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Teen Pregnancy

Has anyone dealt with teen pregnancy and what did you do? We desperately need help!

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What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

We had a family meeting and discussed all the options available for my teenage stepdaughter. The silver lining? We are now communicating more effectively and very supportive of one another. It seems my stepdaughter matured over night and has taken on the task of researching all the services available for single moms. My stepdaugher wants to solely provide for her baby and we hope to hear from moms who can give us any information.

Overall, we now have peace, lots of love, hope and the blessing of a new baby. We don't know you, but you are all family to us. GOD BLESS!!!...A.

Featured Answers

If you live in the San Jose Area, the Broadway Young Families Program offers daycare for the child while the student continues to go to continuing education.

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My best friend had her first son at 16. It was a really hard time for her family and her... She kept her son (he's 18!) and was a wonderful mom after a rather rocky start. She chose to marry his dad, but had a lot of support from her mother, which was vital. She went into a pregnant teen high school program, which helped her learn parenting skills.

I am also friends with a family who adopted recently and another friend who has been waiting for a child for 2 years. I can honestly say that both families are/would be outstanding parents. The ones who just got their son are amazing with him, and he is already completely attached to them. I believe adoption is a wonderful thing and is truly a selfless act.

I wish you strength and peace as you deal with this situation. Hugs.

I would try very very hard to gently convince her to have the baby and let a family who is ready and full of love raise the baby. Then she can continue her teen life and beyond without the guilt that people talk about when the pregnancy is terminated.

All the best to you-

More Answers

I have been on two different sides of this situation. My sister was pregnant at the age of 14. She kept the baby and my family and I supported her desicion.
I am also the proud parent of an beautiful 2 year old girl as a result of an adoption from a pregnant teen.
In my opion the birth mother of my daughter made the right decision. Although she had the support of her family, she made the decision that she was not prepared to be a mother and she wanted the best for her baby. While it was a hard decision to make, she feels that she made the right decision for the baby. We have a semi open adoption with the birth mom. We send her updates w/ pictures.
I am always willing to discuss my personal experiences, so please feel free to contact me privately.

2 moms found this helpful

Hi A., It is such a heavy situation. I found out I was pregnant my senior year in high school. I was with a long term boy friend that I did not want to spend forever with. I chose to put the baby up for adoption. It was a humbling heart breaking experience. And if I step back and look at the big picture It really helped me to grow as a person.I am willing to talk to you or your daughter about this. I am not super religious and definitely pro choice.My decision was just what I felt I could live with. Good luck, D.

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It really depends upon the response of your daughter and her feelings. What are her feelings towards being pregnant? I was 19 when I found out I was pregnant. I chose to abort. I knew that there was no way I could be a mother at 19. I received a lot of criticism from friends, my boyfriend (at the time) his family, but to this day do not regret my decision.(There are other options such as adoption.) My parents supported me in whatever choice I was going to make. They were not happy, I knew, but not once did they come down on me or criticize me, they loved me and were there for me 100%, whatever I decided.

From my prespective on being pregnant at 19, the only advice that I can give you is to support your daughter, give her love, help to guide her. Her mind is probably going crazy right now, she is unsure of herself, her feelings and what to do. The only thing that you can do is to support what decision she makes. Being angry at her is not going to help, you will only alienate her, get her to open up, talk to you and then work as a family together.

I wish you the best, I know it is not easy as I saw my parents go through what you are now going through and it is not easy for your daughter either.

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Hi A.,
My advice is to find your nearest Planned Parenthood. Although many think of them as 'just an abortion clinic' their name says it all, and they can help the teen by providing information on adoption options, pregnancy termination, and also get her checked for STDs, which may be a good idea. Best of luck!

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You are very brave to ask for help! I believe this is one of those things that "the right choice" is different for every person. You didn't give much information, how old is the teen, does she want to continue the pregnancy? Is the dad-to-be in the picture?

Let me tell you a little about my situation, I was a teen mom, I had my daughter at 17, her biological dad and I had dated since Jr. High and broke up later in highschool about a week after we broke up, I found out I was pregnant. I did tell him but he wanted me to abort, he was not ready to be a dad, I decided to keep the baby with the support and love of my family, I finished highschool, attended a Junior College and became a preschool teacher, so that I could spend more time with my daughter.

Fastforward to today, I am married to a great guy for the last 10 years, together we are raising 3 children, my oldest 14 [will be 15 in Oct.], our middle 7 and our baby 19 months. Last month my daughter's boyfriend's mother told me that my daughter is pregnant, I was hurt, heart broken, angry, fustrated, and in all honesty a little crazy. I immedately wanted her to terminate the pregnancy, but found out that it was not my choice, since she is over the age of 12 it is her choice. I can tell you I was dumbfounded that a child not old enough to work, vote, support herself, or anything else was consider old enough to make this choice, yet I as her parent would be financial responsible and in all honesty have to do most of the upbringing of the baby.

