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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!!

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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.

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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 !

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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

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!!

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Hi Jeriane,

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.

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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 !!

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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...

...S....

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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

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.

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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

H. Darrow

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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

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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!

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I am quite shocked at how many rude responses there have been to this woman, who asked in good faith how to deal with a situation that she obviously did not have the answer to. I have never encountered such harsh responses in any other posts on MamaSource.

Even *after* Jeriane posted to say that she appreciated hearing the other side of the story, and how it opened her eyes to different opinions, many people still went on to bash her for her original opinion. This is no different than a mom asking for potty training help, or a mom asking for help in finding a babysitter - it is, quite simply, a mom asking for help.

Please remember that before you bash somebody, that regardless of the situation, it is a mom asking for help, not a mom asking to be beaten up.

And for the record, Katie B, 37 is not old. In fact, the median age in 2000 for first-time mothers according to the US census was 35.3 years old.

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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

To help with medical expenses you might need to check into goverment assistance through family and childrens services. Most states have programs for single pregnant women as well as provide help with certain foods. This generation Y is hard to deal with. They have the mentality as to what can you do for me not what can I do to help myself or you. You should keep that line of communication open as much as possible, because very soon now she is going to realize what it means to be responsible for another person. Be ready to help and give advise and let her do things for herself, but be ready to assist if ask to help. Most people learn by doing and that includes providing finicially. Help out but don't make things to easy, let her be responsible for her actions. The best thing you can do is love her, love her, love her and pray a lot.

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I am new to the mamasource board. One of my daughters sent me a greeting from the site. When my youngest has 17 years she came to my husband and myself and told us the same thing. I beleive at that time it was really hard for her but she did tell us. We to was in shock and I asked her what did she want us to say and at that time all she asked for was a hugh and for us to tell her we still loved her. That is exactlly what we did. We realized even through she throught she mature enuogh to handle this she was and still our little girl and needed our help and support. We had to drop her from our insurance but most states have medical assistance for pregant moms that picks up all medical bills including hospital. Her baby was born with a birth defect he was the prettiest baby but only lived to he was 7 months old. I feel if we were not there to help her and stand by her we would never have met this little angle. It does hurt in the begining but she still needs her Daddy and her OTHER MOM to stand by her. I am also a Step-Mom and Step-Childern needs to know they can go to their PARENTS at anytime and not be judge. Good luck EileenA

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Im sure this is hard for you. It seems her father is doing what you should...the deed is done and you choose not to abort the child. This is your future grand-child and you need to learn to move on...God was never ashamed of you.
Our children live in a hard society now days. It take a whole community to raise a child. It seems you are having a hard time dealing with this because you are ashamed of yourself..don't be.Could I have done something different, NO! Support her, incourage her to work, that preganacy is not a handicap. God Loves you! Cheryl ann

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Speaking from experience, I can certainly understand what you are feeling. My step-daughter, whom I call my daughter, did the same thing and admittedly I was angry with her for a very long time. But, she needed support. Being young and not knowing what to expect and having her own fears only made matters worse. I softened and became the mother I promised myself that I would be, loving and supporting my children, step-children too, through anything that was not a violent or criminal. I embraced my daughter determined that she would get the best advise she would need from her mom or step-mom, and would not rely on strangers to carry her through her pregnancy. After all, this was going to be my first grandchild and I didn't want anything to interfer with having a strong loving experience with this child. To make matter worse, the father of her baby was my son. This became apparent when my grandbaby was born. Neither of them said anything prior to the birth.

My granddaughter is the most precious gift that I could ever have wanted, even though it is not what I wanted at the time. Now my daughter tells me that she is a dedicated and loving mother because of how I helped her and the advise she got from me.

Do not let your anger ruin what can be a special time for you and your step-daughter. Give the right opportunities, it can be a relationship that will surpass all expectations. My daughter went to alternative school, she graduated from high school.

My son and step-daughter got married last year. My granddaughter will be 7 this year, she has two brothers, ages 4 & 3 now and a third brother will join this family in August. Believe me when I say, I have so many mixed feelings over the years about these two, but I have come to love and cherish them all so much and know that they are meant to be together. It is very awkward to try to explain this to others, but I have chosen to share this with you so that you know, that there are so many worse things that could happen in a family.

Financially, it has been hard. Even though they are grown, living in another state, I still find they call home needing help, and we help. I love them and that is all that matters.

If you can get outside your anger and disappointment you can show your daughter the true meaning of family and that is to stick together through all things wonderful and not-so-wonderful.

I wish you and your daughter only the best of luck and pray that your relationship and love for one another will survive this. God bless you and your family.

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Jeriane, seems to me you need to tell this young lady that if she was capable of getting herself pregnant, she can certainly stand a few hours a day and work to earn money to take care of her baby, including paying her own doctor bills. My adopted daugher in law is 37 and is due to have her baby this Monday. She worked up until a couple weeks ago when her doctor told her it was time to rest and prepare for the baby. She was on her feet for up to 8 hours a day as a waitress in an upscale restaurant in the area. If she is going to be lazy now with her first pregnancy, it will lead to her being lazy on down the road. It seems to me that you have your hands full with your children and step children already and is time for you to put your foot down and tell this 17 year old the way life really is and what is expected of her then make her follow through. If she's allowed to continue on the path she's taking, she's setting a bad example for the younger children.

J. Blue Star Mom and Proud Army Mom

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My advice is she really really needs her mom during this situation. I got pregnant at 19 with my first baby. My parents stoped talking to me wouldnt let me be around my sisters. They made me tell them that i made a big mistake!!( the mistake was the sex not the baby and at that age they didnt realize that). I had no support doing that time my boyfriend moved 4 hours aways because of my pastors advice. I was all alone with a baby coming. I didnt know what to do! I worked two jobs trying to make sure that everything was going to be alright then i found out that i had to go on bed rest for the rest of my pregnance. (4 months) My boyfriend moved back and we stayed together doing but got pregant again 4months after our son was born. I didnt know that i needed birth control if i was nursering. My mom didnt talk to me about these things.

When my daughter was born my husband had to leave to get a job that would support are ready made family. 2 weeks after she was born I had a 1 year old and i newborn and all alone again.

I got post pardom and it was the hardest thing in the world I had no one to talk and no support. i didnt know what was happening to me!!!!

THE ONLY THING TAT I KNOW TO TELL YOU IS THAT SHE NEEDS YOU AS A MOM!!!!!
that doesnt mean that you give her everything just be there for her!

BLESSINGS to you and YOUR daughter

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Hi Jeriane,
Much nice advice given. I take rather a hardline approach in my line of social work. Many parents are thrilled regardless, which I could never understand in the first place. They're a GRANDMA! SO WHAT if the child is born out of wedlock; WONDERFUL! we'll love it, play with it, whoopee!

I agree with you. She shouldn't get a free ride. All the love and proper raising didn't help before, and NOW you are suppose to be understaaaaaaaaanding, huggie wuggie kissee wissee. It's so disappointing under these circumstances.
All you can do now is be ready when it happens.

You will be the caregiver, you will be 'everything' from here on in, all because SHE WOULDN'T LISTEN. A tough road ahead I can assure you. You have a full plate with your other wonderful goals and responsiblities in life. A shame they have to be put on hold, but one day, sure, you'll laugh about it. Time is a great healer. So take it... one day at a time. All the best and God will give you the strength.

