What was your view of unplanned pregnancy before? 

Before I experienced an unplanned pregnancy, my view was that it doesn’t matter if a pregnancy is planned or unplanned, if you’ve made the decision to be sexually active then you have already agreed to the possibility of creating life. A foetus is a baby and a baby is a human being. If a pregnancy is unplanned and the child is unwanted, then I believe the only credible options are to either accept your new little one or make the loving decision to give your baby up for adoption.

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

Initial feelings were a mixture of excitement and fear. I wanted babies in the way most girls are looking forward to being a mummy at some stage. So, the fear had nothing to do with actually raising a child and everything to do with having to tell my parents.

How long did you wait before telling your family?

I waited two days. I needed them all together so I told them when we had dinner as a whole family.

Was your church community supportive? What could they have done better?

My case with church was unusual. At the beginning of the pregnancy I was going to a new, mega church and I didn’t know anyone and was only attending half the time. Then I was at His Hill Bible School for four months and there I had FULL support from the school and the church I was attending. When I came home in my third trimester, I started going to another new church and immediately joined a single parent’s class, which gave me the church support and love I needed during that time.

When did your feelings towards your pregnancy change? 

My feelings didn’t really change. I was obsessed with Gilmore Girls before I became pregnant and the idea of being a young, single mum sounded really fun to me. I have a somewhat unrealistic view of things. I am not the type of person who ever truly feels the weight and gravity of a situation.

Has your view of unplanned pregnancy changed at all?

My view of unplanned pregnancy has not changed. I have a better understanding of how girls and women feel in that situation, but I believe the world to be a messy place when an unplanned pregnancy happens due to pre-marital sex, I don’t think abortion is the answer.

What do you wish you had known before? And what would you say to a woman in a similar situation? 

I wish I had known how forgiving and loving my parents are. When teenagers mess up, they tend to say things like My parents would KILL me if they found out.” I would tell a woman in this situation that life has a way of working things out no matter how much we mess up. Hopeless situations are so often turned into beautiful stories to tell your children. Don’t try to do this on your own. Lean on the support and love of those around you. Community is so important to be surrounded with in all of life, not just in an unplanned pregnancy.

How important have your family and friends been as you have gone on this journey?

My family and friends have been crucial in this journey. My parents have fully supported me both financially and by helping me with babysitting regularly. Friends have given me moral support and have shown love towards me and my son. Having a married friend my age who was pregnant at the same time and whose baby is a similar age to mine has been a huge blessing.

*Olivia’s name has been changed for the purposes of sharing her story.