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Being a teen mum: Amber and Chloé’s story

Amber and Chloé, from Teen Mom UK, talk about their pregnancy experiences and how they felt when they first found out they were pregnant.

How old were you when you found out you were pregnant?

Chloé: I think I was 16 when I found out, maybe 17, I can’t remember now! No, I was definitely 17 when I found out!

Amber: I was 16 when I found out I was pregnant but it was literally the day before my 17th birthday.

How did you feel when you found out you were pregnant?

Chloé: I was really scared. I didn’t want to have a baby at this age. It wasn’t something that me and my partner Jordan had planned so I think it was just a real shock to the system. I was thinking I’m gonna leave school and have no responsibilities and I can do what I want and then bang it hits you and you’re like “Okay now I’ve got the biggest responsibility of my life.” It just all hit me so fast.

Amber: I was scared.

I just kept thinking about the future because obviously it’s a massive commitment and it’s definitely not something you can say yes now but then in two months you can change your mind.

I was working and I was at college at the time, and I was having a bit of a rough patch with the child’s dad, Ste, so I had all these thoughts going through my head.

How did you tell your family / partner / friends?

Chloé: Well my mum found out straight away because the day I found out I was with her.

I was on the pill at the time, but I’d noticed I was putting on weight even though I used to go jogging every night (I was a real jogging fanatic!) Also, I never had a period anyway so I never thought anything of missing one.

When I told my mum she was like “Oh what if you’re pregnant” as a joke, but then she realised and was like, “Seriously, what if you’re pregnant?” I thought there was no way but she went and bought 10 pregnancy tests from the pharmacy and they were all positive.

Next, I rang one of my friends and told her first because I knew she’d had a scare before. I was like “Oh my gosh, I don’t know what I’m doing, how is this even possible.” Then I told Jordan. I think I text him actually I don’t think I rang him I just text him like “Okay, erm I think I’m pregnant” and he was just like “Okay. Speak later.” We decided not to talk straight away because it was too much to take in.

Then my mum suggested I go and stay at Jordan’s for a few days so she could tell my dad. When she told him he threw some pillows round the room and muttered under his breath but then when I came home he was really really nice about it all. He sat me down and said it was my decision and he would always support me.

He said “It’s obviously not the path we would have chosen because you’re 17 years old but we’re going to stand by you whatever.”

Amber: The first person I told was my best friend because I trust her with everything and she always gives me good advice. I was at Ste’s flat at the time and I put the positive pregnancy test next to the kettle (I love brews!) and straight away she asked if I wanted a brew so then went to the kettle to make me one. That’s when she saw it and picked it up and she was like “What is this?” At first I laughed a bit, like a nervous laugh and she sat down and said you need to have a serious think about this.

The day after that was my birthday and I’d planned to go to the pleasure beach (Blackpool) and every ride I went on I had to go up to the ride operator and explain I’d just found out I was pregnant and check I was OK to go on the ride. I think because I was having a really fun day, and because the news was so new, I don’t want this to sound bad but I was distracted from the news I’d had the day before. I still hadn’t told Ste by this point but I was with him on my birthday and we went on the bumper cars together. We were messing about and he bumped right into me.

Everything was fine but when I got off it I just started crying and I couldn’t stop. Then I got angry and was like “How could you do that” and obviously Ste didn’t know what I was on about. So he was asking what he had done wrong and I just said “Ste, look, I’m pregnant.” He felt so bad. And then he was crying with joy, until I dropped the bombshell that didn’t know what I was going to do. Then he started crying and saying “How could you do this to me, you can’t get rid of my baby,” but I told him this was a decision for both of us.

The next day I spoke to my mum. We were at home playing with a puppy that day and my dad was there too. We were all having a laugh so I thought in a way it could be good timing while everyone is happy. When I stood up and asked to speak to them both my mum just stared at me. Then she raised an eyebrow and said “I think I know what you’re going to say,” then she asked if it began with P? So I said yes and then she literally just started spelling it out and when I said yes I thought “So far so good no one has fallen to the floor yet!”

