K.I. asks from Beech Grove, IN on February 05, 2011
My 14 Y/o Is Pregnant.
I don't want this to get long but I could use some advice from anyone who's got experience with teen pregnancy.
Please don't comment if it's only to judge or critisize. ANYone could be in the position I am in. I'm a good mom and this happens to people from all walks of life.
I found out that my 14 year old is pregnant about a month and a half ago. Motherly intuition tipped me off. I asked her more times than I can count if she needed to go on birth control and she was hurt and offended I even suggested she was active and accused me of not trusting her. I take my older 17 year old daughter for her appointments for birth control and I would have had no problem taking my 14 year old also, but alas, here we are.
We gave her every option and her choice is that she wants to keep the baby. I understand that means that I am going to be raising another baby because she is far to young to understand exactly what she is signing up for here.
Abortion or adoption are just not the right choices for us.....We are a family and we will stick together like one.
SO! I've had time to grieve for her childhood. I've taken her to the doctor and we know she is having a baby girl. We are embracing the idea of becoming grandparents....I just have a few questions.
I believe every baby should be celebrated but I don't want her to think this was so much fun she wants to do it again.
Do I have a baby shower for her?
People seem scared to be happy for her and I totally understand because it's a confusing thing to be happy about,
I guess I am wondering if there are any special considerations am not being informed of because of the fact that she IS so young?
Any landmines I should avoid when it comes to custody.
The dad is not interested in being in the picture and honestly I would prefer he not be.I
So What Happened?™
Just a few extra notes in response to some of the things written. Shortly after my daughter turned 13, She became very difficult to manage. It's the most frustrating thing to go through! I took her to her dr, I got her into counseling and she was even hospitalized for almost a week because she would not stop running off and we didn't know what else to do. They diagnosed her with Oppositional Defiance Disorder. I faithfully took her to counseling and they did not recommend any meds. She hid her pregnancy for a long time and when I finally did figure it out she was already 20 weeks. She is now 25 weeks I think. She is due on May 29th. I know it's really easy to say what you will and won't tolerate from a child, but I don't think you understand what this disorder is like. Otherwise she is a loving, beautiful and intelligent child. I had already enrolled her into the alternative High School program so timewise that is going to work out well. She will have the summer with the baby before having to go back to school. I already worry that some of her friends may be agetting the wrong picture about this so I limit their time with her for right now. I don't want to isolate her. If I do have a shower it's going to be for family and adult friends. I do want her to have some good memories of this not just of feeling like she let everyone down.
She was given outside counsel and education about all of her options and SHE does not want to do adoption. I have no problems with adoption. Her grandfather is adopted and was raised by wonderful people. We have a very big happy family and the means to care for one more. There is no reason to put this baby up for adoption. I have requested her middle name be Faith, because I have faith that God is putting this baby into our lives now for a reason.
I alwasy joked that after having my tubes tied and uterine ablation if God wanted me to raise another baby he would figure out a way to make that happen. I didn't realize he had such a sense of humor.
As for the daddy...I have learned that he was very abusive to her and he has been in a lot of trouble. He is 17. He was kicked out of school. When she informed him he may be a dad he stopped all contact with her. I will figure out how to handle this. I have 4 kids all together. The two younger ones are boys and if they had a baby, I would want to know my grandchild.
Thanks to all you wonderful women who have offered kind words and support. To the critisizers. May you never walk a mile in my shoes. God Bless!
T.J. answers from Seattle on February 05, 2011
I would personally have her do some babysitting to help her buy some necessities, and a baby shower for the baby after she is born. That way it's more about celebrating the baby and not the pregnancy. A lot of kids I know who were born to teenagers get the wrong message by default so you having a hand in raising her should help her!
2 moms found this helpful
S.P. answers from Indianapolis on February 09, 2011
I would say no baby shower before, but perhaps a small one after baby is here with ONLY family members. I would definitely not include her friends since she is so young.
N.P. answers from Detroit on February 05, 2011
Ladies I am so dissapointed in us. Our sister asked for advice and not to be judged. I'm sitting here shaking my head at some of these responses. What does driving have to do with having sex???? I never knew you needed a car to have sex! I became active at a young age too (long before I could drive). Trust me sex doesn't require a driver's license. And it is not this mom's fault her daughter chose this route. I'm proud you have accepted the situation and are behind your daughter. A small shower for supportive family would be nice (parent's definitely wouldn't approve of their 14 year olds attending shower. I'm with you, family sticks together. If you can afford it and are willing, why would you give this baby away.
