I remember him saying, “Hey, uh… it ripped.” I wasn’t quite sure what he meant so I asked him to say it again. He said, “The condom, it ripped!” I was a bit nervous now and stupidly asked him, “Is that a bad thing?” I think he almost wanted to smile at the question but still had the panicked look and said, “Uh, yeah!” I started to think what this might mean. I wasn’t on birth control yet, my mother refused to let me get on it, and my father was still looking into it for me.
Shawn put some clothes on and sat in the chair, watching TV to distract himself, while I got dressed as well. I sat in the chair by him and asked, “Are we going to be okay?” He reassured me that he thought we were, but still wasn’t 100% positive.
My dad was in the waiting room while I went to the back with the same lady who gave me the morning after pills. She was ready to give me my birth control when I mentioned about being there before and filling out so many papers. She said, “Well, you wouldn’t have had to do the paperwork again if we would’ve known you were here before!”
I explained that my dad didn’t know I was there before and that’s why I didn’t say anything. I reminded her why I was there before, about the emergency contraceptive, and she said that she normally wouldn’t test for pregnancy, but because I did come in being unsure, she had to test.
A short time later she came back into the room with the test in her hand. She asked me about taking the pills, if I took them right, and I told her I did. She said that normally they work and she’s only seen them not work maybe twice and then told me that mine didn’t work. I was, in fact, pregnant.
The above excerpts are from TEEN MOM: A Journal edited by Pat Gaudette and published by Home & Leisure Publishing, Inc.
Sixteen-year-old “Katie” was half way through her junior year of high school when she became pregnant. Throughout her pregnancy and for several months afterward, she kept a journal. TEEN MOM is her story as told in that journal. These are her thoughts as she deals with a difficult twins pregnancy, family and relationship issues, and tough choices that affect the future of her babies and herself. This is not a work of fiction; it is a slice of reality.
Teens are more openly sexually active than in past generations and unplanned pregnancy is not the social stigma of years ago. The pregnancy of pop idol Britney Spears’ 16-year-old sister, Jamie Lynn, was good fodder for the media but it didn’t cause her to lose a starring role in a popular television show drawing a large viewership aged 9-14. When vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin announced her 17-year-old daughter, Bristol, was five months pregnant, it gave teen pregnancy even more a stamp of “normalcy.”
A few years ago, the reality series “16 and Pregnant” on MTV followed four unwed teens through their pregnancies. The follow-up series, “Teen Mom”, continues with their lives. The show, according to media reports, has had the highest viewership of any MTV show in the past years.
The episodes show the teens struggling with issues that most teens don’t have to face just as the book “Teen Mom” was meant to show the struggles of teen pregnancy through the eyes of one teen. The show and the book are meant to help deter early unplanned pregnancy.
One negative of the MTV series is the perception that any person participating in a reality program earns celebrity status. For some teens, the message broadcast might not be the message received.
When is it like to be a pregnant teen? Let teen mom Katie tell you about it. She is one of more than half a million teens facing unplanned pregnancies each year according to data from The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.