15-year-old Georgia Hageman lives at home with her parents in New Zealand.
In November last year, Georgia found out she was pregnant.
After splitting with the baby’s father and enduring hospitalisations at 30 weeks after going into pre-term labour, Georgia has cited her unborn son as the reason she keeps going.
She has already named her son Mason and now, at 35 weeks, Georgia has decided to speak out about her experiences in the hope of helping other young, teenage mothers.
Speaking to the New Zealand Herald, Georgia was adamant she was ‘lucky’ to have the support not many other young mums could dream of.
“I’ve been incredibly, incredibly fortunate to have my parents support me in the way they have. I don’t know what I would have done without them,” she said.
“A lot of girls that are in my position … they don’t have the support. That’s why I want to offer as much support to them because I can understand and relate what feelings and emotions you go through.”
Her letter begins:
Sometimes I look in the mirror, and I wish what I saw was a normal teen girl’s body and tummy. Clothes that didn’t have to be three sizes bigger. A face that wasn’t puffy from pregnancy fluid and eyes that weren’t outlined with a bruised colour because of endless broken sleeps. I wish I didn’t have to put up with a back that’s constantly aching, feeling nauseous all day, having pinched nerves, needing to pee every five minutes, struggling to keep down food and breathe without getting puffed, just from sitting there watching TV.
Georgia goes on to say that she misses her old life, and that she “made the decision to grow up too quickly” because she thought “everybody else was doing it. However, the hardest part is knowing what other people are thinking, and that she would have thought the same:
I got used to the stares, the whispering, and the disgusted looks and so on. However, it doesn’t make it any easier to deal with. To think that once upon a time, I would’ve been the person to look at a young girl with a mummy tummy and think: “Oh my God … She must have a hard life”.
But Georgia is determined to give her son the best start in life. She writes:
When he needs changing, I’ll be there. When he needs feeding, I’ll be there. When he plays his first soccer game, I’ll be there. When he gets a certificate for being a star, I’ll be there. When he needs a hug, I will be there. As hard as this journey has been, Mason is what I have been living for these last nine months. He is the person I have stayed strong for and fought for, and I will continue to do so. My age no longer matters. He needs me and that’s what matters.
She ends with a message for both those who judge, and for those girls in her situation:
Next time you go to judge somebody about their age and situation, I can tell you with 100 per cent confidence they know what they’re missing out on and they know how their life will never be the same as yours and they do not need reminding. They need encouragement to look forward into the future at what they do have. The positives in life. The experiences that they’re in line for! So many things that happen to us that break our hearts and leave us feeling empty or make us cry for joy. Love yourself, love your life and love what you’re doing, because you are the only person that can make it count. Don’t let the stares and whispers win, prove them wrong.
What an incredible young woman.
Georgia is currently engaged in New Zealand’s Teen Parent Unit, a support system attached to a nominated school to nurture and care for young mothers.