The Facts... without the Lecture

Leanne’s Story

I was only gone 17 two weeks when I found out I was 5 weeks pregnant. I went to the doctors to get the bar in my arm and the doc said because I was a week late she had to do a test. I wasn’t worried at all; I just thought I was late over exam stress. I’ll never forget hearing Leanne you’re pregnant like an echo and just going numb and starting to cry, shake and panic. I’d only had a boyfriend for six months. We were just stupid and didn’t use contraception. I never had proper information about contraception and no talks at home.  I never felt so scared in all my life.  I thought it was a dream and just had a pain in the pit of my stomach for about a week.

Telling the Ma and Da wasn’t too bad because they thought I was joking. When they realised I wasn’t, I was made feel bad about it and told I’d have to leave school and work to support us. Other than thinking what if I die, my main worries were how would I live? What would I survive on? What if I get kicked out?

I wanted to keep my baby, I knew I didn’t want an abortion no matter what I had to face. Thankfully my school got me involved with the Teen Parent Support Programme in Doras Buί who gave me all the information I needed and just made me feel at ease about everything. I always wanted to be a young Ma but definitely not that young. I don’t think I would have got pregnant if there was more information out there. I had a rough pregnancy with pre-eclampsia and an emergency section 5 weeks early. But when my tiny 3 pound 8 ounce baby finally arrived when I was 17, I fell so in love with him I’d face the world to have a life with him and provide for him. I went back to school after 4 weeks, completed my leaving cert and a course and now am a working Ma to a healthy six year old. Thinking back to the sleepless nights up until he was 2, his colic and reflux and then up early for school, makes me wonder how I ever did it.

I am proud of myself. Being a young Ma on your own with little help is tough especially with my boy going through tests for ADHD, he can be a handful. Dealing with a dad you don’t get along with makes the situation a million times more difficult. Looking back it is a scary struggle and I’m in no rush for more kids but I wouldn’t change having him for the world and he’s the best little thing in my life.