Interview 09

Age at interview: 21
Brief Outline: She had Chlamydia. She took a course of antibiotics that cleared the infection completely. (Played by an actor)
Background: She is a full-time mum, has two children' one daughter of five and a half and a six-month-old baby. She became pregnant with her first child at the age of fifteen. (Played by an actor)

More about me...


Explains that after experiencing Chlamydia her attitude to unprotected sex with casual partners...

(The accompanying video and audio clips are played by an actor)

Yeah well after that I would... when it come to the point, if they said no I said well sorry I'm not going to do it then. 

So in a way your attitude changed?

Yeah 'cos one of my ex boyfriends he came up and I went to bed and he was like trying it on and that and I said 'well are you going to wear something', he said no, so I said 'I'm going to sleep then' and so I just turned over and went to sleep. I was really wary after that.

Yeah, having... once I had that I was like right, after I'd been with a different bloke or like every six months, I would go and get myself checked out, Cos' I wanted to know that I wasn't like passing anything on or didn't have anything myself, that I was fine. So it was the Chlamydia that done it.

Says that her partner blamed her for getting pregnant and started to hit her soon after the baby...

(The accompanying video and audio clips are played by an actor)

But he didn't want to use condoms?

No, he said that I never told him that I'd come off the pill, but the day I come off the pill, I said to him, I'm coming of the pill 'cos its giving me like really bad headaches and mood swings and I told him I wasn't taking it and he just said 'yeah ok' but then when I fell pregnant, he said, well he said like that I never told him, but I did.

We split up when she was about 9, 10 months old.

Do you mind telling me why?

Well what it was, he started hitting me in the August, my birthday, and it got to the point I'd just had enough and I phoned the police on him and took him to court about it and we ended up splitting up like that really. So didn't want to be with him any more.

He resented you because you'd had your daughter?

I think sometimes I felt like that because the hitting only started when the baby was born or as soon as the baby was born, he started raising his fists to me and he'd never done that before. As soon as we'd argue, we'd have a big argument and he'd raise his fists and I would say 'oh yeah, go on then, hit me' and he never did until the August and she was born in the January.  

But we weren't properly living together at the time, I used to live with my Mum. My Mum didn't want me to move out and the baby was only a couple of months old and I thought well we'll move out, so that's when the problems started when we lived together he threatened to hit me, and then eventually he did hit me.

Describes the difficulties faced by single mothers. (Actor)

(The accompanying video and audio clips are played by an actor)

Yeah definitely I've always said, I can't if she's 15, 16 the same age as I was, I can't stop it, I can't tell her she can't do it, but I'd talk to her and say that it isn't easy like unless you get like the support of your family, because I like did at the time and like she wouldn't of had half the things in her life that she had if we hadn't had that support and when I was younger it was like easier. 

I thought it was easy having a baby 'cos like you babysit all the time and like see these perfect babies and perfect children, but you don't see the teething and the diarrhoea and the illnesses and sickness and the sleepless nights and I think that all girls about 12, 13 should have those dollies that look like real babies. I think that would stop a lot of teenage pregnancies.

'cos it's hard and some people can't cope with it I mean there's quite a few people I know that are older than myself and they've had kids taken off of them because they can't cope with them. And when you're young you think that these little babies in their prams are nice and you don't think about how much the prams cost and the nappies and the clothes and everything you need for a baby, it's so expensive. 

And it's hard and sometimes you can actually see how people can do it but if you're the right sort of person you think right, walk out of the room the babies safe in the cot, you count to 10, count to 100, like if you have to count to 100. Calm down and walk back in again. But it does get to the point sometimes when you think just shut up please just shut up.

That's the most frustrating thing, when they're screaming and you don't know if they're in pain or just having a winge and you check their nappy and the nappy's fine and you try to give them a bottle and they don't want that and just like everything. It just winds you up really, cos you don't know what they want and it upsets you and gets you wound up so...

So its not easy being a mum?

No its not easy at all, not easy, I mean you have to have a lot of patience especially when they're a baby and when they get older they back chat you and you have to have even more patience, that isn't easy and all of it' like people that babysit a lot can actually see that it isn't that easy maybe they'd think twice about having, being more careful and things like that. 

Describes how she felt as a teenager when she got a 'lecture' from health workers at her Family...

(The accompanying video and audio clips are played by an actor)

I don't mind using it but then it's the same as when I was a bit younger and they'd say 'well you know you should have used a condom' and things like that and you think well I'm down here to do something about it so don't give me a lecture.

Who gave you a lecture?

The woman at the Family Planning, 'well you should really use a condom, you shouldn't rely on the mini pill, the a morning after pill' its like, well I know accidents do happen and that's the only thing, that sometimes you feel uncomfortable which is like when' well you feel like they're putting you down or trying to give you a lecture about something.

Says that the information she was given about STIs was inadequate. (Actor)

(The accompanying video and audio clips are played by an actor)

All you hear is like to prevent sexually transmitted diseases wear a condom, the pill does not stop sexually transmitted diseases and that's the only thing you hear. You don't hear anything about the diseases or anything like that, and you only hear like 'well if you use a condom you won't get any sexually transmitted diseases, but the pill don't stop sexually transmitted diseases' and that's all you all you seem to find out about with them really, use a condom to stop them but the pill doesn't stop them 

So in your opinion do you think that there should be more detail in these classes?

