Monday, August 12, 2013


David and Destiny met when Destiny was just a sophomore and David a junior in high school. They were classic high school sweethearts and had so much in common. At the end of her junior year, Destiny's parents decided to move from California to Indiana. Destiny stayed in California because her parents thought it would be too hard for her to relocate during her senior year and start all over at a new school. So she moved in with David’s parents while David was away at marine boot camp and training. Destiny was legally emancipated just after her 17th birthday. She lived at David's parents' house for 6 months before he even came home in April 2007, but when he did, she got pregnant. So she was 17, still in high school, living miles away from her parents, boyfriend gone a couple weeks out of the month, and pregnant.
She finally told her parents when they flew to California for her high school graduation and they were very supportive. They agreed instead of her moving to Indiana, she should stay to be with David when the baby was born. On her 18th birthday in August of 2007, David asked Destiny to marry him (scavenger hunt style) and she said yes. They got married two months later in October, and in January of 2008 Julian was born.
She was only in labor for 4 hours and pushed about 11 times and he was out. He had jaundice and had to stay in the hospital until he was cleared which was about three weeks. When he did finally come home he was healthy and  hardly got sick. Julian was a healthy little man.
When Julian was 3 months old Destiny found out that David was hiding something from her. As heartbroken as she was, she was determined to find out what it was. After months of digging, she found out that he was secretly talking to Destiny's really good friend behind her back and building a “friendship” with her. Destiny saw it as a form of emotionally cheating. She was crushed that he would tell her friend things that he had once told her and that he would do that to her just months after their son was born and  he spent the first 3 weeks of his life in the hospital.
Destiny and Julian
There she was, married, living miles from her family, no job (she was a stay at home mom), with a three month old and only 18 years old with marital problems. Destiny grew up with two different households and she did not want that for her son. David and Destiny talked everything out and came to terms with how to deal with their situation and they made it work. Living as a military family was hard enough, they didn't need more stress to add to that. So after a long year of David proving his trust, they were back to themselves again raising a beautiful toddler and planning another.

Being a teen mom and military wife comes with a lot of responsibilities. Destiny has not only had to raise her son sometimes on her own, but she has had to deal with keeping her marriage intact and running a household all before she was even 20 years old. Here are some words of wisdom from Destiny: "if there is one thing I have learned from this experience is that you have to have faith that things will turn out okay in the end. Be patient, when one door closes another door opens."
David and Julian

Monday, July 29, 2013


Kaniesha has a unique story because she did not know she was pregnant. She was 15 years old. She was still getting her period. She gained weight, but her tummy didn't get big. She went to the doctor because she was gaining so much weight and her doctor told her to go see a nutritionist. She did and even though she changed her eating habits, she continued to gain weight. It wasn't until July 17, 2007 that Kaniesha and her family found out why she was gaining weight. On July 17, Kaniesha came home not feeling well. It felt like she had to use the restroom. She tried, but nothing happened. The pain only got worse. Kaniesha asked her mom to take her to the emergency room. 

When she was finally taken back into a room, they gave her a sonogram to see what was going on in her stomach. The doctor looked at Kaniesha and told her that she was in labor. All she could do was cry and ask how that was possible. 25 minutes after Kaniesha found out she was pregnant, her daughter was born. All that she could think about was how she had failed her parents. They too were teen parents and they had wanted her to have a better life than she did. 

While Kaniesha and her daughter were in the hospital for two days, her parents had to go get everything she needed for the baby. Kaniesha says that if it weren't for her parents, she honestly doesn't know where she would be. They were, and still are, her support system when she wanted to give up on her dreams. 

Kaniesha graduated high school on time. In 2010 she got her certified nursing assistant license while still in high school. Even though she didn't start college right away, she started in January of 2010 and is going to become an RN. 

Her daughter's father is around but does not support her financially like he should. Her daughter is now 6 years old and entering first grade. 

Here are some words from Kaniesha: "No matter what, never give up on your dreams and just keep pushing forward. You can do whatever you want as long as you stay positive. I'm not saying it's easy but just keep your head high and you can do anything."