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Hi,

We all want what's best for our children. None of us are perfect and we make mistakes. There is no excuse for her irresponsibility. At the same token, you and your husband have to remember you are the parents and she is still the child. A child is to stay in their respective places. When we parent children, we don't want to see them fail or even fall. they make decisions. Remain prayerful. Talk with her and ensure her that you love her but are not in love with the current situation. Do not be ashamed of YOUR child. I'm sure she is not proud of the situaton.Hold her accountable for everything, but don't drill her in the ground. Teenagers have a wird way of expressing their true feelings.Especially to their parents. MAke sure she knows this is her child not yours and you will be their for support. It will be difficult, but time and prayer changes things

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When I first read your posting my first thought was "how selfish of you". I was 14 when I had my first child and I thank God I didn't have a parent like you. I am 36 and my youngest daughter, who is 16 is pregnant with my first grandchild. My oldest is almost 22 and he serves in our US Navy, of which I am so proud. My second child is my oldest daughter, she is almost 20 (I had her when I was 16) and she is the first of my children to go to college...again, so proud. I am proud that my youngest, my other daughter, is finishing high school. She also attends an "Alternative School", the same one I attended when I was pregnant. I am so glad I had the support of my parents when I was a pregnant teen. Especially after losing almost every friend I had because they were "embarASSed" to be around me, or their parents shunned me. You really have to "walk in our shoes" to fully understand what it's like to have people pass judgement on us. As a parent, it's our jobs to support our kids; defend them when necessary, not be "embarASSed" with them. You my dear, are extremely selfish and in my personal opinion, do not deserve the title of "mom". And, on a happy note, the man who is the father of my 2 girls, is still my husband. We met when we were 15 and have been together ever since. May God be more lenient when He judges you. :-)

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Love covers a multitude of sins. I know u can't condone what she has done, and she needs to be aware, if she's not already of how u feel about the situation. but what's done is done and now she needs your love and help.It'll be a fine line to walk. Does she live with you or her real mom? I know when my daughter come up pregnant, I didn't love her any less, but I knew what she was in store for., and that she would need me to guide her along the way ever so slightly letting her go. not doing it for her, but being there incase she did have any questions or did need my help with the baby. I wanted to just jump in and do it, but I had to let her be mom, she was almost 18. but was still a kid in many ways too. U may have lost respect for her, but does she still respect u? she needs to know that u love her and wish that she had of made better choices, but she didn't and know she has to deal with the what next. and she my or may not snap right into her responsibility when this baby comes. She is emotionally going thru all kinds of things, the boyfriend deny the baby and that hurts, and anger. and she knows she disappointed u and her dad, all tho she may never say it or let on. My daughter now 30 with 3 children. tells me all the time, Mom I'm so thankful that u stuck by me and didn't send me off some where. She needed me, and she may need her mom ( if available) hard to say whats going thru their heads anymore. but she thinks she's grown. we all do until we get older and see just how much 17/18 is really young. and how not so smart we thought we were.
Anyway, I do know that God loves us just as we are,and is willing to forgive us inspite of ourselves, and we have to forgive and love also.
Good Luck with all of this, Open arms, ears and broad shoulders for her to cry on. Love her with unconditional love, she'll never forget it.
Hope I've helped u some.
R.

Do you love your daughter? If you do is your love
unconditional? I am 53yrs old when I was 20 I got
pregnant I wasnt married and my parents would not let me go to their house because they didnt want to have to explain it to my brothers and sisters. Your daughter made a
mistake a BIG one and yes Im sure you are dissapointed in
her, but she needs you now more than ever. I can only hope that she dosent know how imbrassed you are of her.

Hello. My name is M.. I had my first child at 17 as well. She needs your support more than ever right now. I too was shut out of my parents lives and will never forgive them for it. She needs to apply for soonercare medical insurance (so you dont have to foot the bill) and wic will help her out a lot. She probably even qualifies for dhs assistance. I dont know what town you are in, but there are tons of resources out there to help all of you deal with this situation. If she enrolls in the vo-tech after her school day ends, dhs will probably pay her cash to get that extra education. If I new what town you were in- I'd have more resources for you. If I can help more, let me know!

Unfortunately, a VERY large percentage of teenagers are having sex these days. Your step-daughter is not one of the few. She just can't hide it because of the pregnancy. I agree with some of the other posts that we all need to remember we have made mistakes and have skeletons we wouldn't want the world to know. How devastating that she is having to face hers. Being judged and chastised will not help her have better standards in the future. What will help her more than anything is to see unconditional love and support from her family. Fast-forward to when the child is born. This beautiful person will never seem like a mistake. Love and accept them now. Teach her how to be a responsible and loving mom.

Have you considered adoption counseling for your step-daughter? This is still a viable alternative to her situation. These days, adpotions can be vary in levels of openness, and she can even choose the family that she wants to raise her child. Please contact an adoption agency on her behalf - they can even give you advice. There is a wonderful agency in North Louisiana, Volunteers of America. Try their website www.voanorthla.org and click on Programs then Adoption Services. The first kids you see on the Adoption Services site are MY 3!!! They are all adopted thur VOA. We are truly blessed. See the middle child in the picture, her birthmom was 17, single and pregnant 13 years ago, also. She made a hard decision, an unpopular one. But today, she still says she made the best decision. One that give her joy and a sense of fulfillment in her life. She did ... she helped to fulfill my and my husband's desire to adopt a child. Please let me encourage you to give them a try.

I think maybe you are having more difficulty with this than your husband is because you are afraid you will end up being the one raising this kid. I think you and your husband should tell your step daughter that since she has chosen to behave like an adult (by getting pregnant) that she will be expected to behave like an adult in taking care of the baby. Cut her off, if she refuses to work, no financial support from you. If she quits school, no support of any kind. Tough love I guess you'd call it. But it sounds to me as if she will continue to take advantage of you until you do something drastic. Not wanting to be on her feet is a crock. I worked just as hard when I was pregnant with my three kids, as I did before I was pregnant. Unless there is a medical reason for her to stay off her feet, it will not hurt her to work. Sounds like a welfare mom in the making. You need to put a stop to her using you now, because it will be even harder once the baby is born. D.

My advice is to stop being embarrassed about her and start being positive about this baby. Teens need positive reinforcement if you want her to take responsibility support her thru this incredible time of adjustment. If she cannot feel comfortable to talk to you openly you both are missing an opportunity to prepare for the baby. The baby is the main focus here.

by being positive you can encourage her to take personal responsibility for her prenatal care, job and her new life which is about to radically change. you are in a position that you can make all the difference you can choose anger disappointment and embarrassment or you can be supporting, proactive in a positive way and appreciated.

the birth of a baby is that is unexpected affects every one involved, and i can understand that you feel frustrated because you know the huge amount of responsibility it takes to raise a baby and you want to see her doing it for herself besides it was her choice to get pregnant in the first place.

I just thought i would respond to your post please don't think I'm being critical in fact its the opposite.

M.

There is no reason why she can not work, other then laziness. My advice for after the baby is born if she is going to keep it, is this. It should be her responsibility to take care of the child. She needs to breastfeed the baby so that she understands that the needs of the baby come before hers and that she can't just run off and dump the baby with you and do her own thing. She is still a child but it is now time to grow up. The other reason that I say she needs to breastfeed is since she is immature she needs that bond that breastfeeding brings. Since she doesn't want to work then she should be volunteering somewhere, she needs to learn to think about someone else besides her self. If she needs to go to LaLache League meetings to learn about breastfeeding she should start going now.
You have enough children to take care of, you don't need to take care of hers too.
L.

I totally understand that you are embarassed to be seen with her. Your dh may just not know how to handle the situation. He will not have a choice when the baby gets here.

As far as footing the medical expenses, I would have her in a Medicaid office so fast that her head will spend. Even if the baby's daddy denies this child, she can still get coverage. Baby's can be expensive, as you know, and it should be relatively easy for her to get on Medicaid. I think you can get on it even if she is covered under a private insurance policy. I would definitely check it out.

She doesn't seem repsonsible enough to keep a job especially if she is pregnant at 17. I don't know too many places that would hire her except for a fast food restaurant or something like that.

I can agree with previous posters that she did make a mistake and needs your and her father's help now more than ever. However, let's not forget that she is the one who laid down and got herself into this predicament. No one forced her to. If she's gonna keep the baby, she's gotta learn alot of responsibility between now and July. Hopefully you can help her and her dad will join in to help as well. You are going to have your hands full too with your new bundle of boy. Congrats on your 5 week old.
God give you all strength to make it through this difficult journey.

I agree with Kimberly S. Your plate is full. Everyone seems to feel so sorry for the pregnant teenager and act as if you are the bad guy just b/c it upsets you and you expect her to take some responsibility. This is why teen pregnancy rates are ridiculous. not counting the fact that this adds to the rate of welfare recipients and so on. Obviously she needs support and I think you already know that as almost every comment seems to think you do not. She also needs to grow up and take responsibility. And frankly unless she has a medical problem, not wanting to be on her feet all day is not a reason to sit on her rump! Many women work through their pregnancies. Her attitude should be a humble, oh what do I need to do to make this better since I have not made the best decisions up to this point in my life. It seems that you can't get through these teenagers heads that one wrong choice can change their life and everyone else's life also! Good Luck, you are in my prayers.

