The Pregnancy Project Ebook Photo
The Pregnancy Project Ebook Image
The Pregnancy Project Ebook Image
The Pregnancy Project Ebook Photo
The Pregnancy Project Ebook Image
The Pregnancy Project Ebook Image
The Pregnancy Project Ebook Image
The Pregnancy Project Ebook Pic
The Pregnancy Project Ebook
The true story of a high school senior whose faked pregnancy rocked her community and made global headlines.
Growing up, Gaby Rodriguez was often times told she would end up a teen mom. After all, her mother and her older sisters had gotten pregnant as teenagers…from an outsider’s perspective, it was practically a family tradition. Gaby had ambitions that didn’t include teen motherhood. But she wondered: How would she be treated if she “lived down” to others’ expectations? Would every one ignore the years she put into being a good student and see her as just another pregnant teen statistic with no future? These questions sparked Gaby’s school project: faking her own pregnancy as a high school senior to see how her family, friends, and community would react. What she learned changed her life forever, and made global headlines in the process.
In The Pregnancy Test, Gaby details how she was capable to bogus her own pregnancy—hiding the truth from even her siblings and boyfriend’s parents—and what it was like to become an accidental for the length of one night media sensation, attempting to navigate a new world of film and book offers and talk show requests to participate or be present while getting ready for the prom. But more than that, Gaby’s story is with regards to the power of stereotypes, and how one girl found the strength to come out from the shadow of low expected values to forge a bright future for herself.
- Amazon Sales Rank: #19084 in eBooks
- Published on: 2012-01-17
- Released on: 2012-01-17
- Format: Kindle eBook
- Number of items: 1
|About the AuthorGaby Rodriguez made national headlines in 2011 when, as a seventeen-year-old high school senior from Toppenish, Washington, she revealed she had faked a pregnancy for a class project. Her grades were in the top 5 percent of her graduating class, and she was a commencement speaker. She was likewise in the ASB Leadership group and president of the school’s chapter of M.E.Ch.A (Movimiento Estudiantil de Chicanos de Aztlan: Chicano Student Movement of Aztlan). She was raised by her single mom, has seven brothers and sisters, and has been dating her boyfriend Jorge since 2008. She is presently attending college.
Jenna Glatzer is the author or ghostwriter of nineteen books, including The Marilyn Monroe Treasures; My Stolen Son with Susan Markowitz;Bullyproof Your Child for Life with Joel Haber, Ph.D.; and the authorized biography Celine Dion: For Keeps. She has written hundreds of articles for publications such as Woman’s World, Salon, AOL, and MSN, and is a popular contributor to Writer’s Digest. She lives in New York with her daughter. Visit her at JennaGlatzer.com.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
BEFORE THERE WAS ME
For a moment, I understood just what it will have to be like to be a celebrity caught in the middle of a scandal. There I was, on a senior class field trip, in disguise, and running away from a reporter and cameraman who had followed me, attempting to sneak a quote out of me for their story. That’s because I’m The Girl Who Faked Her Own Pregnancy as a Senior Project. Okay, it’s not an official title, but it might as well be. Overnight I went from being just another unknown seventeen-year-old girl in small-town Washington State to an international media sensation. It was weird.
Weird and scary.
I sure hadn’t planned on any of it. When Good Morning America called my school looking for me while I was in the midst of juggling four other interviews, I ran out the back door crying. Who was I to be on national television? And it wasn’t just Good Morning America—all the major television networks in the United States, plus a lot of international ones, wanted to send film crews out to my little hometown to talk to me. Three of them came to my school to give demonstrations and try to woo me for my initial “exclusive.” And in addition to the news programs, there were likewise movie producers, talk-show hosts, radio producers, newspaper and magazine editors, book publishers. . . . My necessary almost went out of his mind attempting to keep up with the calls that had resulted from my project.
They all wanted to ask the same questions: Why did you do it? You in truth didn’t tell your boyfriend’s parents? What do you think of shows like Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant? What’s your message?
I worried regarding saying the wrong things. I worried I would be misinterpreted or misquoted or just plain misunderstood. I didn’t know how to turn my message into a sound bite for the media—how do you explain a lifetime in just a sentence or two?