Saturday, July 27, 2013


Caitlin and Noah met when they were 15 years old. They were at the mall with mutual friends the first time they met. For Caitlin it was love at first sight. He had brown eyes and blonde hair with a Justin Bieber haircut. His smile lit up the room when he was with her. Caitlin was head over heels for Noah. She can still recall the butterflies she got in her stomach when they had their first kiss on March 20, 2010. For Caitlin it was especially amazing to feel such a strong love. She had just gotten out of an abusive relationship so she didn't know it was possible for a man to treat her as well as Noah did. It was crazy to her that Noah was so kind to her. He didn't call her names, he didn't hit her, he was nothing like her previous boyfriend. It was amazing to her to feel loved and needed. They continued to date for several months. They broke up briefly, then got back together in August of 2010. The saying "absence makes the heart grow fonder" could not have been truer for this couple. She had missed him and needed him in their time apart. This just made their relationship that much stronger the second time around.

Caitlin and Noah dated through 10th, 11th, and 12th grade. They were always there for each other. They grew together, dealt with high school drama together, talked about their dreams, how many kds they wanted, they shared everything with each other. Life could not have been better for these two. Then, shortly after graduation, Caitlin became pregnant. She was so grateful that from the moment they found out, Noah was by her side. Her "friends" turned on her, but Noah stuck around. He was her shoulder to cry on, the hand to wipe her tears.

Caitlin found out she was expecting a little girl. She was ecstatic. Noah told Caitlin he was so excited because he now got to love a mini Caitlin too. Caitlin's heart melted. Her life had never felt so happy and whole. Noah was with her through everything.  He was all she needed in life.

On April 27, 2013 Caitlin went into labor. She was in labor for six hours before she started pushing. Noah was there the whole time and he was so patient. He kept whispering in Caitlin's ear: "good job baby, I love you baby, you can do it." This just made Caitlin push harder. Noah was her motivation. Finally, after two hours of pushing, Arianna Rae was born at 6:16 am. She weighed eight pounds two ounces and was 19 1/2 inches long. The moment Arianna was born, Noah cried. He loved her from the beginning.

Caitlin says that Noah has been there for every tantrum, every doctors appointment, every poopy diaper. He even moved 12 hours away from everyone he knew to take a job in order to better their daughter's future. Caitlin and Noah are, and will be successful. The two are recently engaged and are almost 20 years old now. Some words from Caitlin are: "age is but a number and true love is forever."

Friday, July 26, 2013


Emily was 14 when she moved out of her family's home in Australia. She chose to move into a friend's house where she went off the rails a bit. She left school and decided to take up a part time job. She continued this way for two years before she decided that this was not the life she wanted. She moved to a town where she knew no one, started school, and worked in a kitchen part time. She had always wanted to be a chef so she chased a career in a kitchen. During her last year of school she was offered an apprenticeship with a chef. She was so excited that she decided to put off studying and take the job while she could.

Emily was struggling to pay rent and bills on an apprentice's wage as it was. Then she met a boy that she got intimate with. She didn't think anything of it because she took her birth control pills regularly. In the beginning of December 2010 she started to feel really sick. She wasn't able to be in the kitchen for long periods of time without feeling nauseous. So, she took a pregnancy test. Then another. Then another. When all three tests came back positive, Emily just sat in her bathroom and cried. She didn't understand how this could have happened, she was on the pill. The next day she went to her doctor's office. Her doctor confirmed that Emily was four weeks pregnant. She knew she had to tell her mom, but she held off for a week. They had never had a good relationship since Emily had moved out. She decided to tell her work first why she had been so sick lately, and sure enough they fired her. Emily then called her mom on Christmas Eve and told her she was expecting. Her mom offered to take her in and Emily had to accept considering she no longer had money to pay her rent or bills.

Emily's pregnancy went by really quickly, she didn't have any problems. At 19 weeks she found out that she would be having a boy. She had no way to support herself financially so her parents bought everything for her new baby. Then forty weeks rolled around, she had still not gone into labor. She was done being pregnant. She was uncomfortable and agitated. Finally, five days after her due date she awoke to contractions one minute apart. Her mom raced home from work and took her to the hospital.

Emily's labor was not easy. She was in so much pain. Then, 12 hours into labor the doctor realized that the baby was turned the wrong way. The doctor ended up having to use forceps to get the baby out. At 6:23 pm Cooper Rhiley was born. Emily says holding him was the most precious moment in her life.

In the time since, Emily says she and Cooper have been through some amazing ups and downs. She gave up a career that she had spent so much time chasing in order to be a single mom. She notes that being 18 and having a child was hard and she couldn't have done it without the support of her parents.

