gURL exclusive: interview with ’16 & pregnant’s’ emily

This week on 16 & Pregnant? Teen mom Emily, who’s married to her baby’s daddy but unluckily, had to miss out on her senior year of high school when she got pregnant with baby Liam. Emily answered all our questions — Was abortion ever an option? What’s the biggest thing you miss about being a regular teen?  — and told us why teen pregnancy is a “tragedy.” Read on!

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What made you want to go onto the show?
My mom had just found out that I was pregnant, and just by her reaction, I knew my choice to keep the baby would be a hard one.I wanted to go on the show so I could show other girls that having sex, and risking getting pregnant isn’t worth losing your opportunity to go to high school, pursue your dreams, disappointing your family, and just being judged as a bad person for getting pregnant so young.

When you found out you were pregnant, did you ever consider abortion or adoption? Why or why not?
Daniel and I knew how mad our families would be when they found out, so for the first week or two we considered abortion. As I thought about it though, and looked up the different procedures, I just decided that it wasn’t right for me. Even though I didn’t want it, I was going to go along with what Daniel wanted because I loved him and I wanted him to stay with me. I’m not sure what changed his mind, but in the end we decided to keep the baby. Adoption was never an option because I felt that if I went through everything I knew I was going to go through to have the child, I at least wanted to raise him.

You’re lucky that your baby daddy is supportive, but do you think all teenage dads are like that?
I think it depends on the guy. Most are jackasses from what I’ve seen on TV and in real life. I think our season of 16 & Pregnant shows something that viewers haven’t seen yet because almost every dad is in the picture and helping. Having a baby as a teenager is a tragedy, I feel. Putting a teenage guy in that situation can be scary. At the same time though, they should be responsible for their actions and step up. I think if the dad steps up and is supportive of the mother and the baby, he’s a keeper, because it’s not easy.

What’s the biggest struggle with balancing motherhood and being a teen?
There are many! But the biggest for me would have to be getting on Facebook every day and seeing all of my friends involved in their senior year and all of the things I missed out on. Motherhood definitely is a bigger priority than being a teen, but I still wish I could have the fun most people my age have. Even if I have a night off, there’s still the fact that I have a baby in the back of my mind. I worry about him and miss him when I’m out. Finding out you’re pregnant and choosing to keep the baby, you automatically give up your right to being a teen, period. There’s really no trying to balance it.

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Are you in school now?
I graduated high school early, which was nice. I am starting college this January, 2011.

Do you think it’ll be hard going back to school after having a baby?
Having all the homework and taking care of Liam, on top of having a job, will be tough. I am determined to do it though, and prove anyone wrong who told me it wouldn’t be possible. Going to public school when I was pregnant really wasn’t as bad as I had thought it was going to be. Every friend I made was supportive. Kids from my old school judged more, but I expected that. I think I’ve come along way (more than others), becoming a mother and making things right, so people really don’t make mean comments. The few that I have heard, I just brush off. I’m a mom, and I don’t have time for the drama that girls bring to the table.

Can you tell us your thoughts on sex-ed? Do you think it’s partly to blame for teen pregnancies?
Not at all. Sex Ed is to prevent sex, or at least teach you about safe sex. Anyone who takes that class and learns about STD’s, unwanted pregnancies, and the emotional hurt from sex and still wants to have it unsafely is just dumb. I think the best way to prevent unwanted pregnancies is to be open about sex and teach protection.

What would you tell a teenager that wants to be a teen mom?
I would ask them, “why!?” No one should wish that upon themselves; the father of the child, their families, and their baby. The teen especially should realize what they would be giving up and see if it’s really worth it. Babies are cute and all, but they are also work, stress, and yours; you can’t give them back at the end of the day!

Do you think Emily having her baby daddy around is the exception or the rule? Will you be tuning in to Emily’s story tonight?  Share your thoughts below, gURLs!

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