“We met through mutual friends and fell in love fast. Jake went to a different high school, but was friends with almost everyone at my school. We did everything together. He was 20 minutes away and I would wait at my school for him to come pick me up so we could spend the rest of the day together. Some days we’d skip school because we just wanted to be together. Other days we would wait until his parents left for work and go back to his house. We’d lay in his bed and talk for hours. We talked about the future. How we hadn’t known each other long but still felt a strong connection.
He said ‘I love you’ first. I knew he meant it because I felt the same way. We continued to spend more time together and grew even closer.
Let’s skip ahead a few months.
One evening we were in his basement talking and I mentioned how I noticed earlier my boobs were sensitive and I was crying about everything. I mentioned to him, ‘It could mean I’m pregnant.’ We honestly didn’t think it could happen to us. Before he took me home, we stopped by Kroger and got a test. To be honest, it had been a few months of being careless and nothing had happened, so it became a continuous habit of not being careful… stupid, I know!
It was getting closer to my curfew so we headed to my house but stopped at the store. I went in and bought the test, took it, and ran back out to the car. There was a plus sign. Faint, but it was there. We just sat in the car for a while, not knowing what to do. We agreed I would take the second one in the morning like the box said to do for best results.
The next morning, I took the second test before school and it was the same. Positive. We decided we should know for sure before telling our parents. I’d go to the nurse and ask for information on somewhere I could go to find out my options. We were clueless, and I didn’t know what to do. In our minds this was our next step.
He was at his school 20 minutes away. I was so scared. As I was about to go to the nurse, I remembered I knew someone in the school who was pregnant. I told her what was going on and showed her the test in the bathroom. I wanted her to go with me but not make it obvious. She went to the nurse before me saying she was feeling sick and I went in a little after saying, ‘I have a headache.’ I sat on the bed behind the curtain trying to come up with the courage to go to the nurse and say the words, ‘I need help, I think I’m pregnant.’ The nurse left the room for a minute and my friend said, ‘Just go up to her when she comes back in and ask!’ I knew I had to do something and couldn’t put it off.
The nurse walked into the room and asked me how I was feeling. I got my stuff and walked to her desk. I said, ‘Do you have any brochures or anything for like Planned Parenthood?’ She stopped immediately what she was doing and looked at me. ‘Is it for you?’ I started crying and she asked if I was pregnant and I told her about the test. She then proceeded to tell me the ‘school policy.’ I had 24 hours to tell my parents or she would. She said, ‘I can ￼call your mom now and you can tell her on speaker or you can tell her this evening and have her call me.’ I was so confused why she was pressuring me. I was 17 and scared.
I told her to just call my mom. She dialed my mom’s number on speaker. ‘Hi Diane, this is the nurse at your daughter’s school. Katherine has something to tell you.’ Seriously lady? I got on the phone and my mom said, ‘What is she talking about? What is going on?’ I played dumb. ‘I don’t know.’
She said, ‘Are you okay?’ ‘Yes.’ Then she continued, ‘Tell me what’s going on right now!’ I repeated, ‘I don’t know.’ Then she got quiet and said, ‘Are you pregnant?’ To this day I remember my response, ‘Probably,’ in a smart ass tone. She gasped, ‘Oh my gosh, Katherine!’
Here’s the thing. At the time my grandfather, and my mom’s dad, was a pastor of a Baptist church in North Carolina. My parents had NO idea I was sexually active. We went to church every Sunday, grew up in a Christian home, were raised knowing right from wrong, and to save sex for marriage. This was a HUGE shock for them.
My mom immediately left work, came and got me and took me straight to my pediatrician. Yes, we saw my pediatrician to see if I was pregnant. In the car, she was on the phone with my dad and also talking to me. In my 17-year-old mind I wanted to text Jake and tell him I let my parents know, but I was scared to get my phone out of my purse because I didn’t want my mom to take my phone away. Little did I know, after getting pregnant at 17 there were bigger things to worry about than my phone being taken as a punishment.
Luckily, my mom said, ‘You better make sure Jake is at this appointment as it takes two to tango.’ Jake called his dad and he met him at his school. His dad didn’t take it well at all. They talked in the school parking lot in his truck. After, Jake met me at my appointment.
Later that evening, the doctor called my mom with the results. I was pregnant. I was going to be a teen mom in high school. I never thought after watching all those episodes of ’16 & pregnant’ and’ Teen Mom’ it would happen to me. But there I was, 17, junior year in high school, finding out I was pregnant. I called Jake and told him. He told his mom the news and she took it even worse than his dad. He luckily was 18 so he didn’t have to stay in their home if he didn’t want to. Jake and I never once questioned or thought about what we were going to do with the pregnancy other than keep it. We were pregnant. That was it. God gave this baby to us. I was going to carry it to term and we were going to raise him or her.
One night my parents came to me and told me if Jake and I had plans to marry and raise the baby together, we could live in their finished basement until we could afford our own place. They told me they would help us so we could save. Jake and I talked and decided it’s what we would do. It’s what was best. His parents were not supportive of us, but again, he was 18. He wanted to be with me and the baby so the best option was to live in my parents’ basement as a family for free.