Yeah I think they should, I think like until you know what it is or what can be done or what can't be done about it, apart from Aids but everybody knows HIV and Aids, but other things they don't know. So you tend, it doesn't tend to stick in your mind if you know what I mean, like oh yeah well you could get one, but you could not and then until you get one and find out what it is you're dealing with and things like that then you don't think about it.  

I didn't really know what they were, it didn't play a part in my mind, that sort of thing. I was just like 'oh well'. And then you actually got one and you was like' but I think if I'd known more about them and what they are and how many different ones there are and things like that then I think it would've like opened my mind a bit more.

Explains that she was too young when she had her first sexual experience and that it happened in...

(The accompanying video and audio clips are played by an actor)

When I was younger I used to think, oh I know best, I'm older than I think and everything like that and now I wish I'd waited, its not all that its cracked up to be. But 'cos you just want to know what it's all about, what everybody's going on about and I just wish I hadn't done it so young.  

Why not?

I think 'cos I personally... I think I made the wrong choice of the person, the first person I went with, he ended up being not a very nice person and I just wish I'd waited until I'd found someone I was more committed to and he was committed to me and actually waited until our relationship had like progressed that far, but I'd only been seeing the bloke well a month or so and it just happened.

Do you think that there was any kind of peer pressure involved?

In a way, yeah, but I used to hang around with people who were a lot older than myself. They'd be like several years older than me and a couple of them like already had got children, they were in their late twenties and I was still only a little teenager, just. So in a way I did feel a bit like well they keep going on about it so why not just try it.

Describes how one GP mistakenly gave her the combined pill despite a history of headaches and migraines and how another GP stopped her taking it (Actor)

(The accompanying video clips are played by an actor)

Something like Microgynon 30. I think I took that one for about a year and then I was getting severe headaches and stuff, so they told me to come off the pill and, so I came off the pill and they told me just to use condoms, but I never and that's when I fell pregnant with my daughter 

Well I've only been on it for the past month, just over a month, but its like I'm meant to be on and I'd get like a spotting of blood, then I'd use something and then it'd disappear and it's all gone, so you don't put anything there 'cos you think its stopped again and it starts again.

Do you have any concerns about the health affect of any of the contraceptive methods?

No not really. Well they put me on the combined pill, well my doctor put me on the combined pill after I'd had my son 'cos I wanted to go back on the pill, and I actually went to the Family Planning and I said can I have some more of these and they said 'well if we had given them to you we could just give you some more', but I had to see the doctor. 

I said OK, so I saw the doctor and she looked at my records and she said 'why was you on the mini pill before you fell pregnant with your son' and I said well I got severe headaches and she said 'who gave you this combined pill' I said my doctor and she said 'you shouldn't be on it', because where I got real bad headaches like when I was 18 I went sort of like numb down one side of my body with it. She said being on the combined pill could cause me to have a stroke, so she quickly took me off it and put me onto the mini pill that's what I'm on now.

So you went to your GP?

And he gave me the combined pill.

Did he know about your history?

Yeah he'd been my doctor all my life, my whole life. I said to him that I wanted to go back on the pill and he was like well here you are, just gave me that one. He done my  blood pressure and everything that was about it really, just gave me the prescription for one of the combination pills.

Explains that the first time the coil fell she had a sexually transmitted infection and that the...

(The accompanying video and audio clips are played by an actor)

After she was born, I had one put in and it was in for over a year and then it fell out, so I had a better one put in, but I had problems with that so they told me I had to go back on the pill, so I went back on the pill for a little while. Then I wanted a coil again and this was when I met my son's father and I had real big problems with it, real bad bleedin', I went up the hospital it was so bad. Handfuls and handfuls of clots, and I went up hospital and they wouldn't even do nothin'. He just felt my tummy and said 'oh well it hasn't perforated your womb so you're ok' and the blood was unreal.  

I had to change my clothes like every ten minutes, just wouldn't stop gushing, it just kept coming. In the end I got in the bath 'cos I thought well if you get in the bath it stops and within 5 seconds of being in the bath the water was red. Luckily it fell out that night so the bleeding stopped.  

So the main problem was the bleeding?

Well I don't know, 'cos the first one I had was brilliant. I had no trouble with it, I had a bit of heavy bleeding but then I'm heavy when I'm bleeding anyway so' but then that one they put in I just couldn't stop bleeding, it was just coming out and they can't do nothing when you don't stop bleeding.  

I went to the doctors to say it'd come out again and they said 'well I think its best if you leave it, obviously your system keeps rejecting the coil', they said maybe I should go back on the pill again. I said yeah, I don't really want another coil now and she said well give it a few weeks, and I said I don't really want one so I went back on the pill and that's when I fell pregnant with my son, when I was on the pill, on the mini pill.  

But I did have a lot of problems as well when, before they would fit the coil, before they fit it you have to have a smear to make sure you aint got no infections, with the first one, when the first one come out, I did have an infection that's why it came out.  

Which infection did you have?

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Talks about the importance about getting the timing right for taking a mini pill.

So last week I think it was I forgot to take my mini pill and I took it a few hours over. So that was it, I was like right - No we can’t  we can’t do nothing we can’t do nothing for at least a week (giggle). 
Did you explain to him?
Yeh and his, his attitude is if I did we could just get rid of it, and I was like well it’s not that easy I said. It’s easy for you to say it but then I’m the one that’s  got to go up the hospital l’m the one that’s got to have everything done to me and then it goes on my records it don’t go on your records and I said and it’s not a nice thing to go through I said. And he goes well we’ll keep it then and I was like are you mad (giggle) I can’t have two kids under the age of two.
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