University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Alexandra was one year old when her parents left to immigrate to the United States. As she grew older, she realized the importance of family.

When her mother asked her what she wanted for her sweet 15, Amanda had to reveal that she was pregnant. Her mother didn’t take the news well.

Bianca was raised by a single mother who struggled to provide for her five children. When Bianca was eight years old, her mother died.

Carmen was 20 when she had her baby. She often feels judged for being a young parent because people say hurtful comments and expect young mothers not to know anything about life simply because of their age.

Catherine lost her father to an overdose when she was a young girl. When she became pregnant at the age of 17, she was sad she didn’t have her father, but has drawn strength and inspiration from his memory.

Sometimes Daisy feels like a bad mother because she doesn’t get to spend as much time as she’d like with her son. Though she becomes frustrated because he’s a lot to handle, Daisy tries to find joy in simple moments.

Dashira was 15 years old when she began a relationship that took over her life. When she became pregnant at 17, she felt like her life was over but felt like she couldn’t give up on her son.

Francheska, her husband, and her six-month-old son were living in a shelter when they noticed he had a pain in his arm. When they took him to the hospital, no one told them what was wrong and took their son away without an explanation.

When Gilka was younger, she says all she thought about was partying and going out with her friends like many teenagers do. But when she had her son at the age of 15, her life was transformed.

When her boyfriend had a dream that she was pregnant and asked her to take a pregnancy test, Ixia wasn’t worried because she was on birth control. She was shocked when several tests came back positive.

When Jessica became pregnant at 15, she overheard two teachers criticizing her and her family. They said her mother didn’t raise her right. The judgment and comments at school continued to worsen throughout her pregnancy.

Joan was nervous about how her son would cope with the arrival of his little brother. She was also worried she wouldn’t love her new baby as much as she loved her first son. But when she gave birth to him, her worries melted away.

Kassandra’s parents had never talked to her about sex and relationships. When she became pregnant at 15, her family judged her, her father disowned her, and the baby’s father refused to be a part of their lives.

Keyla always had a difficult relationship with her mother. In part due to drug addiction, she struggled to care for Keyla and provide her with love and affection.

Michelle lived in a shelter with her son when she was 21. Despite expectations that the shelter might be a supportive place for her, she talks about the rough time she had and how her son and another staff person served as inspirations while there. 

Naza wants to be with her boyfriend but her family doesn’t support this: it runs against their beliefs. Finally, she decides to leave her family in order to be with him. Two months later she finds out she is pregnant.

Pricilla grew up without her father, something that hurts her to this day. Because of this, as soon as she found out she was pregnant, she made sure to speak to her baby’s father about the importance of his relationship with their daughter.

Rubi gave birth prematurely and spent a lot of time in the neonatal intensive-care unit. She felt depressed after the birth of her child, and was not well supported.

Viamaris was born sick and spent a lot of time in hospitals as a baby, so when she found out she was pregnant, she was terrified of what might happen.

Yasmin was raised to be responsible and earn good grades, so when she became pregnant at 15, she was afraid her mother would be angry with her.

Three and a half years after having her son, Zaily was pregnant again. She was scared and worried about her how her son was going to feel, so throughout her pregnancy she prepared him to be a big brother.