Hunter had her first experience as a mother at the age of 17. "It was only 3 months before my 18th birthday and it seemed then like the end of the world." Hunter married the child's father and tried to make things right. Shortly thereafter, the lies that she had told her parents caught up with her. Her mother, Jo Anne, was devastated and feared for her daughter's future. The deception caused a deep rift in their otherwise loving relationship and they didn't speak for about 5 months. "This is what I want young girls to think about when they assume having sex before they're really emotionally mature enough to handle the consequences and responsibilities that go with the territory. In light of what I've learned from my first-hand experience, I understand now why sex after marriage is something not to laugh at. I try to encourage teens to avoid promiscuity not just to avoid pregnancy, but AIDS as well."
One of the things Hunter remembered her mother saying was, "There goes your figure!" (A mother of 4 now, she has proven that statement wrong!) Hunter's mom, in actuality, had a good reason to be upset. Hunter gave up a scholarship she had won earlier that year to Texas Women's University. She opted, rather, to try to make the marriage to the man she had only known 4 months work. In the meantime she worked at a maternity store.
If you are pregnant and feel like you're the only one who's going through it — you're not alone.
"I think from very early in the pregnancy, I knew his name was going to be Christopher. I knew it was a boy and I could envision what he looked like... " Chris was born a beautiful healthy little boy, and brought many joys and trials to Hunter's young life."It wasn't easy, but even in the midst of growing up and becoming responsible for another helpless human being, I began to see it wasn't as overwhelming as I had thought. I experienced levels of love I didn't know existed." As much as Hunter tried to make the marriage work, it fell apart completely. Hunter was now a single mom at the age of 20 and was working 3 jobs to make ends meet. She even worked as a waitress in a strip club out of desperation, but I knew that ultimately, getting an education or some kind of professional training would be the key to long term success and independence for my whole life. Being responsible for a child is a lifetime responsibility and I wanted to do it right.
Hunter knows what you're going through.
It was then that Hunter began to look more seriously at her love of acting. She believes that the need to care for her son developed the determination she needed to succeed as an Actress. Today, Chris is a handsome young man, who is training to become a jet pilot. He plays classical piano and composes compositions for quartets. Even when things were more "secure" for Hunter she found there are other challenges that can happen when a baby comes on the scene.
After giving up a 6-year contract role on "The Bold and The Beautiful," to join "Melrose Place" - Hunter was placed in the position of choosing between her child and her career. "They kept telling my manager they weren't happy - then after a week of silence, I got a fax firing me." Hunter and her husband, Michael, lost their home, and ended up living in a motel for 3 months, then a 1-bedroom apartment for another 2... Chris and his new brother Mickey had nowhere to go to school, as they wouldn't be moving to Valencia now.
One day shortly after she had been fired, she began to contemplate the validity of her employer's choice. Had she truly breeched the contract that stipulated that she was changing her material appearance? She reasoned, "Ok - let's say they're right. If for example, I dye my hair pink and they don't like it I can dye it back brown. If I get a tattoo and they don't like it, I go have laser surgery and have it removed. If I get a belly button ring, I can remove it. If I have a baby in my stomach - I take it out... " This didn't even sound like "pro-choice" - it sounded like "forced choice." It was this struggle that spurred Hunter's landmark case for pregnancy discrimination, which ultimately she won. "I didn't just win for me, but for all women in the workplace." Izabella was definitely worth choosing over even such a sure-fire career move.
One day while Hunter was waiting for the verdict to come in though, a memory she had suppressed resurfaced. "Why didn't you fight for me?" Sadness flooded her as she remembered a baby in her past that she had chosen not to have. To this day, it haunts her. Who might he or she have been? Would she have beautiful silky blonde hair like her sister Bella. Or would he be funny and playful like his brother Mickey - or maybe someone who could change the world, like little Katya, in spite of her disabilities and battle with cancer?
Hunter wants to give you help and hope to make your child - a chosen child!!