Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Meet Devyni

Devyni and I attended the same high school and I can honestly say that Devyni is the girl that always looked effortlessly awesome, even during the treacherous exam weeks. Thankfully she is even more beautiful on the inside, daughter Zariah is a wonderful example of this.

Thank you for agreeing and finding the time to do an interview with you busy schedule and all.
Can you give us a little bit of background information?

My name is Devyni I'm am 21 years old. I'm currently in my senior year of college at Florida State University pursuing a degree in Retail Merchandising and Product Development. I was nineteen years old and in my sophomore year of college when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter, Zariah, who is now fifteen months old. Although her father and I are no longer together we maintain and good relationship, especially when it comes to our daughter.

Wow! So you were just settling in to college life when you got this life changing news. What was your initial reaction?
I didn't know what I was going to do. I was overwhelmed and remember thinking I can't possibly do all of this. Along the way I had an epiphany that I HAD to do it. For her and for me, I was determined to stick to my initial plans. My pregnancy was a big motivation, I achieved the highest grades I ever had in my entire life.

How did your friends and family take the news?
I called my roommate right after the pregnancy test read positive and all I could do was cry. As for the rest of my classmates I kept my pregnancy a secret until I was about five months old and a girl blurted it out in the middle of a large group of people. She touched my stomach and blurted: "Wow, Devyni your stomach is so hard are you PREGNANT?!", everyone heard her. I swallowed all my angry and embarrassment and graciously answered "Yes" to her and the rest of the people in the large group that were all now looking at me. I was so upset.
Everyone was in like what? We had no idea! They told me that I kept it such a good secret by still dressing and looking good everyday [laughing]. But I had to, here I was gaining weight I had to do something for myself to feel better.
My mother was in shock, she couldn't believe it. Then she called my younger siblings, both boys, into the room and made me tell them right then and there. I just remember crying while I told them. After wards the oldest of my two brothers came up to me and told me he still loved me and didn't see my any differently. It was good to hear that.

Why do you think you were so emotional when it came to telling your mom and family the news?
My mother was also a teen mom and I felt like I let her down. I felt like she and the rest of my family would look at me like a brat that took all the hard work to get me where I was for granted. I literally relived what she went through, our stories are too similar.

Was there anytime during your pregnancy or after wards that you had, what I call, the Oh My Goodness moment?
Well during my pregnancy I was talking to my mom and she was telling me how my body would react after delivering the baby, I remember just looking at her in awe and disbelief. [Laughing] I was so clueless. In fact she thought I was joking by my reactions.
Then after I had her, I returned to Tallahassee for my junior year and I had a baby. The day to day schedule of dropping her off at daycare, going to school, work, picking her up and going home was what bought everything full circle for me. This was my new life.

What do you think is one of the factors as to why teens get pregnant?
The lack of addressing sex head on. Teens have sex and are going to, so instead of shying away from it and acting like it doesn't happen talk about and be blunt. Don't just say "Oh, it's hard." Explain, provide details and examples.

What does the future hold for you and Zariah?
I want to move to California because I believe my degree will go farther there. However, I am very apprehensive about the move. It's a big move and doing it with a child makes it even bigger. I am also considering going to graduate school.

Those are both really exciting options!
Do you have anything to say to other teen moms?
“Any girl that is pregnant and doesn’t feel like there is a way out or uncertain about the future. Keep pushing your child is an asset not a burden.”

I completely agree! A child should push you to do your absolute best!
Once again thank you so much for sitting down with Teen Mom NYC.

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