I want to support my daughter in all she does, so that she will have a happy and sucessful life, I just never dreamed in my wildest nightmares that she would want me to support her choice to be a teen mom at almost 15?!?!?!? I know that I was a teen mom, but that is why I know how hard it is even with the support of your family, and the guy doesn't always stick around.

Anyway, after hearing the news, we went to the doctor to confirm the pregnancy [which they confirmed], they [my daughter & her boyfriend] did some pregnancy counsling, things are still rocky, my daughter currently is saying that she is still looking at her options [which right now is better then saying she is keeping the baby]. So we are playing the waiting game, I am trying to convience them to have a "teen age life" and not become parents, and his mother is telling them that she will watch the baby while they go to school and they can get WIC, my daughter can move in with her [which is NOT GOING TO HAPPEN]and get welfare and on and on, so in other words I am the wicked witch, and she is the good witch. Mean while, I am looking into classes for teen parents, and support groups, for both girls who have aborted, and teen moms but the clock is ticking. I haven't given up hope, I decided to seek counsling for my daughter and us as a family, which she was not open to at first, but now seems more open to, she has gone a few times and she is communicating a little better with us, but things are not easy and nothing she chooses will make life any easier, but we are just taking things one day at a time. I truely feel that there should be a support group for parents of "teen parents" and I am open to talk if anyone else would like to talk, I realize that everyones experiences and opinions will be different, but if we can learn from each other and support one another I am open to it.

Good luck to you and your family, lean on your family and friends you will need their support with whatever lies ahead. Be aware that there will always be someone judging you and your choices, but it is easy to judge when you are not the one dealing with it. You will have to do what is right for you and your child and not worry about what others will do, say or think. You will need all the strength you can find, but as a mom your love for your child will provide you with strength that will even surprise you. Good luck! :o)

2 moms found this helpful

I myself was pregnant at 15. It was extremely difficult telling my parents because we were so involved in church and I was afraid how it would look to everyone in the congregation if their worship leader (my mother) had a pregnant teen. At first there was a lot of shouting and crying, but once reality set in the biggest help was that my family AND my church supported me in whatever my decision was. I had decided to keep my baby until my brother sat me down and asked me what my future plans were to take care of myself and my baby. He also told me to rememeber that my life wasn't just about me and what I wanted anymore. It was now about what was best for my baby. I realized that my parents would most likely end up taking care of my baby since the father and I were both so young and that wasn't what I wanted. After a lot of thinking and tears I decided on adoption. I went through a christian agency and was able to pick the parents I wanted to raise my child. I also made sure that I chose parents that were ok with open adoption. I couldn't stand the thought of never seeing my baby again. So, 14 years later my daughter is a beautiful, well loved, well adjusted teen. We have a fantastic relationship and she is close to my other 3 children whom she refers to as her brothers and sister. We even got to have her go with us on a family vacation for the 1st time this last summer. I do know this is not always the norm. There has to be an agreement between the adoptive parnets and birth mother as to the degree of openess in the adoption. While I am a big advocate of adoption I also know that not all girls can handle it. It was definetely the worst pain my heart has EVER had to handle. Yes, it still hurts, but it is easier to bear since she is in my life and I can call her, email her, text her, and we have visits every month or 2. I even had to write myself a letter and bring it to the hospital with me to remind myself why I was choosing adoption. On the flip side, a friend of mine got pregnant a year after I did and kept her daughter. She is still married to the father and they are a very happy and strong family. I do know that isn't the norm in these cases though. Whatever your daughter decides to do, above all please support her and let her know how much she is loved. I know that my decision was right for me and for my baby, but it is not right for everyone. I'll be praying for you.