17 moms found this helpful
B.. answers from Dallas on February 05, 2011
I am only mother to a toddler, but my sister had a baby as a teenager. I hear ya on the all walks of life point. My parents were great parents and my sister just wouldn't listen. I'm sorry if you've felt judged :(
This is what my parent's did. They did NOT have a baby shower. My parent's set up a registry for my sister (you can do this online and never have to enter the store!) and registered for all the things they knew they'd need. Bottles, clothing, diapers, stroller, etc. Them they allowed my sister to add a handful of things she wanted, or though the baby would need. Anyone who asked, was told about the registry and sent the gifts to the home. So, they got what they needed and my sister still received gifts for the baby. There was celebration in that, but not a party. They attended parenting classes with my sister. They also took her to a counselor, to help her prepare for the baby arriving and how different life would be. Also, the counselor counseled her on what could happen in the future. My parent's were raising the child, so she was counseled on how to handle "joint-parenting." They required my sister to get a job on the weekends. You can bag groceries at 14, here. 3/4 of that money went into an account for the baby. This money was put toward education funds, or emergency money if my parents needed it for the baby. The whole time my sister was under their roof 3/4 of her earned money went to the account. The other 1/4 was hers to keep. My niece is 12 and they still raise my niece with my (and my husband's) help.
Regarding custody, My parents did not seek legal custody until my sister was 18. She clearly was not going to raise this child, so they severed her rights and now have complete custody. I really think you should wait until your daughter is old enough to be a legal adult, to seek custody. My parents were my niece's guardians, until they sough custody. If my sister was dedicated to raising my niece they would have given guardianship and custody to my sister. She did not, so they moved forward to obtain legal custody.
15 moms found this helpful
P.B. answers from Spartanburg on February 05, 2011
I don't understand why people advise you to give the baby up for adoption...how do they know your family can't give her a loving environment and the same great chances in life that an adoptive family would give her? It sound to me like you are willing, ready and, most importantly, HAPPY to welcome this new life in your family. Ok, perhaps she is not coming expected and your daugther definitely needs some serious counseling, but in the end, a new life is about to be born and it should be celebrated. HOW, you ask. I say, keep a low profile, show your dignity and strong morals by creating great memories for this unborn grand-daughter (maybe a family-only baby shower?) and continue to be the great mom you are. Congratulations for making the best of a difficult situation!
12 moms found this helpful
J.B. answers from Atlanta on February 05, 2011
No to the baby shower. This isn't a celebratory event. A 14 year old having a baby is NOT a good thing, and I don't care how you spin it. Baby showers and other "fun" things for pregnant teens signal to other teens that getting pregnant is a GREAT way to get attention and have fun. People should be "scared" to be happy for her. I'm not happy for her or any 14 year old who is becoming a parent.
As far as you thinking that people whose children have abortions or give their babies up for adoption aren't sticking together like a family, I know lots of women who have stuck by their daughters all the way to the abortion clinic and afterward and many who were in the delivery room when the baby was born and given up for adoption. Just because you're electing to raise your 14 year old's baby doesn't make you more of a family unit than anyone else.
You can celebrate the baby at her birthdays and on holidays and every day that she is loved and cared for. When she's old enough to ask, simply tell her that when teenagers have babies, they don't get showers and gifts and special photographs -those things are reserved for adults who wait to have children. You don't want her going out and doing the same thing!
12 moms found this helpful
L.K. answers from Austin on February 05, 2011
Wow what a horrible situation you are in. I have a 15 year old and I am glad we are not facing this. You say you don't want to give the baby up for adoption because it is not the right choice for you. This is not about you, this is not about your daughter. This is about the unborn child and what is right for it. The absolute best thing for this baby is to be given up for adoption. You will be giving it the best chance at life.
No, you should not give her a shower. I would never let my daughter attend a shower for a 14 year old. This is not something that should be celebrated. She is 14 years old. She is a child. Celebrate this child's life by giving it the best chance possible to have a stable two parent household.
If you do decide to raise it at least force the father to pay child support.
P.S. One question for you: how in the world did your 14 year old have sex? She can't drive, she should not have a boyfriend old enough to drive, she should never be left unattended with a boy, so where did she have sex? My 15 year old is not interested in boys at all but if she was we already have lots of ground rules and those rules do not include the birth control pill.
So, since you want to raise your grand-daughter I hope for her sake you do a better job when it comes to boys and sex or she will be a mom at 14 too.
