By Blanca Erazo, 16, City of Angels HS
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We had been seeing each other for two years when I started feeling sick. I thought I was anemic, but the doctor said I was pregnant! I was shocked even though I shouldn’t have been because my boyfriend and I never used any contraceptive methods. Sometimes I thought about asking him to buy me something or wear a condom but I felt ashamed to bring it up.
That night I couldn’t sleep. I thought about everything—my family, school, my boyfriend, the baby and of course I thought about me. What would I do? How would things be for me?
Having the baby—we named her Kaylen—was tough. I was in labor at the hospital for 13 hours and 36 minutes (I was counting!).

But having the baby was nothing compared to raising her. People love to hold her and hug her when she’s happy but when she cries, okay, back with mommy. My mother, sister and boyfriend are there to help, but they have to work, so mostly it’s me taking care of her.

From the day she was born there hasn’t been a single night I can get all the sleep I want. I haven’t gone to the movies or the gym. When I go out, people look at me like I’m a criminal or something because I’m a teen mother. I don’t regret my daughter, I love her but it’s hard for me to give up having fun and being independent (and sleeping!).

The relationship between my boyfriend and me has changed a lot. My boyfriend has to work harder. He comes over once or twice a week but usually I’m all by myself, with no one to help me out with the baby at night. I miss my boyfriend. Even when he does come over, I can’t even talk to him because I have to feed the baby or she wants to play. All I can say is it’s hard raising a child if you are not ready.