Take a look at the photograph. That’s a Catholic high school girl who was taught abstinence. Her boyfriend of two years was taught the same.

That’s me at 18.

Behind that chair, under that gown was my secret. My son.

I chose to keep him. Other pregnant teenagers at my school (who had also been taught abstinence) chose to take care of their “situation.” That’s okay, that was their choice, they had to live with it just as I had to live with mine.

I knew people in town would judge me, treat me like I was the town whore. Some did actually point, stare, or sneer. The receptionist at the ob/gyn office rudely asked me, “You married?” every single time I went in for an appointment. As if a wedding ring would put a halo back on my head.

I was not the town whore. Blane and I had been dating for two years. We had a plan. Wait until we were married. Go to college first, then get hitched and roll in the hay.

That is a long period of abstinence. But we were strong. We could beat nature.

That is why we were not prepared when nature beat us.

We did get married after Blane Jr. was born. We both finished college. We are still married. Our only scandal was this one, the pregnant teenager thing.

Don’t blame my mom for that scandal.

(That is my mom hiding a rip in her dress. She was told by her mother not to mess up that dress because they were taking school photos that day. )

She taught me what she had been taught by her parents and the church. Ignorance. Poor woman. But hey, she also taught loyalty and fidelity and tolerance. So let’s give her some cred here.

I guess this Jamie Spears thing has me spitting nails. People bad mouthing her, her mother, and I doubt anyone who says all these things actually know them.

I’m not angry about it because I was a pregnant teenager and got treated so harshly.

I am angry because of what happened to another girl from my high school around the same time as my ordeal. Here is how she dealt with her situation: She went into a field and blew her brains out.

So stop it now people. Instead of criticizing and calling these girls and their moms “trailer park trash” take a walk in their shoes. Maybe you’ll think of some kind of way to be helpful. Spears may do just fine. She works, is ambitious, is sacrificing a promising career for her choice to keep her baby – and- she probably pays more in taxes than you earn in the entire year.

I teach my kids abstinence, safe sex, and birth control. From there, they can fight nature with an informed mind.


37 thoughts on “Abstinence

  1. Great post. I love the photo of your mom! Her dress is exactly like the dresses in my childhood photos; we must be the same age (60+). I too was a teenage mother. Got married to a man I hardly knew, got divorced six years later. When will this country grow up and get real about teenagers, hormones, and sex?

  2. I’m so glad you had the strenght to follow your heart and kept your baby against the dissaproval of the townspeople, because you were in the right. I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been, but I do think I’d done the same. Not because I’m anywhere near as strong as you, but because I couldn’t have killed my baby. Thankfully I never had to face the choise, and didn’t have Klaus until I was 28, but I did practice a lot more than you before I had him. Both pictures are great!!!!!

  3. I gree with your post, I like it. But then i don’t just look at the fact that she’s earning more than i am, that doesnt make her more credible than i or anyone else. I look at the way thes people treat the he media and the public, they way they always have to end up putting their foot in their mouth. Jamie markets herself as a squeaky clean teen, earlier the rumour wa released, and her publicistt released a rather condesending reply to it; te paper was wrong for releasing it, but don’t go on like you or whoever you work with is better than other people because you met your 19 year old boyfriend in church and hae a ‘visibly’ squeaky clean track record.
    I’m proud that she decided to keep her child, i respect that. I don’t however respect that such a private or should be private matter was sold to the tabloids. Or that her mother thought she could write a book on parenting. Because it implies that she-they- know somethng we ordinary people don’t. And clearly, that just isn’t true.

    there are just more sides to the story all the time. More than one ways to view the glass.
    Again, great post, though.

  4. Marcys, that is why we did not get married until our son was six weeks old. We had to make sure. Yes, my mom is in her 60’s. People do need to get real about teaching the young only abstinence. It sets kids up for teen pregnancy.

    Finicky, I don’t know what sort of parent Britney is, I don’t know what is going on in her life other than what tabloids show. I have not spent a single day in that girl’s life. But you are right, people shouldn’t assume anything about Jamie because of her sister.