I have a 17yr old daughter who had her baby last July. I know how you feel, but like the saying goes "the damage is done" what can you do. I love my daughter very much and my grandbaby even more so. The only positive thing to do for her now is give her all the love and support you can give because she is going to need it. No matter what she is always gonna be your husband's daughter and she is always going to be your step-daughter. To be honest with you I was very disappionted in my daughter also, but what could I do? This was not the kind of future I aspired for my daughter, but I will help her achieve her future goals with the support of our family. LB

Hello,
What a blessing she has you.
There is a great organization called Loving Choices. It provides support to unwed mothers and now have a new center in Fayetteville. They offer lots of services for free, including counseling. Their website is www.lovingchoices.org.
275 S. Duncan Ave.
Fayetteville, AR 72701
Phone: ###-###-####
Fax: ###-###-####
email: ____@____.com
I believe they can offer you support and suggestions as well.

Take care,
S. Swope

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!!

First of all, she is scared inside. Were you ever pregnant and unmarried at 17? She already quite aware of her mistake and is most probably unmotivated because SHE is depressed and embarrassed too! It's people like you that stare and judge that will discourage her from getting a job. I know full well that you don't approve, but put your feelings aside for a minute.what if it was your REAL daughter? What if your REAL son was in the same boat , having gotten a girl pregnant? How would you respond? What she needs now is your support! Get her on medicaid so you aren't bitter about the money. Then start over. Show empathy. Be supportive. I can guarantee she could use a hug instead of an insult. Mistakes happen. Are you perfect? And no, i was never an unwed mother. Both my kids were born way more than 9 months after i was married. but i do know some really great moms who weren't married or were too young. and they would never treat one of their children like a mistake. I would wish you luck, but i think your stepdaughter needs it more than you do. For you i wish patience and understanding and a little "stand in my shoes for a while."

What a mess...your family needs professional counseling...forget using this site for help. You, and the others involved, are reaping the consequences of previous behaviors and have choices which need professional direction for a positive outcome from this less than positive situation....There are many lives involved in this situation....Without professional direction, I predict more of the same serious "acting out" from your children and step-children.....I think your problems have just begun.....

This kid must be responding well to the fact that you are embarrassed of her, can't have a conversation with her, and have lost respect for her. What she needs now are options and support, not judgement. We have all made mistakes, some with more significant consequesnces than others.(ie: pregnancy)I'm sorry to be harsh, but it reminds me of my mother. Yes, I was 20, unwed, and pregnant and she reacted the same way you are, with the exception that I was not living at home and she was not supporting me financially. Has anyone thought that the best option for this young girl and her baby might be adoption?? Where is her mother?? As for your husband blowing it off, he needs to be reminded that this is his daughter AND grandchild, and you both need to move past the anger, etc. and start making some decisions that are in the best interests of the girl and baby. As for her finding a job when she's a few months from giving birth, are ya kidding?? Good luck having anyone hire you when they know you will be quitting in a few months. Trust me, I've been there. Since the alledged father denies it's his, that's what DNA tests are for. Sue him for half the costs. I would imagine having a new baby yourself has created a great deal of stress as well. I would encourage you to treat this young girl the way you would want to be treated, and of course, couseling always helps.
As for me, I had a beautiful son that my mother worshiped as soon as he was born, and that was almost 19 years ago. ( :

I am sorry to say that without the support of your husband, you are in for a rough ride. However, there are some things that you can do to make your life easier. Number one on the list would be to get her to the local medicaid office and apply for medicaid. This would relieve you of the financial burden of the doctors and hospital bills. When you do this, she will have to name the baby's father, and if he denies it to them, they will have a DNA test done to verify whether or not he is the father. If the test shows that he is the father, then they will demand child support from him for this child through support enforcement. Also, if she is approved for medicaid, then the baby will automatically be approved for medicaid when it is born, which will relieve another burden of doctor bills for the baby. Unless things have changed recently, the baby will be approved for one year, and your step daughter will continue to have medicaid coverage for a period of time after the birth of the baby.

You also need to get her to the WIC office and get her applied for WIC. This will provide milk, eggs, juice, cheese, cereal, etc. for the household while she is pregnant, and when the baby arrives, they will provide the formula, cereals, juices, etc. for the baby until the baby turns 5 years old. This is something very important to do, as baby formula is quite expensive to buy. She will need to be responsible enough to go to her appointments every few months to stay certified. If she is not going to work, then this is the least she can do to help out with expenses.

Medicaid will cover 100 percent of the doctor and hospital bills, so it is very important that she sign up for this as quickly as possible.

there may be other programs as well that she would qualify for. She might even qualify for food stamps if she says she cooks and eats separately from the rest of the family. I used to work for the Welfare Office several years back, so am not up to par on all the current rules. It never hurts to ask, though. You can ask around, but at least do these two. I wish you all the best in this, and hope that things will improve between the 2 of you.

I am a 30 year single mother of a 13 year son. I just wanted to let you know that this is not the end of the world or her life. I became pregnant when I was 16 and had my son just a few months after turning 17. As disappointed and angry as you are you have to remember that she is probably disappointed and scared to death. She is probably also embarassed to go out in public with you. I remember feeling very embarassed and ashamed even after I had my son. I remember every look from strangers who looked down on me. I got my GED when I was 17 just before I had my son and continued to go to college and now I am a registered nurse. It was a long road, and hard at times. I could have never done any of this without the support of my family. It is very important to let her know you still love her and support her. Trust me the disappointment and anger you feel is nothing to the disappointment and embarassment she is probably also feeling. I have a wonderful son who I have raised and would not trade for anything in the world. Today when I look back at the past 13 years with him,I have no regrets. You have to encourage her to cotinue with her life and not to become another statics. Again I could have never done any of this without the support and love of my family.

I feel sorry for you. Why have you lost respect for her? She made a mistake. She needs your love and support more than ever now. I would suggest family counseling.

Dear Jeriane,
I know how unplanned pregnancy can complicate things, but you also must remember that she is going through a lot right now too.

This has already happened, so the best thing to be is supportive. She is young and needs your "motherly" advise.

Get intouch with local agencies to help her to know there are people that can and will assist her every step of the way.

Also remember that all children are a blessing from Heaven and all life is precious.

May God Bless all of you on this new venture in life.

I'm writing this very carefully as I compose my thoughts. First, my heart goes out to you, it seems you knowing what motherhood is about may be just a little overwhelmed right now with what you already have on your plate and knowing the changes that will come into your life in July. That is understandable. I would guess her father is dealing with this (or not) as best he can right now. Hopefully they had a good relationship or can develop on through this. Certainly this is not what you had hoped for your stepdaughter. Be that as it may, it has happened. As you know it is not the first time and will not be the last. My daughter is 33 and just had her first child after 8 years of marriage. However, I taught high school and realize the pressure, etc. some kids are under and as I would comment before my daughter got married, "she had the same plumbing as every other young lady". Now that your stepdaughter is pregnant, know that all children are created by our Maker and there is a purpose for this child's upcoming birth. He or she is and will be a unique individual formed in God's image. Who knows what he/she will grow up to be. Sounds like there are several aunts and uncles to love this baby as well. Is there a comfortable relationship with her mother? If so, that will be a plus. If not, what about the father's family? Regardless of his denial, someone is the father of this baby. Medical tests can prove that eventually and he has a legal obligation to help support the child, you may or may not want to check into that. If he is underage, what about his parnents and some support, financial and emotional from them? Right now you may need to step back as much as possible and let time handle this. Your stepdaughter may be even if she will not admit it, probably is as thrown by this as you and her father are. Depending on her attitude you all three can work through this, it will not be easy. If she plans to keep the baby that will have to be worked out. If not, that can also be decided and steps taken to find and adoptive family. Is she getting pre-natal care? Where you live may possibly effect that, some areas have more available than others. After the baby comes there is WIC for some assistance and possbile other avenues you may can pursue. This just happened in our church to a young lady with a very supportive family (same situation with the father) and the church gave her a wonderful shower with enough that the baby has almost all he needs for the first 9 months to a year except food. Actually in our little southern church this has happened at least 3 times within the last 6 months or so. Things always work out one way or another depending on how the participants can relate. Do you through your nursing classes have someone you can talk to? With a 5 week old baby yourself, no wonder you have a full understanding of what is ahead. God bless you and know we are praying for you and your family.

dear Jeriane H :

Boy, of all of life "problems" you have been handed the Solomon of problems. And your feelings are getting in the way of truly helping your family. You should be focused on getting help with her medical bills . Its called Medicaid and you should be net working with a social agency. to get the other parent involved. Rather than just gulping and hiding.

you should see if she qualifies for medicaid to cover any expenses not covered under your insurance policy, most teen moms do. if she is, then the baby will be covered too once he/she's born. that could relieve some of the financial stress, and they will retroactively cover up to three months of care given before the application is accepted. so that's step one.

she needs to be working. she made the bed now she has to lie in it a little bit. i waited tables til i was at 38 weeks so i know it can be done. make it clear that you will buy neccessities for the baby but no extras for her (maternity clothes etc.) unless she contributes.

