Mom-to-be, 20, battles statistics, prepares for unplanned birth of baby boy

By Stacy

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- South Carolina's teen pregnancy rate ranks worst than most other states.

The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancies released a study recently that states 5,537 South Carolina teens gave birth in 2012. That's more teen births than 38 other states.

A new bill being considered in the State House would hold information taught in sex-ed classes to a higher standard. Lawmakers hope the lessons will help bring the pregnancy rate down.

Melissa Hyman is one young woman who had unprotected sex and is pregnant. Now she's doing the best she can to prepare, including help from a local organization that deals with this issue every day.

The Florence Crittenton home in downtown Charleston houses young women ages 10 to 21. All, like 20-year-old Hyman, are pregnant.

"I realized I couldn't eat and I love to eat so I was like something was wrong! I knew it could happen to me but I just didn't think it was going to happen that time," Hyman said.

She said her baby was conceived after having unprotected sex.

"I wasn't really thinking about children right now. I was just trying to go to school, do other things. Then children would come later in the picture," she said.

She remembered being in high school and seeing the girls who got pregnant. Though it was frowned upon, she said it was accepted and all too common.

"Out of 10 girls, I'd probably say six of them was pregnant," she said.

Young women who have unplanned pregnancies often come from single-parent families like Hyman's, experts said.

"I can't really say too much about my father," she said.

Hyman has accepted that now she's another young woman having an unplanned pregnancy. She came to the Florence Crittenton home to learn how to be a good mom.

"I want to be the type of mom my child can come to and talk to me about anything," she said. "I want to be a nice, fun energetic mom."

And she prepares with a positive attitude.

"I'm not only thinking about myself now. I got to think of baby first. Then I come last. I have to sacrifice a lot of things," Hyman said.

Now, her degree in criminal justice is on hold, she said. The home taught her that being a mom would be hard work, but she said she will work just as hard to live out her dreams.