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Durfee Teen Moms: Not Reality TV

Melissa DeAlmeida '13
Student Life Editor
Briana Gomes '12
Staff Reporter
December 14, 2011

It is not easy being a teen mother, with it comes an incredible amount of responsibility and a complete change of lifestyle in order to support a child. Some young girls are lucky enough to have the support of family and friends, while others have to support themselves. 

Senior Nicole Cookinham recently had a son named Ryian, who is currently 7 weeks old. She shared the struggles and accomplishments that she has faced so far. “When I first got pregnant people would look at me differently and it really bothered me, it was like they had never seen someone pregnant before,” said Cookinham.

Cookinham is also extremely independent when it comes to raising her son. “I do everything on my own. I wake up on my own and I take care of him on my own. When he’s sick, when he’s cranky, and fussy, I do it all on my own.”

Natasha Robichaud and son Izaac.
--Hilltop file photo.
The young mom admits that being abstinent and using contraceptives is her best advice for preventing pregnancy. “It helps a lot because in the end, being a single mother is hard.”

Cookinham also had to change her social life to support her son. “I don’t go out with friends as much as I used to,” she said. Although it may be challenging, she views this experience as a positive one. “Even though it’s hard, when I had Ryian, it was like a whole new beginning for me,” she added with a smile.

Junior Abby Bedard also recently had a daughter named Adriana who is 5 1/2 months. Fortunately, she has a great support system of family and friends, as well as help from her boyfriend. Unlike Cookinham, she said her social life didn't really change.

"I'm not someone who goes out a lot and parties, so my social life didn't really change. I only had to quit cheerleading because I didn't have time for it anymore," said Bedard.

Junior Natasha Robichaud has also faced many struggles, disadvantages, joys, and positive experiences with her boyfriend and their 6 month old son Izaac. As a teenager in high school you want to be able to hang out with friends and participate in after school activities, but along with a child comes responsibility.  

"My life did change because my baby always comes first," she said. The family that she lives with is very supportive, but some of her friends treat her differently. "People changed once I had the baby," she said. Having her boyfriend in the picture makes things a lot easier. "Even though we may argue, it's good to have someone by your side."

Bedard, Cookinham, and Robichaud all agree that they don't regret having their children, but that it is better to wait to have kids. Once you have a child everything changes, your life becomes different and you must make sacrifices. It's no longer just about you because you are responsible for another life.