J. I just found your e-mail. I am a 28 year old woman who has 3 kids from my forst marriage and 3 step-children from my second. I have not been through what you are going through however I remember when I was in school there were a few of my friends that got pregnant early. The more the parents got mad, angry, or tried to tell them what to do the more they rebelled. Some ended up finding their on way (a good life) and some did not because they did not have the support and guidance they needed. Oh you have every right to be angry and hurt, but who else is going to really help her and guide her in the right direction. Nothing can change the fact that she is pregnant and made a wrong decision at a young age, but dealing with what has happened can change your lifes for better or worse in the end. If you don't show her God's love and forgiveness then who will. Meaning no one sin is bigger than the other and if God can forgive so can we. You difintely don't want her finding love elsewhere and end up in the same situation, alot of my friends did because they felt like they had no where else to turn or go. I can tell in your e-mail how concerned and worried you are for her. Once you and her can get passed the anger and hurt I think you will be able to build a wonderful relationship. See now that she is pregnant shes not a little girl no more and is not going to listen to what you tell her to do, its time to build a friendship. Talk to her as if she is your friend that might help! She is going to need you very much and I am sure that she is dealing with it best she can on her own. I am sure that it is just as hard on her. Sometimes we can be our worst enemy. You will be blessed and so will she! Just think you have a wonderful bundle of joy heading your way, stay strong, stay positive, for this baby will need all the love, joy, and peace that can surround it. He or she just may be the bond that brings your family that much closer together!!! The Lord works in wonderous ways we don't understand and don't have to! I will be praying for you and your family!!! God Bless and Peace be with you!, A.

Sounds like you got some good information. I became pregnant at 23, not the same as being 17, but I had alot of the same struggles. I lost my job a couple months after finding out about the baby, and to top it off a month or so after that the baby's father left me. I was so dissapointed and embarassed of myself, that I didn't want anyone in the family to know that I was going to be a single mom. But......if it hadn't been for the LOVE and SUPPORT of my parents, and family my daughter and I wouldn't be were we are today. My parents took care of me during the whole pregnacy, helped pay my bills, and so on. A friend told me about "Sooner Care" Insurance. So I went down and in-rolled. And they paid for all of my doctor visits, and the delivery of my baby. I didn't pay a thing, and was the best thing that I could have done. You can probably get more information on Sooner Care off the net. I know that it will be hard, but please don't be embarassed of her. Her knowing that will only make it harder on her and the baby. And know that she's not the only pregnant 17 year old out there....we just found out this weekend that our just turned 18 a couple of days ago newphew got his just turned 18 girlfriend pregnant too. I wish you all the best and please check into Sooner Care Insurance for her. I think that it will help her, and you guys in the long run. Good Luck!!!

I was 18 and pregnant.....it just about killed my parents...I was daddy's little girl! He hated the father of my baby....he thought..My mom played the go between. What turned the plate is that the baby's father wanted to be the father and stepped up to the plate. The fact of the matter is we loved each other and had already talked of marriage. We did marry three months after finding out I was pregnant. Although it hurt my parents they were wonderful, dont know what I would have done with out them. Oh, I forgot to mention that this happened 38 years ago. We are raised with the hopes and dreams that our kids will grow up,(be involved in sports, music et other school activities) graduate from high school, go to college,get married, have kids of their own and on and on. My husband and I had two more children before he died at age 30, leaving me with 3 children to raise with all the aformentioned hpes and dreams. I was crushed when my son dripped out of school. And when my youngest decided to have children without being married, I was upset that she didnt want a wedding. When my middle daughter decided to get married I was elated...only to learn she didnt want to get married anywheres near me, but did consent on a small wedding in Vegas with just close family members. I had no control with what they decided for their lives...I guess what I am trying to say is nurse your wounds and feelings as you must but forgive her and try to help as much as possible. By no means should you make it easy or do everything for her. There are programs out ther on parenting classes, WIC for nutrition for her and the baby.....Thru it all remember, without help the baby will be the one who bears the brunt of it all...and this baby is the innocent person. You dont have to like the situation, but you do need to accept and know that soon a beautiful new life will be coming into this world. By the way...my dad eventually accepted and loved the man I chose to spend my life with! My kids didnt follow MY DREAMS..they had dreams of their own to achieve. They are wonderful caring people and a joy to be around. Lots of luck and love to your whole family. I will keep you all in my thoughts L.

First things first DONT be embarassed to be seen with her. I know how that feel first hand. I know you are disapointed, my parents were to but she needs your support. She is not the first nor will she be the last to do this. Yes she should help financialy, yes she needs her rest there are ways to comprimise with part time jobs. Get her on medicaid it is not a charity it is there when you need it. It will only cover the pregnancy and delivery but that is the issue here. It will cover her until 6 weeks after delivery as well. If she continues to live at home with you and your husband has insurance the baby will be covered on it after delivery. Encourage her and let her know that the more she helps herself the more you and your husband will be willing to help her. I am 38 now but was 17 when I got pregnant with my first child I can understand both sides of the story. If she is not living in your home this is not your problem let your husband deal with it with her mother.

Hi Jeriane,

I kind of know your situation,only I was the pregnant one!I was pregnant at 16.Things are going to be hard for her and the whole family.Not only she is pregnant actually the family is pregnant.Please don't look down on her or feel ashamed of her.It is horrible enough for the babies father to deny his baby but I am sure she felt he loved her and would stick with her.If she feels resentment form the family it might be directed toward the baby. Everything happens for a reason even though it may seem like the wrong reason or the wrong time.Yes she will have to work hard being a single mom but that will feel like impossible if she has no support or feels unloved from her family.The best thing to do is show her the right things to do now and move on.Besides once the baby is her and you see he or she it will be love at first sight.If she is still unsure there is always adoption.I wish you my best but please love her anyways!!!H.

WOW!! I am AMAZED at some of the negative things people have said to you!! Obviously, they don't either don't realize that you are currently dealing with a new baby of your own, or don't remember what it was like to be dealing with a newborn. I believe that you have every right to feel the way you do. Two babies in a household can be devastating financially and emotionally to everyone involved. With that being said, I think you should be very supportive of your daughter, that is a parents job, but she has indeed lost the right to behave as a child (i.e. not working) I feel your pain, mainly because I remember the pain my mother went through when I became pregnant and unwed at 20. I had never worked a job, had no sense of responsibility, and my parents were already in debt from buying me a new car and financing my education and apartment. With that being said, my mother found it quite easy to let go of the pain, embarrassment, and disappointment as soon as she laid eyes on her grandson. Almost once a week she tells me how much she adores her grandson and how happy she is that she can be in the ife of this wonderful little person. It's going to be difficult for you and your entire family. I can't imagine having 5 children and an infant to support and on top of all of that a new life to support in the near future. Be supportive, show her you love her, but stand firm, and make her realize that her actions have consquences. Make sure she gets a job or at least finds something to do in her "spare" time that is beneficial to the family. Don't be easy on her, or in less than 2 years she will be in the same position again. Best of luck to you all.

Dear Jeriane:

I am a 45 years old mother of 4, 2 of my children are married women today. When I was 16 I ran away from home, and married later on. I had my first daughter when I was 17.
It is a tough age to have children, at 17 we are still children, and even though our bodies wake up even before that age, emocionally speaking we are still inmature! I made it because of my parents' love, and God's mercy.
When one of my daughters was 17, I learned she was 5 month pregnant. My daughter was very irregular and she did not show at all. It broke my heart to learn that she was so afraid of disappointing me that she didn't want to tell me.
I tried to be a friend for my children so I wonder where I failed... My daughter went into labor the day we learned she was pregnant. The baby girl was born and died the same day. We were so sad... I could not help my daughter or the baby the way I wanted to, with proper medical care and support, it was too late for that.