Because that’s what it was, really. This wasn’t merely a senior project that I picked out of a hat, hoping for a good grade and the prospect to go on The Today Show. It was something that reflected a major issue in my family, which started with my mom decades before I was born. And if you’re going to understand my story, I primary need to tell you regarding my family and where I grew up.
• • •
My mother is a superhero. I recognise this because I’ve seen her in action, under the hood of a car that is in all likelihood better suitable for the junkyard than the highway. She learned how to fix cars by observing mechanic shows on television and by studying what other people did when they worked on their cars. That’s how she figured out how to repair washing machines and other gimmicks around the house, too. Even when she was eight months pregnant with me, she was rolling herself under a car to fix something or other, because that’s what necessitated to be done. Give her sufficient time and she may figure out almost anything.
She didn’t learn these accomplishments in school—she dropped out when she became pregnant in the eighth grade, at age fourteen. I learned that when I was in regarding the seventh grade, and it seemed unreal to me. I’m just a kid, I thought. How could she have had a baby when she was just one grade above me?
I always knew my mother had been young when she had her introductory child, but I never did the math, never realized that she was in middle school. And when she initial told me she had Nievitas at fifteen, I assumed that meant she got pregnant when she was fifteen. Then she corrected me and said she got pregnant when she was fourteen, and for a good deal of reason that pushed it over the edge for me. Fifteen was still a couple of years away, but fourteen was too close for comfort. Some of my friends were fourteen. Picturing them with babies was crazy.
“I made a mistake,” my mother said. “But Gaby, this is not a road I want you to go down. This is not an option for you. You have a good life in front of you, and I want you to wait until you’re ready before you have kids. Focus on school and think regarding relationships later.”
I was listening, but also distracted by the significances of what she was telling me regarding her life. It’s hard for me to even think regarding how she coped. In middle school, I was just starting to figure out who I was; I was thinking regarding my schoolwork and my friends and sports and what I might like to do with my future. My mother had to think when it comes to what time the baby had her last feeding, whether they had sufficient diapers in the house, and scheduling doctor visits for immunizations and check-ups. She didn’t have her own life anymore. Motherhood swallowed her up.
The summer before I took sex ed class in middle school, my mom decisive to tell me the whole story. We had looked over my upcoming curriculum together, and my mom had to sign off on a note saying that she acknowledged that I would be taking sex ed as percentage of my health and fitness class the following year. I wondered aloud what they would instruct us. She figured they’d probably talk to us in regards to temperance and protecting yourself from not wanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, and that led into the introductory of our frank talks when it comes to her past. I’m not sure anymore whether she started the speech or I did; whenever I had questions, she always valued me sufficient to answer honestly, but she tried to protect my sensations by not sharing a lot of of the more difficult details until she felt I was ready to listen them.
Her father had passed from physical life of cancer when she was eight years old, and she was the second-oldest in a family of eight kids. There would have been ten, but one of my grandmother’s pregnancies ended in miscarriage, and another baby was untimely and passed from physical life in infancy. Three girls and five boys remained. After her father’s death, her mother reared all the kids alone, and she was deeply disappointed when my mother got pregnant at such an early age. My mom cared very much what her mother thought, peculiarly because that was the only parent she had left.
Because her mother wouldn’t have it any other way, my mother explained, she married the boy who impregnated her. Secretly she hoped he would move back to Mexico so she’d be relieved of her responsibility to stay with him, but he stuck around and decisive he liked the idea of having a wife to do the chores for him and be at his beck and call in the bedroom. Although she wanted to go back to school, he wouldn’t let her. Instead, she went to work at a potato plant warehouse. He worked in the fields driving tractors and trucks, a occupation that commonly went to illegal immigrants, though he was a citizen. They had seven children together over the course of their sixteen-year marriage—all my brothers and sisters, but not me. I wasn’t born until years later.
Three girls and four boys. In birth order, they are: Nievitas, Genaro, Sonya, Javier, Fabian, Tony, and Jessica.
