Love, Courage and Strength: A Teenage Mother’s Story
Meet Vanessa, the fearless teenage mother who defied all odds and stepped up to the challenge of motherhood with courage and determination beyond her years.
‘I’m Vanessa, and I’ll be turning 22 this year. My daughter, who is now 7 months old, is a miracle baby to me. I had her unexpectedly when I was 20 years old.
To be honest, when I found out I was pregnant, I felt both lost and happy. When I first told my boyfriend, he was shocked. He wanted me to get an abortion and threatened to break up with me if I didn’t. He was mentally abusive to me and eventually, I found the courage to leave him. Being pregnant was difficult. I lost my job while still pregnant and I wasn’t close to my mother. A lot of people advised me to go for the abortion because I wasn’t financially stable. They told me that being a single mum is very tough, I wouldn’t be able to cope. But when I saw my daughter on the ultrasound and heard her heartbeat, I never felt so happy. I was excited to be a mother, even if it meant raising her alone. Growing up and coming from a low-income family, I’ve been through many lows but I was determined to keep my daughter because I knew everything will be worth it; she is my everything.
After mustering up some courage, I wrote an email to FSC seeking help, which led me to be referred to Babes where I met Ixora, one of their case workers. She was incredibly supportive and felt like a part of my family, guiding me through my pregnancy journey and beyond. She even invited me to attend events during my pregnancy and after giving birth. I am grateful for the nurse that Ixora arranged, who helped me prepare for childbirth, and Babes went above and beyond by providing me with all the necessary baby items, including strollers, cots, diapers, and clothes.
The Babes social workers regularly visit to check on my well-being and how I am coping, and even after the birth of my child, they have been a great help. Ixora even referred me to an employment opportunity when I was looking for a job. Unfortunately, I am unable to work right now due to my mother’s health condition, so I am taking care of both my mother and my baby, which is challenging. It is not easy, but the support that I received from Babes and Ixora has been invaluable, and I am grateful for their help.’
🎉 To celebrate women in this month of March #iwd2023, we will be featuring 10 inspiring women from our Babes community. In a photoshoot to capture the essence of courage and strength, #WomenofBabes are our volunteers, partners, and community members—women with different stories with different starting points. We #EmbraceEquity as we celebrate their resilience, kindness, and determination, incredible role models striving for a world where everyone has the same opportunities and rights, and where inclusivity and diversity are celebrated and embraced. 💪