Wednesday, September 14, 2011
|Silly Isabel and Jordyn|
Finally we have found a time slot that works for the both of us! Could you give us some basic background information?
My name is Jordyn Lewis I am 21 years old. I found out I was pregnant when I was two weeks and 17. I have one daughter and her name is Isabel she’s 3.5 years old.
What was your initial reaction?
[Laughing] I was still holding the test in my hand I had a dumb moment, I didn't know what the plus meant. I grabbed the directions and read that the plus meant I was pregnant. I stood there and looked at the test in one hand and directions in the other and went back and forth. In order to confirm what was already confirmed I tried another and again I went through the motions of disbelief. This was all at five o clock in the morning. Then after the results I called her dad.
That's too funny! Was he as dumbfounded as you were?
His first reaction was, "I'm going to quit the high school band, get a job and save up money. Don't worry we'll take care of this." However, he never quit the band and there was no job just "attempts", mean while I was working two jobs. I got my first job at four months pregnant and the second one the following month and he had the nerve to tell me there were no jobs for him. I remember struggling to change my pants with my huge belly in the driver’s seat of my car in between my two jobs. [Laughing]
My goodness you are a hustler.
How do you think the relationship between you two changed after she was born?
He was around until she was six months old and, semi-supportive but he didn't want to grow up. Then during the next six months there was a lot of back a forth. We’re in the ninth month of 2011 and he has only seen her three times.
Being that you went through so much during your pregnancy and the early stages of her life do you think that teen moms at an age disadvantage?
No. I think it’s more of struggle because we are alone; it’s harder to be accepted by older moms and society. We are isolated from the rest of the parenting world. When a 30 year old has a child they know just as much as we [teens] do. You don't know what it is like to be pregnant or a parent until you do it. You can educate yourself but nothing compares to going through it, at any age. I went to classes at Toys R Us, read books and magazines if you research it pays off at any age.
So is there an advantage?
I think so, I feel that older parents are more reserved and timid when it comes to letting their children explore, which limits the child in a way. Being younger enables you to keep up with them and their non-stop energy. You can identify with them closer because you still have your child in you which, I feel the relationship can be stronger because of this. I’m not saying that getting pregnant younger is essential to be able to understand your child or advocating to get pregnant as a teen at all. However, I see my position as an advantage and not at all a disadvantage.
Did the relationships you had with family change?
It changed a lot.
At first my family did respect me as a mom and my motherhood was not validated. My step dad disowned me and my unborn child and refused that I enter a certain part of the house because of my pregnancy. It got so bad that my mother and I actually moved out because of this.
On the other hand my father finally started coming back into my life after years of him not being there. He would call me and check in on us and he still does.
Now that my mother has passed my daughter has bought the relationship with my grandparents a lot closer.
For Isabel’s First and Second birthday my family was all together in the same room. Now this is a big deal because there were so many people that hated each other in the same room and you couldn't tell because of the love they all shared for her. Her existence alone is so strong that she turned a lot of years of hate to love.
Aside from the social stigma, what is the biggest challenge teen moms face.
Definitely the lack of being taken seriously and feeling that you have to live a double life. If you show your age for even a second and act goofy or complain, people automatically act like you are unfit and too immature to be a mom. It’s not fair just because I’ll act goofy for a moment doesn’t change that fact that I drive home in the car that I pay for, to a house I pay for and the bills and food I’m are providing. Adults make mistakes too.
people who look at you a certain way because you have help from the government and say you are wasting it. Is that your sister? I was hoping it was, why were you hoping anything about me and my child.
Do you have any advice to teens thinking about having sex?
Think about all the normal day to day things you do and how much time you have for yourself. Then realize that the few minutes you don't take out to protect yourself or schedule a doctor’s appointment to get on birth control will lead to all that lovely, unlimited free time being GONE. Also, talk to your parents and make sure is worth it and not someone trying to take advantage of.
Even though teens often hear advice why do you think so many of them still think, “It won’t happen to me”?
I look at it like drinking and driving. Let’s say someone is drinking and after a few drinks they still feel like they are okay and capable of driving. Then they get in their car, drive home and make it home with no problems. Then a few times later they feel confident they’ll make it home safe again because they’ve done it before and have gotten used to it. However, this time they don’t make it home and take someone else’s life in the process. If you have sex once, or a few times, without protection you get used to it and think “Oh, I’ll be fine. I’ve been doing it this whole time and haven’t gotten pregnant.” Just like the drunk driver you’ve gotten confident until that one day you miss your period and realize you’re pregnant. It only takes one instant.
That’s a very good metaphor! I’ve never thought of it like that but it makes perfect sense. What does the future hold for you and Isabel?
I want to get us into an apartment where we both have our own rooms. She'll be in a good school and we can make mutual friendships with the parents who respect me and my child, I still feel uncomfortable being around “adult” parents and being taken serious or feeling as confident as I should.
I want to have and provide a consistent, stable male figure in her life, to be financially stable and for us to have a closer relationship with and between the two of us and God.
Any words of advice you’d like to share with other teen moms
When the times that you want to go out, party, have your “me” time and you can't get it or you feel that there are things you are missing out on, remember and visualize your child. Just think about your child growing and expressing themselves nothing can surpass that feeling. It’s also something you can't get back and even though it really sucks at the time just think about how much the moments and your child means to you.
Thank you very much for the interview and best of luck to you and Isabel. We're confident you two will be just fine!
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