Here are some words from Emily: "I don't regret a thing. I love my son more than anything. I only wish I would have had him further in the future so I could have had a good career and been with a man that I know would always be around to love my son!"

Thursday, July 25, 2013


It was a hot New Zealand Summer day in November 2010 when Tori took a pregnancy test. She was 15 years old and it turned out positive. She found out she was 10 weeks pregnant and was due on June 16, 2011. Her pregnancy flew by. She celebrated her 16th birthday in March and her boyfriend celebrated his 21st in April. He worked as a digger operator, so they were financially stable. They had a lot of support from their families despite initial disappointment. Tori thought they had it made. She had no worries for her future. It all seemed to be coming together perfectly.

By the beginning of June 2011, they were all prepared. All were anxiously awaiting the arrival of the baby. They were in for a long wait. Tori's due date came and went and still no baby.Tori went in for an exam on June 24th and found out that her water had been leaking. She needed to be induced that day. At 10:30 pm that night she was induced and told to go to sleep as nothing would happen for 12 hours. She laid down and tried to sleep. But 20 minutes later her hips and back were killing her. There was no way she could sleep. She got up and walked around the hospital. When she got back to the labor ward she was having pains lasting between one and two minutes. They were very close together but they were in her hips and back so she didn't think she was having contractions. Tori thought contractions only happened in the stomach and abdomen area. She alerted the nurses of her pains anyways. They told her she was overreacting.

At midnight that night a nurse came in to check Tori and she was five centimeters dilated. Tori was told to walk to the delivery suite. After she got there, things progressed quickly. She started pushing at 3:30 am. The monitor could not find her baby's heartbeat so they had to place a monitor in the baby's scalp. The heart rate was very faint, the baby was in a lot of stress. The doctor told Tori that she had two pushes to try to give birth naturally or else they were giving her a cesarean section. Tori did it in two pushes. At 3:50 am on June 25, 2011 Tori gave birth to her beautiful daughter, Ava Belle. She weighed nine pounds, three ounces!

After Tori's boyfriend never showed up for his daughter's birth, she started seeing his true colors. He started becoming abusive towards Tori physically, mentally, and verbally. It was extremely hard for her, but in September 2011 she left the guy she had loved for three years and the father to her daughter. Tori is glad she did it though, she and Ava are better off without him. Ava continues to grow and is such a happy child and Tori is so proud of her daughter. Tori and Ava live with Tori's mom and Tori started business management courses in 2012.

Here are some words from Tori: "16 and Pregnant opened my eyes and has made me more aware of birth control. I now know to make sure I am more careful by taking precautions when having sex."

Ava Belle at 5 months old

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Jessica was 18 when she became a teen mom. When she first found out she was pregnant, her boyfriend at the time (whom she would prefer remains unnamed) insisted she get an abortion. This was not something she believed in so she therefore sustained the pregnancy. He was never really supportive but he came around to the idea of having a child. He got a job that paid minimum wage and Jessica moved in with him and his parents. Being in a relationship with him was hard for Jessica but she really wanted to make it work for the sake of the baby. So, she dealt with him for the whole nine months.

Jessica gave birth to her daughter on December 2, 2007. She was overjoyed to meet her baby girl. But things with her boyfriend just got worse after their daughter was born. Jessica tried to mend their relationship by having sex with him. They used protection but nothing is ever 100%. She got pregnant again. Jessica believes that everything happens for a reason so she embraced this second pregnancy. However, her boyfriend was not as understanding as she. The pregnancy became harder to handle when she found out she was going to have a little girl that was going to have Down Syndrome.

Jessica knew it would be hard but she felt that she was given both of these babies for a reason. She raised her first daughter on her own while she was pregnant because her boyfriend refused to help her. His friends were always more important to him than Jessica or his daughters. Even when she was put on bedrest, her boyfriend wouldn't help her with their daughter. He insisted that the new baby should be put up for adoption so he refused to support Jessica. Since she had to take care of a baby while she was supposed to be on bedrest, she went into labor early.

Jessica gave birth to her second daughter on September 22, 2008. She was 19 and already had a nine month old at home. Her daughter was born weighing just four pounds, two ounces and Jessica wasn't even able to touch or hold her. There were many complications when she was born. She couldn't regulate her temperature, she was unable to bottle feed, and she had a heart defect that needed to be monitored. On top of all this, her father wasn't even there to witness her birth. By the time he arrived at the hospital she was already being taken away for monitoring.

