Elizabeth Carey ‘04 had her son when she was 17 years old, but the reality of being pregnant was something that was not foreign to her.
Carey, who was in a relationship with her son’s father for five years prior to and five years after having her son, said that she had an abortion when she was 15 but knew that she would never want to have another.
“I had an abortion when I was 15, and I knew after that that I didn’t want to have another one,” Carey said. “I feel like when people make the decision to have unprotected sex, that they need to follow through with that decision and the consequences that come with it and getting pregnant is one of them. If you’re old enough to have unprotected sex then you should be old enough to take care of a baby.”
Carey found out she was pregnant for the second time when she took a pregnancy test to support her best friend, who thought that she was pregnant. Carey did not expect the test to be positive, but hers was and her friend’s was not. According to Carey, it was a major surprise.
Carey said that she went to school during her junior year until about seven months into her pregnancy and made up the time she in summer school.
Carey said that the students at the high school were supportive during her pregnancy.
“I think it was pretty good for me because I was on the cheerleading squad, so I had a lot of friends and a lot of support,” Carey said. “For me it was ok. I had guys that were bribing me to try to get me to name my son after them. It was really good for me.”
According to Carey, staff at the high school allowed Carey to be just like any other student and did not make a big deal out of her pregnancy, something she greatly appreciated.
“They did not treat me any different. I was still a student at BHS,” Carey said. “They supported me in a way of not treating me any differently. That was really cool. That was really good. I barely got any special treatment. I appreciated going to high school and having no one look at me any differently.”
According to Carey, her pregnancy did not alter her life goals very much, as she was always responsible and determined. She is an older sister and often had to take care of her younger sibling. Also, Carey said that she was independent when she became pregnant, which made the transition from life as an average teenager to a teen mother easier.
“I had a place to live on my own,” Carey said. “I was making my own money. I had a career, so I feel like that is the same as if I had waited.”
Although Carey and her son’s father have separated since his birth, which was hard for her son, she said that he is loved at both households, which makes the transition process easier.
“The hardest thing for my son to get over has been the separation between his father and I because then he ended up going from house to house,” Carey said. “It was kind of hard on him at first, but now he’s okay with it. He is being spoiled at both houses.”
Carey said that her and her son, now 10, are very close and that he means the world to her.
“My son has become my best friend,” Carey said. “We have a great relationship. I can be a mom and I can be a friend if he is feeling down about something. I could not see a life without my son.”