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It Happens to "Good Girls" Too!
At 16, a 'good girl' became a mother... here, she shares her story.
 About the Author
Rebecca Roach
is now 25 and a director of marketing for a technology firm.
She is the proud mother of a charming little girl.
She and her family currently reside in Tampa, Florida.
 
 More of this Feature
• In the Beginning
• Facing Reality
• Aftermath
 
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"I may not understand sex but at this point in my life (18) I think I am doing the best I can..."
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"Is anyone else scared to have sex? i know pretty much everything there is to know about it, i'm not scared of getting an STD or a rep or anything, but i feel like when i do my childhood will be lost forever."
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"If you are on your period and have sex can you still get pregnant?
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Eventually my sense of hopeless romanticism took over and I began to imagine myself and my boyfriend taking long walks with "our child" in the stroller, "our child" lying in a soft bed next to his/her parents, "the proud mom and dad" sitting side by side as "their child" grew up in utter bliss. By the time I left that bathroom with the little white stick in my hand , those childish fantasies were real in my mind.

Never once did it occur to me that my unborn child's father might not want this. After all, he loved me; he had told me so. In my naiveté, I had made myself believe that sex was love. After all, I was a good girl and good girls didn't sleep around. They "made love" to the person they were in a relationship with.

Now excited about the idea of being a mom (me, a mom!), I called the father-to-be, expecting, I guess, for him to share my enthusiasm, for him to come right over, scoop me in his arms, profess his undying devotion and propose to me on the spot! Well, as I eventually learned the hard way, fairy tales only exist in those beautifully drawn books in the libraries. This was no library and he was no Prince Charming.

He was a 17-year-old kid, getting a phone call from a girl he barely knew, telling him he was going to be a dad. "Are you sure?" was his first question. "Are you sure it's mine?" was the next. That should have been warning enough for what was to come, but I had always been a romantic and I wanted -- no, I needed -- to believe in love so badly that I didn't process his doubts. To me, they were just a reaction to major news; he would come around.

We went to the doctor several weeks later to confirm what I already knew. Soon, at 16, I would be a mom. Soon this tiny life would be in my arms.

The doctor confirmed my pregnancy, and this time I decided I not to have an abortion. I moved in with my boyfriend and his family. I was to learn, years later, that both of our families felt it was the right thing to do. I simply thought at the time that it was a sign of his love for me and his excitement about becoming a father.

I continued to go to school and study hard. Around my fifth month of pregnancy, when my belly started to get a little bigger and my breasts started to get a little heavier, the father-to-be and I started to drift apart. I don't think it hit either of us, until I started to show, how permanent this was. Once there was the "proof" that we would soon be parents, it dawned on him that soon he would be a dad and a parent with someone he neither really knew nor ever truly loved. By the time the baby was born, we had separate bedrooms and when we spoke, it was through his parents.

On a rush of hormones, adrenaline and fantasy, I still clung to the ever-persistent notion that it had to work. We had to be a family. We had created a life together, another human being, and that had to mean something. If it didn't, then all of those careful fantasies, all of those sweet little stories I had let myself believe, were wrong. It meant I would have to face reality -- that I was going to be a mom and I was going to have a child who would depend on me, alone. Me! For the rest of my life.

First published December 7, 1999
© St. Petersburg Times

Next page > Facing Reality > Page 1, 2, 3, 4

 

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