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Hi A.,

I got pregnant at 17. It was the first week of my senior year of high school, I was pregnant September to June. I graduated and walked to get my diploma as all my other class mates six days after giving birth. I did most of my finals in the hospital after the delivery. A little background, I always had good grades, always played sports, already was accepted to a college I really wanted to go to...and BAM..the plans changed. Not every teen mother has to go on welfair, get WIC, live with parents etc etc. I moved out on my own with her father when I was 18, graduated with a 4.0, and now have a thriving 9 year old. I am no advocate for teen pregnancy, but I guess my message to you is to make you aware that not all teen mothers have to be a part of statistics. I was lucky enough to have a supportive Mother who coached and guided me through the hard parts and was happy and cryed with me during the amazing parts. I never collected welfair or WIC. Her father and I split when she was 9 months. I moved out on my own, worked two jobs and she has always gone to private school. her Dad and i never went to court, I don't squeeze him for money. He pays exactly half of her expenses, schooling, clothes, etc. He picks her up from school Mon and Wed and brings her home at bed time and spends everyother weekend with her. It took a few years, but we have successfully Co-Parented for years...with our occasional differences in opinion. Have hope it can work out...think positivly, not "oh God, her life is over"..it's not. It's just taken a different turn. No I did not get to go to college...YET..but i will. Support her, guide her, LOVE her no matter what. Smile with her, cry with her..be excited with her. There comes a point when you can't force her to do what you want. You can only support her decisions and hope they work out. I did not always make the choices my Mom wanted me to, and believe me, she let me know it!! But in the end, she knew it was my choice and all she could do was support my decisions. I could not have raised the wonderful little girl I have without my Mom. Her wisdom and guidance when i was lost was my savior. She was my crutch, shoulder, and biggest fan...be that for her...

my good thoughts are with you through this very hard time..

D. :)

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My sister went through this when she was a teen and she decided not to have it. My parents were very supportive, comforting so as to no make this a traumatizing experience for her. Be loving and supportive no matter what you decide. She is very happy now with two children, and BA degree and a wonderful job. God Bless you and your daughter!

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Our daughter got pregant at 17 years old. Our granddaughter is now 3 years old. All we could do was be there for her and our grandchild. It was not easy but once they are there you can not change it. Be strong, be there for them and let them know that this is their child so they are the ones that have to be the main care giver and you are there to help only. They made the choice to have sex and they need to be responsible for that choice.

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Sorry to hear about your ordeal. A very close family friend went through this when I was in highschool. Do whatever you can to give your daughter the support she needs right now. Make sure she thoroughly understands all her options and help her to make a final decision on how she wants to proceed. You really need to let her make the decision though, since if you force her into a decision she is uncomfortable with she will resent you for it for the rest of her life and it may ruin any chance of you having a decent relationship with her as an adult. My friend decided to have the baby and give it up for adoption. It was the hardest decision she ever had to make, but they did a semi open adoption and she got to pick the birth parents, which was a little empowering for her. Then they periodically send her updates on her son's status. I know in the end she felt she made the right decision, although at the time she was going through it she wasn't so sure. She was a very bright girl (honors classes, athletic) so everyone was shocked when this happened. She was a sophomore, but managed to have the baby and still graduate on time by going to summer school for the stuff she missed. She went to college and leads a productive life, so this doesn't have to ruin any chances she has at a future. My friend even started going into the health classes to discuss what she went through with the younger students and share her experiences. She was very open with the whole thing and really felt like by sharing her experiences she was helping people out. The baby's dad didn't want anything to do with a baby or even her once she found out she was pregnant, so she really needed the support of her friends and family. She was so scared at the time, but put on a happy face, so you may want to give her plenty of opportunity to discuss anything that is on her mind. The most important part is to be nonjudgemental. She knows she screwed up and is more scared than you are. If you guys are having a hard time talking to her, you may want to seek assistance from a counselor or therapist that can help you get through this situation. I believe my friend ended up in therapy after giving the baby up for adoption just to sort through those feelings of loss that she had after carrying the baby for nine months. Hold your head high and try to be there for your kid. This may be the hardest thing you guys ever have to go through together, so just make sure she knows you will support whatever decision she makes. Good luck and let us know how it turns out.

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I would highly recommend that you (and your teen if she's willing) go to a nearby Pregnancy Care Center (or sometimes they're called Community Pregnancy Centers . . . depends on what city you're in). They offer *wonderful* free counseling (as many sessions as needed/desired), free pre-natal care if needed, and on-going physical support (baby clothes, strollers, etc.)if the teen decides to keep her baby. I used to work with teen moms in East Palo Alto - if you're near EPA, there's a great organization there that offers parenting classes and other services to teen moms - see their website at www.newcreationhome.org. Feel free to email me directly if you want more information about services for teen moms - there's a lot offered and I know it can sometimes be overwhelming.

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If you live in the San Jose Area, the Broadway Young Families Program offers daycare for the child while the student continues to go to continuing education.

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A.,

Contact The Pregnancy Counseling Center in Santa Rosa. They can help address all your concerns, choices etc. and support for your family during this time. They are very compassionate and very informative.

M.