Their daughter had to remain at the hospital for a full month until she was able to eat and keep her body temperature normal. When she was sent home at one month old, she still weighed four pounds two ounces. Right away Jessica noticed that her daughter wasn't able to keep any sustenance down. She kept taking her to the doctor but it took them three months to realize that her daughter had Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD for short.) The following is a brief description of the disease that I found on : Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a chronic digestive disease that occurs when stomach acid or, occasionally, bile flows back (refluxes) into your food pipe (esophagus). The backwash of acid irritates the lining of your esophagus and causes GERD signs and symptoms.

By the time she was diagnosed she had lost so much weight that she had to stay in intensive care. While she was there, her father refused to hold her because she felt so fragile. But Jessica thinks that was just his excuse because he didn't want the responsibility of a Down Syndrome baby. So, when her daughter came home Jessica decided things weren't going to work out between her and her boyfriend. Since she had always been left to take care of her children alone, she figured she might as well be alone. She broke things off and moved out. She rented a room for her and her girls and things were tough because their dad never paid child support. She was on her own and he hardly came to see them. As her younger daughter got older there were more health complications, but Jessica handled them on her own as a single parent.

Then when her youngest was eight months old, she met a guy who was enamored by her and her daughters. They started dating. Her ex found out and he freaked out. He broke into her place and hit Jessica. They got into a huge argument. Jessica filed a restraining order against him and won full custody of her daughters.

In the time since, Jessica got married to the new guy she started seeing and she has loved her life since. She says her husband is a great father to her kids. She has had no communication with her ex since she got the restraining order against him and she is glad. Her younger daughter's health has improved somewhat. She stil has pending surgeries but together with her husband, Jessica knows they can handle it. Jessica says: "I wanted to share my story not just to tell teen moms out there that they can do it but to tell them that if your relationship is bad, it's not worth your health or your kids' health to make it work. Things aren't always easy, but you can get through it."

Here are some photos Jessica shared with me of her two beautiful daughters (:

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


When Lacey was 17 years old she had a big crush on a family friend she had known for about 5 years. His name was Anthony. He had a little girl who was about 2 years old from his ex-girlfriend (or so Lacey thought.) The two began flirting and spending a lot of time together. They knew they liked each other and she always questioned him about the relationship between him and his daughter's mom. He always swore they were not together and she believed him. This was due to the fact that all his family knew he was at her house quite often and they clearly didn't have a problem with it. He and his baby's mom did not live together, and he talked about her like he hated her. Lacey notes that he was a very good dad to his daughter. He always had her with him and talked about her constantly. Lacey was in love with this about him. She remembers him coming over one day while she was watching A Baby Story on TLC. Lacey told Anthony he could change the channel. He said he wanted to watch the show with her. He then made a comment about them having a child together and it melted Lacey's heart. She thought he must really like/love her for him to say something like that.

They began having a sexual relationship after that. This continued on for about 6 months and then Lacey asked Anthony if he thought she should get on birth control. He responded: “No, way we would be having way too much sex if you did.” So, she didn't. About a month after this conversation Anthony was at her house and the two had intercourse. Lacey says that the next morning she went to the restroom and found a broken condom on the toilet paper when she wiped. She says she didn't think much of it, sometimes they used condoms and sometimes they didn't. She definitely never thought that she would get pregnant. Lacey continued on with her life and  about 8 weeks later she noticed a very small drop of blood. But she still didn't start her period. After 3 days she decided to take a pregnancy test. It came back positive.

Lacey called her older sister and told her. Her sister took Lacey to the doctor to confirm. The doctor confirmed she was about 10 weeks pregnant. Lacey was excited about having Anthony's baby and being a family together but she was terrified to tell her mom. She and her sister met up with their mom that day and told her the news. Of course her heart was broken. Her teenage daughter with no car, no job, who had dropped out of high school when she was 16 now had a baby to look after. Her mother told her she needed to call Anthony and figure out what they were going to do. Lacey called him and asked if he could come over. He said he couldn’t but asked what she needed. She told him she was pregnant. Instantly his whole tone changed. He began asking her to have an abortion saying later down the road they could have a few kids but now was not the right time. Lacey refused. She even told him he didn't have to support this baby financially as long as he was part of it’s life, he could just go to the doctor with her and be a dad. He said that doing those things for her baby would take away from his daughter. Then he finally admitted that he and his daughter's mom were in a relationship.

