Teen looks back on choices, worries about future


Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2008

On Nov. 10, 2007, I became a teen mom. It has not been easy and now that birth control prices are being raised it will be harder. It could mean more pregnant teens.

It is hard for me to say this but I think people should wait to have kids until they are ready. I love my son more than anything but I had plans for my life, to go to college, live in dorm rooms, to date more, but I had sex and I got pregnant.

Now I have to put those plans on hold.

Some people told me to have an abortion, many told me to give him up for adoption, but his father and I chose to have a child instead and be loving parents even though we weren't ready.

It was complicated because the people who gave me this advice never told me not to have sex. They just told me not to have a baby. While I knew of the risks, no parent ever told me not to. Talk to your kids about sex and if they want birth control they are obviously ready to have sex even if you don't think they are. Consider giving them birth control. Whether or not you give them birth control or condoms they will still have sex and possibly get pregnant.

It is not easy to be a parent, even though his father helps out equally. There are so many things a parent thinks about when it comes to one's own child. A parent wants to give their child what they didn't have growing up.

This situation was not my ideal dream for life, but it is now a reality, that I and 750,000 other girls and their families across the nation last year dealt with.

It's sad because a lot of teens seem to think that you have to have sex to fit in because the media sure makes it the "cool" thing to do. Let's face it the media makes it okay to have sex on movies why wouldn't it be okay to have sex in your bedroom?

While it feels good, most teens don't think of the possibility of getting pregnant. I wasn't responsible with my birth control because I never thought I would get pregnant, a common teen belief. It feels good and without education to make teens stop and think and use contraceptives, that will be the overriding thought it feels good.

I struggle to try to be a happy mother even though depression hits hard in my life. A majority of that depression comes from not being able to control my emotions, just having had a baby, dealing with my past drug issues, not being with the father of my child and coping with having a family that I didn't have when I was growing up. No matter how sad I feel, I still have to be the happiest mother I can be to make my son, Hayden, happy and try and make my family work.

Now that people have to pay more for birth control imagine all the people who won't be able to afford it to be responsible with it in the first place. Luckily, I have Medicaid to pay for my IUD so I won't have to worry about it for now, but others have to worry about getting pregnant men also should think about the responsibilities of pregnancy.

Communities act like they are worried about the teens getting pregnant but why isn't anyone doing anything about it? Everything has a price and some things, like contraceptives shouldn't. If they don't want more teens getting pregnant don't charge for something that prevents it.

I think companies should stop being so greedy. Money shouldn't be that important to people but because it is, teens across the nation will suffer. Most will have to drop out of school and without a good education there will be no good paying jobs to help raise and care for their family. The state and their families will have to payout a lot more money than if they would have helped provide contraceptives in the first place.

If people want the numbers to go down on teen pregnancy somebody needs to do something about it instead of complaining about teen mothers or pretending it will not happen to their teens.

This article is the opinion of Brittany West. West recently graduated from Kenai Alternative High School.

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