When 16-year-old Jessica Gates learned in late May that she was pregnant, she went numb. It wasn't until she told her mother the news that she started to cry.
Then she couldn't stop.
"I was so shocked," she said. "I never thought it could happen to me. I know everybody says that."
For Jessica, the decision to keep the baby was an easy one.
"Right off the bat, I knew what I was going to do," she said. "I don't believe in abortion or adoption, really."
Although she anticipates a rocky future, she said she is doing her best to accept the situation and even treasure the sweet moments.
"I got to hear the heartbeat and that was cool," she said. "I wanted to cry and so did my boyfriend. My mom just got the biggest smile on her face."
Her boyfriend is sticking by her, but the two have no formal plans to marry. She said they will most likely wed when both are ready.
Next month, the couple will have an ultrasound to determine the sex of the baby.
"I'm excited," she said. "Me and my boyfriend want a boy first, then we want to have a girl way down the road."
Raising a baby as a teenager is not going to be easy, and Jessica already has plans to prevent her own daughter from following in her footsteps.
"I want to raise it not to get pregnant at 16," she said. "But if it does, I can't knock down on it because I did it."
Although she wants to do her best to prevent her daughter from getting pregnant, she does not blame her own mother for her pregnancy.
"My mom raised me with morals," she said. "It wasn't anything she did. It was my own fault."
She said she can't think of anything anybody could have done to prevent her situation.
"It's not really the adults that can prevent it," she said. "It's only the teenagers that want to have sex that can prevent it. Some people just aren't going to listen."
Jessica plans to finish high school at New Horizons, a school where new and expectant parents can go and receive on-site day care.
She said it will also be better at New Horizons where she won't have to deal with the judgment of her peers.
"I just don't want any problems," she said.
However, she does not spend too much time worrying about what others think about her.
"Personally, I don't care what they think," she said. "It's not them that are pregnant, it's me."
Her mother and her good friends have both accepted her decision and are supporting her.
"I'm as ready as I can be at this age," she said. "I'm taking it one day at a time."