Friday, September 2, 2011

Meet Alexandra

Alexandra and Charleigh
I met Alexandra through the natural hair community on Twitter and soon found The Good Hair Blog, her wonderful blog on all things beauty and natural hair. Through some of her tweets I learned that she too is a teen mom; I was very excited to find this out for several different reasons. Alexandra is a go getter. She has her blog which is well established and another one that she recently started Lush In Flats, along with her Etsy shop, a hair product line called Safi (on Twitter @safihaircare), a full time student, employee, daughter and a mother to her 3 year old daughter, Charleigh.

Hi! I'm so excited you agreed to do an interview for the site!
Do you remember how you found out you were pregnant?

I was seventeen when I found out and at that time I was so naive I thought I could keep it a secret. I was actually scheduled to have surgery and they[the doctors] asked for a pregnancy test. Again me being naive, I figured if I gave them the smallest sample possible they would not be able to tell I was pregnant. Of course that didn't work and being that I was going in for surgery my whole family was there, my mother, stepfather, grandfather, everyone and they all heard the news.

Oh my goodness! I Couldn't imagine. How did your mother react and how are your parents now?

She was furious but more so of the way that she found out. Today they are very supportive, we live with them and they help out a lot but it was a process to get here. If you are a teen mother and have the support of family use it.

How about you. What was your initial reaction?

At first I was shocked, of course I never thought that I would be a teen mom even though I didn't use protection when I was sexually active. I also felt like my baby would save me and I was excited for what some people could consider the wrong reasons. In a way she did save me, she is such a sweet easy going baby.

Since she is such an easy going baby, was it an equally easy pregnancy and delivery?

Yes, I didn't have any morning sickness at all. I threw up twice and both times were because I ate far too much. My delivery was also easy, even though she was four days late and they had to induce me, twice! However, when she was born she barely cried and was so chill.

That's good. Was going to high school and being pregnant as easy?

I have actually been in college since the age of 16. High school was a horrible experience for me and I attended classes at a local community college instead. Being that I was on a college campus and pregnant I think people didn't see it as a big deal and people think I'm much older than my age as well.

What is life like today?

Life is good. I just finished working for a wonderful non profit, Advocates for Youth, which educates youth on sexual health, relationships, eating disorders and several other challenges youth and teens face. I am currently enrolled full time in college and have a job on campus as a social media assistant.

That's awesome! 
Did you learn a lot while working at the non profit?

Its funny that I ended up working at the non profit after all the things I went through. I learned that the government is currently stopping funding for sexual health programs and taking away a lot of woman's rights about their very own sexual health decisions. I think these actions would only cause more problems in the future and create even more teen moms. The way to help reduce and stop the amount of teen pregnancies is through open education. Once people acknowledge that teens are having sex and educate them then the rate of teen pregnancies will be reduced. Education and getting inside a teens head is the way.

How will you educate Charleigh to help ensure she does not become a teen mom herself?

I'm going to talk to her all the time about self worth and sex. I want her to feel comfortable with herself and also feel comfortable enough to come and ask or tell me anything. My mother did the same thing with me but times change so it's important to maintain a open conversation.

Where do you see you and Charleigh in the future?

I get nervous when I think about the future because we have so much help from my parents but I see myself in my ideal career in the world of media. Ideally a journalist or something to do with beauty but for sure in the world of media. I want to be able to give Charleigh everything my mother and step father gave me, all the 1 on 1 time, education and luxuries.

Do you have an advice for teen moms? Teens?

Just remember although you have a child, your life is not over and if your family is supportive allow them to help you.
If you are not a teen mom ask questions, ask questions and ask questions. So many people think sex is casual and it can be but be informed and safe!

I'm very glad that Alexandra and I had the opportunity to meet. She is such a down to earth woman and a hard working momma! Alexandra's advice and writings can be found on her blogs The Good Hair Blog and Lush In Flats.

If you would like to contribute to the site or know someone that would send us an e-mail.