“I was scared to tell people I was pregnant.”
Lucy sits comfortably beside Evie who is asleep, nestled against her hip. The blonde-haired toddler will be two in June. Lucy contentedly strokes her daughter’s hair and begins to share candidly about how she came to be a mother at the age of 16.
“I was finishing year 10 at Queechy High School,” she says.
That’s when she first had suspicions that her expanding belly was more than a bit of bloating. Still, the softly spoken teen stayed tight-lipped until her stepfather noticed the changes and bought her a pregnancy test.
“I already knew what the result would be – I was 19 weeks pregnant!” Lucy laughs.
Leading up to Christmas, I want to share with you FIVE GIFTS of LIFE. These are five real stories of local women who fell pregnant young, outside of their plans, and made good anyway. Each Friday between now and Christmas, I’ll publish another. First was Rachel. Here’s the second, Stacey: In the space of a week, Launceston woman Stacey received a little feet pin in her letterbox and happened to be watching television when an Emily’s Voice ad aired – five times. It was the ad detailing Madeleine’s story of grief following her decision to abort her own baby at eight weeks. Stacey was 16 years old, eight weeks pregnant and not a believer in consequences. With Madeleine’s story on her mind, the pin in her hand – with feet the same size as a 10-week gestation baby – she knew that the wrestle in her head was over. “I never thought abortion would ever cross my mind – I always thought it was wrong, but when it came to me finding out I was …
I met a woman who is pro-life and doesn’t realise it. She’s one of those people with grit and strength learnt through hardship yet without the hard shell of bitterness that many battlers wear. Let’s call her Rachel. Before the law called her an adult, she had done many adult things. Drugs. Alcohol. Sleeping rough. Sex in exchange for a place to lay her head. And at sweet 16 she was pregnant, a child about to bear her own child. Rachel smiles and laughs through the telling of her story, slowing to emphasise the gut-wrenching bits, but not lingering there long. It’s in the past now. The present is her focus – how could it not be when it involves a happy toddler and the rollercoaster of motherhood! Why did you keep your baby? I ask. She was the typical candidate: young, emotionally unstable, no money and in the vice of substance abuse. “It never crossed my mind to abort my baby,” she says. “I couldn’t tell you why.” She pauses, eyes travelling to an …
The night of Rachel’s 16th birthday was the first she slept rough on a park bench in Launceston.
It was winter. None of her family called. Her boyfriend said she was a “Slut!” and pushed her out the door.
Sweet 16, it was not.
Rachel slept rough for a week before she started exchanging sex for a place to sleep.
How did it get this bad?