A young mum who is determined to build a good life for her son is celebrating after scooping As in her GCSE results.
Lacey Tooley, 16, gave up her lunches and breaks to revise for her exams after returning to Downham Academy in September last year, just two months after giving birth to Lucas, who is now one.
Lacey, who lives in Watlington, was 14 when she discovered she was six months pregnant.
But she is determined to fulfil her dream of becoming a midwife and will be starting a health and social care course at the College of West Anglia after achieving two As, two Bs, two Cs and three Ds.
Lacey has thanked her parents, Dean and Samantha, for their support.
She said: “I was a little disappointed as I thought I had done better than I had but I am still grateful for the grades and happy with them.
“I don’t want Lucas to miss out just because I got pregnant at a young age. I am determined to provide him with everything.”
Lacey had not suffered with morning sickness or noticed any physical changes until she had reached the six months stage.
Mrs Tooley organised a pregnancy test for Lacey after she began to show.
She said: “I would wake up a few mornings feeling a bit rough but there were no physical changes – hence the reason I didn’t find out for so long.
“I knew I was pregnant when mum called me back to the bathroom after I had taken the test. I pretty much broke down and cried. It was a shock and I worried about what I was going to do.
“It was scary to take a pregnancy test at 14.”
The following day, Mrs Tooley arranged for Lacey to see the midwife.
Lacey said: “It (having an abortion) did cross my mind when I first found out but once I heard his heart beat that completely changed my mind.
“What is funny is that when I first heard his heart beat is also the first time I felt him kick. It was overwhelming.”
After a pretty straight forward pregnancy, Lacey had to be induced after Lucas still did not make an appearance two weeks after his due date.
She finally gave birth to the 7lb 1oz baby following a natural birth on July 17 last year.
Lacey said: “My parents were with me which made it easier as they were there to hold my hand. It was hard but no labour is easy.
“I was exhausted. I was in shock and didn’t really know what to do. I didn’t know whether to cry or laugh. But then you hold this bundle of joy that you are going to have for the rest of your life. He was a nice healthy baby boy.
“Motherhood is hard but rewarding.”
Lacey missed just two weeks of Year 10 to have Lucas and returned as normal with her classmates on the first day of school in September last year.
Mrs Tooley looked after Lucas while Lacey went to school.
She said: “It was hard combining motherhood and school.
“There were many times when I thought I can’t do this. But then I looked at Lucas and thought ‘I’ve got to do it for him’.
“When I got home it was not very often I could work so I worked during my lunchtimes and breaks to do extra revision. I was willing to do and I knew that I needed to do it.”
The youngster has thanked pastoral care assistants for finding rooms for her to revise in along with science and English teachers for their help.
She has also thanked her parents for their support.
Lacey said: “They have been amazing. There is no way in hell I would have got through the last year without them.
“Lucas is worth it. My mum and dad love him to pieces.”
Her mum Samantha said: “I could not be prouder of Lacey. She has done extremely well.”