Sixteen and Pregnant

You are six months pregnant, Gillian; those were the words the doctor uttered. My mother collapsed in her seat. She yelled at me and bolted out the door. The doctor went after her, “Mrs. Griffiths wait, all’s not lost. There is hope for your girls as herself.” As my mother entered the room, I held my head low, too ashamed to look her in the eyes. I remembered her asking me why I lied when she first asked if I was pregnant. All I could do was hold my head low and respond softly to every question. On the way home, she argued with me; she was not upset but somewhat disappointed.

Now came to the hard part, explaining to my father that he was right all along. A month before finding out I was expecting, my father had confided in my mother that he believed I was pregnant. She shrugged him off and accused him of wishing pregnancy on me. Determine to prove her wrong, and she was given the funds need to make an appointment at the clinic. When we arrived home, my father was in the backyard smoking his cigarette. I quickly walked past without saying hello. My mother proceeded behind me at the same pace.

I went into my room and sat between the bed and radiator, crying. My father walked in and said, “I am buying you a one-way ticket back to Jamaica.” I screamed, no, daddy! My mother, although distraught, was able to gather her thoughts together and spoke up for me. She informed my father that I would not be going back home. Sending me home would only make matters worse. My father ignored her and phoned my birth mother, who lives in Jamaica. He explained the situation and his resolution. She pleaded with my mother not to have my father send me home. She assured my mother no such thing would take place under her watch. I was safe! My mother stood up for me. My father, on the other hand, walked out of the house

I Am Gillian Griffiths, Sixteen & Pregnant & This Is My Journey

It is Saturday morning, and my nightmare was not a dream. Is this happening, and there is a life growing inside of me. My childhood is over, and I am about to be a mother at sixteen. How can a baby have a baby? That morning I stayed in my room, afraid to face anyone outside my door. One of my sisters came over, and we sat in my room with my other two sisters. She held me, and we cried together. I remember asking if I could give the baby up for adoption, and the response was “no!” I am not sure what happened after that conversation, but I remember my dad coming home late every night. My mom took charge of my diet and made sure I ate healthily. That Monday morning, I was back in school.

My First Office Visit

Please pass me a minor pap smear, the doctor shouted out the door. What is a pap smear, I thought to myself? I was at the clinic with my older sister. It was time to get checked for STDs, and I was nervous. My sister stayed in the room for the pap smear. It was the worst feeling ever! I wouldn’t say I liked every minute of it. I quickly got dressed and headed out of the room. Lidia, what’s wrong? my sister asked. I’m in pain, I replied. She laughed at me. A few days later, I was back at the doctor’s. This time at the hospital with my younger sister for an ultrasound. My father drove us to the hospital. When it was time for the ultrasound, he declined to enter the room.

My sister came instead. As the ultrasound became clear, there was the baby, we both laughed. We were looking at the life I was carrying. It’s a girl! The doctor said. I remember my sister overjoyed because she was going to be an aunt. Remember my sister overcome with joy. The doctor gave me a copy of the ultrasound. After we walked out of the room and back to the waiting area, my dad asked was a boy. I said no, a girl. He mumbled, “great, more trouble.” I wasn’t upset at my dad; he was having a hard time adjusting. He was hoping for a grandson because he only had two girls. For some unknown reason, he came home early one night. I was sitting in the dining room eating the veggies my mother forced on me. My father in that night and touched my stomach. My daddy was becoming more accepting.

Her Grand Entrance

The doctor or no doctor, she was ready for her grand entrance. The nurses had no other choice but to deliver her. The nurses informed me of no epidural because they didn’t have my health records on me. It was time to push. Was this happening? I’m not ready yet. AHHHH!!, push!! AHHH! Push! The last screamed frighten my father, and he came barging in. One of the nurses told him I was naked and he couldn’t go in there. Then we heard a cry, a squeaky cry, and there she was. She was tiny with a caramel complexion. She weighed 4lbs, 5oz. I was exhausted, my mother stood at the door, and we just looked at each other. For that moment, I was lost and scared. After she was clean, the nurse handed her to me. She was beautiful, innocent, she didn’t care about my age, could not judge me, I was her mommy, and she was my life.

It’s Saturday morning, and I was still in the delivery room. The nurse that came to clean me up was very nasty. I was too depressed even to argue back. One of the nurses escorted me to my room, and thankfully I didn’t have a neighbor. The second nurse on shift was Jamaican like myself. She spoke encouraging words and smiled with me. I quickly forgot about the nasty nurse. Later that day, my mother, sister, and niece visited me in the hospital. They cooed over the baby as I ate mommies’ home-cooked meal. They gave me a list of names that the family that they agreed on. That afternoon, we picked her name. I held her in my arms and admired her. Around 8 pm that night, her father showed up. He was so excited to see her. He held her in his arms and just stared at her. She’s beautiful, is all I remembered him saying.

She’s Not Coming Home

Happiness doesn’t last forever. Due to my daughter’s premature birth and weight, Tina could not go home. I was devastated. I would be leaving the hospital without my sunshine. The doctor informed me she needed to gain a little more weight before being discharged. The hospital kept her in an incubator due to her having Newborn jaundice. I took one last looked at her before going home. My room was clean; diapers, wipes, baby lotions, and a car seat were waiting for me when I got home. It felt great being back home. For a week, her father and I visited the nursery. On the last day of that week, the doctor’s told me she could finally go home. That was the best gift I got that Christmas. When she arrived home that day, my father asked for her that night. I dressed her in a pink nightgown that covered her from head to toe. He laid her on his tummy and just admired her. He was in love, and that was the start of a very comical relationship. My mother and older sisters took the lead in teaching me the ropes of mamahood. Breastfeeding was not one of them. I found it uncomfortable and bottle-fed. Within a week, she was 6lbs 5 oz. Her pediatrician was shocked by how quickly she gained weight. Well, of course, she had an enormous appetite.

It was time to begin homeschooling until I could return to school. My science teacher was surprised that I was the student she would be homeschooling. She didn’t judge me, and I was thankful for that. To allow me to concentrate on my studies, she attended to Tina’s needs. Homeschooling went well, and I passed with flying colors. By January, I was back in school and couldn’t be happier. I recalled my English teacher greeting me with a smile and welcoming me back. It didn’t take long before I got back into the hang of things.

A New Journey

Photo by Anthony on

Fast forward two years later. I finally graduated from high school with Tina cheering on from the bleachers. For me, it wasn’t just graduation but also an accomplishment. It was now time to focus on my future while setting long and short-term goals. I found myself in college two weeks after graduation. My major was in Networking & Administration.

  1. The piece… oozed your displeasure with the hapless victim you wanted stationed behind you.

3 Comments on “Sixteen and Pregnant

  1. Sometimes it takes things that we never dream we would experience in life to make us stronger and make better for ourselves


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