By Nadhira H.
My name is Nadhira, I am 16 years old and I am the mother of a beautiful 3 month old baby girl, Natalya.
I’m a very friendly people-person. I love making people laugh and I can see the bright side in almost any gloomy situation. When people ask about me and my past, I think of it as fairy tale in another place and in another time. Although I love to laugh and make light of things, I was very hard-headed and stubborn. I drank and smoked and had sex. Eventually I dropped out of school and soon after, I became pregnant. My problem was not that I lacked a good support system, but that the people supporting me were doing the exact same things I was doing. In my head, I would think, “Who are you to tell me what I should and should not be doing?” and did what I wanted to do, anyway.
When I became pregnant, the first thought that popped up in my head was to have an abortion. I was not ready to take on the huge responsibility of raising a child and certainly not ready to have another person solely depending on me. It took a long time for me to become okay with the fact that I was having a baby, and for a while, I resented myself for it.
I Was Ready to Take a Step Forward
When I told my mother I was pregnant, she told me that having a baby might not be the best decision because it may be one that I regret forever. But what changed for me was a conversation she and I had when I was around four months pregnant. I was tired of sitting around in the house every day. I guess I was ready to take a step forward. My mother told me about a program she was in when she was pregnant with me: Healthy Babies Project.
The first day that I came to Healthy Babies, I was immediately referred to the Office of Youth Re-engagement Program and was enrolled in a school that offered GED classes. Healthy Babies Project also has parenting classes that help me. Even though I have younger siblings I looked after, I had no idea how to be a mother. Now that I have been at Healthy Babies these past few months, I am so happy and so appreciative. I love my daughter Natalya to the moon and back, and she and I are creating a stronger bond everyday.
The most important thing that I have learned at Healthy Babies Project is that I am Natalya’s security blanket. I am all she knows, and I was put here to show her that she can be strong and confident. I have also learned the dangers of unsafe sex and unsafe relationships. I now can search for key signs of possible danger and remove myself before I get myself into a situation that I will not have control over.
In the future I hope to obtain degrees in both law and social work. I want to own my own home and I want Natalya to be in the best school possible. She will have whatever she needs, and will grow up strong and confident in herself and her abilities. Natalya is my inspiration. I want my daughter to be proud of her mother so that she can shoot above and beyond.
Nadhira recently received her GED and became employed. She is the student leader in HBP’s SiHLE program.