There were a large total of physical fights amongst my mom and her husband, her husband and the kids, and amongst the kids themselves. One story my siblings told me that always stands out in my mind is regarding a fight that started when their dad was at work and my mother decisive to run to the grocery store, leaving the older kids in charge of the younger kids. After all, the older ones were teenagers, and all the kids were just sitting in the living room watching television when she left. She figured she would be gone a short time, so what could go wrong?
Jessica, the youngest, was four or five at the time. She was sitting on the windowsill, observing the cars go by and waiting for Mom to come home. When she got up to go to the bathroom, she didn’t want to lose her good spot, so she threatened Fabian: “If you’re sitting in my spot when I get back, I’m going to get a gun and shoot you.”
Guess he didn’t take her at face value.
She came back and, sure enough, he was sitting in her spot. So she went off to her oldest brother’s room, got his BB gun, pointed it at Fabian’s face, and shot him in the eye.
My mother and their father came home at the same time and saw this horrid scene. My mother ran to Fabian to look at the damage, and their father took the BB gun and cracked it over Genaro’s head.
He didn’t want to blame Jessica—she was the baby of the family, after all—so he blamed Genaro for having the gun in the house to get started with. Beating on Genaro came before taking Fabian to the hospital. He’s still partially blind in that eye to this day.
My mother is a tame woman who was raised by a tame woman, but the abuse didn’t cause her to leave. Her husband was the only real boyfriend she’d ever had, giving careful consideration to she got pregnant at fourteen. She had such little life experience and kinship experience; she didn’t recognise what was normal and acceptable, and she didn’t feel like she had a choice. Her mother made her feel like she had to stick it out no matter what because she got pregnant. So for numerous years, she just accepted that this fault was going to cost her the rest of her life.
I think that if she had waited until she was older to get married and have kids, she would have had a very dissimilar perspective. She would have been competent to stand up for herself, and she would have had the selfconfidence to know she could make it on her own if she necessitated to.
After sixteen years, the rumors started getting to her—word around the neighborhood was that her husband was being unfaithful to her. At introductory she brushed the gossip aside. What did these busybodies know, anyway?
But then there were little signs . . . his clothes in the laundry would smell of perfume that wasn’t hers, or he’d come home later at night. When she saw him driving his work van past the house at a time when he was supposed to be elsewhere, she decisive to follow him in the family station wagon . . . a bold move for a woma…
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful.
An interesting insight into teen pregnancy
By For Love and Books
I remember first hearing about Gaby Rodriguez and her pregnancy project on the Today show when her story first broke. I was actually on a play date with one of my good friends, who also happened to have been a teen mom. I was intrigued by Gaby’s project, and was able to hear more of my friends personal experience as well.
When I was walking through the bookstore last week, I saw a display for The Pregnancy Project and my curiosity got me. I wanted more of Gaby’s story. Why she did this, what reactions she got. In those cases, this book did not disappoint.
The first third of the book is more background, and while I know it needed to be told? I was just anxious to get into the story. Gaby’s mother has lived an incredible life – filled with hardship and abuse. After becoming pregnant at 14, she went on to marry her boyfriend and have seven children with him. As I said? Her story was heartbreaking, but By page 60 (of 216) I found myself asking when the story of her project would actually start.
The recount of the project itself was fascinating, and I found myself texting my friend and her husband asking “we’re people this mean to you?” My heart broke for her and her husband (who happen to be one of the most levelheaded and in love couples, despite having married and has their first child at 16 & 17.) Gaby and her boyfriend went through a lot, his parents were unhappy (they were not in on the project and thought she was pregnant like everyone else) her siblings were disappointed in her. Her peers were downright mean at times.
In the end, I really enjoyed The Pregnancy Project. I knew when I picked it up that the writing would probably be rough, but many memoirs tend to be that way. The one thing I really found lacking was that I would have liked to know more about their interactions with her boyfriends parents during the six month project, if they ever started to warm up to the idea of a grandchild or not. Also, I would have loved to learn more of her mentor through the pregnant teen program.
I would recommend The Pregnancy Project to anyone who enjoys memoirs, but more importantly? I think it would be a great read for any 15 or 16 year old girls, showing some of the consequences of the pregnancy – before the hard part of parenting even really begins. But also the side effects of gossip in a way you might not see them.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful.
