When Pauline Petersen discovered she was 19 and pregnant, she says she was “absolutely terrified” and that she “completely broke down.”
“What scared me the most was the realization that … I had no way out,” she told PJ Media by phone Sunday. “I knew what this meant: I had to man up and take responsibility for my actions. It was time. I realized I had only two options: adoption or … a baby.”
But Petersen quickly realized she couldn’t bear putting her child up for adoption. Petersen herself was adopted at birth — by a loving family in Culver City, Calif. — and while she supports her biological mother’s decision, she says she “wasn’t strong enough” for adoption.
“Seeing my baby move around and suck her thumb on the ultrasound and hearing her heartbeat was enough to convince me I was meant for motherhood,” said Petersen.
So, with the support of her fiancé (now husband), she gave birth to Eloise in March.
Not long after, she started her own blog called Conserving Momhood and a pro-life Instagram account by the same name, all with hopes of helping to educate young women about how “it’s okay to have a child at a young age … abortion doesn’t have to be your only option.”
Though Petersen sometimes feels stigmatized, she’s learned not to let it bother her.
“I get stares when I go out places with Eloise, especially when I’m out without my husband. But I’ve learned to ignore them .… I’m so grateful for having a kid so young.”
Petersen’s also a vocal pro-life member of PragerFORCE, the student ambassador group for Prager University, and has even been on radio shows to talk about her experiences as a young mom. And last month, she enrolled at Santa Monica College, where she’s now studying English and political science.
“My dream is to be a stay-at-home mom and pro-life advocate, which, thanks to my fiancé, I am able and have been able to do with my now 6-month-old. This allows me to take all of my classes online, which makes being a student-parent much easier,” she added.
“We are so glad to see Pauline proudly share her story, which helps show other women and men facing similar situations that being a parent and going to school do not have to be in conflict,” said Lamb.
“We look forward to a day when all student-parents feel similarly supported by their families and their schools to pursue their goals,” added Lamb.
For young women who find themselves in Petersen’s situation, she says that fear shouldn’t dictate snap decisions.
“As they say ‘let love win’ in that battle. Just remember, most children are ultimately happy accidents… and with planned exceptions, nobody is really ready to become a parent until they have to be.”
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Toni_Airaksinen.