I found myself in an unplanned pregnancy at age 17. I wasn’t sure if my boyfriend and I were going to stay together and now we were going to have a baby. I had always wanted children but I wasn’t prepared for a baby at this time. I had some limited family support, but I felt that I needed more support if I was going to prepare to be a mother. My parents are divorced and I never felt that I learned good parenting skills from them. I was overwhelmed. I started to look for help and found Pregnancy Support Services through the internet.
I started to meet with a pregnancy support counselor who taught me about parenting skills and encouraged me to make better decisions. I knew that I was young and had some growing up to do if I was going to be a good mother. I had made some bad choices in my life but I wanted to change. I never felt judged by my counselor. She helped me make and reach my goals, not only to prepare for motherhood, but also to better me as a person. She also educated me on labor and delivery as well as how to take care of a baby.
Having my daughter has changed my life. The responsibility can be overwhelming at times but the support that I received through PSS helped me tremendously. My counselor really helped me prepare for having a baby during a critical and emotional time in my life. I was able to get some financial help from my parents and I was able to graduate high school. My goal is to eventually go to college and graduate with a degree so that I can make a good life for me and my baby. I am grateful that there was somewhere to turn when I needed guidance and support.
by Tiffany, age 21
After the shock of being pregnant wore off, I contacted Pregnancy Support Services to help me decide what I should do. I was scared and was getting all kinds of advice that wasn’t helpful. I knew that I needed to talk to someone who could help me make a good decision about my pregnancy. My relationship with Sam, the baby’s father, was “rocky” at best, and I was thinking of breaking up with him when I found out that I was pregnant. He was not excited about the pregnancy and even blamed me for getting pregnant. My parents were sad about the pregnancy but were also supportive of me and said they would help me with whatever plan I decided. My family is really close to each other so I knew that this pregnancy was affecting more than me. I was confused at first as to what I wanted for myself and my baby, but in my second trimester, I decided to parent.
Meeting with my PSS counselor really helped me to evaluate both parenting and adoption and I felt supported in my decision to parent my baby. I knew I was young but I was almost finished with college and would eventually be able to start a career. I decided that, even if Sam was not involved in the baby’s life, I would have my father and brother as healthy male role models for my baby. Once I had my baby daughter, I decided to move home and get the practical help that my parents were willing to provide. They also loved being around their new granddaughter.
I met with my PSS worker until my daughter was 6 months old. She helped me be a better parent and also taught me about infant development. I think that I am a better mother because of the encouragement and education that she gave me. I recently got a job that pays pretty well, but is still not enough for us to move out on our own. Living at my parent's is good but sometimes stressful because we have conflicts that we wouldn’t have if I didn’t have my daughter. It’s hard being a parent but I do not regret my decision. I am so glad that PSS was there to support me during a very difficult and scary time in my life.