Young pregnant woman holding a teddy bear

Low self-esteem made me a teen mother

I had always been a shy girl, but this got worse in high school when my peers seemed to have boyfriends. And I was the chubby, geeky girl without friends.

Timid school girl

I was in a boarding school and whenever we got back for a new term, I would quietly eavesdrop on my roommates’ conversations about how they had met their boyfriends, gone out on dates, and kissed.
Some of the stories were unfathomable to my timid mind – one girl told her friend how her boyfriend kissed her on her lips, neck, navel, and then down there.

I was shocked. While I was spending my holidays going for church camps – which was the only place I felt accepted – there were girls who were experiencing the fun that comes with blossoming into a young woman.

‘Why doesn’t anyone notice me?’ I would always ask myself.

I would be left at a corner, sticking out like a sore thumb – the fat, geeky girl no boy noticed.

It took a toll on my self-esteem and I started looking for ways to fit in. During the next holidays, I decided to shake things up. It was time for me to stop being a spectator in the relationship game and become a participant.

Wanting experience

My parents frequently travelled and I was often left with our househelp, so one weekend when they were away, I decided to visit one of those nightclubs I had heard about. For ‘grown-ups’. You know the ones, where girls fake their IDs and pretend to be over 21 to get in?

But I didn’t need to make a fake ID – I had often been told my weight made me look at least 5 years older. So despite only being 16, I checked in at the club without the bouncer asking for identification. I just walked in.

I took a seat at a counter and it didn’t take long before I courted someone’s attention; albeit for the wrong reasons. I was skimpily dressed – I wore a mini skirt and my cleavage was out for everyone to see.
I was excited by the attention and one thing led to another.

Rushed and painful first experience

I went to his house and had unprotected sex. It was nothing like I had imagined. I didn’t like it. It was painful and rushed.

And the guy chased me out of his house after he was done.

When I went back to school, I didn’t talk about what happened. I thought I would feel proud to tell the story. I was just embarrassed.

Weeks passed and I didn’t get my period. And all of a sudden, I started to feel nauseated.

Signs of pregnancy

When we closed for the holidays, the first thing our househelp did when she saw me was to pull me aside and ask if I was pregnant. I thought she was crazy.

But when I googled for early pregnancy signs, I seemed to tick every box.

I was scared stiff. But our househelp was comforting – she had become more of a mother to me since my parents were hardly ever at home. She bought me a pregnancy test and told me how to use it. And my worst fears were confirmed – I was pregnant at 16, just a year before I completed high school.

Why?! I couldn’t even remember the father’s name, nor did I have his phone number.

Fast forward, I broke the news to my parents, dropped out of school and gave birth to a boy. My parents were disappointed, but strangely enough, they supported me.

Depressed and bitter

I had postpartum depression (PPD), or postnatal depression, and wanted my baby to disappear. Then I hated my body more than I had before. If I was fat before, I now felt like an ogre; I was obese and had stretch marks everywhere – on my stomach, thighs, legs, and arms.

The thought of going back to school terrified me. But I did. And hated every bit of it. Girls were getting ready to enjoy their lives, while there I was – a mother at 17. I was bitter.
When I completed high school, I stayed at home most days and even contemplated suicide, but I didn’t have the guts to go through with it.

I didn’t want to go to college, so my mother reached out to one of her contacts and got me a job at a PR firm. But my mind was not at peace as I thought about how I was missing out on life.

So I skipped work so many times that I got fired.

Taking control of my life

One day I just woke up and told myself I couldn’t keep living like this. I had messed up, but I had to take control of my life.

I enrolled for college and, thanks to our supportive househelp who took care of my baby, I was able to focus on school and I graduated and got a job.

This time I was focussed.

It has been six years now and I’m now comfortable in my skin. I am nothing like I used to be – that shy girl with no self-esteem is dead and gone.

Sometimes I think things fell apart so they could come together.

Are you a teenage mother? How did you deal with it? Leave a comment below to share your experience. For support, head to our forum, Let’s Talk.

