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Seana Collins ’05
March 19, 2016
Seana Collins, who was in the high school class of ‘05 but graduated early, had her daughter when she was 17 years old. Collins said that she tried to hide her pregnancy for as long as she could.
When she admitted to her guidance counselor, also pregnant at the time, that she was pregnant, her guidance counselor strongly advised to tell her parents about the pregnancy, which was seven months along at that point.
“I guess my guidance counselor just took a look at me one day and knew I was pregnant because she was pregnant too,” Collins said. “It was like the pregnant woman knowing a pregnant girl was pregnant. She gave me about two weeks to tell my parents but everyday I would tell her I couldn’t tell them yet because I was so scared.”
Collins said that it was difficult to tell her parents because teen pregnancy was such a rarity in the community at the time.
“How do you tell your parents at 16, ‘Hey, I’m pregnant,’ when you don’t know anyone that’s ever been pregnant, besides older people?” Collins said. “You didn’t see any girls your age with kids because you grew up in Brookline and it didn’t happen then.”
Collins’ parents had mixed reactions to the news of her pregnancy, but having the early support of her father was beneficial to her.
“My parents didn’t really have time to cope with it,” Collins said. “My mom was extremely upset with me. My dad has always been the more lenient parent so he was very open to talking about it and he was there. My mom was there but my dad was the first one that was just there for me. I was finally able to talk to someone about it.”
According to Collins, her mother was initially upset when finding out about Collins’ pregnancy because of her experience being a teen mother. However, Collins said that, regardless, her mother began supporting her after the birth of her daughter.
“My mom was a teen mom, and she didn’t want that for myself or my sister,” Collins said. “I think she was a little disappointed, but once you see the baby everything changes: your negative thoughts, and how upset you are. Everything goes away once you see the baby. She is still coming around, and now she has four grandkids. She came around, although it took some time.”
According to Collins, the topic of teen pregnancy was rarely discussed in the town during her pregnancy, over ten years ago.
“When I was high school around ten years ago, there weren’t a lot of programs about teen pregnancy,” Collins said. “Not a lot of people talked about it. It wasn’t a big thing, especially in Brookline. It was something I actually kept from everyone except a few close friends. My parents didn’t even know. I found out by taking a pregnancy test with one of my friends. [Pregnancy] was something you just didn’t talk about. We might have talked about sex education, but sex education didn’t lead to teen pregnancy.”
Collins said that while attending high school classes for all nine months of her pregnancy, it was especially hard not having adequate education on the topic of teen pregnancy. This was a factor in her decision to hide her pregnancy from her classmates.
“[Going to school while pregnant] was tiring,” Collins said. “I really didn’t know anything about being pregnant. I didn’t know anything about it because there were no programs telling girls about it. It was more, ‘Don’t do this, or don’t do that.’ I didn’t know how to take care of myself. No one knew I was pregnant. It was something no one would expect. ”
Now Collins also has a son, born in 2015. According to Collins, her daughter, now 11, is a great help with her son. Collins also said that, as an adult parent, it is easier to appreciate the little moments and milestones of her son’s childhood, something that she was unable to do as a teen mom.
“When I was younger, I didn’t really get to enjoy my daughter’s first steps, her first words, or her first anything because it was always like, ‘I have to do schoolwork. I have to get here,’” Collins said. “You’re always rushing through life when you’re a teen mom. You don’t realize the little moments, they go away fast. Now, with my son, every moment I have with him is like the first everything. It feels great watching my son grow up. I kind of wish I was doing this with my daughter when she was younger, but she still has a great life. She does swimming, skiing, piano. She goes to church twice a week. She has a good base.”
Collins said that she and her daughter have a very good relationship, something that came from her determination to provide for herself and her daughter after finding out about her pregnancy, now over ten years ago.
“She’s like my best friend because we grew up together,” Collins said. “I was 16 when I was pregnant. I was a child myself. It wasn’t that I was bad in school, but I was a kid. I was skipping class and traveling around, but once I had my daughter it was like she depended on my life. I went from a B student to an A student, showing up to class on time, doing my homework for the whole week by the time it was Tuesday. There were some changes. You realize that you’re actually second in your own life.”
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