Lacey and Anthony talked long into the night. She tried contacting him a few times after that but slowly and surely he stopped all communication. Lacey thanks God for her parents and family members who were with her 110% throughout her hard pregnancy. Lacey was in and out of the hospital with high blood pressure and the baby never moved. Finally on May 27th, 2004 at 3:59pm her baby boy, Nathan Blaze, was born 7 pounds 7 ounces. As soon as he was born he was rushed away to the NICU with respiratory distress. But after 3 days he came home with Lacey. Her family pressured her a lot to contact Anthony and file child support but she couldn’t do it.

Lacey was able to move on with her life because she was so in love with her son. Anthony never tried to contact her in any way to learn anything about his son. Her parents were great but she was still 18 years old with no car and lived at home with her parents. Finally when she was 19 she met a man named Jaime who was amazing. He was kind, sweet, and older. He had a car and a really good job. Lacey fell head over heels for him. Two months later she was pregnant. This was her second pregnancy as a teenager and this time with a man she barely knew. She had never been as scared in her life as she was to tell her mom she was pregnant for the second time. But she did. Her mom was enraged and didn’t talk to her for over a week. When her mom finally spoke with her they decided Lacey would move in with Jaime.

It was wonderful for awhile but after a few weeks she discovered Jaime was controlling. One day when Lacey was 8 weeks pregnant he threw all of Lacey's and Nathan's belongings outside. So Lacey went to her mom’s house and asked her if she could come back. She wanted to tell her mom she wanted an abortion but she was scared of what her mother and her grandparents would think since they were very religious and thus against abortion. Lacey stayed at her mom's house and kept quiet. She had no contact with Jaime for 3 days. Then he came over and apologized. Lacey went back home with him just for the sake of not having to live with her Mom and Dad.

Lacey and Jaime’s relationship was very difficult. They fought a lot because they were just learning how to be together and getting to know each other and they had the added stress of an instant family. Lacey went into labor September 2nd, 2006 at 11:35pm. Her baby boy Isaiah Richard was born 7 pounds 2 ounces. Lacey and Jaime continued to get along and try their hardest for their son but there was infidelity. She found out Jaime cheated on her. This led to a huge falling out. Lacey went home to her parent's house once again. This time she stayed for about four months. Lacey had to support her kids so she got a job at a local apartment community. She made decent money but she also had to pay her mom to watch her kids during the day. She was starting to move on and become okay with her life. She had not heard from Jaime in about a week when he finally stopped by. She gave him the third degree and he admitted he had a girlfriend. Lacey immediately stopped contacting him and letting him see Isiah.

Finally after 3 years she filed for child support against her oldest son’s dad, Anthony. She felt guilty because none of his family ever found out they had a baby together. But once they had the meeting about child support, he said he wanted to be a part of Nathan’s life. Anthony came around and introduced himself twice and then they never saw him again. Lacey filed child support against Jaime as well. About a month after Lacey filed against him, Jaime showed up at her mom's house when Lacey was not there. He said he wanted to see his son but her mom told him no and to get lost. Lacey agreed to meet with him. He begged, even cried for her to come back to him. Of course as a single mom to two kids, she didn’t want to be alone so she went back.

They struggled with their relationship and continued to try and do their best for their kids. On December 7th, 2007 Jaime was arrested by Immigration (he was not a legal resident). Lacey's world came crashing down. Once again she moved in with her parents. She lost everything, her house, her furniture, and her boyfriend. She finally realized how much this man meant to her and how much she loved him. After years of struggling and fighting she regretted all the bad times they had and the bad things she said to him. She realized it was time wasted. She contacted a lawyer and tried to hire him but it was too expensive. She knew she had to let Jaime go back to Mexico. She would never be able to see him again, it was over.

