No matter who you are, learning to navigate middle and high school is a real challenge.
As we all know, learning good social skills is key to navigating the adult world. Other kids are a notoriously hard audience and they notice things about us that we may not notice about ourselves. Although a lot of our insecurities or differences might be on the inside, some of the hardest situations come when we have something outwardly obvious that makes us different.
In particular, being pregnant is a hard thing to hide.
For 13-year-old Kennedy Griest, she found out firsthand after her friends took a picture of her at a pool party.
Griest is a normal high school student in Michigan who had a picture of herself in bathing suit put online. After it was posted, several of Griest’s friends noticed something unusual about the photograph. One of the comments was particularly pointed:
“Oh my God, look. Kennedy’s pregnant.”
Still, this was even news to Griest herself.
As the rumors started to spread around the school, Griest denied them and said that she and her boyfriend had been using protection. After reflecting, however, she realized that she had missed some telltale signs—she thought it was all just the normal ups and downs of puberty. To put herself at ease, she decided to take a pregnancy test.
As it turns out, the tests came back positive and Griest was indeed pregnant.
After confirming the news, Griest plenty of gossip and dirty looks.
Despite all the pressure, however, Griest decided to keep the baby and successfully gave birth to a healthy little girl, Adalyn, in October 2014. Although she knows the situation is a difficult one, Griest says that giving birth has ultimately changed her life for the better:
“I don’t know how to word it but I didn’t know who I was, so I guess being a mother is who I am. And that’s all I know and that’s all I want, is to be the best mother possible.”
Despite what others said about her, Griest was brave in standing up against the pressure and making her own decisions.
Though teenage pregnancy often comes with plenty of stigma attached, Griest’s courage to follow her heart remains an inspiration. “Although [Adalyn] is a little sassy,” Griest says, “she’s perfect, and I wouldn’t want to change anything about my life.”
Congratulations to Kennedy and Adalyn!
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