Talia Stimpson was just 14 years old when she got pregnant and 15 when she had her daughter Lily.
Now 23 years old with an eight-year-old daughter, Talia wants to share her story to address the stigma against teen parents and help others going through the same “scary” time.
The young mother admits that she was lucky because her family, her boyfriend and the school supported her, but she said she was still too scared to tell her mom and dad when she first found out. time she was pregnant.
Although she counted on her support as she finished school and went to college, there were difficult moments in which Talia said she felt isolated and scared.
She agreed that it wasn’t ideal to get pregnant and have a baby so young, but she said: “Lily has enriched me and my family with more love than we could have imagined.”
Talia, 15, with newborn Lily. The teenager was studying for GCSEs at the time and took her first exam six weeks after she was born (Image: WalesOnline)
In 2019 she graduated from Cardiff University with Lily by her side. Talia admitted that it hadn’t been easy and that she was so naive when she was a teenager that she didn’t even know how to take a pregnancy test.
“They thought we were just best friends, so it came as a huge shock to my entire family. Not only did they need to accept the fact that she was pregnant, but she was also four months pregnant before she found out.
“My parents were silent for an hour and then they came and hugged me. They were totally supportive of my decision to keep the baby, and even though the circumstances were not ideal or expected, they were able to see beyond and celebrate the fact that a new life was coming into the world and joining our family.
“They supported me emotionally, physically, and financially through my pregnancy and the first three years of my daughter’s life until we moved. My mom took care of Lily in the morning and in the afternoon while I was at school.
Seeing her move and kick I was surprised but very happy. She seemed real then. The doctors told me that because of my age she had until 24 weeks pregnant to decide if she would give me a vacuum abortion. He had just seen this baby kick and already knew he wanted her. My boyfriend supported me. We both wanted to keep it.”
Talia had recently become a Christian and said her faith gave her a sense of hope.
Her parents jumped into action and she gave her all the support she needed. Talia’s mother talked to her school and they promised her that she could keep her blessing. The schoolgirl was still in class on Friday three days before giving birth in April 2014.
The birth itself went smoothly until the very end when Lily, who weighed eight pounds five ounces, stopped breathing.
“They took her away and I didn’t see her for almost eight hours. She was fine, but she had brain scans to check and she was in the special care unit for babies.”
Six weeks later, Talia took her first GCSE exams early, as planned, in IT and food technology, while her mother temporarily left her job as a cafe manager to care for her new granddaughter.
With the help of her family and Lily’s father’s family, Talia was able to continue school and went home at lunchtime to nurse and see her baby. The teenager was then home-schooled for the remainder of the summer before returning to school full-time at the start of Year 11.
Earning 11 GCSEs when Lily turned one the following summer, Talia achieved three A-levels and one AS-level before going to Cardiff University at 18 to study religious education and philosophy.