11 moms found this helpful
J.F. answers from Scranton on February 05, 2011
please please please, let your daughter enjoy her pregnancy. i was 14 when i got pregnant i found out when i was in a detention center. later i was put in to foster care. i did not get to take pics of my belly, have a baby shower, ect. now my daughter is 3, she always asks about when she was in my belly, and i can tell her stories but i cannot physically show her pics. her baby book is incomplete because i have nothing to put in it. it is sad, i do not have these things to remember what it was like.
but i am now back at home no longer in foster care ect.
as for a baby shower, it is for the baby not for the mother, and just because her high school friends wont be there dont not mean a thing, invite your friends and family. cherish these moments because they could be gone in a blink of an eye.
as for thinking it is fun.... hahahaha i know that was not my mindset after i went in to preterm labor, the drs stopped it and i was on bed rest for 4 weeks, and i also had non stop contractions for those 4 weeks. i gave birth 3 1/2 weeks early to my baby girl kaydence. so after your daughter goes through all of this she will not even want to get dressed in the morning lol. and she will know that there is nothing fun about getting up every 2 hours to feed and change a baby.
as for these other mothers that are being negative, ignore them. you can for good advice, and adoption is not good advise since your daugther has already chosen to keep the little girl.
i did cyber school when my daughter was born, up till she was 2, then it got hard to handle, so i took a ged pre test. i scored collage levels so then i decided to drop out and get my ged i was then one year above my former high school class.
do not make your daughter go to a counselor she is going through enough, dont make her feel like she has issues by making her go. when the time comes for postpartum depression and she infact gets it, then take her to a counselor.
i wish you the best of luck.
a quote that i live by --- we may have met a little early, but that means we get to love each other longer. <3
10 moms found this helpful
M.W. answers from Chicago on February 05, 2011
I have 2 perspectives that may be helpful for you.
1) I am a product of teen pregnancy. My parents were 16 and 17 when I came into this world. My mom felt the same way regarding my dad being in the picture. I didn't have a real relationship with my dad until the year before I got married 11 years ago. The first time I called him "dad" I was 30 years old. He passed away from liver cancer 4 years ago. I wish my mom had gotten child support on my behalf because I lacked a lot of things that she couldn't afford. Thank God for his parents that were able to pitch in and help from time to time throughout my childhood. I wish my mom had given me his last name. Inviting his family to my wedding made for interesting wedding invitations. Basically, the decisions you, your daughter and the father make today will have long term affects for that future adult you'll be raising. You cannot force the father to do what he's not willing to do. But you can take the legal steps necessary to make sure he does what he's legally obligated to do.
2) The baby shower is for the baby, not celebration of the mom. Hence the name "baby shower". I have relatives who will feel the same way about showering an unwed mother. They won't show up or even send a gift. The focus is supposed to be on the baby and that baby has needs. Additionally, so do you; unless you have money for a crib, carseat, stroller, diapers, etc. No one could expect a 14 year old child to be able to provide all of these things for a baby. So my advice to those who take an issue with this, consider your own child and extend the same love you would want someone to extend to your daughter if the shoe were on the other foot.
10 moms found this helpful
M.W. answers from St. Cloud on February 05, 2011
1:) No shower........ After the baby is born (AND IF SHE IS STILL GOING TO KEEP HER), have a meet the baby party - FOR RELATIVES.!.
2:) Still have her talk to an adoption agency. She can get all the counseling and services she needs AND INFORMATION on adoption. THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT SHE HAS TO GIVE THE BABY UP! But she will be armed with the knowledge she needs.
3:) SET UP GROUND RULES NOW! SHE will be doing night-time feedings. SHE will have to be home directly after school to take care of baby. (No more after school sports, games, parties! She will have to be a MOTHER!) She needs to get a part time job to help pay for the things a baby needs!
Perhaps you can get a hold of a "baby think it over" doll and have her take care of that for a week or two....... That will give her a RUDE awakening to what her future will be if she keeps the baby. And if she's all for it, OKAY! Let her be an adult. BUT TREAT HER LIKE ONE TOO!
4:) Get her into some parenting classes.
5:) Talk to the boys parents. They may still want to be involved and you will need to be okay with that. Dealing with minors, they still have rights too! And it's best that he pay child support unless his rights will be severed.....
I did daycare for 5 years and HALF of the children were adopted. The parents were SO GRATEFUL for the choice the mothers made. And those kids had GREAT homes with a LOVING CAPABLE FATHER AND MOTHER! And all the things they would need in life.
She (and you) need to consider what will be best for the baby as well. I know some 14 year olds. There is no way they could be CAPABLE single parents........ And sometimes, we don't get what we want in life. Sometimes the best choices are the hardest ones to make. She truly needs to consider what will be best for this little angel........
Good luck to your family.
9 moms found this helpful