Suélen Faedo and her daughter Manoela.

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In February, 2013, Suélen Faedo, 20, bought a pregnancy test from a local drugstore. Her period was three months late. The test was positive. She was pregnant.

“I stayed silent for a couple of days, really stressed out about everything. I was trying to organize my thoughts and figure out what to do. I knew I couldn’t do it by myself. I didn’t know what to do with my life,” Faedo said.

According to the World Health Organization, 87 million women become pregnant unintentionally each year. Faedo was in the middle of her university career when the news hit her. Like many single moms, she thought about aborting the child or giving it up to adoption, but everything changed once she realized she had her family’s support.

“I decided to have my daughter when I knew my family would be by my side. I knew that even if I couldn’t handle it, my mom and my dad would do everything possible for the two of us,” she said, “My family accepted the baby and me, even though I was going to be a single mom. They gave me love instead of judgments.

Since before her daughter was born, Faedo was working and studying at the same time. A couple of months ago she finished her university degree in nutrition. The past four years have been hard, struggling all the way to give herself and her child a better life.

“I went to school until the end of my pregnancy, and after she was born I kept studying at home. I took tests, papers and everything else at home. When she was only six months old I had to go back to school, and it was hard,” she said. When her daughter was one, they moved to the city where Faedo’s university was located.

“Those were the hardest months of my life, because it was in a house with just the two of us. My grades started to go bad because of so many different things, like her daycare, my work. I worked all day, picked her up, arrived home, cooked and organized the house to leave her with a nanny and go to school. It was hard to find my will to go, it was hard to focus on classes,” Faedo said.

They continued on for eight months, and then returned to Faedo’s parents’ house. Little by little, things were going back to normal. Today, Faedo is still working on plans for the future. Her next step is to get into a master’s school, and find a place of her own.

“I wish I didn’t depend on my parents that much. I’d like to leave alone with her and be able to support our little family with my own work. I keep seeking it, and I hope I’ll find it soon.”

Today, Faedo cannot imagine her life without her daughter, Manoela. The question that stands is, how can you love someone in such an inconvenient moment? Faedo said she believes everything happen the moment it is supposed to happen.

“When I found out I was going to have a daughter, I left the kind of live I was having behind me. It wasn’t worth living. Even though it was inconvenient at first, Faedo says she became a better person because of Manoela, as a person and professionally.

“I changed my life, I became more responsible, more patient, less angry, and I stopped acting by impulse.”

With her eyes shining, Faedo says that her daughter has given her more strength. “Looking at her every morning is what gives me strength on the hardest days and gratitude in the happy days (…) Her hugs or her kisses are pure, and those feelings are more genuine than anything else in this life.”

How do you know you love someone? Is there a moment you realize you cannot live without a person? For Faedo, the answer is yes.

“I realized I really loved her after a period where I felt scared thinking I’d lose her. She was still inside of me, and felt all the fear in my body when I felt threatened. One of the days I’ve felt the most fear in my life was when I realized I had to take care of that new life. After that day, I’ve never felt alone again. I knew she felt everything like me and that I’d forget the rest of the world to dedicate myself to that life, the little child inside of me,” Faedo said.

“Those feelings were reassured the moment I saw her. Since that day, there hasn’t been a day that I’m not sure of how much I love her.”

Faedo reached motherhood in the blink of an eye.

“I had to mature early. I had no emotional or rational capacity to have a kid and I had to deal with it,” Faedo says. “Today my 100 per cent is for her. I know it’s a learning that never ends, that I have to learn how to talk, educate, how to be a Mom. I do everything the best I can, with love and patience.”

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