1 mom found this helpful

I was a pregnant teen 10 years ago. If you want to message privately I would love to talk to you about your teen. =)

I myself was pregnant as a teen. i was only 15. At first my parents were of course shocked and angery. I choose to keep the baby and my life changed from that point on. It can be done but not without the understanding that she is going to make a lot of sacrifices for the rest of her life. I could have not done it without my parents help, love and support. I wanted to finish school so I enrolled in the running start program ( a college program offererd to juniors and seniors in high school) It allowed me to have a very flexable class schedule and work. my daughter went to daycare while I worked and went to school. I also graduated High school and got my AA in college within a month of each other. Long story short... I am now 26 and I have a ten year old daughter, (and a 5 year old son) who is a straight A student, involved in band and volleyball and campfire. It keeps me very busy and I spend most weekends selling camfire candy or sitting through tounements. I am a very busy mom. But I would not change if for the world. I know valunteer at the teen pregnancy center here in town to help young moms understand that life dosent end when you become pregnant, but it does really change.

A few things I would recommend... I am not sure about your state but in washington when a teen is pregnant they become soley relible for them selfs (amancipated) this allowed me to get state medical for not only meself but by baby as well. I was also able to get help with the cost of daycare. Establishing a parenting plan if the father wants to be involved (my daughter sees her dad every other weekend and on tuesdays for 4 hours) and so that she can get help supporting the baby even if he dosent want to be involved.

I haven't been through this but I have seen it up close. I went to a highschool where there seemed to be a real problem with teen pregnancy (I was good friends with 5 or 6 girls that went through this and knew several more.) The only real advice I can give is that you need to respect your daughter's decision (even if it goes against your better judgement or religious beliefs.) I knew two girls that were forced by their parents into choices they didn't want (one forced to have an abortion the other forced to give the baby up for adoption.) In each case this started a downward spiral in their lives that was lifethreatening (drugs, STDs and seriouly dangerous behavior.)

Give your daughter all the love and support you can muster. No matter what she does this will affect the rest of her life. I wish you all the best and hope that you and your family find the strength you need to get through this together.

I highly recommend going to Community Pregnancy Center. There are three in Mountain View, San Jose and East San Jose. They are free and very supportive, even offering medical assistance and physical support. God bless you in this difficult time...their is grief, but life as well!

Look into maternity homes in your area. You may have to do some digging but they are well worth it.
I myself had my daughter at 16. When I found out I was pregnant again( while on birth contol) I decided to take a step and move into one of these places. They get you in touch with comunity resources while encouraging you to be independant. Most have a low rent ( normally 100/ month) and require you work and attend school of some sort. It was a great stepping stone in becoming completely independant. I now have a degree and am living alone with my kids :-) it's a wonderful feeling.

hi A.,
How are you? i hope you are felling alittle better now you know i had my son when i was 17 i still lived with my dad at first he was very mad. i decided that the best thing to do was get away from him and let him have his own space so i left to my ants how's then after a couple of days i went home and had a long talk with him i told him that i did not want to be with the baby's dad becuse he was not good to me but i told him that if he wanted me to leave then i would she told me that he was very dissapointed in me and that hurt so much but he told me that he was going to support me in what ever i decided to do so i stayed home and my dad has helped me so much so what i am tryin to get to here is that if you have a pregnant child or relative then stay by him/ her side becuase that person needs you so much, keep this in mind if you don't help them then no one is and they can only count on you.
p.s i hope the best for you and your family.

Hi A.,

I'm going to assume you are the mother of the daughter who is pregnant. I was 20 and unmarried when I got pregnant with my son. I've also had a few cousins that got pregnant in their teens. It's been 18 years since then and we are all married with more kids and pretty happy and successful in our lives. So just for your peace of mind, things will also work out for your daughter.

Right now, it's disappointing for you. You had hopes and dreams for your daughter and now you think those are gone. They really aren't. It will just be a bit harder and things may move a bit slower with a child. But if she really wants to complete her schooling and go onto college she can do it.

You didn't give a lot of info about your situation but I can imagine that your daughter is probably very scared right now and she really needs your love and support. Has she made a decision on whether or not to continue the pregnancy? If she is keeping the baby, will the father support the child? What about the other family? There are so many facets to this situation it's hard to give advice without knowing a bit more.

The bottom line is, it is not the end of the world if your daughter is pregnant. It does make her life and yours significantly harder. The joy of a baby is unquestionable but as moms, we all know the challenges that baby will bring. But God does not give us a cross that we cannot bear. The best advice I can give is to try not to be mad at your daughter. She is going to be responsible for a life now and you'll have to help her learn how to be mentally ready to deal with that. If you'd like to talk more about my own experiences as a young, unmarried mom, please send me a note.

Good luck and God bless you.