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Recent Comments (24)

    1. Thank you Mercy, we are glad…
      Thank you Mercy, we are glad that this was useful to you.

  1. Am 23yrs old.I have gone…
    Am 23yrs old.I have gone through the same ordeal. Got pregnant when i was in college, first year. I hardly knew much about the guy, so he declined the pregnancy. Now i have to depend on my parents for everything. But am mostly grateful to God, i have a healthy cute son 6mnths now. Am trying my best to hustle hard and support my son. When things get better i also will go back to college and further my studies. So to all single teenage mothers out there, let your kid be your inspiration. Let him/her be the reason you wake up early in the morning to go hustle. Show that fella that you can make it without him. And with that i know for sure he will come begging for forgiveness.

    1. Thank you Catherine for…
      Thank you Catherine for sharing. Your story has and will encouraged someone.

  2. So touching stry nd…
    So touching stry nd encouraging to young teen mother’s thank you Catherine atleast ave opes

    1. Thank you for your…
      Thank you for your contribution Angeline.

  3. Why is sx painfull,,,,,,jst…
    Why is sx painfull,,,,,,jst help

        1. Hi Meri, your question or…
          Hi Meri, your question or comment is not clear…

  4. Kna chari anpenda sna…
    Kna chari anpenda sna…….hence mh smped yet in schl…..nfanye???

    1. Unamaanisha anakupenda na…
      Unamaanisha anakupenda na wewe humpendi? Kama haumpendi mwambie haumpendi ndio a jue na pia aweze kumove on pia.

  5. Nlmwambia bh he was very sad…
    Nlmwambia bh he was very sad….hence kanshw anaweza nfanyia mabya nkmwacha sa nfanye

    1. Kama anakutishia maisha yako…
      Kama anakutishia maisha yako ni vizuri umwambie mtu mwingine karibu nawewe ambaye anaweza kukusupport na pia unaweza kureport ndio uweze kujiprotect.

  6. Unawezajy kujua chari…
    Unawezajy kujua chari anakpnda

    1. Njia zuri ni kumuuliza vile…
      Njia zuri ni kumuuliza vile anafeel kukuhusu. Unaweza pia angalia vile anakutreat mki spend time pamoja. Pia wakati yeye huongea juu ya future yake yeye hukueka kwa hiyo future? Signs tofauti zinaweza kukuambia vile anafeel lakini ni vizuri kuskia kutoka kwake.

  7. 2018 n i just bumped into…
    2018 n i just bumped into this story. got pregnant at 19years,six years later i have a beautiful daughter,went to campus and graduated and now working at a local bank… being a teen mum is not always a curse and it doesnt take anything from a girls life… by God’s grace i have achieved most of my dreams and the most beautiful thing is that my daughter has been in every part of it she is a blessing. i wouldnt change what happened for anything in the world!

    1. Thank you so very much Shiro…

      Thank you so very much Shiro for sharing your story and journey with us. We wish you all the best even as pursue your dreams. 

  8. I got pregnant at 20yrs BT…
    I got pregnant at 20yrs BT when I informed the man that I was pregnant yes he accepted BT things changed,,,, he talks to me rudely,,,he is full of excuses,he has no time to talk to me,,and from the way things are i think i am forcing myself to talk to him coz its like he doesnt care how am feeling or what am going through,,,,how should I cope with this situation

    1. Hello Shiko, I can imagine…

      Hello Shiko, I can imagine what you are going through. Sometimes things doesn’t work out as we expected or would have loved to. Maybe you consider giving him time and you take time to think of what you want. If things don’t work, you may consider going the legal way to have him take care of the baby. Whichever decision you make, ensure it is an informed one. 

    1. Hello Swabrina, how are you…

      Hello Swabrina, how are you fairing on? Were you able to pick up the pieces? 

  9. How can I reduce the amount…
    How can I reduce the amount of fluids in my body during sex??

    1. Hi Moureen, could you please…

      Hi Moureen, could you please explain what you mean?

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