You and your husband have the chance of being supportive, of loving that 17 years old girl, of getting her the right information, good books to read, best of all, love her! she is not the only one, neither the first one or the last one. She can still continue studies. I believe that forcing her to work is not a priority at this point. There might be government programs for her, or church programs willing to help with baby clothing, housing, etc. If in your heart you do not find the love to help because you are so angry, find help for yourself! This site might not be enough, and a counselor might be the person to consult!

At your service,
R.

I'm so sorry for your stuation. I was 19 when I had my daughter but I was blessed and was truly in love with a good guy I am not happily married. But anyway you said you were worried about money and getting what is needed for you grandbaby. Like I said my daughter is almost 2. so I have a a few baby things that I can give her. Well, I guess I should ask where you love? is it here in Oklahoma? If not I can send you a link for this place called free cycle. Its pretty much for teh "going green" thing, one mans trash another man treasue huh? :) But you post on there what you want to get rid of and what you need. Its all free. http://www.freecycle.org/ you just type in where you are and you can find alll kinds of even nice things on there.

First STOP punishing her daily! She made a mistake and has to live with this now for the rest of her life. Mistake or not she is pregnant. You can't change that. What she needs now is encouragement, help and understanding. As long as she feels you hate her and judge her she will buc you every step of the way. One of thoses is to do absoluttely nothing around the house or get a job. Get her a WIC program and she would have jobs around the house. She can fold clothes while she sets. She can load and unload dishwasher. Even do them by hand if you don't have one. She can help the younger ones with homework, setting down, she can do projects like sewing or crafting for the new baby. Look past what she has done, NO. Help her to understand motherhood to be, YES. Will you have opposition? Yes. But be positive and helpful and caring, loving. Show her how to be a good mom and ask her for help and offer her help. In time you will see a difference. Mimi J

J. don't forget to pray about everything. True the stepdaughter should at least work to help with the cost. You, the parent SHOULD not be held responsible for her mess up. This is also sending a bad message to the other children. She should be held accountable for her mess!

But also check with your local DHS office. She can apply for Medicaid and TEA (Temporary Employee Assistance).

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

I too was unwed and young (not as young) when my son was conceived but babies are blessing and you should prepare for this child's arrival. she is still 17 and may not be the most responsible but the baby's arrival is still inevitable. her choices are not choices and in a perfect world she would not be pregnant but again the baby's arrival is still inevitable. do not brow beat her. she needs you now more than she ever has...she has been thrust into an adult world. think back to when you were 17 well add a baby to that scernio and that's her new world. things could be worse and they surely could be better but these are the cards that you have been dealt. I am not saying that you should take on her responsibility but she will need the help and is not necessarily equipped to handle the responsibility of another's life at this juncture. if you are praying woman begin praying now, journal your thoughts as to not share them publically but most importantly love her, cherish the time you have with her, be an example of the unconditional love she is seeking but do not be embarrassed of HER choice...it is not a reflection on you. as parents we do the best we can with what we are equipped and beyond that our children make the choices to be individuals. so basically lift her up because everyone else will tear her down...I have walked several miles in your daugter's shoes and my comfort was home...

I know this can be frustrating, but nothing can change this so it is no use to treat the situation with embarrassment and shame. A new life is coming out of this whether you like it or not. (please don't take this as being harsh with you...i am telling you this with a tender heart) Remember how young and immature she is right now. She needs to know that she is loved unconditionally (and not think that her parents stopped loving her b/c she got pregnant). If you guys love her unconditionally, then she will know how to love her baby unconditionally. If you show her conditions...the cycle continues and another person damaged. I hope you are following this.
As far as the not working and trying to help out...I'm not completely sure what to tell you. If she was lazy b-4 she was pregnant, then the problem is even bigger. If it's just recent that she's become lazy, maybe find one of those counseling type of clinics that work with young mothers to teach them about that type of stuff.
About the father of the baby denying it, once she has the baby, call the state, and tell them. I know here in LA, the state will pay for 1 DNA test.
I know everything is even more overwhelming for you considering you have a 5 week old at home right now. I will pray for you & your step-daughter...your entire fmly. I wish you the best of luck in dealing with a very difficult situation.

This must be very difficult for you, but there is nothing you can do to change ANYTHING at this point. To take care of yourself (and the relationships with all of your biological children), you might want to try and "let go" of the power struggles with your pregnant step daughter. It will only keep you in knots which will cause stress for you and take your attention away from your small children. Sometimes we "teach" our children to feel entitled by not making them suffer consequences from their behavioral choices. This happens because we, as parents, decide it's easier "not to deal" with confrontations and give in to our children's bad behavior. Learn from your husbands' earlier choices and hold your kids accountable when they make bad choices. Understand that the 17 year old LEARNED to behave this way because no ADULT taught her to make good choices and to be accountable. It's not her fault that no one taught her. You will stay in constant struggles with this step child if YOU CHOOSE to allow yourself to be taken in by her bad behavior. You could, if you choose, reinforce any good choices she makes... Her choices reflect nothing on YOU, so why would you take the energy to be embarrassed by HER choices? Her pregnancy belongs to HER....... Use mature behavior and show her what it means to be a good parent, and support her in her frightening situation. I bet she is full of fear. Good Luck!

Your daughter has probably found herself in a much harder to accept position than even you have...it will be much rougher of a go without your support. There is not much else you can do but support her...there is a baby on the way.
Perhaps you are dealing with a bit of overstress, post-partum depression and just a little worry over how you will take care of one more mouth. Relax a little and pray-it will, in the end, turn out exactly the way it is meant to.

Have you considered an adoption plan for the baby? My husband and I were unable to have children and we adopted a beautiful baby girl that is the JOY of our lives. It does not sound like your daughter's boyfriend will be any help. Also, your daughter may not realize all that raising a baby entails. This is just an option. I know that we have been tremendously blessed by our baby daughter that is now three.

Keep trying to communicate with your daugher. Remember how much you love her eventhough, you may not respect her decisons very much right now. She is only 17 and made some poor choices, but she is still your daughter.

God Bless you and your family.

My mother went through the same thing with my brother and his girlfriend. Think about how she ended up choosing this path. Your stepdaughter is looking for love in the wrong places, and has just believed the hollywood story of sex and love. At least she's not getting an abortion (yet). The more unconditional love she gets from you, the less likely she will hurt you further. Think of the baby. This will be your grandbaby! A wonderful thing! If you stay close to your stepdaughter, you will most likely have a good relationship with the baby, like my mom does with my nephew. She needs to apply for WIC, drive her there if necessary. Her daddy needs to be a loving, supportive part of this, too. I've worked with many women in this situation and the parents are KEY to success here. You might need to step in and raise the baby, or find it loving parents if things get worse. Adoption is a heroic thing to do if it comes to that.

In five years, your stepdaughter will most likely have grown up a bit and may just be the responsible adult you want her to be. With loving support, she'll get there. My brother did.

Everyone has something to say but none of it is a solution. While it may feel like irresponsibility, really its just down right ignorance. She has never had to pay bills, or be responsible for another life. Shes only ever had to worry about math class and friday night. My little girl is on medicaid. When she applies she will only put herself and not your income. She will get medicaid. She needs to get on wic, because it will pay for babies formula and that is expensive. The people in these offices wont talk to anyone but her, so doing these things will help her learn how to be responsible for these things. I know that its frustrating but she just doesnt know. You have to help her learn, but dont do everything for her. I think what your felling is normal. This wasnt in her plans and it wasnt in yours either. You and she cant sit in your feelings forever. Your both gonna have say "Ok this is what we got, this happend to our family and we are gonna have to deal with it". Its not going to be easy but you can do this. You need to do it as a family and support each other. Good luck. Your family is in my prayers.