I think the day our teenage daughter told us she was pregnant was one of the craziest days of my life. After it sank in, we hit the road running. The one thing I can tell you is that there is nothing better in this world than a great support system. I understand the feeling of being angry and frustrated, but as a Mom you are really going to be needed now. We were able to find parenting classes and other support groups through her doctor and social services. We did not pressure her into doing the right thing as some people call it and marry the father. Babies having babies is tough enough without all of that extra pressure. We were there for her and gave her all of the love and attention she needed, while making it very clear that this was her baby and even though we would always be there for her she was the Mommy and she would be raising her son, who by the way is an awesome 4 year old and the joy of this Nanies life. There are alot of alternatives such as adoption if this is what you feel would be right for your family. Don't rush into any decisions. Communicate with each other and get everything out on the table and in the open. Discuss all of the possibilities and really take some time to think things through. This is not a time for quick decisions by anyone. Best of luck to you and your family. You will all make it through this.

hi, i feel for you and know just how it is . my daughter had her first baby at 14, second at almost 16 and it was real trying. i just took each day 1 at a time and we all helped with the raising. it is hard to say what you should do because each person feels different about things but you just have to remember that love has to be your foremost priority and the baby has to become number 1.
in addition i am now raising my grandson from the same daughter. he is 2. good luck and bless you.
D.

I'm 37 now and have 3 girls ages 18, 16 & 13. I got pregnant at 15 and my mom, grandma and the father made me have an abortion & I never got over the trauma of the ordeal although I understand it may have been the better decision. I had my 1st daughter when I was 18 didn't finish school (or anything after). I've been blessed that they were healthy and "easy" babies. I had great child care centers & understanding jobs. I think Jaye S. is so right on here, but there is more that needs to be said. the babies grow up eventually. Teens are not fun. A lot of my daughters friends are having or have had babies and I talk with them. I think the best thing is for you to give your daughter all the understanding you as a mother can possibly give. She needs you now more than she will ever need you again. Please feel free to contact me anytime. I or my daughter and I'm sure her friends who've just gone through this will be willing to help in any way we can.

My best friend had her first son at 16. It was a really hard time for her family and her... She kept her son (he's 18!) and was a wonderful mom after a rather rocky start. She chose to marry his dad, but had a lot of support from her mother, which was vital. She went into a pregnant teen high school program, which helped her learn parenting skills.

I am also friends with a family who adopted recently and another friend who has been waiting for a child for 2 years. I can honestly say that both families are/would be outstanding parents. The ones who just got their son are amazing with him, and he is already completely attached to them. I believe adoption is a wonderful thing and is truly a selfless act.

I wish you strength and peace as you deal with this situation. Hugs.

It is crazy to me how people in this post tell you things such as "don't let her have an abortion" and such pointed bits of advice as that.

I am not saying that having an abortion is the best option--the best option for your stepdaughter is for HER to do what SHE feels comfortable with and what her heart and mind guide her to do. No one can tell her what her choice should be, only she knows that. Whether that is keeping the baby, giving it up for adoption or terminating the pregnancy. Even at such a young age, those decisions are hers to make and no one else.

That said, having become a mother at 16 years old, I hope that you are going to sit her down and have a very frank discussion with her about exactly how her life is going to be impacted. That will be a little challenging, because she is a teenager and will look at things through a very idealistic mindset--she will believe that the "woes" of every other mother in the world do not apply to her; she'll believe that she will be that one girl who will beat the odds--and who knows, maybe she will.

One thing you can bet for certain. If she raises this baby herself, her life will be equally as full of joy as it will be full of challenges. I remember when I told my mom at 16 that I was pregnant. She said to me "I just didn't want your life to be as hard as mine was." I totally did not get what she meant then, but now after 15 years... I GET IT! Your teen will get it one day soon too.

Best of luck to you. Keep loving her and supporting her no matter what!

My advice is to love and help your daughter get through this, and please don't consider abortion!
There are social service agencies and church counselors everywhere available to help. If marriage to the father isn't a good option, then the baby should be placed with a family with a mother and father and the resources to raise it.
I had two cousins who got pregnant just out of high school. Both of their families supported them in their decisions. One kept the baby, married the father a year later, then divorced the father a year or two after that. She is still trying to pay the hospital bills from the delivery, plus dealing with the emotional trauma of the divorce, and her situation will have life-long-lasting effects on her son. My other cousin gave the baby up for adoption. She knew she was sending the baby to a place she would be wanted and cared for and loved by a mom and a dad. My cousin went on to finish college and start a career. Later she married a great guy and has another baby with him, and she's doing great.
You have to consider what is best for the baby.

Hi A..

You have so many comments that I didn't read them, but if nobody else has suggested these, there are two excellent options out there. First you should discuss with her whether she wants to raise the baby with help from you, or chose adoption. Either way, call Community Pregnancy Center or Herritage Home. Both give excellent counseling and care. Then you should decide if she is going to live at home and continue school or if she will be home schooled. Herritage Home is a home in downtown San Jose which offers help with school. They provide room and board, plus counseling and parental training or adoption services.

