Here it is! Melody is the first to share “Her Story” and tells how she struggled with a pregnancy in jail and the her journey to becoming a single mother. She is an inspiration and a great example of why Generation Her has made it its mission to serve you and your babies for a healthier and better life. Does she inspire you too?
I was 15 years old when I went to central juvenile hall for the 5th time. It was Valentine’s Day, 2014. When I went in, they gave me a physical and a pregnancy test. My test came out negative, but the night before, I had unprotected sex with my boyfriend. I had a feeling I could be pregnant, but I knew it was too early to tell. I asked the nurse to give me another pregnancy test in 2 weeks.
During those 2 weeks, I would wake up to pee about 3 times every hour. One day, I was in my cell, and the staff in my unit came and said the nurse wanted to see me. The nurse gave me a pregnancy test and said it was positive. They gave me another one, and it was final. I was indeed pregnant.
I didn’t know how to react, so I cried. I cried because my daughter’s dad and I had ended things on bad note. I didn’t know how my parents would take the news. I was scared that I was going to spend my pregnancy behind locked doors.
They said I had options. I had the option to keep it, or to abort. I chose to keep my baby. They took me back to my cell. I was sad, overthinking many things. I had a phone call that night. I called my sister and told her the news. They had given me only a 5-minute phone call so I didn’t get to hear my mom’s reaction.
I had court the next day. The judge sentenced me to 6 months in camps Scudder, a juvenile detention camp. My time spent in juvenile hall, pregnant, was a life-changing experience. I watched my belly grow day by day in jail. To go to my ultra sound appointments, they would put handcuffs on my hands and shackles on my legs, dress me in an orange jump suit and take me to a public hospital. When I would arrive to public places to check on my baby dressed like that, people would look at me like I was a monster. I hated that the most, even more than being hungry all the time because they would limit my diet at the detention center and all the other horrible things I went through in there.
Seven months later, I sat in front of a judge, and they set me free on July 30, 2014. I had a lot of support from family. My baby’s father didn’t want to be involved. Being pregnant in jail showed me to cherish my freedom while I had it, to do my best, and not end up in that position ever again.
My daughter is 12 months old now and I am 17 years old. I’ve been attending Generation Her ever since I got out. To this day, I’ve been on my own with my baby girl without help from her dad. Generation Her has been a huge support system for me and my baby. It’s challenging being a single mom that goes to school, and has no babysitter to be able to have a job to have money. They have supported me by providing me with diapers, clothes, and great parenting information. Before Generation Her, I felt alone. Now I know I can be a great mom and that I’m strong, and not alone.
Note: Edited for length, clarity and propriety.