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My name is Jessica and I was a teen mom........I was 14 years old when I met my son’s father. I was a freshman in high school and he was a senior. I was a member of the National Honor Society, achieved A’s and B’s, and concentrated on maintaining perfect attendance in school.

My parents did not talk to me about sex and I really didn’t give them a chance to. I was very mature for my age and focused on getting good grades rather than worrying about boys. My intentions were to wait until I got married, but plans changed. When I started dating my son’s father I kept it from my parents at first because I didn’t think they would approve of the age difference. He was a “sweet talker” and made me feel as though we would be together forever. I wasn’t physically, mentally, or emotionally ready to have sex but I was afraid if I didn’t he would leave me for someone who would. I lost my virginity and at the age of 14 and became pregnant. I was a child having a child.

I remember it as if it was yesterday, I was riding in the car with my mom and she asked me if I started my period yet. I didn’t keep track of my periods back then, I was only 14, but I learned that my mom did keep track and knew that I should have started my cycle. When I told her “No” she asked “Have you had sex with Mike?” I started to cry. She told me it would be ok, I hadn’t even thought that I would be pregnant.

My mom went to the store and bought the pregnancy test, brought it home and had me pee in a cup. They watched it as the symbol appeared. I was in complete shock, I had just lost my virginity and now I was pregnant. It felt like I was dreaming and couldn't wake up. Reality was that I was going to be a mom.  My parents were devastated but supportive. They assured me that they would help me with the baby so I could finish high school. I was looked down upon and talked about by many.

After being in labor for many hours, I gave birth to my son Kyle on 9-5-95. I had just turned 15 over the summer and was one week into my sophomore year. I missed a couple weeks of school but kept up on my homework. Thankfully, my mom was able to stay home with Kyle when I returned to school. It was very hard to leave him but I had to get my education.  I didn't "hang out" with my friends or go to parties. I went to school and came home to my son. My mom and dad supported me financially as much as they could. I was fortunate to get involved with the WIC program which helped tremendously. As soon as I turned 16 I got a job in the nursery at a bowling alley so I could take Kyle with me.

Attending school, working, and being a mom wasn't easy but I was determined to finish high school and take on my own responsibilities. Not only did I have to prepare for my own future but for my little one's future as well. Kyle's father and I broke up during my junior year in high school. I continued to focus on my schooling and being the best mom I could be.  In 1998 I graduated from high school with honors. I started a full-time job and moved out on my own. My parents continued to be supportive. Kyle's father has also been involved in his life, and through the years we have focused on getting along for Kyle's sake. We have pretty much grown up together and become the best of friends.

I am currently 30 years old and my son is 15. He is now the age that I was when I had him. I have always kept communication open with him and assured him he could talk about anything with me. He has experienced seeing the struggles of what a teen mom goes through and he understands the importance of respect for himself and others. I am very proud of the young man that he has become. He has a 3.8 grade point average, has been awarded a two-year scholarship to JCC, has just received his driver's permit, is involved in our church and now wants to look for a job. I want him to be successful and achieve his own personal goals.  The message that I would like to get across to teens about sex is that it can wait. Respect yourself and your body!