Gaby’s Pregnancy Test
By Little Willow
At age 17, Gaby Rodriguez was an excellent student, ranking in the top 5 percent of her graduating class and holding high position in school clubs and leadership organizations in her hometown of Toppenish, Washington.
She is also the youngest child in a large family. Very large. Gaby has seven siblings – and more than thirty nieces and nephews, some of which are older than she is, some closer in age. Her family history was filled with teenage pregnancy: Her mother had been a teen mother. Her older sisters were teen moms. Many of her older brothers were teen fathers. So, sadly, there were those who looked down on Gaby, despite her achievements – and then she announced that she was pregnant, thereby “living down to their expectations.”
But she wasn’t. Not at all. Because she wasn’t really pregnant.
Gaby’s pregnancy was a project. It was an idea she came up with herself and shared with very few others: her mother, her boyfriend, one close friend, a few administrators who had to give her project their approval, and only one of her siblings. Everyone else – including the rest of her family and her boyfriend’s parents – thought that Gaby and her boyfriend, Jorge, were about to become teen parents.
Gaby’s pregnancy was also a test. A test for Gaby, to see if people would actually believe that she was pregnant. If her friends and loved ones would stand by her when she needed them. If the fake belly she wore under her clothes, created by her mom, looked real. If she could keep the project a secret. If she could pull it off, emotionally and physically.
Six long months later, Gaby revealed everything in an all-school assembly. She started her presentation off with facts and figures, with statistics and stories about teenage pregnancies and stereotypes. Then she announced that she was not pregnant. People audibly gasped as she took off the fake belly and continued talking, telling them what this project meant to her.
Gaby’s presentation was captured on camera, leading the story to be picked up not only by local papers but also the Associated Press, which in turn led to national and international news broadcasts. It also led to a book deal and a movie deal. Lifetime’s made-for-TV movie based on Gaby’s story aired shortly after the book was released.
Gaby’s memoir, co-written with Jenna Glatzer, offers insight into Gaby’s home life. She’s not afraid to get personal, describing her home life and siblings in detail. She discloses details about her mother’s abusive first marriage. Gaby is clearly close to her mother and treats her with honor and respect. Gaby never sounds ashamed of her mother, or her upbringing. She is frank about her school and her hometown.
Gaby’s memoir doesn’t glamorize teen pregnancy. Not in the least. She mentions shows like Teen Mom She discusses the hurdles she encountered and stats that she learned during her study as well as the problems her mom and siblings went through when they had kids. She talks about her mom’s struggles to make ends meet. She shares the dreams she has for herself, her desire to “make a real difference in people’s lives.”
Gaby could have stopped her project at any time, but she didn’t. She went through with it. She stuck it out. She did want she planned to do. That took a lot of strength. That took a lot of guts. After the project, she was chased by the media and saw her name in headlines, but more importantly, she graduated from high school with honors. Now, while she’s been hitting the books for college, her own book is hitting stores. Hopefully, her project makes the difference she wants it to make – and she’ll make a difference in the world.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful.
By KAMARIA NURSE
Gaby Rodriguez set out to investigate and confront many of the stereotypes of the Latina. Her mother was pregnant at 14, her older sisters followed in their mother’s footsteps and became young mothers as well. Getting pregnant young seemed to be family tradition. Gaby seeing her mother and siblings could have fallen into the same trap of young motherhood. However, seeing the struggles of her mother and sibilings provided Gaby with the impetus to do something different. She took to her schooling and wanted to be educated to help others.
Her pregnancy project was useful since it gave her perspective into the world of the teen mother. Gaby used her project to gauge not only the perspectives of others on her but it gave her insight into the quirky social aspects of high school culture where gossip and rumor are sometimes better than facts. Much of her success came through the work and support of her mother and boyfriend who knew the truth and supported her through her whole time she was “pregnant.” Confronting the stereotypes of the Latina she used her project to speak to prejudices that are held about the Latina. This is relatable to prejudices held about other types of young women in similar situations of racial minority and poverty.
See all 16 customer reviews…