DIARY OF A TEEN MOM
Interview with SARAH WILHELM, 22
I found out I was pregnant when I went to a local clinic to take a pregnancy test. At the time by boyfriend was living an hour away and I would commute on the weekends to see him. I told my dad and my step-mom first because I knew it would be hardest to tell my dad.
Did it ever occur to you that you might become pregnant as a teen?
I knew a few girls in school that became pregnant and I even had a friend in high school who had a baby but I didn't think I would be "one of those girls." I thought I was smarter than that.
Were you using protection? If not, why not?
I wasn't on birth control and we rarely used condoms. I knew we were taking a risk but I still didn't do anything to protect myself.
How did your friends and family react when they found out about your pregnancy?
Most of my friends were shocked, they knew I was having sex but they thought I was taking care of myself. My family was also very shocked, however they were all supportive as well.
How is teen parenthood different than you thought it would be?
It's difficult for me because I have to balance out all of my responsibilities. I'm in college so I have to find ways to have quality time with my son and also be able to get some studying done.
What do you wish you knew before you got pregnant?
I wish I would have know that once you have a child its no longer about you, its all about them. I was still a kid myself, I feel like I robbed myself of own childhood.
Why do you want to share your story with other teens?
Although teen pregnancy rates have gone down it is still an issue and I want to make young girls realize what a HUGE responsibility it is. Once you have a child everything is on you, you can't run to mom and dad for help.
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 think it has both positive and negative effects. I watch these shows and I can relate to some of the girls. I think its positive in some ways because it shows real life stories and lets girls know that teen pregnancy is no joke. However, I just hope girls aren't trying to get pregnant to get on t.v. or think to themselves "its not that bad" because you don't know until you've lived the life yourself.