Christina McFarlane, seventeen, with her daughter Mariyah.
Christina I’m Christina. I’m seventeen and my daughter’s name is Mariyah and she’s a month.
Amanda Where were you living when you found out that you were pregnant?
Christina I was in a foster home in Dorchester.
Amanda Did you take the pregnancy test alone?
Christina It’s a funny story. I had gone to the doctors with my sister and I had a bump on my stomach. I asked the nurse if she thought it was a bug or something. And she said, “No it just looks normal,” but she’s like, “Are you pregnant because your bellybutton is sticking out?” So she gave me a pregnancy test and she was like, “Did you know that that was going to come out positive?” And I was shocked. I didn’t know I was pregnant.
Amanda Do you remember how you felt?
Christina I was scared because I didn’t know how to be a mother especially because I am a teenager. But, I was happy at the same time.
Amanda And did you tell the baby daddy, or no?
Christina My sister told him. I didn’t. He was like, “Get rid of it,” because he wasn’t ready to be a father. He was just telling me to get rid of it the whole time.
Amanda And did you tell your parents?
Christina Yeah. I told my mom. She said she knew already because where we’re from in Jamaica when you have a dream about fishes that means that somebody in your family is having a baby. I’m my mother’s only child so she knew I was having a baby.
Amanda Did you tell your foster family?
Christina No I moved to a 45 day program in Randolph. You stay there for 45 days and then they find a placement for you. Then I moved to St Mary’s. It’s a shelter for teen mothers that are either pregnant or have kids. They help you, but I don’t really like staying here.
Yeah. I told my mom. She said she knew already because where we’re from in Jamaica when you have a dream about fishes that means that somebody in your family is having a baby. I’m my mother’s only child so she knew I was having a baby.
Amanda What parts don’t you like?
Christina The curfiew, the rules.
Amanda What is your daily schedule like now.
Christina Sleeping, eating, going to the bathroom, changing her. Yeah, we do different things everyday. I take her out. We like go downtown to the mall. Just go have fun.
Amanda What have been the most fun and the most difficult parts of being a mom?
Christina Her smiling. I love being a mom. The most difficult parts have been like when she cries and stuff.
Amanda Why do you think you love being a mom?
Christina Cause it’s something different in life, well for my life now. It gives you a chance to do something that you never did. I just love it.
Amanda Do you think she’s changed you?
Christina Yeah, she’s a minnie me, so I don’t do the stuff that I used to.
Amanda Like what kind of stuff?
Christina Like go out all the time, 24/7.
Amanda And if you could do your life over again, would you change the age that you first got pregnant?
Christina Um, I don’t know. Probably wait till I’m 18, till I finished school probably, cause I’m still in high school. But I’m glad I had her now, so I don’t have to wait till I’m older.
Amanda In the future do you want to have more children? and if so, when?
Christina I do, but like when I get a career and settle down and have a husband and get married and all that’s over, then I’ll think about having another one.
Amanda So where do you see yourself or hope to see yourself in five years?
Christina In medical school.
Amanda Why do you want to go to medical school?
Christina I want to be a pediatrician. I love kids. Even when I was little, I just always loved kids.
Amanda Is there anything else?
Christina A mom is a mom. It doesn’t matter if you are old, young. Doesn’t matter a mom is a mom.
Amanda What do you think makes you a mom besides obviously having a kid?
Christina The responsibilities. Yep, everything you do for your child. The way that you love them.
Amanda And you think that that’s totally universal?
Christina Yeah. It doesn’t matter if you are old, young, middle age. A mom is a mom.