Panic, grief, acceptance


Friday March 04th, 2016

My mother contacted the helpline after she found out I was 6 months pregnant. I was only 16 years old then. She wanted to get help fast because my family was in a state of panic after the news broke.

I did not have the intention to tell my parents about the pregnancy even though I knew about it when I was about 4 months pregnant. This was because I did not want to go for an abortion. I did not go for any medical check-ups either. Together, my parents, myself and the Babes worker, we discussed what to do with the pregnancy. My parents felt that adoption was the best option as they felt that I was too young to raise a child. In addition, they also did not have the financial means to take care of the child. As difficult as it was, I agreed to the decision as I too felt I was not ready to care for the child.

At the same time, I was in the midst of taking my examinations and did not want to complete them initially. I wanted to just give up as I did not want to face the rest of my classmates because my pregnancy was already visible. I had only a few papers left to take and my parents and the Babes worker kept encouraging me to finish them as I was already almost nearing the end. I was still resistant, so my parents and the Babes worker decided to approach my school to see if they could help in any way. In the end, my school prepared a different room for me to take the examinations so I would not be seen by my classmates. I became more ready to take my examinations then as I felt more assured and comfortable. I am thankful that my school was very understanding of my situation and was willing to help create a comfortable setting for me to take my examinations.

My family continued to support me even though they felt that they had lost face because of my pregnancy – there was shame to a certain extent. I was very sorry and ashamed for having disappointed my family and apologized for having to put them through this difficult period. After my examinations, my family arranged for me to stay at a shelter till I delivered as they could not face up to people knowing about my pregnancy. During that period of time, my family showed their support and care by visiting me at the shelter on regular basis and also provided nutritious food for me and the baby.

I am now back in school and I’m able talk about my pregnancy with others. The decision to give my child up for adoption was not an easy one, but I am now at peace with it and because of all that my family and I have been through, I now have a closer relationship with them.