looking so good…) How will my life go on? I’ll never get to live my dreams, I’ll never get to be a singer/song writer. My life is over. I was still in shock. Still waiting to breathe. My boyfriend’s reaction was everything mine was not. Here was a boy, same age as me, who had only known me a year or so, and just found out he got his Christian girlfriend with the really strict parents pregnant.  Of course he was as scared, but he seemed more afraid that my family would never deem him worthy of me after this. That they would never accept him or give him the chance to prove that he could be a father and support me. Quite big thoughts for a 16-year-old boy who’s whole life just changed in an instant. He immediately started planning and thinking of ways to handle the situation. To my parents, this was the ultimate blow. Their daughter had committed the ultimate sin. My father was furious and resentful. My mother, disappointed.My oldest brother asked what my boyfriend thought, and what he intended to do next. He was always looking out for his baby sis. My other brother just wept for me. I don’t know that I had ever seen him cry quite like that before. My boyfriend’s family, now my in-laws, had the opposite reaction. They were all elated! They hugged us, told us they were there for us, loved on us, asked us what we thought we were going to do, and offered to help in any way.

How did being pregnant as a teen change your life? 

Being pregnant at 16 changed my life in so many ways.

It’s like the life I had been living before was over, this new life was taking over, and I would never be the same.
It’s like the life I had been living before was over, this new life was taking over, and I would never be the same. The hardest part at the time, was the friendships lost, and everything I missed out on. Friends, dances, parties, sports, being a kid, the hope of my dreams of singing ever coming true. But I finished my junior year at my private Christian school, my parents had immediately taken me out of sports and all my other extra-curricular activities, which I hated. The school handled it surprisingly well, they even offered to let me continue through my senior year and graduate as normal, even if it meant doing school at home after birth. While generous, I was glad for the excuse to leave the school, although I would miss my friends, most of which I had been in school with since kindergarten. No matter how it happens, or where you are in your life, when you become a parent you are forced to grow up no matter what your age. So we did just that, one day we were 16 and had our whole lives ahead of us, the next, parents, adults.

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What was life like after you has your son?

You can’t really fathom how your life can change by having a child until you have one. The pregnancy was grueling, heart breaking, and life altering. I turned 17 almost exactly 2 months before our son was born. He was born on June 25th, 2003. I was able to graduate while attending a local parenting school. I immediately started working full-time after I graduated so I could support my son. While my boyfriend had begged me to marry him when the news of the pregnancy first came out because he thought it was the right thing to do, I wanted to wait. That decision almost broke us. But, again to my surprise, he stuck around. We went on with our new life, working, spending time together and with our beautiful son. We both still lived at home with our parents until we were 19. It was hard, but worth the wait. We got married 2 and ½ years after the birth of our son. That first year of marriage was the most trying year of my life. Being teen parents was hard enough, being teen parents and married, was harder than even we imagined. But we made it work, even through the most difficult of times, when it seemed all was lost. No matter how hard things got, and despite the aching in my soul for all my personal dreams to come true, I have never regretted the choices that led me here. My son is a blessing to say the least, and as I have always said, he came just in time to save me. Anyone who knows him can see that there is something undeniably special about him. There was never a doubt in our minds that this was supposed to be, that no matter the circumstances, we were meant to have this wonderful gift exactly when and how we received it. (And in case you were wondering, the second our families laid eyes on him, they felt the very same way. None of us could imagine this life without him.)

What were some of the greatest obstacles you overcame?

Well, for that, I would need much more than a paragraph. I could write a book telling all the stories, thoughts, feelings, and all the ugly details of my life during this time, and have often considered doing just that. Personally, I grew in more ways than I could have imagined. If it wasn’t for the strength of a few people in my life at the time, my son being the biggest contributor, I’m not so sure I would have ever made it through. Every day he pushed me to be the person I wanted to be, the mother he needed me to be, the partner his father deserved, and the best possible version of myself.  He needed me to. He deserved everything I could give. He was my whole world. He has shaped me into the very woman, mother, and wife that I am today. I also overcame the obstacles dealing with every detail that followed the moment we found out I was pregnant. You can’t even begin to imagine, and I’m afraid this interview is not long enough to share. I have made great strides personally with forgiveness. Letting go, moving on, and learning how to be a mother, a wife, a whole person. My marriage at 19 was a challenge that I can proudly say nearly 8 years later, has only gotten better with age!

 

wedding

What advice do you have for sexually active teens, pregnant teens or parents of either?

