Karla Renderos, class of 2013
March 19, 2016
Karla Renderos was in the class of 2013 before she decided to leave the high school due to the stressfulness of her experience in the Opportunity For Change program.
After her decision to leave in her junior year, Renderos began to work at Dorado Tacos in Coolidge Corner, where she met her boyfriend, Pedro.
Renderos found out that she was pregnant, despite taking birth control, after missing a menstrual cycle and taking multiple at-home pregnancy tests.
“I realized I had missed my period, and I was like, ‘Oh my god, am I pregnant?’ Renderos said. “I went to work, but before I bought four or five pregnancy tests because I was paranoid. I peed on all of the sticks, but then I went to work. I completely forgot about them. So, when I went back to my boyfriend’s house I was like, ‘Let’s look at the sticks.’ They all smiley faces and plus signs and that’s when I realized I was pregnant.”
Renderos said that as soon as she found out she was pregnant, she knew that she was going to carry the child to a full term. Renderos said that her culture and religion ultimately affected her decision in keeping her son.
“Me being in a Hispanic family, we were taught to be responsible for our actions, not mistakes, because I don’t think my son was a mistake,” Renderos said. “My religion, being Catholic, it is a sin to have an abortion. For some other people, it might not be a sin. For me, it was.”
Renderos said that she went through many emotions upon learning of her pregnancy.
“Right then and there, I knew that nothing would be the same,” Renderos said. “Since I was pregnant, I knew that I would have a baby, so I was scared about what I could offer a child. I didn’t know exactly what to do, and I was hoping that my parents wouldn’t be so upset to the point where they didn’t want to help me.”
Renderos said that she avoided telling her father at first, but, one day, he picked her up from a medical appointment and offered to pay for some of her prescribed medications but became suspicious after both Renderos and the pharmacist would not tell him what it was for. Her father continued to ask her until she broke down in tears and told him that she was pregnant.
The reactions of both her mother and father surprised her. While she thought that her mother would be accepting of her pregnancy, she believed that her father would be upset with her. However, this was not the case.
“When I said, ‘I’m pregnant, dad,’ he was so happy,” Renderos said. “He starting laughing, and then he started hugging me. That was a surprise for me. I thought my mother was going to be happy but she was pretty upset. She felt pretty disappointed in me. She expected more from me, in terms of taking more precautions so that I wouldn’t become pregnant.”
Renderos said that sometimes teen motherhood is difficult because of the life of little responsibility that many teens are accustomed to.
“When you’re a teenager, sometimes you still have your mom doing your laundry,” Renderos said. “You don’t realize how much a responsibility it really is. All you want to do is have fun. The fun doesn’t completely end, but your fun, as in hanging out with you friends, isn’t going to happen anymore because they’re going to be like, ‘Oh, you’re bringing the baby with you?’”
Renderos said that she wishes that her parents had had more birds and bees-type conversations with her.
“My parents didn’t really have a talk with me,” Renderos said. “All of the stuff that I learned about sex and everything was from school. I feel like I was a little under-informed. I wish my mom had talked to me and filled me in a bit more, like on birth control. I wish we could have talked about contraceptives so I didn’t have to everything behind her back. I wish that I could have had that relationship with her.”
Renderos said that her lifestyle has changed for the better since the birth of her son.
“I know for a fact that the stuff I did in high school, I don’t do it anymore,” Renderos said. “I know that I have to make a nice place for my son to live and try to be a good mom. That’s my biggest priority right now. For other moms, those responsibilities don’t really kick in. When you’re a teenager you’re not legal. When girls hit 21, they want to go out to clubs and get drunk and everything. That isn’t so important for me. I know that the clubs will be there forever, but my son will only be two for such a short period of time.”