This happens to hit home for me b/c i got pregnant at 17 and although my mom was very supportive i relied a lot on her... my advice to you is make her realize that you love her but you will not be the mother to this child.. and there is help out there i got put on medicaid to help with my medical bills so my mom didn't have to foot the bill... trust me your daughter needs you right now and i understand that you are upset and it may be imbarrasing but when your step grandchild gets here it won't be the same way.. your daughter may be acting out b/c of your disdain she knows she messed up trust me b/c i knew i did but my mom made sure i dealt with my child she was there for support also though and you need to be whether you feel like it or not.. i can't stress enough how much she will need to know that she can count on you and her father for not financial support but emotional support just think it's hard to have a child when you are mature enough but really hard when you are young.. if she ends up anything like me i lost all my friends except the true ones.. i learned a lot my son is now six and healthy i am on my own with a fantastic job i take care of him on my own with no help from his biological father but i found a great guy who accepted me and my child and raises him as his own.. i know you are upset now but look to the future and think how much this baby needs your love too... it is still very hard for me i still look so young everyone thinks my son is my little brother but i am his mom and i am glad i had him regardless of the hard times i had along the way

Dear J. H;
I can definitely understand what you are going through. My daughter became pregnant at 15. I at first blames myself and was angry and hurt. Unlike your situation though the father stepped up and took responsibility as well. He was 12 years older than my daughter. I could have had charges filed on him but what would that have done to her and my relationship, especially when she thought she was in LOVE. There are assistance progams to help with the financial part, but there will have to be effort on her part there as well. But the end result, I have the most beautiful 12 year granddaughter there is. The most concientious, and loving. Since she was born her parents have divorced. She has remarried and has 2 sons now as well. But, what would have happened to that little girl if I had been embarrased of her mother. I know it is not easy, and your stepdaughters attitude may not reflect it, but she is hurting too. More emotionally than physical. But look what you have to look forward to. Be there for her and the baby, you took on the roll of mama to her, now be one to her. I didn't like the idea of being grandma at 37, but I wouldn't trade her for anything, and so glad I didn't quit on her. I have to go now, my granddaughter wants grandma to show her how to make pancakes.

I agree 100% with the other responses, she needs you now more than anything to be there for her and be a good friend. The past can not be changed. I am so glad she is keeping the baby. Maybe you can take her maternity shopping and buy her a new outfit and go to lunch together. Take this opportunity and talk with her about how unhappy you are about the situation then say,you are willing to put aside your feelings for the sake of the grandbaby. Explain that she will have to step up and become a grown up now and apply for WIC and medicaid and get a job for the trade off of you not complaining anymore. Both of you will have to change a little. Praying for you, M.N.

P.S. Wish you the best on your nurising degree. I am an RN and it is the most rewarding career. I know it is tough especially with the added home situtaion. HANG IN THERE!!!

I am also new to mammasource, but your story caught my attention.
I am sure having a pregnant teenager is pretty hard to deal with and even more if the father wants to act like it has never happened, i think most fathers would probably go through the same thing. Not wanting to admit that his little girl is giving birth.
From being a step mom of a 21 and 17 year old step daughters, i can relate somehow. I am sure that she is disapointed enough in her self and is probably looking for some moral support and friendship. She is looking for some guidance on what to do whether she will admit it or not. Getting a job is important for the future of her child and your grandchild. You may be the one that needs to make her realize how important it is, but in a suddle way. Just remember she is still just a child herself, and her education is still going to be a big part of that future. As for her medical bills i am not for sure where you live but can she not get on some type of DHS help for future mothers.?
I hope i have helped.

While it's understandable that you're angry and disppointed, there is no cause for you to be ashamed to be seen with her. Teenagers have sex drives, and sometimes accidents happen. That's why I made sure that before my daughter started dating, she knew all about how babies were made AND how to avoid making one.
I told my daughter that if she were to get pregnant while I am legally responsible for her, I would insist on an abortion, because neither she nor her boyfriend are ready to be parents, and I don't intend to raise grandchildren. Now that they've got their own place, and are paying their own bills, it's their decision, and any baby they bring into the world will be a welcome addition to th family, whether they get married or not. Of course, now that they see how expensive it is to be on their own, they're in no hurry to add another mouth to feed to their household - they've decided that their dog and cats are enough "babies" for the time being.

As her parents, you're responsible for her medical bills anyway. If the dad is a minor, you can't force him to take financial responsibility, and I don't think you can force his parents to either. It would be nice if he would man up, but apparently he isn't going to.
What's done is done. Unless she plans to abort, which she apparently doesn't, you can't undo the pregnancy. So you have a decision to make. Are you going to love your grandchild, or are you going to hold the circumstances of its conception against it?
It's going to be next to impossible for your daughter to get a job while she's pregnant, especially if she's showing. By the time an employer gets her trained, she'll be taking off to have the baby and recover from the delivery. Keep track of the expenses, and let her know that after the baby is born, she is going to ahve to get a job and reimburse you, even if it's in installments, AND she is going to have to pay for the beby's needs. She's the baby's parent, not you, and she needs to take responsibility for it.
Once the baby is born, being "on her feet all day" is going to seem easy compared to being a single parent trying to finish high school. She realy doesn't sound like she's maturte enough to handle it, and it might be better for both her and the baby if she arranged for a private adoption. I don't know that I would place the baby with a state agency for adoption, though - I don't have a lot of faith in the foster care system. Too many kids fall through the cracks because there are too many of them to begin with.

Has she applied for WIC? That would help with some of the food expenses.

Why have you lost all of your respect for her? She made a mistake. She knows that, don't you realize she is scared too death no matter how tough she appears? as for the dissappointment etc. I completely understand. dads tend to tune out at times like this because they don't know what to do. Keep engaging him as non compatively as possible (even though running over him with the minivan seems like a good idea at times lol).

As for the expenses, care, medical etc. There is an organization in tulsa called Crisis Pregnancy Outreach. They are for just that ANY woman in crisis and pregnant. They help women whether they are going to adopt out their child or parent themselves. They help with medical expenses, phycological care. The girls are required to attend a weekly support group that introduces them to the adoption process and if that isn't there choice, Teaches them how to parent, budget, about diapers, nutrition etc.

This is a wonderful organization that has been in Tulsa for over 25 years. The do incredible work with pregnant women and their families. Please call them and check into this . there is no cost as far as I can remember but just wonderful loving care from pregnancy and after.

I an not trying to be rude so please don't take my response the wrong way. I think your reaction would be initially normal. You are upset at her decisions, she is bringing a child into the world at too young an age. You didn't just now find out now, and you commented that now you have lost your respect for you.
I think you are being very judgmental. How would like one single mistake to be the entire reason your daughter no longer has respect for you? People make mistakes. I would think that your love for her would be enough for you to look past her indiscretions but since it obviously isn't I would take a good hard look at what kind of parent I am. Why was your daughter having sex at such a young age? Was something you did or didn't do the reason why she made such a choice?

Let's say, you did everything you could to teach her to be sexually responsible but she did it anyway. OK. Isn't she still your daughter? Yet you don't want to support or help her? That's such a hard thing, I don't know what I would do if I were you. But really, if you can't love her for who she is instead of what she does maybe you should look into state homes for you so you are no longer responsible for her.

I'm not trying to be mean, but maybe if you think she should be taking responsibility for her actions and growing up she should be in state care until she is 18. She is better off there than with a mother is always looking down on her for bad choices.

This is your grandchild. This is your daughter. You have to make the choices you think are right for you. Try to make sure that you won't regret those choices later. Maybe the fact that she is your "stepdaughter" is why you feel the way you do.

I understand the embarrassment that comes with this at any age. I found out I was pregnant for my boyfriend when I was thirty after being very careful to avoid it. It happens at any age and it could have happened to you also. You have young children so you remember the hormonal changes, the mood swings, the anxiety of the whole situation. Imagine if you were seventeen going through it without the baby's father. You have every right to be angry with her decisions, and setting some guidelines and teaching her the responsibility of raising her own child should be a priority right now next to making sure her and the baby are healthy. If she doesn't want to be on her feet all day, tell her to get a desk job. There is government assistance for unmarried pregnant women. You can't go back and erase irresponsible decisions such as this one, but you can work on making her more responsible now in order for her to raise a normal child despite the circumstances. And when you look at the big picture, make sure this baby NEVER feels unwanted or that you're embarrassed of it. It didn't ask for these circumstances, and it deserves just as much love as any child. Just think how you would feel if someone was embarrassed of or rejected your children for any reason. The most important thing is to make the best of the situation. She needs to be an adult now that she has made such adult decisions, and you don't have to give her the easy way out. Just make sure to work on your own anger and disappointment towards her. She is pregnant. You know how that is, and no child should have to bare the tension and animosity that you may have. So work on that before the child arrives.