Well, I have lots, I will break down and keep it simple. To teens, whether girl or boy, if you’re considering sex, or have already been involved, it’s never too late to be safe. Every kid deserves the chance to be just that, a kid. You have your entire lives ahead of you to have the family you desire, so don’t rush it. Live while you can, learn while you have the chance, and give yourself the chance to find out who you really are in life before you dive into parenthood. If you are going to be sexually active, tell someone. A parent is ideal, but if you are too uncomfortable or terrified to approach them, then find an adult you can turn to. It is better to know that you are being safe, and to have someone behind you for support, because no matter how “careful” you are, you cannot control everything in life. Teens get pregnant every day, and not only that, but there is a world of diseases you can contract. I was lucky my life turned out to be ok, despite how awful it seemed at first. Sex is everywhere nowadays, but don’t let what others say change how you feel deep down about the subject. If you want to wait, and I wish I had, then do it no matter the peer pressure or friendships lost. Your virginity really is a gift worth saving for marriage. To parents, talk to your children. Educate them, no matter how uncomfortable the subject may be.[pullquote_left]To parents, talk to your children. Educate them, no matter how uncomfortable the subject may be.[/pullquote_left] Unfortunately, in the world we live in today, there is no hiding that oh so questionable topic of sex. It is better for a child to learn about sex and all the things that come with it at home, in a safe loving environment, rather than out in the world, where they are free to perceive the subject any way it’s shown to them. But just as important as teaching your child about sex,  is ensuring they know that although you desire them to wait until marriage, that no matter what happens, you will always be there for them, to help them through whatever situation ever becomes your reality. To the teen, pregnant, and most likely terrified, it’ll be okay, I promise. You are strong enough. You can and will get through this, and will be so much better for it. [pullquote_right]To the teen, pregnant, and most likely terrified, it’ll be okay, I promise. You are strong enough. You can and will get through this, and will be so much better for it. [/pullquote_right]Whether you chose to raise the baby or choose to place your child with an adoptive family, you have been given this wonderful opportunity to give a child life. That is something to be proud of. And to the friends and family around her, don’t lose sight of what really matters, even if it seems the world as you know it has ended. Remember, she is still a child, she is most likely more terrified of losing the love and support of the people who mean the most to her, than anything else. So be there for her, forget the decisions that brought her to this point, because she is already here, and it doesn’t matter. What matters is what you do next. You have the chance to support, encourage, and help mold not only the life of this teen, but a mother, and a child. Be slow to speak, quick to forgive, and quick to love. It could be all the difference in the world. Do not judge and reject because of your belief system, because if you believe in God, then you know He is a forgiving God, and He can turn any situation, no matter how horrible or life altering it may seem at the time, into something wonderful. No child born is ever a mistake, no matter the circumstances that brought that life to be. It is nothing short of a miracle. A miracle worth loving!

kids

 

We are so grateful to  Nicole for sharing her story with us!  She & her beautiful family are definitely the exception in regards to teen pregnancy statistics. Here are some fast facts:

  1. 3 in 10 teen American girls will get pregnant at least once before age 20. That’s nearly 750,000 teen pregnancies every year.
  2. Parenthood is the leading reason that teen girls drop out of school. More than half of teen mothers never graduate from high school.
  3. Less than 2 percent of teen moms earn a college degree by age 30.
  4. About a quarter of teen moms have a second child within 24 months of their first baby.
  5. The United States has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the western industrialized world
  6. 8 out of 10 teen dads don’t marry the mother of their child.
  7. A sexually active teen who doesn’t use contraceptives has a 90 percent chance of becoming pregnant within a year.

If you were or are a Teen Mom, and would like to connect with other Teen Moms (former, and present),  please join The Snap Mom Community Support Group. (click here to join) Connect with other Teen Moms! Offer and/or receive support!

We would like to make a side-note to all of our young followers out there: while we are well-aware how devalued purity has become in our society BOTH Whitney J & Krystle K waited till their wedding nights to have sex with their husbands. It is possible ladies & you are worth the wait.

Click here to read more birth stories!

 

 

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  5. anon August 14, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    The way you described your family’s reaction makes my skin crawl. I grew up in a religious household, my father being a preacher, and I’ve come to resent the way people let their religious beliefs affect their relationships. I’m curious to know whether or not your boyfriends family considered themselves religious at any level. They came to you with open arms while your own blood struggled with your pregnancy.

    When I was in high school another girl at my church got pregnant. Her mother made her stand in front of the entire congregation and apologize. To them! But for what? Her own embarrassment? It’s one of the many scenarios I encountered that turned me off from the Church of Christ.

  6. Kira May 22, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    What a beautiful family 🙂 I love how Nicole says, “What matters is what you do next.” So true about so many situations in life!