A different kind of due date
An inside looks at the lives of pregnant BVH students
November 16, 2018
The eighteen year old returned to campus for the first time since September after an unexpected change in her life. She was wearing a dark blue t-shirt that read “Arriving soon…” with a image of white silk-screened baby footprints surrounded by the outline of a heart. When she walked through the front office and to the library, she greeted multiple students as they commented on her now seven-month pregnancy.
“It was unexpected. It was a big surprise,” senior Isabella Pozo said, followed by a pause. “But I was happy at the same time.”
Pozo found out she was pregnant during summer school in June, and represents a minority of students at Bonita Vista High, but a more common trend throughout the district and world.
“One or two pregnancies a year is [our] average, so it’s not that prevalent here at Bonita. It does happen, just not that much,” BVH Nurse Paola Garcia said.
Due to the relative rarity of teen pregnancies, BVH does not have an official support system or program for expecting mothers as other high schools do. However, resources and information are still provided at the nurse’s office on a case-by-case basis.
Common recommendations from Garcia include reference to teen pregnancy programs and making sure the student has access to healthcare and insurance. Additionally, Garcia suggests to any pregnant students to reach out to an adult they trust for support.
“Other schools actually have a teen pregnancy program just because it’s that common,” Garcia said.
Garcia stated each pregnant student will have a different experience and may or may not feel comfortable continuing their high school education at their same school.
”Some girls might feel embarrassed or the might have a hard time or they don’t want to be seen. Other girls are pretty comfortable and confident and they’re able to carry out their pregnancies here at this high school” Garcia said. “Most girls like to stay here because this is where their friends are at. Other girls decide to go to a different school where they have more support and systems in place for young ladies like themselves so it just depends on the student it really just depends on the student and their needs.”
Pozo continued to go to high school on the BVH campus until early September, when she switched to a pregnancy minor program conducted by Sweetwater Union High School District. Also according to Pozo, the program has connected her with other students who are pregnant or teen mothers and who have become role models for her.
“It has impacted me really [well] honestly because we all share a common thing. We [are] all pregnant and we want to have babies and we’re young. We’re all starting and our goal is to finish high school and go to college,” Pozo said.
Some of the concerns pregnant students have to keep in mind on a daily basis after a four month mark, according to Pozo, include having to eat often, being careful about one’s surroundings and accidentally being pushed. BVH Health teacher Shannon Bruce stated that in her experience, these, or other inconveniences have not restricted her students.
“All the pregnant students that I’ve had have no problem getting their schoolwork done and managing their responsibilities,” Bruce said.
Pregnant students’ situations can also change based on the level of support they receive. Pozo explained that her family, fiance, friends and fiance’s family have all been supportive of her.
“I had a lot of positive feedback, especially when I was doing school. My boyfriend, he posted a video of an ultrasound and everybody saw it. Everybody was nice to me during school and I felt good about it too, I feel confident that even though I’m young I can still accomplish all the goals I’m still waiting to do,” Pozo said.
Pozo also shared her worries about preconceptions society has toward pregnant teens, explaining that she also used to be shocked when she saw pregnant high schoolers.
“Before I was pregnant, during the other years at school I would think: ‘Oh she’s too young to be pregnant,’ but now look at me— now I’m pregnant too! But I think to myself: ‘You know, I don’t care what people think.’ I’m just going to stick to my goals and my plans for a better future for me and my baby,” Pozo said.
Pozo’s baby daughter is expected to be born on January 29. Prior to that she will graduate from her pregnancy minor program in December and the following June Pozo will walk in the graduation ceremony of the BVH class of 2019. Following her graduation Pozo plans on obtaining a degree and becoming an elementary school teacher.
“I want to be a kindergarten teacher; I love working with little kids. I’m gonna go to Southwestern College, take my courses, transfer to San Diego State and start my career. I have a plan and I’m sticking to that plan,” Pozo said. “[Being pregnant] makes you a better person. You’re becoming a mother for the baby, you work ten time harder because you want the best for the baby. You gotta’ work hard and take care of them.”