December 2002
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Pregnant at Seventeen
By Rachel Johnston, Grade 12, Carleton North High School, Bristol, NB

Half a million American teenage girls each year have babies; some girls have abortions, while others give their babies up for adoption. However, most teenage girls take their newborns home and start a long new journey as teenage mothers.

Teen mothers are in for a rude awakening after their baby is born. Not only have they gone through thousands of body changes, but also now their very own world is “My mom and Steve help me out a lot, not to mention my friends” explains Lora Lee, a teen mother at seventeen. Jacob Robert, her three-month-old baby boy, is well taken care of and very healthy. With lots of love from his mother Lora, family and friends they get along just fine.

Lora and Jacob live at home in Bristol, NB with her mother and stepfather. “I don’t know what I would do without them” pleads Lora “They really are great.” Even though Lora’s mother helps her “24/7” it sometimes get hard. She sometimes feels like she can’t do anything right. Her mother confided to me that she really is a great mom. It’s easy to understand that times can get tough and tiring.

Being seventeen and having a baby sounds like a nightmare to most girls. But Lora doesn’t regret having Jacob at all. He’s a blessing to the family, just one more person to love. Having everything all planned together Lora is finishing up her first semester at home on a computer on a program for teen-age moms.

Next fall she plans on attending the University of New Brunswick, Saint John campus. Jacob will be staying with Lora’s mother, while Lora can come home on weekends.

Lora’s mom completely understands. She was a teenage mom herself at age eighteen with Lora and had a struggle herself. Doing what she thought was best, she married her boyfriend while not receiving any help from her parents. That’s the big reason why she is there for Lora. “I don’t want her to resent the baby” explains Lora’s mother. “This house is like prison to her. I am not saying she can go out and party all the time because as soon as she steps foot into this house she has a responsibility. But she should have some time with the girls.”

Lora’s family had a hard time adjusting to sleepless nights, bottles, and diapers everywhere. “But we're adjusted now” says Lora.

Teenage moms don’t go through just tired nights and thousands of dirty diapers. They also stress over school, their child, and their social life. It’s almost like they live three different lives. “Don’t keep yourself locked in, have sometime for yourself. At least one day a week or else you’ll feel frustrated” says Lora, giving advice to other teen moms.


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