Hello Jeriane
you have your hands full you sound like a super mom!
I wish i lived by you to help you out...congrats on going back to school!
I hate to tell you this your step daughter is spoiled.(lazy)..etc...
guess whos going to be taking care of the baby? you!she needs to go to a few parenting classes to see what life is about...what about adoption? You need to sit down with her father and have a heart to heart talk...or are you there just to take care of his kids and him...sit him down he needs to speak up his "voice" will make her listen. I feel sorry for you i will pray for you every morning till July

I am 23 years old, I have two little girls. I had my first child at 17, I was lucky my boyfriend want to be with us and we got married and we are very happy together.
I have one thing to say to, with is not happening to You. You need to realize your step-daughter didn't do this thinking how can I mess up my parents life or I hope she didn't. It's her life that is going to be a struggle, she is going to have to deal with the stares and questions. And I think she is probably terrified that she is going to have to raise this baby, if she is going to keep the baby, by herself. Yes this does effect you and yes you are disappointed in her poor judgement but if you love her, you will put your bagage away for now and help her through this. You need to still tell her she needs to get a job, baby things don't just fall out of the sky. And get the father to help finacially but don't make him be a father if he doesn't want to be, but she didn't get pregnant by herself and he needs to help pay for the next 18 years. And you need to encourage her to go to college, yes it will be hard but it is the only way she will make it in the world. 2 year programs are great.
Just love her and remember she is carring your grandchild, and that baby didn't do anything but be conceived. Right now your step-daughter needs love, support and understanding with out that she will not make it and she is going to need someone to teach her to be a mother.

I volunteer at a crisis pregnancy center in Rogers called Loving Choices. I council girls who are having unplanned and sometimes unwanted pregnancies. I would encourage her to come and see what resources are available. We have a "Mommy Boutique" that carries almost everything she woudl need for her baby (diapers, wipes, clothes, carseats, etc) that she can purchase using "Mommy Bucks", which she can earn weekly by watching parenting videos, reading books on parenting, doing bible studies, etc. We also offer counciling and can provide her information on adoption, if that is something she is considering.

My past is full of mistakes. I could have very well been pregnant at 17. But, God had other plans for me. Now, I try and offer help to girls who are making some of the same poor choices I did. My best advice is to remember that we all make mistakes. The majority of kids her age are having sex and that is really NOT GOOD for many reasons. 1 out of 4 sexually active people have an STD. You just can't tell by looking at them. Just because she made a mistake, don't be embarrassed. She really needs support right now. Help her to understand how these poor choices can affect her, get her the support she needs by encouraging her to come to Loving Choices, or a similar counciling service (we are also in Fayetteville if that is closer to you) and share your love with her. Let her know that you love her no matter what. Everyone needs that.

I don't know if you are a believer. But, God is the answer. And if you don't have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, you need to give your life to him now. That may sound pretty bold, but I know that God is capable of all things. And if you don't attend a church right now, I would like to invite you and your family to join me and my family at the Church at Pinnacle Hills in Rogers or First Baptist Church of Springdale.

If you would like information on Loving Choices, the church, or anything, feel free to call me at ###-###-####. I will be praying for your family.

Sincerely,

M. Becker

Hi Jeriane, just got your story. I am glad you've seen some light as far as how she feels...compassion thru this will probably help your relationship with her. But i do agree, there are jobs you can get where you don't have to be on your feet all day....sounds like her dad needs to team up with you on those feelings.....i agree, she needs to be responsible in helping to support the baby....not necessarily the medical bills because she can't possibly understand the magnitude of that but in working to purchas the items that go along with a little one....good luck....R.

I JUST saw this book in the bookstore today - Mom, Dad, I'm pregnant, by Jayne Schooler. Maybe you can find it at your local library or you can see more about it at www.cbd.com.

I am 41 just graduated from college with a degree in education, I teach 7th graders. Life for you or her is not over. I don't know how close you were before this event. I encourage you to talk to her and find out how she is feeling and let her know you are dissapointed but that you still love her and will help her,but will not take all of the burden.

She needs to take responsibility for her actions and take care of herself and the baby. However she can not take this back and it was not done to hurt you or anyone else. She has made a mistake that she will live with the rest of her life. I hope you can forgive her and help her when she needs you the most.

I was 19 when I got pregnant. My parents insurance paid all my medical bills. Getting pregnant definitely changed my life. I felt my life was over. My dad blew it off after he got over the inital shock. My Mom still has problems with me because of the situation.

I worked, went to school for a while and I kept the child,was a good mother. I got married to someone other than the father when the child was a year old, just to get away from my Mom. Later My mother and dad developed a very good relationship with my son. My life was not horrible I was able to stay home to raise my children. After 15 years of marriage and one more child I divorced went back to school and my life is great.

Time is your best friend. I urge you to talk to each other and work through this. My relationship is still very strained with my mother because we did not talk and when we lightly approach this subject I feel she still thinks I got pregnant just to hurt her. Had I had enough sense to refrain or use protection I am sure my life would be different, but who is to say it would be better. I did quit drinking and smoking because I was pregnant.

Everyone will change with this experience. I will pray it is for the better.

J. I'm just letting you know that you have 6 children not 3. When you married your husband his children came with him. It sounds like you resent his daughter because you speak of it costing you money to support her at this time. She is only a child of 17, and I'm sure most of us have different views on life now then we did when we were 17yrs old. Life is so hard today, she needs your help & support now more than she probally ever will, even though she probally won't admit it to you or anyone else. Just remember she is carrying your grandchild, which trust me, you'll love more than you thought possible, so help her get thru this rough time, build a bond with her, let her know you understand that we all make mistakes and you will be blessed.

Dear J.

I can understand your resentment. However, she needs the support of you and her father. Losing respect and feeling shameful will not help her any not to mention yourself as well. Obviously, no one in their right mind would hire a pregnant 17 year old due to the fact that she is now a health liability.

You and your husband do not have to agree to what has happened but, there has to come a time when you both will have to accept it. Acceptance...........something that is more difficult than admitting. Show and tell her that there are programs for her to continue school part-time as well as well as working part-time. There are also daycare services that accomodate on a financial sliding scale.

Now is the time to show compassion as our youth in this day and age need our help more that ever. It's going to be challenging and she will have to grow up a little faster than anticipated. You have your hands full already with your own children and college. Be sure you and your husband develope a strategy as to how this situation will be dealt with. Remember, it could happen to one of our very own children.

Good Luck and God Bless

Hi, I was in the same spot 12 years ago as your step daughter and my mother in yours. I know that right now it feels like this is the worst thing that could happen, but it is not. I know now that I had my son for a reason. He was sent to me to make me grow up and do the right thing. I did not know that then I just want to play and live off my mom, because that is what teenager do. Once I had him I really want to give him the life that I had or better. I guess you could say that I really figured out what life was. I got my act together and everything turned out great, but I truly belive that if I did not have him I would be in a diffrent place today and maybe not so well off. The best advice is help her, hold on to her, she will see when the baby is here what she need to do. My mom went thur all the feeling to and because of that 12 years later we are best friends and able to laugh about everything we went though. I wish you and her luck and if you or her ever need to talk email me!

I am sorry to hear of your troubles but you said something that I find very disturbing in this the 21st Century. Paternity Tests, and I believe these can be done prior to delivery (?). Even so you may be able to have her emancipated and receive insurance and aid from a state agency. Don't give up and just remember to be a good grandparent ;) My mother was embarassed by my teenage pregnancy but could not have had a better grandchild. And being young enough to enjoy the great grandchildren as well.
B.

I have had step children. I am no longer with their father. I think that while you are hurt, angry and disappointed, do not allow those feelings to effect your treatment of her and her pregnancy. I baby does not have anything to do with the way he/she is brought into the world. The baby will be a gift and you need to start treating the expected baby as such.

As for your stepdaughter. You can try signing her up for Early HeadStart. they will help to locates any services that she may be eleigible for to give you some type of relief from the cost of the pregnancy. Contact the Hinds County Human Resource Agency, headStart Program for information. I look at it this way. They run programs that are funded by your tax dollars so see if you can use them.

Finally, start heling her move towards becoming a mother and helping her become independent so that she is capable of providing for herself and her child. It will do her no service to take care of her and the baby indeifnitely. She needs to know that taking care of her has an end and that it will be her responsiblity to do so. Allow for mistakes and be patient.

This too shall pass.

One thing I would suggest is that you get her a doula during the pregnancy and birth. Especially if you feel you and your husband cannot support her. A doula is someone that supports women through pregnancy and birth. It is another woman that will educate your daughter about what is going on with her body and the baby's and help her through it all while being impartial to the situation of her being a teen Mom. There are several throughout the state of Mississippi. She is prob. extrememly scared and has no clue what is going on with her ever changing body. You just went through a pregnancy, can you imagine what that must be like for her? By having someone else help support her, that might give you a little more leeway to deal with your own feelings. And remember to be gentle on yourself to b/c you are postpartum right now and your hormones are changing a great deal too and maybe you are tired and overworked and are angry about the idea of another baby (someone elses) being a burden on you?
Anyways I wish the best for your family.
Check out www.childbirthrevolutions.com for help and if you contact the woman who's website that is she can recommend some doulas. Good luck :)

Your step daughter needs you. This is not about you, it's about her. I am sure she is scared to death and doesn't need to hear about how YOU feel about this.

