Being A Teen Mom In The Age of Teen Mom: Two Girls Tell Their Stories

A typical day for a college girl consists of going to class, hanging out with friends, maybe catching an episode of The Bachelorette and meeting up later with your boyfriend. But for college student Jessica Rhoads, every day is unpredictable, and in a much different way than debating whether to go out on a Tuesday night or what to wear on a date next week. Jessica is the mother of a 2-year-old son, Aidan, and she says, “Between my son’s needs and my reaction to them, it’s always different.”
When Jessica first found out she was pregnant, she said it didn’t feel real. “I imagined having a little boy, but it felt like a dream I would wake up from. I then imagined telling my parents and how hard that would be.” Luckily for Jessica, her family was supportive upon hearing the news, even offering to help support Jessica and Aidan while she stayed in school.
Regina Morin, who was 19 at the time, also received support from her family when she told them about her pregnancy, since her parents knew what it was like to raise a child at a young age. “My mom was very supportive. She was also 19 when she became pregnant with my brother. My dad wasn't thrilled, but he couldn't really scold me because he had 2 children by the time he was 20.”
Regina was a freshman at Bowling Green State University when she found out she was pregnant. She says she knew immediately she was going to keep her child, and was grateful for her family’s support. However, not every potential grandparent was excited upon hearing the news. Her boyfriend’s father seemed less willing to support the young couple than everyone else. “His father was not as supportive,” said Regina. “It took him a while to come around and ask how my pregnancy was coming along, but eventually he did.”
After nine months of doctor visits, baby books, and multiple baby showers, Regina’s son Caiden was born in April of 2011. Regina had some understandable birthing jitters. “The first thing that went through my mind when I found out I was pregnant was, ‘How the hell am I going to give birth?!’ she said.