On Feb. 16, 2015, WHS junior Bronte Healey posted a picture on Instagram of her six-month-pregnant stomach, with the caption “So in love with someone I haven’t met yet.” The next day, the school was buzzing.
Three months later, on May 24, Healey, who was a sophomore at the time, gave birth to her son, Liam Andrew Pickthall-Healey. Healey, now a junior at WHS, attends school while her babysitter and Liam’s grandparents take care of Liam during the day. She also maintains a blog documenting her experience and connecting to other teens.
Healey learned that she was pregnant during a routine doctor’s appointment in late January, after getting bloodwork done. At first, she was very nervous about her parents’ reactions, but once they wrapped their heads around it, she said, they were nothing but supportive.
“Once I heard Liam’s heartbeat I knew I wasn’t going to put him up for adoption. And I never considered abortion,” said Healey.
“I got many messages asking if I was pregnant, so I decided to tell everyone over social media,” said Healey, and that first Instagram post was certainly not her last.
After that picture, she was open about her pregnancy on every form of social media. Healey now has a Tumblr site and a YouTube channel, both documenting her experience as a teen mom and answering questions from her peers and community. Her first video, “Being a Teen Mom,” has over 4,000 views.
Healey, who said that she was inspired by the teen mom blogs she viewed when she found out she was pregnant, wanted to “get [her] story out because you don’t see positive and successful teen pregnancies too often and to help sexually active kids understand the importance of staying safe,” according to her blog.
“My Tumblr is filled with such sweet people telling me how blessed I am, how strong I am, and what a great mom I am. It makes me so happy to know that people don’t think less of me now,” said Healey.
However, being so open on the internet, a place where it is not hard to be anonymous if one wishes, also brings negative and cruel comments. While Healey says these kinds of comments are hurtful, they also help her because they make her want to prove them wrong.
“I’m not condoning teen pregnancy,” said Healey. “It’s very hard balancing work school and being a mom, but I make it work and wouldn’t trade my life for anything. Liam is truly a blessing.”
<a href="https://medium.com/hi-s-eye-blog/bringing-up-baby-and-blogging-too-5068776baaa0#.q8r4tmqdz">Click to read Bronte Healey's guest blog post</a>