April 22, 2008,
J.H. asks from Lawton, OK on March 07, 2008
17 Year Old Step-daughter Pregnant
I am new to the mamasource community, but I need all the advice I can get.
My 17 year old stepdaughter is pregnant and I am having a very hard time dealing with this. She just turned 17, and she told us in November. Her father and I are very disappointed and angry. Yet, he seems to have just blew it off. I, on the other hand am having a very hard time with it. I have lost my respect for her and find it hard to even carry on normal conversations with her anymore. She is starting to show and I am embarrassed to take her out with me. She is going to an alternative school, and they only go half days, yet she doesn't work, because she "doesn't want to be on her feet all day."
Her baby is due in July and the father of the baby denies it is his. So therefore, we are having to cover her medical bills. I feel that she should be working so she can buy all the things necessary for the baby, yet she has only partially filled out an application and did not turn it back in.
Any advice on how to deal with this would be greatly appreciated!!
3 moms found this helpful
So What Happened?™
Thank you to everyone who responded to me. I can't even begin to imagine how she feels. I do know she wants to keep the baby. We have talked to her about her options and she definitely wants to do this. I don't think she has a clue how hard it is going to be especially without the support of the father. For those of you who were 17 when you had your first baby, I thank you for telling me your side of the story. It helps to hear the other side sometimes. I know it's not going to be easy for any of us! I just want her to be more responsible, and not think she can have a free ride.
D.J. answers from New Orleans on March 08, 2008
this girl is going to have the responsibility of a child soon and definitely needs to take some responsibility now. Have a paternity test done as soon as possible (maybe done after child is born) but the young man is legally responsible for bills etc if it is his child(whoever the father is he is responsible to help care finacially anyway for this child) She should be working part-time if she is physically able to help pay for necessary things and she definitely should be given total responsiblity for the child if she is going to keep it --- you have enough children to raise !
1 mom found this helpful
C.O. answers from Oklahoma City on April 09, 2008
You should go out to the Iowa Tribe. The Early Head Start out there has an Expectant Families Program that serves pregnant teens and provides them with information on their pregnancies and all kinds of stuff. ###-###-#### ext.271
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C.C. answers from Huntsville on March 10, 2008
You might want to try medicaid, if you are worried they won't cover because you may make more money than they allow, don't worry, if she is under 19 she can claim herself and the father and not who she is living with. The forms are at the madison county health dept. they are blue and called the sobra program. Try it out so at least the medical bills will be covered and so will the baby for the first year. try wic also it provides food for the mother up to 6 months after the baby is born and food for the baby for a year. the process is long but worth it in the end. I am 25 and just had my son, so i got medicaid and we are working on it for my sister in law, good luck! By the way i worked pregnant up to the day i delivered, it can be done!!
D.G. answers from Hattiesburg on March 08, 2008
I am a mother of four and step-mother of five, and I am working on a nursing degree too. My oldest step daughter, age 16, just gave birth last week to our first grandchild. I'm 40, and my husband is 37...so it seems we have a lot in common.
We were very disappointed when we found out our daughter was pregnant. (She lives with her mom, not with us). Sure, there was an element of being disappointed with her personal morality and not having waited...but we were also dismayed because we knew how much harder her life would be now (not to mention we weren't exactly thrilled at being grandparents at our ages!). We were very concerned (and still are) for her health and for the baby's. We are extremely concerned because the baby's father is really bad news (and is only 15).
When she called us to tell us that she was pregnant, she informed us that she had made the decision to keep the baby because she doesn't believe in abortion. Neither do we. We also know all the risk factors for teen moms and the children of teen moms.
We told our daughter that although we were disappointed that this had happened to her so young, and while unmarried, we still love her unconditionally--that would not change, regardless of our emotions about the pregnancy.
We also expressed our concerns to her, honestly but calmly and lovingly, not in a hostile or attacking way. We did talk to her about adoption, because the reality is that she cannot count on the father to support this baby, and staying home on welfare is not an option. If she kept the baby, she would have to count on herself and only herself to work and support this child...and that's a tough row to hoe at 35, much less at 16.
She still wanted to keep the child, so we began educating her on a healthy pregnancy, childbirth, and infant care. She needs to understand that this child is a life, and that life is precious. This child didn't ask to be conceived or born, and it is an innocent in need of proper care and of love. It cannot be indirectly punished for its parents' choices!
We have spent a lot of time talking about the practicalities of having a baby: the need to get her GED or diploma, and then a job. We told her that we would help her with some necessities for the baby, and that we would--if need be--take them under our roof as long as she stayed in school and made every effort at school to succeed. We would help her enroll to get medical assistance, financial aid etc. for her and the baby, but we would not pay her bills (she is my husband's step daughter actually, not his biological child).
We've been honest about our concerns for her, and for the baby. We've acknowledged her feeling tired and overwhelmed. We've provided love and acceptance of her and the child, even though we haven't agreed with what has happened. At the same time, we've lovingly educated her on what is now required of her if she is going to be a mom, and helped connect her with resources she needs to succeed. And then, insisted that she step up and be responsible.