I think if she wants to raise the baby, you will probably end up giving a lot of help. Are you ready for that? If you opt for adoption, you can now chose the adoptive parents. I'm sorry this is so hard. I think in time you will find that it isn't as bad as you think, and the baby will actually be a blessing.

Hi A.-
Is it your child that is pregnant?
When I was in high school, a number of girls were having babies....at 14!!
One of my closest schoolmate's sister got pregnant, and she was afraid to tell her mother and father, because they were very clear on the fact that she needed to go to college, make her life, etc.
Finally, she went home and sat down at the dinner table and told them. While her dad was angry, her mother broke down in tears and told her over and over again how much she loved her and that they would get through this. 6 months later, her father left her mother for another woman....and then 2 years after that her mother died of cancer. My point is, while you may be frustrated, losing that relationship is by far more detrimental.
For insurance purposes, send her to the free clinic. I was not a teen pregnancy, I was a poor, but responsible wife, and let me tell you, they give no one a break, regardless of situation. She needs to have an entire mind change, perhaps even a school change. Her goal now is to ger her GED, and look into the day care facilities at the local jr college. Her days and nights should be spent working on school and educating herself on what it means to become a mommy, a role model for a child, and overall, self sustaining. Her life is drastically changing, and even though a bad decision got her here, you have to believe that God can make miracles out of messes. I've seen it happen in my own life, but the elbow grease has to be hers, and unfortunately for her parents/you, the energy levels required are going to be huge. Do not condone what she has done, but help her do the right thing now so that in the future she will make better decisions.
I hope this helps, and prayers for the whole family!
-E. M

I just wanted to ad that doing the right thing does not mean marrying the father or giving up the baby. It IS a decision that she has to make, and as her parents with more experience in life, you can help her see the options and not let her take the easiest to get out of the situation. She needs to do what is right for the baby, whether it means keeping it or giving it up for adoption. And she needs to do the right thing for herself, whether it means homeschooling and mommy classes or at school day care and classes. Either way, these are decisions that should be, as the mommies have all stated, very carefully weighed and not rushed into.

Hi A.,

First of all, teen pregnancy isn't the end of the world, even thought it may feel like it right now. Have you gotten in touch with a local pregnancy support group? They are a wealth of information and support. We live in Woodland, and have a wonderful organization. They give you all options, teach parenting and support with clothes, diapers and everything else related to pregnancy. (even an ultrasound!) The bigger issue is, why are these young girls having sex, what can we do to help them make better choices and how can we help them? STD's are far more devastating than pregnancy and last a lifetime. I encourage you to get all the facts, not make rash decisions and look for someone who can help you sort it all out. If you are in the Sacramento area, look for Alternatives, also a wonderful group.

A.,
I don't have daughters, but I hear about it all the time. Most girls don't even know what they want to do. Its always a financial issue, & readiness. No parent is ready for this, let alone the one that got her pregnant.
Does your daughter know what she wants? Most teens get pregnant, & the father doesn't want to help. I had a friend who got pregnant at 13, moved in with the father. They stayed together for a while. Her mom is an alcoholic. She left her daughter with her mother, now the father is raising her. She isn't close to her daughter, but she does have visits with her. Some teens are not ready, & they don't know how to raise babies.
There should some helpful websites. Lots of luck. G.

I too was a teen mom and now am 34 with two more children. My teen just graduated from highschool, is attending college classes and working. So it is possible to raise a happy healthy person even when starting as a teen. I am happy to talk with either of you. Email me privetly and I can give you my number.
:-)W.

I would try very very hard to gently convince her to have the baby and let a family who is ready and full of love raise the baby. Then she can continue her teen life and beyond without the guilt that people talk about when the pregnancy is terminated.

All the best to you-

Another resource for you that offers counseling in your time of need...

LDS Social Services
1–800–537–2229

You can find a little more about them on the web at http://www.providentliving.org/ses/birthmother/wecanhelp/...

They have local offices in San Jose and Concord, and more.

May you find the right path for you! Just don't give up hope.

Hi A.,

Are you the pregnant teen or the mama? You say "frustrated, angry and lost"...and I am not sure which you are...I have not been a pregnant teen, but was married to a man whose mom was only fourteen when she had him...I would be happy to share more with you my insights and offer support, if you would like to email me personally.

This can be a painful and frighting time and the best words of wisdom I can probably give are these - if you are the mom - your daughter is terrified and needs her mother to love her and comfort her now. She messed up - we all do at some point in our lives. Remember you are angry etc becuase you LOVE her so much and want more for her...If you are the pregnant teen, seek couseling before you make any decisions. Your body is your own to do what is right for you - and so is your heart and your soul. Think about how to go forward very carefully and reach out to people who will love and support you unconditionally - because you need and deserve that support right now.
I wish you the best.