But after I said it she just got up and walked out of the room. I don’t know what she did and I don’t know where she went, but she didn’t speak to me for the whole night. My dad didn’t say much either so I didn’t feel great and I sat there on my own in my bedroom crying my eyes out. All I knew is that I’d never want to go through an abortion.

The next morning my mum came and woke me up and said we needed to talk. So we chatted and the conversation got easier and she started telling me about when I was a kid. Then she told me that she thought I was mature for my age and she said if you’re old enough to have sex you’re old enough to make this decision for yourself.

She said she’ll always stand by me and support me and ever since she’s been really, really helpful, especially while I was working and at college.

Lots of mums might have given these things up but I managed to finish college with really good grades and everything’s worked out perfectly since.

Amber from teen mom holding her son Brooklyn
Amber and Brooklyn

Do you have any advice for a young person telling their friends, parents / partner?

Chloé: I would say break the news to the parent you get on with the best. I would always have told my mum first because we’re really close whereas my dad is more strict. If I told my dad myself he’d be throwing the pillows at me not around the room!

Amber: I would say try to be calm. When I did it I made sure everyone was in a good mood and make sure you’re in the right place – don’t just blurt it out in the middle of a supermarket or something! I would also say it’s good to take the time to process it yourself if you need to, before you tell people.

Did you receive any support from any organisations etc?

Chloé: I had a family nurse that was offered to me, it’s for anyone under 21. It was alright. This was during the pregnancy and it was available up to 2 years but I stopped because I didn’t need it any more. Me and Jordan changed the baby’s first nappy together and Jordan was like “Shall we get the midwife” and I was like “No, we should do this, if it goes completely wrong and we put it on back to front then we’ll learn from our mistakes!”

I think it’s harder for young people because you feel anxious that you’re going to get judged so you weigh up whether asking questions is worth the feeling of being judged. The nurse was lovely but in the back of my mind I did always wonder if she was judging me, thinking “Does she know what she’s doing?”

Is that something you’ve experienced a lot?

Chloé: I haven’t experienced it much. I’ve felt really supported actually and just like a normal new mum. I bumped into one of my friends’ parents in the supermarket and I remember thinking “I bet they’re thinking oh my goodness I’m glad that’s not my child” but they were so nice.

Amber: I think you just get paranoid and think you’re being judged even when you’re not because you’re a young mum. I remember one time out shopping with Brooklyn and I had a cute little pram for him and I enjoyed putting him in his best clothes and I felt good, I felt confident and then when I walked around, I saw an older mum and she’s walking round with her pram and you cross paths and then you feel her looking at you and you feel like she’s looking at you because you’re younger.

But I’m over all that now. I’m trying to be confident and I think a good thing for us is that most teenagers now look older than they are so that gives me a bit of confidence.

Chloé: I think because of the stereotype of a young mum we just presume that people are going to judge us and think “Oh she just sits on her bum all day” or “She can’t look after that baby.” All these stories you hear about what people say makes us young mums feel paranoid but we’re just trying to be the best possible parents and mums that we can be, like 40 year old mums, like a 20 year old mum, like anyone.

If you could give any advice to other teen mums what would you say?

Amber: Patience is such an important thing. Try your best and take each day as a new day. It’s not just the child that’s learning, you are too, so staying calm and having patience is key.

Chloé: Cherish every day. Learn from the bad days and think about what you can do next time to improve. And don’t give up easily. You may not have had any sleep but you can do it. It’s very easy to wake up and think “What have I done wrong” but just remember that you’re doing a good job and don’t put yourself down.


    Other Stuff you might find useful…

    Accessing Abortion Services
    Making a decision about a pregnancy
    Real Stories
    Abortion: Helen’s Story
    Having great sex (safely!)
    Having a baby
    Abortion: advice for men
    Am I pregnant?
    How do I use a condom?
    Deciding to have sex


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