    Liv, people weren’t rude because I kept the baby (they were also against abortion). They were rude because I was preggers and unmarried. Thanks about the photos.

  5. No Rushel, it doesn’t make her more credible, but it means she doesn’t live in a trailer park and she won’t be on public assistance.
    Thanks for your comment.

  6. I agree with fmfulplease.
    Why is it always the girls that get attacked?
    I don’t hear anyone criticizing the men/boys that father these children.

    Accidents happen and sometimes, they turn into miracles.
    I’m sure you feel that way about your son everyday.

    Or every other day. 🙂 Children can be hard to love sometimes.

  7. Abstinence is the worst thing parents can teach their children. As a person who is from Europe but who had lived in the States for quite a while and who is well informed, being a journalist, I must say:

    Many couples who wait to have sex after they get married experience partnership problems. You MUST know how your sex life will work BEFORE you get married. It is a part of human nature. The worst thing are parents who tell their children that sex and related things, like nudity or masturbation, are unhealthy, against God’s will and whatever… Read {this “read” does not address the author of the blog} Freud and other experts and you will learn that you have to be comfortable with your sexuality from the earliest days and if this natural development is interrupted by an uptight parent there we have kids with psychological problems….

  8. There are many things I love(d) about living in the States (NEW ENGLAND!!!!!!!!!) but this conservative thinking as desribed in the previous comments (an unmarried girl who is pregnant is “a town whore”)….??? Kitty, you should have yelled at all the peope to mind their f***** business. It is your life. :)) You have the right to remain silent, you have the right to vote, you have the right to bear arms, why shouldn’t you have the right to have kids before you get married????

  9. I no longer believe there is anything wrong with premarital sex. Unless the kid is too young (mine are right now, so I tell them to hold off until they are older).
    They also know all about condoms and birth control.

    Great comment Petr, thanks.

  10. This was 25 years ago, Petr, things are better now over there. Not everyone treated me like crap. But way too many did. And like I wrote, one girl killed herself rather than tell her parents about it.

    From time to time when people know I have a kid that age they look shocked, say I’m not old enough to have a son that age.
    Lots of them assume it is not Blane’s child, too (even though his name is also Blane, duh). That we got married ten years ago and I had a child from a previous marriage. They can’t imagine that someone had a child so young and is married to the same person all this time.

  11. Do you know what’ s worse?
    Being unable to have a child.
    Standing on the outside and watching your family and friends get to take part in this great experience.
    That’ worse.
    That’s a Soul Cruncher.
    As to The Spears family? – I think there are more families like that then not, that’ what I think-and if one decides to cast a few stone I’d say it would do one well to remember it’s a long ways off the high horse should someday one take a fall off of it.

  12. Beautiful pictures Kitty.

    You made the right decision to keep that baby, and to marry Blane. And stood strong against criticism at that young age – I am proud of you. Not sure I would have been so strong.

    I think every sitch regarding teenage pregnancy is different, and who am I or anyone else to judge anyone? I do wish though that some teenagers were more informed about birth control, and more importantly, STDs.

  13. Nice post, Kitty. I thank my birth mother every day for giving birth to me and letting my parents adopt me. Still, while I don’t know Lynn Spears from George W Bush, I believe money and greed got the best of her – resulting in not one, but two clueless daughters seeking attention in any way they can get it.

  14. Anita, it was a lot harder to have our second child. There is an 8 year gap between Blane and Sweetpea.

    Michele, both of our families were supportive, that made a lot of difference. I knew other girls whose families were not and they did not do so well.

    Daily, It’s good you feel your birth mother made the right decision.

  15. I was also a teen mother, and kept my son. I wouldn’t change it for the world (he is also the best behaved of my three children). Even when he was born in the mid 1990’s I was treated horrible for being a pregnant teen, but I think it made me tougher and more determined to be a good parent.

    Ironically I was born to a teen mother as well, but raised by adoptive parents (would rather have been raised by the teen mom).