My parents adopted all three of my brothers out of the foster care program. I wouldn't trade them for anything.

My best advice is to pray. Any choice that is made will be tough. Pray for the baby, for her, for him, for you and for right people to come into your lives that will be able to help.

How old is your daughter? There are highschools (they take Junior High students too) for teen moms. There is one in Pleasanton for moms and dads and they offer childcare while the students do their work. Are you in a place where you could help out with parenting? I was pregnant right out of high school. My mom wanted me to have an abortion because I was so young. I kept my baby anyway. Years later she confessed to me that she regretted pressuring me to get rid of the baby because of how much she loved my daughter. Her friend's teen daughter became pregnant and she encouraged her to help her daughter and keep the baby. She did and is also so thankful. Don't be angry with your daughter. Babies are blessings no matter what the circumstances. You will all be changed forever no matter what you decide but if you force her to give up the baby (or even if you just pressure her) she will resent you whether she keeps it or not. Help her to make the best decision by being there for her, lavishing love on her, supporting her in whatever she decides, and understanding her difficult situation. This is your chance to shine as a parent and walk beside her. I wish you and yours the best.

Dear A., I would like to refer to:

www.first5kids.org - check the Family Partners Program to see if they have anything to help.

Good luck to you and your daughter - God Bless your family. All will be well. :o)

Hi A., I too got pregnant as a teen, I was 17 and a jr. in high school. It was a very hard time for me, and my mom who was a single parent of three kids! When I initially told my mom, she EXPLODED! Fortunately for the both of us, we had a great support system, the babies father (now my husband) was older and already out of high school and VERY SUPPORTIVE which helped tremendously! His family was and is still great & help any time we need it! I wanted to share with you that just because your daughter is pregnant doesn't mean she has to give up her life or dreams, I went to school everyday, took night classes & was home schooled for one month when I initially had my baby....I graduated high school on time w/my class & walked that all important STAGE to receive my diploma! I put myself through business college while working and raising my child, and now have a career that I am proud of. I did it with a TON of support and help from not only my mom but my husbands parents! But I want to emphasize that me and my husband worked our butts off to financially raise our child, it was our responsibility and that was made clear to us from day one! Today we have three children and are very open with our oldest, who is now 10 years old, to make her aware of the struggles we faced with having children young. Its not easy, AT ALL, but with love, understanding, and support you all will get through this. Let your daughter decide what is the best choice for her, talk to her about the 2am feedings, about all that she will be up against in having a child as a child, and that regardless of her choice you will be there to help and support her. Good Luck! My thoughts are with you and your daughter!

Hello A., I'm not sure if you are the one who is pregnant or if you are the mother of a pregnant teen but I myself was once a pregnant 15 year old, I had my daughter when I was 16 and got pregnant again when I was 18. LONG story. Anyway, if the advice you have already gotten isn't enough you can always email me to chat.

I was not the typical teen mother. I was dating an older guy (who I was desparately in love with, and is now my husband) and we found out that he had a son when his son was 1 month old. The ex had told him she had miscarried and hadn't ever told him otherwise. I was 17 1/2 when I became that little boys mother. His biological mother (who is about 5 years older than me)was unable to be a good mother to the child so my husband and I (we got married the day after my 18th birthday) ended up raising our little boy. The biological mother has visitation but went a year and a half without seeing him (her choice). My point is I turned out at 17 1/2 to be a better parent than someone 5 years older than me.

Dealing with teen pregnancy is all a matter of what is the best decision for the girl pregnant. Adoption is a great option, raising the child can truly be an option (though it is not right for everyone) and whether we as parents like the decision or idea or not abortion is an option available. The most important things no matter what the decision is that education is continued (there are many resources out there for teen mothers, it is just a matter of finding them), that the pregnant teen is loved and supported throughout the entire process and that as parents we support them in their journey. Remember that as a parent of a pregnant teen you are partially responsible for her pregnancy. Though we can never control all the things they do, we can control what we teach them and the responsibility that they learn. Now she gets to learn that responsibility.

I know several girls who were teen mothers, one of which had her first kid at the age of 15. I was horrified when I found out that my friend who was 2 and a half years younger than me had sex before me and when she got pregnant at 17 I was there by her side to help her with her decisions. Unfortunately more teens are having sex and are doing so at an earlier age. Its possible for a teen to raise a child but remember that no matter what age a woman is when they have a child it takes a village to raise a child and when you're talking about a teen mother that statement is more true then ever.

Good luck!