It hasn't been easy, but I am happy to say that, once she knew we loved her even though she made a mistake, she began to respect our efforts to equip her and educate her, in spite of days she resented that we weren't giving her a free ride. She has risen admirably to the challenge and is making very goood decisions, and I am proud of the growth that has occured in her life--though I dearly wish it hadn't had to come through this set of circumstances, particularly at her age.
We can't change the past; we can only choose our responses in the present moment, even as we consider how they will impact the future for all parties involved.
2 moms found this helpful
C.S. answers from Tulsa on March 07, 2008
I am a 33 year old mother of 3 my first pregnancy was when i was 17 unlike your daughter i was in foster care at the time and hid my pregnancy till i was 6 months although i had a healthy baby !!it is good so you know now !! My first peice of advice is ~#1 when you see this baby for the first time all anger will disappear i promise~#2 support your daughter but also let her know how to deal with the responsibilty ~finishing school is a must!! All too soon one day she will need to be on her own with this child so having a job is critical also i wish you & your family the best !! If the father is not claiming the child immediatly get connected with dhs in your state and file petetion for child support they establish patertinity and establish child support payments at least he can do is be finacially responsible !!
2 moms found this helpful
S.K. answers from Shreveport on March 10, 2008
I know this must be difficult. I have a bit of experience from both perspectives. I became a momma at age 16. I know my parents must have been ashamed in the beginning. Thankfully they didn't show it. Although they were very low income, they never mentioned the financial burden that I surely put on them.
I got my first job at our church keeping the babies on Sunday morning. I made $5.00 a week. ( now I think about the shame my grandfather must have felt, he was the choir director), but he never let it show.
When I turned 17, I was old enough to take the test for my GED. I studied all during my pregnancy and after. I narrowly passed the test. My family suprised me with a "congratulations" party.
When I turned 18, I enrolled in the community college. I wanted to be a nurse. Well, to make a long story not so long, two children and one divorce later, and at age 32, I graduated from nursing school. I have been a pediatric nurse for 12 years.
Although we had many rough times, It has been so worth it to me. My children are still the greatest joy in my life, along with my husband of 9 years now.
Six years ago, my prescious first born son announced to us that they ( he and the girlfriend) were expecting a bundle of joy! My first words were, "what happened to the birth controll pills"! I was very upset because they were in no way prepared to be parents. My second words to them were the threat that "I'm not raising a grandchild"!
Little did I know how great it would be to have this baby in my life. He has brought new life into our house "on weekends"! We are not raising a baby but we do have a swingset in the backyard again and I clean wee-wee off the potty seat when he's here and lots of other great things!! I cherish almost every minute with him.
We can't always see through the muttle to realize that all babies are a blessing. I hope you can love your step daughter in spite of her mistakes. She won't be a perfect parent and she won't do things the way that you would, but she's going to give you a perfect gift. You just wait and see.
Good luck to you and your family. Be strong and keep your head above shame. We all fall short...
2 moms found this helpful
K.D. answers from Little Rock on March 08, 2008
Honey first of all she needs support not rejection from you. She is going to get a lot of judgement from a lot of directions anyway. Yes, she is young and yes she has screwed up. Chances are she is freaking out and because you are ashamed she feels she cant talk to you. I agree she needs to get a job. But unless you are behind her on this big issue then the little issues around her are going to be impossible to handle. She made a mistake a big one! Were you sexually active at her age? WHat did you do to make sure she was informed and had all the help to prevent this? This is her burdon and she is on her own especially since the "DAD" has bailed on her. You can handle him when the baby gets here by insisting on a DNA to verify and get support, DHS and CSE have ways to help gt this done and paid for. FIrst you have to quit judging her. Sit down and apologize for the way you have been acting and promise with sincerity to help her through this. Remember she is a baby having a baby, she screwed up and knows it.Give her hugs and kisses and reassure her you are there for her. Ask her if she has a plan. Find out how you can help with that plan. Ask her how she thinks she is going to provide for her child. Does she even plan on trying to raise it? Has she considered her options? Then explain that she has to work because she has taken on an adult opsition in life, and is now an adult in all rights and reason therefor she has to begin supporting herself. Make it clear that you will help and support her but she has to help herself as well. Have her go down and apply for Medicaid and any other services available to her. Get her to go to the Health Department and sign up for WIC. Go with her to her DR appointments and be there as a shoulder when she melts down. Talk to her Dad tell him that pretending this isn't going on is pointless. It is not going to magically go away. It is real and although neither of you are please it is what you got right now and you might as well get ready to hang with it.
