Charlton is a senior at Auburn University studying Communication with a Nonprofit minor. She has served as a Baby Steps intern since Spring 2018, helping with communication and event planning. She is graduating in December of this year and is excited to begin a new chapter. We are thankful for the time we have gotten to spend with Charlton, Seth (her awesome husband), and her new baby, Camdyn. We are so excited to share their story!
I was almost halfway through my junior year when I found out I was pregnant. I with with my then boyfriend, now husband, Seth. When I saw the positive results on the test, I remember just being terrified of all the change that was going to happen and how fast it would all have to happen. For me, it was never a question about what I was going to do, it was more so just thoughts of, “well you can't do this, this, or this anymore.” I remember telling myself I had to grow up and be a mom to this baby ASAP.
Seth was incredibly supportive at this time. He was with me, and we found out together. He knew I was afraid because of how involved I was on campus and that having a baby would require me to give up a lot. Despite that, he was instantly encouraging, and he never gave me any doubts that this was something we couldn't handle.
Seeing Camdyn's ultrasound for the first time was incredible. Hearing his heartbeat and knowing that Seth and I had created this little miracle was truly unforgettable.
I was afraid but I was determined. I was afraid because I knew I couldn't be an AU Singer or on the CHAARG exec team anymore. I was afraid because I had never seen a pregnant girl on campus before, and I didn't want to be "that girl" and be judged. But I was determined to do everything in my power to provide for my baby and give him a good life.
I feel like I was my own worst critic with my pregnancy. Most of my friends were surprisingly incredibly supportive, but there were so many times where I wouldn't understand why. I knew my situation was different, and no one else was going through what I was, so it was very easy to have a negative mindset and tell myself "they just don't understand or care" when in reality no one changed their friendship with me simply because I was pregnant and in college.
Seth and Sarah (the Baby Steps Live-in Support) were people who made a tremendous difference in my pregnant life. Seth always took the time to be understanding with what I was experiencing and he definitely loved me through all of the emotional chaos I experienced. He was there for everything, and I couldn't imagine having to do that without him. Sarah was such a great friend to me. She gave me the support from Baby Steps and allowed me to intern there while I was pregnant. She never treated me different from anyone else and made me feel so empowered.
If I could I would tell myself not to stress the little things. I would tell myself that I am going to love my baby more than I could ever imagine, and that he makes it so worthwhile.
I'm currently still at Auburn, but I graduate Cum Laude in December and will hopefully be attending graduate school in the spring. School is different now, but Camdyn has certainly helped me learn to prioritize and become more efficient in all of my school work. Seth and I will be married for one year in November, and I feel as though our relationship has been tested but withstood everything. I know without a doubt he will always be there for me and vice versa. Camdyn is now just over two months old.
It was life changing for me to find out Charlton was pregnant, but it was life changing for the better. I was nervous but also excited. There was joy there for me because I was excited to start a family.
Taking care of Charlton was difficult. Being able to be there for her was harder than I thought. Trying to ensure we had a healthy marriage through the pregnancy was difficult because of all the changes she was going through. There were a lot of emotional hills for us.
The ability to show of the love that we had to others was incredible. I loved being able to show other people that Charlton and I were together and starting a family. It was comforting to know that they knew to an extent what we had.
The support I received from my dad was incredible because of how nervous I was at times. It was nice to know he had just been through it all and could tell me it was going to be okay.
I feel like our family is strong now. Having Camdyn does put a strain on the relationship, but we do a good job of expressing how much we mean to each other. Like anything else there are ups and downs, but I feel like we are strong together and in a good spot.
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.