The spring of my senior year in high school I found out I was pregnant. I was a week away from my senior prom and it was mid-season of my senior soccer career. I was worried about telling my parents, his parents, and how were we both going to play college sports? I thought I was going to have to quit playing soccer and what about college? I had a scholarship to play soccer, and my boyfriend (now husband) was planning on playing baseball, which he also had a scholarship. God works in mysterious ways and little did we know, we would both be able to live our dreams out as collegiate athletes, raise our beautiful daughter, AND be full time students.
Blakely was born in October of 2014. I lived with my parents, and Hunter lived in Tuscaloosa where he played baseball and went to school. The first year was hard. Being a first-time mom, Hunter being away for long amounts of time was one of the toughest seasons of my life. Blakely and I traveled to Tuscaloosa as often as we could, and Hunter traveled back to Birmingham too. We went to all his games, and travels all over the south with his family to spend weekends on the baseball field.
The summer of 2015, we packed up our life and moved to Huntsville. Hunters plan was to continue his baseball career at UAH, and I planned to play soccer there. I started my collegiate career, and journey as a college student. My college coaches and teammate were rare. They were very understanding of my situation and was always there to lend a helping hand. Due to our class schedules, I had to sometimes bring Blakely with me to meetings and even practice. I gained so many best friends from our team and Blakely gained aunts that love her like she is their own. I am so grateful for the family we gained while we were at UAH.
What was something surprisingly pleasant about your journey?
My journey was special. I had such a huge support system, and I was always very thankful for that. I know some people who go through or are even going through do not have the support they need. It takes a village, and boy did I have that village.
Who was someone who made a difference during your pregnancy and the months following? What did they do to support you?
The people who made the most difference during my pregnancy and the months to follow were our parents, siblings, Hunter, and my college coaches and teammates.
Our parents and siblings were our absolute rock. They went above and beyond to help us in any way they could. They looked after Blakely when we needed a night just the two of us. They watched her so we could go spend time with our friends. Our families assisted us financially, I mean after all we were two 19 year old’s who just started college. We truly would not have been able to do it without them.
This is not just my story; it is our story. Hunter was my biggest support, and truly the best dad. I always dreamed of being a collegiate athlete, and after I found out I was pregnant I thought I would not be able to accomplish this. We tag teamed being parents, athletes, and college students together, and having that support from your significant other is unmatched.
How do you wish those around you had supported you?
New seasons of your life bring different people, some stay and some go. I had friends fade away, and I had friends stand by my side the whole time. My lifestyle as a teenage mom was very different than all of
my friends. It’s hard to vent to someone who has never been through what you have, but I also had those friends who did stay, and they are still in my life.
Looking back, what would you say to yourself the day you found out you were pregnant?
His plan for me, is bigger than my plan for myself. Trust Him.
I learned a lot about myself being a young mom, but through all the hardships I would not change it for the world. I was pushed out of my comfort zone, and I wouldn’t be the person I am today without it. Blakely makes me better everyday. I worked so hard in college to be a great mom, a great soccer player, and an outstanding college student. I hope one day she can look back to all the memories we made in Huntsville and realize how hard work can and will pay off.
Without the people in our lives we wouldn’t have been able to accomplish what we did. I don’t get credit for it, especially her dad.
Where is she now?
I am a full-time human resource manager for a small company in Alabaster, Alabama. Hunter and I have been married for 3 years, and we welcomed our second baby girl into the world in May of 2020...in the middle of a pandemic.... that’s a story within itself.
Blakely is a bright kindergarten student who loves her little sis, her friends at school, and playing sports!
If Baby Steps had existed, how could this have impacted your experience?
Baby steps would have impacted my experience so much. I had so many people and friends in my life, but not really someone who truly understood. There is just something about talking to someone who has been in the same shoes as you. Those people would understand why I said no so many times to my friends who wanted to go out on a Friday or Saturday night. They would also know what it is like having to study for exams while tending to an infant/toddler. Being a mother, you have a special bond and higher level of understanding to relate to another mother.
By giving a voice to those whose stories include unplanned pregnancies, we hope to empower those who may be in the midst of their own. These are The Stories We Tell.