Posted September 18, 2015:
Pregnant at Fifteen

by Peggy.

My name is Peggy [not her real name]. I am twenty years old and in my last year of studies in a technical college. I am the eldest in a family of many children. This has good and bad points, but most of them are fantastic.

Of course, I’ve had my rotten times. Doesn’t everybody? But the most important aspect of them is that God pulled me out of them. It’s the only reason I’m here, able to write this.

I realize how exceptionally lucky I am to have been raised within the true and profound love of my parents. And their faith is the inexhaustible source of their boundless love.

At first, as a child, I gobbled up everything my parents said as if it were the absolute truth. Then, as a teenager, I went wild.

I thought, "Why should I be home at nine o’clock every evening, and why should I go to Mass on Sunday? Why shouldn’t I wear tight jeans and take liquor and drugs?

The hell with it! I threw my parents’ advice out the window and lived my own life.

At home, things got so intense that I started yelling as soon as I put my foot inside. My brothers and sisters gave me a wide berth. I shut myself up in my room, put the music on loud and listened to no one.

At night, I’d slip out my bedroom window and go from bar to bar. My parents did not suspect I was doing this, but of course that lasted only for a time. One night, I returned home at 4 a.m. and found my window locked.

My parents were mad. They yelled at me and told me I had betrayed the trust they had put in me.

I now realize that lying is the worst thing you can do to your parents. And it is also the best way to leap blindly into a life of delinquency. Indeed, in this state you don’t feel responsible for your actions. You’re just avenging yourself against "parental tyranny" and trying to justify yourself.

And whenever you are hit with remorse and bitterness, you simply put them out of your mind with hard music and liquor. Or with drugs, sex, or any other anaesthetic.

Then I got pregnant.

That this should happen to me! It was impossible! Things like this only happened to other people.

I wasn’t going to keep it. I wasn’t going to be a mother at fifteen. Abortion was the way!

I was in deep panic, all shook up. During the first 4 ½ months, I went through hell. Only my boy friend and best girl friend knew about it. He generously offered to pay for the abortion. But then my beliefs began resurfacing.

I simply could not get myself to phone for an appointment. To kill a baby! I couldn’t do it.

And all that time I was getting bigger. I didn’t want to see the fellow who was the father anymore, and I entombed myself within myself.

I finally decided to give birth to this child. That meant, of course, that my secret wouldn’t stay hidden forever.

I had a minor infection which forced me to see a doctor, and I asked my mother to come with me. I hadn’t the courage to tell her anything, but I knew the time had come. This meant I’d be despised and kicked out of the house.

While I was having the pregnancy tests, the doctor broke the news to my mother. I knew she would kick me out… . . Then she entered the room and smiled at me!

My parents took the news with super-human forgiveness. I am sure that, if it were not for their faith, they would have kicked me out, because they were so strong about principles.

I was stuck in the house for the next four months, alone with my mother and the younger children. I studied at home and met with my teachers once a week.

Since we live in a small town, the news about the baby spread rapidly. I was judged and pointed at, and many of my friends dropped me. I had become the town whore—because I hadn’t used contraception.

During that time, my mother read her daily prayers aloud. What a maniac! Each morning, for a whole ten minutes!

Then, bit by bit, there came a time when her company became more agreeable. I began to keep her company for the prayers but remained silent. Then I began saying just the Alleluia at the end of the psalms. Finally, I recited all the prayers with her.

Little by little, I got back a taste for life and a taste for God. During my pregnancy, I discovered how important it is to live my faith. I had rejected God. I had wanted to be like everyone else, chasing after fun and short moments of what I thought was happiness. I had found myself alone with a bitter taste and profound dissatisfaction.

I realized that the life moving within me was really a baby and that I must respect it. Must she remain a lifelong victim of my error? No. My duty as a mother, I began to see, was clear.

At fifteen, I did not have what it takes to keep my child. That is when I drew strength from God’s infinite love, and I made the only decisions that fit my baby’s needs. I took the necessary steps to have her adopted.

On July 31st, Natalie was born after a hellish twelve hours. She was certainly the most beautiful and fantastic baby there ever was!

I met the couple who were to be her parents. I felt this meeting was essential for them to understand that I was not abandoning my child but that I was placing her in their care.

The couple had been waiting for ten years to adopt a baby girl, and they cried for joy and explained how much they wanted her and how much they would care for her. Every night, I place her in the care of Mary, our Mother, and ask her to watch over Natalie. I have never had a moment’s regret about the adoption.

I have also taken the necessary steps to assure that, when Natalie is eighteen, if she wants to know me, she will have no problem finding me.

I’ve learned a lot from this experience. For the last three years, I have lived a monotonous life. And sometimes I find this harder to live than what I went through.

I have evidence that God really exists and that he loves me. Yet I still often struggle with the Faith and its requirements. I find it hard to put my life on track, to see anything interesting in my work and any meaning in the stupid vexations we all keep bumping into. I do not now know what I want to do with my life. I sometimes feel I don’t know why I am alive.

In the meanwhile, I do as best as I can at college. If I have got to do something, I might as well do it well.

All I know is that the more I try to stay near God and the more I work to love him, the easier it will be for me to overcome any difficulties when the time comes for me to choose my way in life.

Excerpted and adapted from Nazareth: A Catholic Family Journal, Spring/Summer 1992 a magazine that, unfortunately, is no longer in existence.


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