Then Jaime's uncle contacted Lacey, a man she had never spoken to before. He gave her the money to hire a lawyer and get Jaime home. After two months, he was released by immigration on a $5,000 immigration bond. After he got out, the two got married and settled into a life together. They welcomed a baby girl, Jessica Maureen, in August 2009. Lacey knows that she and Jaime had a lot of problems but she says that he helped her more than anyone ever has. While she has been with him she has gotten her drivers license and pursued a real estate career. Nine years after Lacey became a teen mom she is proud to say that she is madly in love and has a perfect little family. Lacey's words of advice are as follows: "Being a teen mom was the hardest thing I ever had to do. If I could go back and do it over I would have waited and not fallen for every man who looked my way and said something sweet to me."
Lacey and husband Jaime
Nathan, Isaiah, and Jessica

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


Tara was 16 when she got pregnant with her daughter Skylar. She had been dating her baby daddy for over a year and half and things were great. Her pregnancy was a little different than most though. She didn’t find out she was pregnant until July 29, 2011 by which time she was 29 weeks pregnant already. The only signs of pregnancy she had was a missed period but this was normal for her.

After Tara found out she was pregnant she was shocked and didn’t know what to do. It was the end of the summer after her freshman year when she found out. Tara decided that she was going to do online schooling for her sophomore year so that she could be home with her baby. When school started everyone started asking where she was and when they could see her. Finally at 35 weeks Tara came out to her friends about being pregnant.

Tara was finally at peace with her pregnancy. Her friends knew, her mom was supportive, and her boyfriend was by her side. Little did she know that while she was sitting at home counting the days until her due date, her boyfriend was at school fooling around with some new freshman girl. Meanwhile Tara knew nothing about this so there she was dreaming of their plans to graduate high school, get married and move in together.

It wasn’t until September 25, 2011, the day of her baby shower, that Tara found out he was cheating on her. Her baby daddy had taken the freshman girl to homecoming the night before her shower and hooked up with her in front of all Tara's friends. From that moment on she felt completely alone. He was out having the time of his life while she was at home folding baby clothes and getting ready for their baby to arrive.
On October 5, 2011 at 38 weeks pregnant Tara went into early labor. Her labor lasted for 40 hours. She finally gave birth to her beautiful baby girl on October 7, 2011 at 7:29 am. She named her Skylar.

By the time Skylar was 2 months old, not much had changed. Her dad didn't come around much. Only when he wanted to and wasn’t busy out doing his own thing. He had made it clear that nothing was ever going to go further between him and Tara.

Tara says she is lucky to have the support of her mother and his grandmother to keep her going every day. Skylar is the reason Tara is able to wake up with a smile on her face day after day. As for Tara she graduated high school a year early to start her trade in Pharmaceutical Tech and make a better life for herself and Skylar. 

Monday, July 1, 2013


Erica became a mom right after her 20th birthday and right before her boyfriend's 18th birthday.

When she was pregnant, she and her boyfriend Phillip didn't tell anyone for close to a month after they first found out. They just weren't sure what to do.

In July of 2007 Erica was the passenger in a car which rear ended the car in front of them. The police officer who came to the scene of the accident made Erica go to the hospital. When she heard her baby's heart beating for the first time, at 9 weeks pregnant, she knew that she would love this baby forever and always be there for her child.

In October she had her first ultrasound. Erica and Phillip were so excited to meet their baby and find out if it was a boy or a girl. The ultrasound technician acted as if the baby were perfectly healthy and told them that they were expecting a little boy. After the ultrasound, Phillip went to school and left Erica at her doctor's appointment.

When the doctor came in Erica found out that her baby boy had club feet, an abnormal heart, a small chin and a host of other things that pointed towards Edwards Syndrome. All she could do was cry. When she had seen the screen all she had been able to see was a piece of perfection that she had helped to create. She was sent to a bigger hospital the next day to get a higher ultrasound, a 4d, and had various doctors looking at her little boy all day. They found out that the congenital abnormalities were something that the previous ultrasound had picked up but the new ultrasound had ruled out. Luckily it was not Edwards Syndrome. But the club feet still remained.
For the rest of Erica's pregnancy she was in and out of the hospital. She and Phillip picked the name Kasey during one of these visits. On December 26, 2007 she went into preterm labor. Steroids and other drugs helped her and she was placed on bedrest to help her baby stay inside. While on bed rest she did nothing but research club feet, realizing so few know about it while it affects 1 in every 2,000 babies born.
Her baby was born on February 9, 2008 a healthy 6 pounds 12 ounces 20 inches long. She got to take him home and hold him and love him. They went through the first step of treatment, casting from his knees all the way down. Then, less then a month after he was born they were back at the hospital. He had to have a spinal tap because an x-ray had shown spots on his lungs. The doctors told her to expect the worst, meningitis, but also said they would do their best. He ended up having a kidney infection and in just over a month he was fine.
Since then, Erica says, there have been falls down the stairs, falls off the beds, falls in the yard, there have been bumps, bruises and cuts. Each time one happens she can feel his pain and she remembers when she made a promise, after hearing that strong heartbeat, that he would never have to bear it alone.
Erica's son Kasey turned five this year. Erica says it is amazing to see how much her son is growing every day, he's starting kindergarten already!  Phillip and Erica have been together over 7 years and they are doing excellent, working on buying a house and getting married. Erica graduated from college in December of 2011with a degree in Criminal Justice and Phillip owns his own business. They're happy, healthy and working together and Erica says:" there isn't any more that I could ask for."