  16. I was a young unwed mother too. I too married my daughter’s father after she was born. we were together for five years. I wish that I had chosen more wisely who my partner would be but I never regretted keeping Ani, even though I had at least a dozen family members and friends tell me the best thing to do would be to not keep her.

    also, you were beautiful.

  17. Powerful post, thank you. You made the right decision and should be applauded. We have a horrible culture that denigrates and disrespects people for living their lives – especially when it does not conform with other’s perfect model. You made a child, that is beautiful. Thank you for doing this and letting everyone know.

  18. You look just the same Kitty! When I first saw the photo I thought you must have just graduated from something. You were and are beautiful.

    But, oh, your Mom’s photo steals my heart.

    Here in California, there isn’t that much of a stigma for unwed moms but there is a bit of one for pregnant teens. I was the baby of a pregnant teenager who chose to marry and have me. My parents are still together and closing in rapidly on their 50th anniversary!

  19. Kitty, you & your mother are beautiful . . . great photos. Powerful post. Thanks.

    To join the bandwagon, I’m the grandaughter of a teenage mother . . . as you put it, nature wins. Thank goodness.

    Incidentally, now that I think about it, my life as it stands today was made possible by Planned Parenthood (the organization, not the institution) – your post today made me realize I ought not take it for granted.

  20. Saved, wanting a child is not enough to make someone a great parent. Sorry to hear you had such a bad experience with your adoptive parents.

    Betty, no one even brought up the topic of adoption to us. First, our parents asked us what we wanted to do. We thought for sure they would suggest it, and we had a plan B for that (refuse).

    Thanks for your comment Johnny. I never questioned whether we made the right decision.

    Thanks Liv, you are too.

    Kym, I love that pic of my mom. She was about 6 years old in there and flat out refused to have that rip in her dress show up in that photo. She tells me she was so ashamed about it, and you can see that emotion in her facial expression and body language. Good capture of stubbornness and embarrassment.

    Thanks Ruth. Glad things worked out for you.

  21. People magazine made Britney the #1 most talked about Celebrity for 2007, Is her sister trying anything here? she could’ve kept it quiet until her mom published her book at least. Poor comunication between this family if you ask me;) maybe there is where the whole problem resides. But hey we are going to keep buying them magazines and making them richer because thats our nature as society, look at me typing letters giving my opinion about this. (I feel so gay by doing it, lol) but hey we are humans arent we. later…

  22. The thing about Britney I didn’t like was that the paps were there taking pics of a woman who was obviously going through a mental meltdown.
    They should not have been photographing that, no more than they should be in a cancer ward taking pics of a celeb getting cancer treatment.
    It’s just wrong.

  23. Wow. I feel so sorry for that other pregnant girl and am so glad you didn’t do the same thing. By the way, you were so pretty (and probably still are, never saw a pic)!!

  24. About Britney and her rollercoaster life, I really hate to see the press taking such joy in her troubles. Fair enough that they report things, but to do it with such glee, and then make up even more, is just cruel. If I feel bad about it, how on earth must she feel?
    I told my son about sex as soon as he started to as questions. Only answered the question he asked, and he didn’t ponder any more about it than he did any other subject. When he got to 16, I talked more about it and the feelings that should be there to make it special. We can’t stop teenagers having sex, but I wanted him to know the difference between a 2 minute thrill and something deep and meaningful he’d have if he saved it for love, whenever that would come his way. Thankfully, he took my advice. At least that’s what he told me…………..

  25. I think the most important thing is to play a fair game with your kids. When you think the time has come for them to start experimenting with boyfriends and girlfriends, give them a lecture, give them handful of condoms and tell them: “OK I know I can not make you NOT have sex. But I CAN make you wear a condom. Because if you don’t and if you make a girl pregnant, I will make you deal with it like a 20 year-old…”

  26. Kitty, awesome post (you look so purty by the way, how could any man resist? heehee).

    I feel sorry for Britney because I think she might be mentally ill. I guess I’ve had some contempt though for both her and her sister because I’m thinking – what a STUPID career move!

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