I had just applied to do nursing at university and had recently found out I had got a place at Manchester University.
It was also at this time that I started seeing Steve, who worked at the nightclub too and was a few years older than me. I was a typical 18-year-old who enjoyed going out, being care free and looking forward to starting university.
In January 2010, I had not long turned 19 and I had been with Steve for a few months. It was also the month I found out I was pregnant. My period was late, but this could be quite normal for me but I decided to take a test just in case, there it was, ‘pregnant 3-4 weeks’.
To say I was shocked was an understatement.
I was also completely terrified. Terrified about what my mum and dad would say, terrified about what Steve would say and terrified because I was so young. My future felt so uncertain all of a sudden.
Telling my mum was awful. She cried and could barely speak. I’d always done well at school and at college and there was an expectation that I would go to university.
Obviously, this wasn’t going to happen now. She asked me if I’d thought about having a termination, but I told her it was something that I just couldn’t do.
I told Steve that evening and although he was shocked, he vowed to stand by me. My dad was heartbroken, he didn’t speak to me for a while.
I stayed at college whilst I was pregnant and although I wouldn’t be going to university that year, I was determined to do well. Steve and I moved in together too.
Physically I felt well, but mentally things were a struggle. I was scared about how I’d cope being a parent and I’d had to sell my car because I couldn’t afford it anymore.
I felt really alone. Some friends stopped bothering with me and it was difficult watching everyone carry on being normal teenagers whilst my whole world had changed.
In June 2010, we found out we were having a boy and we were absolutely over the moon. The shock of being pregnant was replaced with being excited, and now our families had got used to the idea, they were excited too. It was lovely buying baby clothes and discussing what names we liked.
October 23rd 2010, I was 40 weeks and 2 days pregnant when I went into labour. Following an uncomplicated pregnancy and labour our beautiful boy Antony was born.
The feeling of love when he was placed on my chest is something I’ll never forget.
He weighed 8lb 8ozs and everyone was in love with him. I remember when we brought him home we would just stare at him for hours, we couldn’t believe we’d made something so perfect.
Whilst being pregnant I carried on studying and got really interested in midwifery, I felt I could really see myself being a midwife. I decided to apply for midwifery at university.
Antony was only a couple of months old when I went for my interview. I couldn’t believe it when a couple of weeks later I had an email saying I had been successful!
I was so pleased, but a bit nervous about going to university when Antony was so little. So, I decided to defer a year so he would be a little bit older.
I started university in 2012 and it was tough. I worked long hours, childcare was really expensive and things between me and Steve weren’t great. He was working really hard to support and provide for us and felt like he was under a lot of pressure. Antony was teething too, which meant none of us were getting much sleep.
I didn’t realise at the time, but I was also suffering from postnatal depression. I would cry a lot and feel really down and uninterested in doing things.
I went to see the GP and she started me on antidepressants. Thankfully, we had a lot of support from our families and they helped us get through this tough time.
About 6 months after starting university, I found out I was pregnant again.
We were really happy and were looking forward to having a sibling for Antony. Our families were a bit worried about how I’d cope with 2 young children whilst being at university, but I was determined and knew I could do it.
I carried on at university and went on maternity leave in April 2013. That July, our little boy Lewis was born at the hospital I worked at. I had a beautiful water birth, which was a lovely experience.
In the December, when he was 4 months old, I went back to university. It was difficult but with support from Steve, our family and university we got through it. I finally finished my course in August this year (I had to have time off due to being poorly) and I started working full-time as a midwife in September.
Steve and I got married in April 2015 and it was really special having our boys there to celebrate with us.
We bought our first house last year which was a big achievement. Antony is 7 now and Lewis is 4 and they’re both at school.
Antony has been diagnosed with ADHD but with medication, he’s doing really well at school. Lewis is very bright, but also very cheeky!
My message to you is never give up. Things have been really hard and quite a rollercoaster, but don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something.
Being a young parent makes you resilient, so follow your dreams. My family are my whole world and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Read more from other young parents like Emily:
- Being a young student mum hasn’t been easy, but I survived, by Charlotte
- My simple piece of advice of advice for young mums, by Harriet
- How my midwife impacted my pregnancy, by Sophie