Interview with KIRSTIN FITZGERALD, 22

I'm a single mom from Mississippi. I'm a nurse and I love to travel. I had my son, Tavin, just a few days after my 18th birthday. He is my life.

Did it ever occur to you that you might become pregnant as a teen?
I always had the mindset that it would never happen to me. I never in a million years thought I would be a teen mom. I always thought it only happened to the "easy" girls, but that's not always the case.

How did your friends and family react when they found out about your pregnancy?
My friends weren't really shocked because they tried to warn me that I wasn't being careful like I should. My family was really disappointed which bothered me more than anything else. I hated disappointing them.

How is teen parenthood different than you thought it would be?
It's a lot harder than I thought it would be. My entire life is about him. Gone are the days when I was carefree. I can't go hang out with my friends and do the things that they get to do. Also, my child's father isn't around which makes it a lot more difficult than it would be if he had a dad around to help.

How has your life changed since your pregnancy?
I've grown up a lot. I became an adult overnight and it's definitely made me a lot more responsible. It's changed me for the better.

What do you wish you knew before you got pregnant?
I wish I had known how hard being a single mom would be. If I had, I would've been more careful. I would have used birth control and condoms, responsibly. I love my son but I would have liked to have had him later in life.

Why do you want to share your story with other teens?
Honestly, I thought if I could help one girl to not make the same mistake I did, sharing my personal story would be worth it. I want them to know, it's not a fairy tale and the guy will not stay with you just because you have a child together.

Do you think the way teen pregnancy is presented in pop culture is positive or negative (i.e. MTV Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant)?
I've heard people say that it glamorizes teen pregnancy, but I really don't think that's the case. I think Teen Mom does a really good job of showing how hard it is to be a young mother, and go to school while dealing with the problems that come along with having a child so young.

Mission Statement

The Candie's Foundation educates America's youth about the consequences of teen pregnancy. We are a non-profit organization that works to shape the way youth in America think about teen pregnancy and parenthood. LEARN MORE

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