Here, Mollie Syrigos, 16, tells the story in her own words.
￼As the second blue line appeared on the pregnancy test, my breath caught in my chest.
‘It’s positive,’ I said to my boyfriend Oscar, who was frantically pacing the room. ‘No way!’ he stammered. What were we going to do? I was only 13 and Oscar was 14. Just kids ourselves, now we were going to have a baby of our own.
At first I’d thought I had gastro, vomiting up to three times a day. But when it didn’t pass after a few weeks, a niggling doubt made me buy that pregnancy test. My mum is going to kill me, I thought. She and I had a difficult relationship and I’d moved in with Oscar at his dad’s place. With some distance between us, Mum and I had just started to get along better when I discovered that I was pregnant. The thought of disappointing my family made me feel sick. My mum Nancy, 47, was furious when I told her. ‘You can’t keep it, you’re too young,’ she told me. As scary as the prospect was, I knew I wanted this baby. But with no plan, I didn’t know how we’d make it work.
Gently rubbing my tiny bump though, I knew that Oscar and I would do whatever it took. As word spread, former friends put nasty things on Facebook. One just wrote ha ha ha on a post announcing my pregnancy. It hurt, but that wasn’t all I had to endure. As my bump grew, I could feel stranger’s eyes boring into me. Walking down the street, people would elbow their friends and point at me. ‘I feel like a circus freak,’ I sobbed to Oscar. I became so anxious that I didn’t want to leave the house. But every time I felt that tiny flutter in my belly, I knew all the heartache would be worth it.
In March 2016 – when I was 14 and Oscar was 15 – we welcomed our baby boy, Theodore, into the world. I’d been scared of giving birth but I did it naturally and drug free. As my warm, wet, wriggly bub was placed on my chest I was enveloped in a huge rush of love. ‘He’s perfect,’ I gushed to Oscar, who was equally as smitten as me. Thankfully, Theodore was a very placid newborn and I took to motherhood like a duck to water. Breastfeeding my precious son one day, I looked into his angelic face and I knew right then I’d found my purpose in life: to be a mother. Before, I was drifting with no clue about what I wanted really to do. Theodore was my anchor.
A doting dad, Oscar worked hard as an apprentice carpenter to support us and we also got a bit of money from Centrelink. In between being a mummy, I tried to finish my education at a special school for young mums. Still living with Oscar’s dad Tim, who has multiple sclerosis, he helped as much as he could. And despite her initial response, Mum adored her grandson and cherished every moment with him. ‘I’m so proud of you,’ she told me. Oscar and I loved family life so much, we even talked about having more kids. ‘Let’s just see what happens,’ I suggested, and that’s exactly what we did.
It wasn’t so much of a surprise when I discovered I was expecting again at 15. In November last year, we moved into our very first family home which was closer to Mum. It had a beautiful big backyard and as I imagined Theodore playing with his younger sibling, my heart swelled. Our daughter Delilah Lilli Wilks was born in December. I’ll never forget the first time I held her, I was once again completely intoxicated by feelings of love. Although Oscar and I were blessed with another easy baby, I really struggled looking after a newborn while also taking care of Theodore’s needs. Breastfeeding Delilah while trying to make Theodore’s breakfast, I started to feel really frazzled. Although I was exhausted, I didn’t want to ask anyone for help because we were so young.Then, when Delilah was two weeks old, I was diagnosed with post-natal depression. I began seeing a local psychologist and she helped me work through it.
Looking after two babies isn’t easy, but I’ve mastered the juggling act a lot more now and wouldn’t change a thing about my life. Now two, Theodore loves his little sister to bits and is a great older brother. The kids mean absolutely everything to me. I would be completely lost without them. For now, two is enough, but we’ll see how we feel in a few years! They’ve given my life new meaning and they make me truly happy.
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