Blog provided by young parent from Villa Rosa.

I’m currently 17 and 30 weeks pregnant, and I want to share what has happened to me since I found out I was expecting and what I decided would be the best for me and my new little family.

I struggled a lot in the beginning with whether or not I was going to follow through with my pregnancy, because I was so young, and where my mental health had been for the previous year. A few of my thoughts were: was I even stable or mature enough to be able to care for a baby? Would my boyfriend stick by my side with what I decided to do? If I have a baby right now would I be able to still do school and graduate? I had a lot on my mind and not very much time to decide what I was going to do.

 I ended up talking to my mom first as she was the one who was with me when I found out and she was a teen mom as well. We decided that I should go to this pregnancy center in Portage La Prairie and I would explore my options and take things one step at a time. Going there I realized I didn’t want to end my pregnancy but I was still unsure for the first little bit if I was going to keep it.

I talked to my boyfriend about it after I realized I was going to continue my pregnancy. When I told him I was really surprised about how excited and happy he was, until I told him that I wasn’t sure if I wanted to keep it or find the baby a loving home.

After a few long weeks of talking it through and a couple disagreements we came to the decision that we both wanted to keep it but where we were as people couldn’t stay the same. We had to grow and learn how to handle our emotions better, grow as people and do better for ourselves, and find out a way to be more prepared for this baby.

Right away he found a job and started working. It was a little hard on me because I was extremely sick my first trimester and couldn’t help him save up money right away. So I started slowly looking into different ways to learn how to be the best parents we could be. I started out by continuing going to the pregnancy center in Portage as much as I was able to. They introduced me to different things they have available for people who were in the same position we were in. We started doing everything they suggested, watching online videos, reading, and asking other people around us. As we were doing everything he was gaining more confidence and I was slowly losing mine.

After more talking to my mom she suggested I look into this place my aunt had gone to called Villa Rosa. I looked into it and thought about it for a week or two then talked to my boyfriend. I waited so long because I knew what his reaction would be when I told him I wanted to move to Winnipeg to be able to go. After I finally talked to him we argued a bit and he didn’t want me to go but he understood why I wanted to go and that it would be helpful. So I connected with Villa Rosa and got a walk through set up. I was so nervous after the walk through just because it was exactly what I needed, but I secretly wanted it not to work out so I didn’t have to move. A month later I moved into my room. I love it so much but missed my boyfriend and home. Everyone was so friendly and nice and there were so many babies!

After the first week people finally started letting me watch their babies when they went outside or needed to take an important call. I was so excited! After that week each time someone asked me to watch their baby I would have the biggest smile and each time I got to watch them, my confidence grew like crazy. I knew being a mom would still be hard but I knew I wanted my baby and I would do my absolute best to give him as much love as I could.

Being at Villa Rosa helped me so much more than I could have imagined even though I wasn’t there for very long. Their programs and just the environment of being able to watch these moms and how they cared for their babies helped me learn new things for when i have mine, and i’m so thankful for the time i had there.

I ended up leaving Villa Rosa because I wanted to still focus on school as much as I could and I wasn’t able to do enough there. So I went back home and continued going to the pregnancy center in Portage and I am now doing self paced courses at home as well as working part time in serving, and in January i will be attending school in portage to continue my goal to graduate!

Some of the best advice I ever got was: to do whatever I think is best for me and the little human growing inside of me even if others don’t agree, because at the end of the day this is my life and decision and I will choose the best thing for myself and this little guy no matter what happens. And whatever I chose to do I had support and people around me who loved me every step of the way.