Love her, support her, hold her, reassure her.

How can she work? She's pregnant! Who will hire her???

This is about her and her baby, NOT YOU! Mistakes happen...not meaning a baby is a mistake, but it happens. Make thebest of it and move on. More importantly...she NEEDS YOU, it's about HER and the baby, NOT YOU!

Sorry to be blunt, but it seems you are making this out to be about you.

She needs all the help she can get right now. She needs to talk about her situation to somebody. She made a mistake & got caught at it. Try to be patient & understanding. She really doesn't need to be stressed out. She can get on Medicaid to cover her medical bills. She also could get on WIC that would give her certain kinds of groceries that would secure the health of her & the baby. She would get juices, cheese, & other foods. After she has the baby WIC will give the baby fomula & as he or she gets older Wic will give cereals & baby food. If she breast feeds WIC will give your stepdaughter the foods she received before she had the baby. You can check on all this at your local Health Unit. It won't hurt her to get a job. There are lots of women that work until they give birth. It will be hard to find a one that will hire her with her being pregnant. But she might could get a part-time job. As for the father of the baby, most of them say that they are not the father. But you can have a paternity test done after the baby gets here. She could get on welfare & they would do it for no cost to you or her. Then they would make him pay child support too. I hope this has helped you.

I recently learned about a program that helps people in this situation. They have a lot of resources and information that can help your whole family come through this and turn it into something positive.

Their number is 1–800–537–2229

I am sure she's terrified and you continually making her pay for her mistake isn't helping. Whether you say it or not I bet she is picking up on your discust. How would you like to be reminded over and over again of one of your worst mistakes. You're the step-mother, you're going to have to get over it...there's no turning back now. You need to support her and incourage her. It doesn't mean you're blowing what she did off or "making it ok". She's going to find out quick enough the ramifications of her actions.

As far as her not working and not being on her feet all day. She needs to suck it up as well. Her priorities no longer are the most important. She has to provide for the child she helped create and needs to get her pregnant but to work. I know plenty of single pregnant moms going to college and working to pay their way through.

This may seem harsh..but my mom had me at 17 and I don't consider myself a mistake. She sacrificed many things in life have a child so young. My parents sucked it up and did what they had to do and are the best parents in the world in my book!!

Hi Jeriane,
I am a 26 year old single mother of a handsome 3 year old son and I am very much proud! At first I felt like I had disappointed so many people in my life my family, the community, as well as myself. I'm pretty sure that she is not happy with herself right now and getting herself in this situation, but the last thing she needs is the people who are suppose to love her to look down on her, distance themselves from her and make her feel low. What she really needs, as hard as it may be for you, is someone to help her realize that she is not the first person this has happened to and she won't be the last. She needs all the support and love that she can get right now. Yes she needs to work as much as she can to help save money for when the baby comes. I know she can do it- I was 23 when I had my son and I worked everyday up until I went into labor. What she needs is a good role model in her to show her how to be a good parent to her unborn baby. She also doesn't need for people to make her feel ashamed of being pregnant- who cares what people think. Your responsiblity as her parent is to make her feel special no matter what is going on in her life and maybe this can make your relationship with her even more special. Believe me she will appreciate you a lot more if you just love her and help her realize that this is not the avenue that she needs to take next time around. Encourage and let her know that this is not the end of the world that she can finish school and go to college and have a good life. I have a BBA and a MBA and she can too! Encourage her please it's already hard enough knowing that the father of her child doesn't acknowledge that he is. I went through the same thing with my son's father and believe that hurts it's like someone just stabbed you in the back and left you to die. She doesn't need you to make her feel bad- just love her despite of her circumstances.

Have you talked to her about adoption. That is a wonderful thing and there are lots of childness couples that would love to have it,, it seems she is not responsible and you have your hands full. I would try that. My daughter has an adopted daughter,, we can not tell it from the birth children she has. Also, we have 2 couples that have adopted and one couple are in the process of adopting another. It is a wonderful thing. Call an adoption agency or go to a church and ask. You can contact me.
Thanks and good luck.
B. s.

Hi. My name is H. and your story strikes a chord w/ me. I was seventeen when I became pregnant w/ my first child. I was lost and alone. The first thing that she needs to do is get on Medicaid if possible. Sign her up for wic also at DHS. Whats done is done. The best thing for her is to find someone that she can talk to. There are great crisis preganancy centers all over. They usually offer free classes and counselors. She needs a direction, not condimnation. I am now 30 yrs. old and I have two wonderful little girls. It was hard but w/ the right help, I made it through it and wouldn't change a thing. If you do not feel as though you can talk to her and help her, please find someone who can.

I got pregnant at 19 and when i told my parents they were outraged. It got easier as time went on, knowing they were both disappointed my dad was furious. The first time he said anything to me after i had told them brought up whole other issues that had nothing to do with me. The way he made me feel that day was undescribable and i would never want my daughter, now 2, to ever go through anything like that. I told myself i wouldn't let him be there when she was born or to even look/have anything to do with her. About a week before she was born i told my husband that i had changed my mind and i wanted to be more woman and more mature than he was. We have never had a relationship, me and my dad. Now that is his angel and he can't wait until the weekends when we go down there and he is a whole different person and our relationship is totally different. Point is talk to her about it and how she feels, because with no father in the picture and everyone down on her she might need someone to talk to and who better than family, i just wish mine had before hand. There are also alot of programs out there for single moms also, we all need a little help sometime in our life right? This is her time for help.

I hope you find it in your heart to overcome being angry. I am 27 years old and had my first baby 1 month after turning 17. I graduated in labor. I also had my second child at the age of 19. I am very very successful and resposible only because my whole family was very happy for me. You have a 5 week old baby and some other young one's. Im sure it is hard for you to be excited. She has no choice but to give up all dreams for NOW and focuse on her child. She will be 18 soon and will need to get out on her own. If she is not responsible the goverment will take care of her completely until she can began and finish college and make something more for herself. The goverment took care of me and I had no guilt for 7 years. Now I am out of college and have a beautiful home that is ours and 2008 jeep commander which we just got yesterday. I married a wonderful man that did not father either of my kids. I have a wonderful life and I was pregnant at the age of 16 and had my first at 17. Not to mention my second child is bi-racial. Our life is great I wouldnt change anything for the world. Now I focus on getting them raised and getting to do the things I had to miss out on. Please support her and YES she needs a job. Good Luck!!!!!

Jeriane: realizing that you have much responsibility with your education and family. One of my advisors once said that all our stressors are blessings - job, family, etc. If there is a support system for your 17 year old, i would suggest that or counselling. Even though she may have a bad attitude, be scared, disappointed in herself, or not, she needs positive reinforcement, love and encouragement, and acceptance even is she has made a mistake. She may not be
responsive. She may be rebellious. She needs guidance to accept the utimate responsibility for the future. This could take some time. We all need to feel good about ourselves.

You might even look into a support system for mom's in this situation - how to handle teenage pregnancy. I recommend lots of prayer also. Blessings! B

Hi, While it is embarrassing that she is pregnant as a teen and it is hard to be the Step-mother too, I can kind of see your point. I am a step-mother of a 13 year old girl and she lives with her mother, so my situation is different than yours but I can see where you are coming from. However, while you are dissapointed in the fact that she is pregnant, you really can't change that, so embrace it and try and guide her. Don't scold her, she is going to have her hands full once the baby comes and will need all the love and support you and your husband can give. For now the best thing you can do is let her know that you are on her side but she needs to start thinking about the future. You have to be calm and let her know that a baby is a lot of work and they are expensive. Show her a budget for diapers and formula and clothes and all the things the baby is going to need. You also need to let her know that she is going to be responsible for that little life and that you will help her but you won't raise the baby for her. You have to try and make her see that while it was a mistake to get pregnant at such a young age, her choice comes with concequences that won't just go away. Maybe if you help her to see that she is going to have to grow up and take responsibility she will understand and will do what she needs to do. I hope that helps.

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