Derbyshire woman tells of the challenges of falling pregnant at 16 and how it shaped her into the woman she is today
A Derbyshire woman who fell pregnant at 16 has told of the challenges of teenage pregnancy and how it shaped her into the woman she is today.
Rosie Walsh now 35, was in Year 10 when she became pregnant during her studies at St Benedicts School, in Derby.
Sadly, she went on to lose her daughter Aislinn when she was stillborn at 37 weeks.
Despite getting pregnant at a young age, Rosie says she felt supported throughout by both her parents and teachers at school and the experience – although extremely difficult at times – has helped her become who she is today.
“I see Aislinn, my daughter, as something that made me – I don’t see it as something sad,” she said.
"When all my friends have been upset about boyfriends, I never really had that approach because the worse thing that was ever going to happen to me happened when I was 16.
"Was my daughter planned, no, was I having sex, definitely. She was never a ‘mistake’ to me and will always be my special first child.”
Rosie said that, although her pregnancy was eventually accepted by most people, it took her a long time to tell anyone – with her parents only finding out by chance when a family member cottoned on.
“I was at a catholic school and if you’re pregnant, you’ve not used contraception. I was keeping the baby too and not aborting,” she said.
"Actually, that was because I just told everyone far too late. It wasn’t really a choice, I was six and a half months gone by the time anyone found out.
"I was pretending it wasn’t happening, I think that's what a lot of 16-year-olds do. It wasn’t that I’m not from a family that would have still loved me, they did, but I just thought if I pretend it’s not there it might go.”
She added: "The liason officer at the school was just so kind, I wasn’t particularly judged. My best friend who was a boy, he just said that he was the dad – he wasn’t but that was the agreement so nobody badgered me about that. I suppose I just became the pregnant girl.
Now with two other children, aged nine and seven-months-old, Rosie says she is proud of being a mum at 16 but looking back can understand why she was eventually taken out of school and away from other pupils at that time.
It comes after a Derbyshire teenager was allegedly ‘banished' from her school prom for being pregnant.
“With the school, when I started to show more, you do have to think about the impact that’s having on other children. It’s not seen as something that’s cool, it was quite important that St Benedict’s took a stance on that as an example to the younger children,” Rosie, from Allestree, said.
"Children are influential and with the showing part, again the school were very kind and they said they’d send work home.
"I got my AS-Levels, I got my A-Levels – they never stopped me but, even more than from a health and safety point of view, they had to look at the example it was setting to the other pupils.”