I was a teen parent. My parents are divorced and sent me back and forth between them to solve the problem. My world was upside down. i was just 17 and all alone my parents didnt want me and the babys father didnt want nothing to do with me. My mother came around and helped me out. I didnt have much of a soceal life after my daughter was born. i went to night school where they had a on sight daycare and graduated a year after i was suppose to. I think my life would be much differnt if i would have chosen a differnt path. but i dont know if it would have been any better. I guess my advise to you would be this. support your daughter in what she decides to do. But let her know that its her responsability not yours. Have her go get medical,foodstamps. wic if needed to help support the child. Let her know that you still love her and that your there to support her disicions. It was a long lonly 7 months for me untill my mom came around. i hope this helps and if you ever need any more help let me know. best wishes for you

I got married at 19, got pregnant on my honeymoon, and my now ex-husband left me for another woman when my daughter was 18mo old. I was actually 20 when she was born so I dont know if you would call it a "teen pregnancy". I worked full time and placed my daughter in child care. I didnt qualify for any government assitance after my separation. Appearently I was caught in the middle. I made too much to get help, but too little to survive and pay for child care. Thats why I was greatful that my parents let me stay with them. To show my appreciation I paid them what I could as "rent" every month. Anywhere from $300.00 to $600.00 each month. I bought groceries and cleaned constantly. I didnt want them to feel responsible for me or my daughter. Fortunately I grew up when I had my daughter, but not everyone does. We moved out when my daughter was 4, when I married a wonderful man. He loves my daughter very much, and has said several times that he wishes she was his. Neither of us find her father very pleasant to deal with.

I had a friend who had a baby at 15. She gave the baby up for open-adoption. She sees her daughter twice every year and got to choose who adopted the baby.

My sister-in-law was also 15 when she had my nephew. He is now 13. From what I understand, my mother-in-law raised him until he was about 3. My husband is convinced his sister will never grow up. But my nephew is a sweet boy, and he is not neglected by any means.

So I guess the question to ask right now is who is going to take responsibility for this baby? If your daughter isnt mature enough, are you willing to start from the beginning again. I dont think its very hard to qualify for WIC, section 8, or get child care through Childrens International, if she chooses to go that route. If your daughter gets medical, she can see a Marriage and Family Therapist to help her deal with the decisions that need to be adressed. You could probably request a couple of family sessions for the two of you.

I hope you get some examples or advise that ease your frusteration and anxiety. You and your daughter will be in our prayers.

A., yes, I've been where you are. There is help. Whether you are the teen or you are the mother of the teen, you need to get some real support from people who care. Bethany Christian Services is a reputable resource. You can find them online at bethany.org/modesto or 800-BETHANY. There is a counseling office in Modesto if you live close. If not, call them and they can refer you to FREE resources near you. Don't despair. You are cared about and you can make it through this!

I have not dealt with it but I know if I did have to I would be upset for the lack of responsibility that was shown as well as what we have taught as far as waiting for marriage but your teen needs support and love through it to make her decision on keeping the pregnancy or whatever her decision is. She needs to inderstand if you are willing to help her care for the baby if she stays in school etc.

I have not personally dealt with the situation. My advice is to seriously consider adoption to a family desperately wanting a child that can offer both a mother and father in a stable and mature environment. It is a heartwrenching yet selfless decision that puts the baby's needs first. I have many friends that have adopted and it has been such a blessing for them. They all have open adoptions so they meet the birth mother because she picked them. The open adoption requires adoptive parents to send pictures and updated info. to the birth mother for a specified duration of time. Good luck and God Bless!

Hello, I'm sure this is shocking news, but take on thing at a time.... first, do NOT let her get an abortion, there are plenty of people wanting to adopt and a baby is a gift from God, please remember that!! It may have been an accident on her part, but God doesn't make accidents!! There are lots of resources out there, I see you have some good suggestions already and there is also a program called WIC (Women, Infants and Children) for low-income that provides milk, cheese, eggs, carrots, cereal and stuff like that for the pregnant mom and then when she has the baby she gets all that, plus formula, baby food, etc. Look in your county pages and you should have one in your area, they are all over. Really just support her, she made a bad choice, but let's not ponder on it, try to "take action" and be all the help you can. She can always do independent study until she is ready to go back to school, to keep up on her credits, so she will be on-track to graduate. Remember, she is still a teenager and doesn't think like us adults, so you will have to guide her and teach her what she needs to do, please, please, whatever you do, do NOT let her get an abortion. I will be praying for her and you and your family on this special blessing. Take care and God bless.

Whatever you do, don't feel ashamed! you are not the first, and will not be the last one this has happened to. Be there for your daughter 100% and don't make her feel bad about it. We are all humans and make bad decisions once in a while. I was a pregnant teen once and with my mother's and relatives' support I made it through high school. Don't take all responsibilities away from her if she decides to keep the baby, she also needs to learn what the consequences of every action are. God bless you.

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