My teenage daughter has a baby

Catherine - posted on 12/29/2015 ( 1 mom has responded )

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My daughter gave birth very unexpectedly to my grandson in January 2014 when she was only 16 years old. Neither her father nor I knew she was pregnant, and she claims she also did not know. She is very tall and slender and did not look pregnant. The small amount of weight she had put on was complimentary to her figure and she was glad she had finally developed some curves and breasts. Family members and friends remarked how good she was looking. She was very athletic and was a talented softball player. She worked hard practicing her sport and a softball scholarship was a definite possibility for her future. She was a year-round softball player, conditioning and practicing and playing travel ball and regular season with her high school team.

We were six hours away from home for a weekend trip for an indoor travel ball tournament when she went into labor. She had complained of back pain before we left, but we thought she'd slept wrong or pulled a muscle. We applied heat and massage to help with her back pain. We drove the six hours and she played in several games, all the while complaining of the back pain, but she did not want to let her team down and wanted to keep playing. The back pain worsened and it became apparent that the issue was more than just a sore back. Parents began offering their concerned diagnosis of what could be wrong, kidney stones, severe UTI, etc. Never did labor cross our mind! She was wearing a softball uniform and the only symptom she had was back pain. Early the next morning, we decided we needed to take her to the ER before starting our six hour trip home. We were in a strange town, far from home, and had to find the nearest hospital.

The ER nurse even gave her a shot of morphine for her now severe back pain. Then a urinalysis showed that she was pregnant. We were naturally very upset, but thought she was newly pregnant. I knew she was sexually active with her long-time boyfriend, but she was on birth control pills. She had no idea when she would have conceived. We thought we had many months to process and deal with our new reality. The OB on-call examined her and wanted to do an ultrasound. The ultrasound showed that she was further along than originally thought. They estimated now that the baby was due in about two months. All of our emotions intensified, our young daughter would be having a baby in a few months. We still had some time to process and prepare for the arrival.

The OB further examined her and gave us the most shocking news yet! My daughter was actually close to full-term and would give birth before dinner that very day. My daughter found out and became a mother in twelve hours. We were so thankful for the entire staff at his little hospital far from home. The OB was wonderful, the nurses were caring and supportive, the facility was brand-new, and no one was judgmental toward her. I believe they all recognized that we were a good family, completely capable of providing and caring for this surprise new life. We were all still in complete shock, and no one except the three of us knew about the birth. Would my daughter keep the baby or would she decide to give him up for adoption? Once we met this sweet, precious miracle we knew he would be coming home with us. We found out he had a severe congenital heart defect and was placed in the NICU for three weeks. He would need major open-heart surgery in a few months in order to survive. This made the entire experience more stressful.

We chose to share our news with only close family members. Everyone else, at this point, still thought my daughter had just hurt her back! My husband, trying desperately to cope, made up an elaborate story of her needing emergency back surgery to explain why were still at this hospital for weeks and not back home. My daughter suffered postpartum depression and began having panic attacks, and months later started developing a gastrointestinal disease that led to constant vomiting and weight loss.

Eventually, of course, my grandson was introduced to everyone back home. He met his father, who at first did not deal with this overwhelming new responsibility very well. His family was supportive and wanted to be a part of my grandson's life. The young father did not come around for months and even began dating other girls. My daughter was extremely hurt by his actions. The father did finally come to terms with his new reality and has been very active in my grandson's life since. My daughter decided that she loves him and accepted him back as her boyfriend. Unfortunately, this boy is that, just an immature boy who has no concept of being a responsible parent. Neither does my daughter, she is still a teenager, but has the huge responsibility of caring for a child.

My grandson had very successful open-heart surgery when he was five months old at the premier children's hospital in the state where we live. His doctors are thrilled with how he has thrived and grown. I took a leave of absence from my job to care for my grandson until he had his surgery so my daughter would not have to miss school. He had to be isolated as much as possible to avoid any illness.

She and my grandson still live at home with us. My husband and I know that we are basically the primary caregivers for my grandson. We love our daughter and grandson and want what is best for both of them. We know that our daughter must stay in school and do well. She is now a senior in high school, takes honors classes, makes good grades, and has been accepted into a local junior college. This junior college offers an excellent Associate Degree in Nursing and she could graduate in two years and be an RN. This all, of course, depends on her. She said she wants to be a nurse and seemed excited about possibly having a career as a nurse. She is so capable of making that goal a reality.

She has now become totaled unfocused and has demonstrated much reckless behavior. When she is with her son, she is an attentive and caring mother, but she has her father and I to help with him. My grandson's father is an attentive and caring father when he is with his son, but he has no initiative and motivation for a productive future. He has no vehicle and depends on my daughter to drive him around. He has been out of high school for over two years and only wants to work a part-time job. He pays for diapers and the babysitter when he has the money. Our daughter doesn't seem to get or understand why any of this bothers my husband and I so much.

She is becoming more and disrespectful toward my husband and I, and now that she is 18 she is threatening to take our grandson and just leave and move in with her boyfriend. She thinks getting on welfare is fine because her boyfriend's mother is on welfare and has a nice HUD apartment and her many children all have nice things and nice clothes. This terrifies my husband and I for the sake of our grandson. We do not want his life to be this way when we have offered our daughter the opportunity to live with us until she finishes college so that she will then be able to provide a nice, productive life for her and her son.

My husband and I are a hard-working middle-class family and pay for and take care of everything on our own. We both have worked since high school and both have more than just a high school education. We both have careers and work full-time while caring for our family and making a nice home for us. She is our only child and we had such high hopes and dreams for her. She is so wrapped up in her son's father and thinks they will just have this wonderful life together. We have told her that if she chooses to leave, we will take her car, her phone, and her college fund. She will be completely on her own without financial assistance from us anymore. We would petition for grandparent visitation.

My husband and I are both completely emotionally distraught. We both desperately miss our little girl who had such a fun and bright future. My husband misses enjoying softball with her. I miss having a close, loving mother-daughter relationship. We miss the excitement of youth, involvement in school activities, and friendships she once had. All we get from her is a negative and hateful attitude. I know that can all be "normal" for a teenager, but she is no longer a "normal" teenager. She is a teen mother. Of course, this has all taken quite a toll on my husband and mine's relationship, and we think perhaps it would be better for us if she would leave. We certainly don't think it would be better for our grandson. There are many uncertainties looming ahead, but deep down we love her and want her and our grandson to have a good life, we just need a huge change in her.

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