NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - The children Candi Montgomery tutor go home by noon. Come December, Montgomery is expecting to be responsible for a child all her own. "I would say shock," is how the 18 year old described the day she found out she was pregnant. She's now over that and can reflect on some poor decisions. "I was in too big a hurry to be grown, to be an adult and I didn't myself the time to be the child I should have been," Montgomery shared.
Montgomery became sexually active at age 14 due in part to being a rebellious teen. She could have easily become pregnant at an earlier age. Every 10 minutes, a teen in Texas gets pregnant. Every 10 hours, a 14-year-old gets pregnant. Montgomery is 18. Every 35 minutes, an 18-year-old gets pregnant. (According to Texas Department of State Health Services)
Montgomery has her regrets. "I wish I had waited and had been more careful with my decisions," Montgomery admitted. "I wish I had took the time to weigh the consequences." there are several consequences. Montgomery is working two jobs, postponing her university studies to become a pediatric nurse, and must rely on family, friends and service agencies to help her through this unplanned pregnancy.
Montgomery says she will go to school, but will begin about eight months after her child's birth. She has her future in mind, but also keeps the future of other young girls in mind. She turns to one young elementary age girl and says, "You are a super smart girl". A writing exercise based on compliments helps build children's self esteem and discourage them from repeating her mistakes. "I wouldn't want to see her in my situation, pregnant as a teen. That would be the last thing I would want to see," Montgomery said. So she's helping them stay on track so their teenage years aren't robbed by adult responsibilities.
For data on Teen Pregnancy: www.dshs.state.tx.us and go to family planning services.