Sorry if I sound harsh but in this day and age this is not an uncommon thing and I think it is sad but we cant turn our backs on these kids because that is how we end up with women who settle for less than the best that this world has to offer.Good Luck Hang in there
2 moms found this helpful
M.R. answers from Monroe on March 07, 2008
Hi, I"m sorry for everything that you are feeling... Babies are a gift from God... She got pregnant for a reason... I got pregnant at 17 and I was so scared. I didn't know what people where going to think of me and I was scared of how everyone was going to react. It's a very scary thing when you're young and you don't have a partner and you don't know how you're going to raise a baby. It's very hard. But now, looking back, I wouldn't give ANYTHING for my precious kids...I understand your feelings about her being pregnant and not working... but if you don't at least try to be there for her, it's going to do nothing but makes things worse. Talk to her, tell her that she needs a job so she can start saving money and getting the things that the baby needs... you can get her to apply for Medicaid... that way you won't be taking care of all the doctor bills... At this point, you really need to try and be her friend regardless of how you feel about the pregnancy. Maybe you two can start to get closer...You kind of have to look in the future on something like this... When she has the baby, I'm sure you're gonna want to be in his/her life.. I"m sure you're gonna love the baby and want to spend time with it. You're gonna want to take the baby places... You're gonna be a grandma... and if you make things hard now and don't try to understand what she's feeling then you could really be messing things up for yourself when the baby does get here... and as for the dead beat father.... I'd get a paternity test done as soon as the baby is born.. you can get a court order for that... I know this because my brother had to do it. I'm sorry if I sounded harsh with anything I've said. I just know from personal experience that it helps for someone to understand and to be there... I really hope this helps!:)If you need anything else, all you have to do is ask.... M.
2 moms found this helpful
H.D. answers from Jackson on March 08, 2008
Hello Mrs. Jeriane,
I am a mother of 4 wonderful kids (24,21,20,and 9)I am also rasing my 2 nephews (11, and 5)and 1 niece(9). Okay shocker I am only 38 years old. as you can see I was 14 years old when I had my first and yes, I disspointed my parents two.. same thing the guy said he wasn't the father either. And than I aslo was at 17years old too the same thing again boyfriend said not the daddy. I know she is your step daughter but she needs you more and needs your support. Not money wise but heart wise. it's hard to get a job being pregnant. No one will hire you it is high risk on their end. I know my parents told me the same. Now after she has the baby yes, get a job I did and I worked to cover a sitter and anthing my sons needed both times. I am not saying that she will not provide for her child but she will need help to start off. Do you know what she is having? I watch kids for a living and enjoy it alot. I have some extra things not alot but I would love to give them to your step daughter for the baby. Do you mind me asking where you live? I live out near the sandhill area off of hwy 25 Brandon..If she needs to talk to some one who has been in her shoes I would love to talk to her. I am also wanting to tell you please don't treat her like what you are doing now. what I mean don't be embarrassed to be around her. It will scar her.. I know it ruined my mother and daughter relationship with my mom. We just now started talking after all those years. My father was the same way as your husband. he was angry at me and disappointed too and he was my rock. He showed me that I could do and take care of my child. I love him for that and she will need help time to time and I am sure she will be okay and she will want to better her self too. My oldest in formed me in december that he was going to be a daddy. I told him he will take care of the child one way or another.. He wasn't going to be a dead beat dad like his... And all those years we had He is standing up to his part. Your letter brought up so many times in my life that I made it through and hurts that came along with it.. In all I am saying Yes, Her life as a child herself is gone.. She has to be the adult and provide not only for her but that gift that god wanted. I myself had to get my ged and than I went to a college for 2 1/2 years nites. didn't finish due to getting married to my first husband with my 3 son. I have over came some things and if you and your husband will hang in there all things will work out. Have you tried medicaid? Yes some people don't want to be on the system but hey I was. And if things happen with the baby it is covered. If you can get the help get it.. That is why we pay taxes.. I know this is long but if you ever need to talk please feel free to e-mail me or even call me at ###-###-####... I am here for both. I just had to write you..
your friend in christ
1 mom found this helpful
M.A. answers from Houma on March 08, 2008
i think you should stop treating your step daughter as one and more like your own child. she is still a child herself and needs advice and support. its a shame that you feel embarassed to be seen with her. it makes me wonder what she was lacking at home to turn to someone else for her emotional needs. i would think that you should be able to help her find some type of organization that could help her deal with this if you can't. there aren't many jobs someone at her age and in her conditon can do. is she not covered under your husbands insurance. once the baby is born you can find out who the father is and go after support at that time. right now you need to worry about your husband's daughter and less about your embarassment with her condition
1 mom found this helpful
S.H. answers from Huntsville on March 10, 2008
I got pregnant just after I turned 21, and my parents were still angry! They are ok now & I have a beautiful 2 year old daughter whom everyone loves. Her father & I finally recently got married too. The biggest problem I had while I was pregnant was my parents for some reason were just certain that my boyfriend was going to leave me, and so they did everything they could think of to prove it! It hurt me so much that they did this. But, here we are 3 years later & he his still around!
I do recommend getting her covered by Medicaid and also WIC. I had both & they helped a lot. There may be other things in your area to help her out as well. Also find childbirth & breastfeeding classes. I'm sure it would mean a lot to her if you went to the classes with her. My mom went with me (my now husband was several states away at school with the military) and it was nice to have her there with me for support, and also to have someone else hear what was being said so I wasn't the only one trying to remember everything!
Well, that's my story! I wish you all well!
1 mom found this helpful