Feeling lost, alone and unsupported, I turned to the Crisis Pregnancy Center
At the age of only 17, still attending high school, I was alarmed when I thought I maybe with child. I was worried not only because of being so young, but also of the thoughts of what my family might think. I am causation female and the father is what a person would call mixed, half black and half white. I was brought up within an old fashion family home, where they still believed it best to marry and bare children with the same race.
I confided in my mother first, letting her know that I was in fact pregnant at only 17. The support I needed did not come from her at first; instead I received unsolicited comments and was told that I only had one option to deal with my pregnancy, an abortion.
Feeling lost, alone, and unsupported for what I wanted, I turned to the Crisis Pregnancy Center for any help I could find. I had heard about their confidentiality and other services they offer. I had also seen their ads around the Terre Haute area stating, “you do have other choices”. Nervous as I was walking through those doors, after speaking with the staff, I knew that God had guided me to the right place.
When my mother seen this little heart beat flickering in this tiny shape, that her father and I described as a bean shaped figure, I seen the stubborn walls around her falling and tears forming within her eyes. Relief washed over me as I watched my mother’s reaction of her realizing that she was looking at an actual human being, that she was seeing her granddaughter for the first time. I will be forever grateful towards the staff and the Crisis Pregnancy Center for doing this huge favor for me that forever change the life of my families and of course my own.
Nevertheless I can’t say that being pregnant at 17 and still attending school was a cake walk, because it was the most challenging time of my life. I had moved out of my mother’s home and got a suitable place for myself and the child. I left South High School, and began my studies at Booker T. Washington, a wonderful school for pregnant teens and or teens with children already. I excelled in school out of determination of wanting to be the most I could for my child on the way. Luckily, I entered into a work study program, so I got high school credits for working. I even began working on College credits while taking my high school credits at the same time.
My daughter was born on October 4th 2005. At this point I was still attending high school, working two jobs to pay for our apartment and my new daughter’s needs. I also choose to breastfeed my daughter, witch of course made things more challenging for myself, but it was the best thing I could do for my baby. At Booker T. Washington High School they had a nursery and they would call me out of class for her feeding times. My senior year of High School was very hard, but with having that determination as a mother doing everything she can for a child, I got through each and every challenging day.
My daughter was nine months old when I graduated High School. I walked across the platform to collect my diploma with my daughter in my hands. They also gave her a certificate as well. This was a very proud moment in my life. In that moment I thought of everyone whom had doubted me and how many “put downs” that were said to me, mainly in that moment I was just thinking of all the ones who said to me, “you can’t do it all”. Well in that moment I got to prove them wrong. I also now have given other young mothers hope that yes you can do it, all of it, and you will walk away stronger than ever before.
My daughter is now seven years old, in 1st grade, and has been an honor student for the last two years. Up until the last four years, I had raised her mostly on my own, always working two to three jobs at a time as well as being a full time college student, but still finding that essential time for her and I. I am now 25 years old and working on my Master’s Degree in phycology, once again my daughter is my inspiration
A person’s life can be one of the most challenging, heartbreaking, and hardest thing to interchange through. But then again, that determination of a parent’s love for their child or children can make you overcome any obstacle that life may throw your way. And somehow, you keep moving and excelling and for me that determination all comes from my little girl. That same little bean shaped flickering heartbeat I had seen years ago. Had it not been for The Crisis Pregnancy Center it is a possibility that I may have never got to experience motherhood and in result should that had happened, I would not be this strong person that I have become to this very day. Having my daughter has saved my own life many times over. And I am so thankful for all of the programs and support I have received from our community.
Crisis Pregnancy Center and Booker T. Washington High School, you both will be forever in my heart and I will be forever grateful for all of the things and support you both have given me. I am where I am today because of this magnificent care from our communities programs and support systems.
What I’m Getting From the Earn While You Learn Program – Joseph Portillo
Robert Robertson – Indiana State University Student
The Center helped me by providing me with free STD screenings. The staff is very caring and makes me feel very comfortable. Along with that, the Center is also a place where I feel comfortable discussing my religious beliefs. I feel the staff is understanding that my beliefs aren’t to be looked down upon or made fun of. They really makes me feel welcome in knowing that the door is always open.”