Sunday, June 30, 2013


October 17, 2000 was the day that changed Randi's life forever. She was a typical 17 year old girl. She lived at home with her mom and stepdad who were big into church. She saw her biological father a few times a month. She had graduated high school early in June of 2000 and had already started attending West Virginia University. She was thinking of majoring in Visual and Performing Arts since she was a dancer all her life and was on the dance team in high school. She had lots of what she now knows were acquaintances. Randi was friends with the athletes, the emos, the preppy girls, and the skater crowd. She had two best friends, Adrianne and Lael, and a boyfriend named Ryan she had been dating for two years and was crazy about.
Randi in red and Lael in the middle

Ryan and Randi had been friends for a few years before they had even started dating so he was more than her boyfriend, he was her best friend. When her family moved 45 minutes away from her high school she didn't want to change schools right before her senior year of high school, so half the time she spent the night with Ryan and his parents and they would drive to school together. Ryan's parents and Randi were very close. There were times when Randi would go on trips with Ryan's mom without Ryan! She loved them and they really loved her. After she and Ryan had been dating for one year they decided to start having sex. Before they did Randi got put on the birth control pill, wanting to be as responsible as she could be. The first three months that they were sexually active there were no issues. The two were in love, having a great Summer together spending time with friends and family. Then in August Randi got a little sick and was put on antibiotics, she felt better in just a few days. Randi didn't realize that being on antibiotics caused birth control pills to be ineffective. She started college and life was great.

She started feeling sick again around the end of September but didn't think much of it. It wasn't until she couldn't sleep comfortably on her stomach anymore because her breasts were sore that she started to realize what was happening. This is when she realized that she had missed a period, maybe even two. She knew she had to take a pregnancy test ASAP. She called her best friend Adrianne and asked her to accompany her to get the test and stay with her while she took it. The two went to Adrianne's apartment and almost instantly the test showed a positive sign. Randi was shocked. Scared. Stunned. Adrianne immediately tried to comfort her by saying "Oh, those can be wrong. You're probably NOT pregnant. Don't stress out until we go to see a doctor." Although Randi appreciated her friend trying to keep her calm, she KNEW she was pregnant. She decided not to tell Ryan until she had confirmed it with a doctor and she made an appointment for 2 days later. October 17, 2000.

Over the next two days Randi was nervous, on edge & scared out of her mind. Ryan asked her numerous times if she was okay and she repeatedly said "Yeah, I'm fine" all the while lying through her teeth. Sitting in the exam room was the most stressful time of her life. The doctor did a blood test and a pelvic exam. After waiting 20 minutes the physician walked back in and said "Yeah you're about 10 weeks pregnant." Adrianne's head immediately snapped up and when their eyes met, they both had tears in them. The doctor talked with Randi about what choices she had but there was only one choice for her.
Randi left the doctor and went straight to meet Ryan when he got out of class. He was six months younger than she and so he had just started his senior year of high school. When she saw him she pulled him aside and told him she was pregnant. He thought she was joking. She showed him proof from the doctors visit....and he lost it. He started crying, telling her he loved her, but what were they going to do? She let him absorb the news for a few days and she told him she had made up her mind. She was having this baby and he could be as involved as he wanted. Telling her parents was super hard and surprisingly her dad took it better than her mom. But by the time she was 5 months pregnant and had found out she was having a baby boy her family had become very supportive. Ryan on the other hand had decided he was really young and basically felt trapped. After dating for two and a half years, Randi found out he had cheated on her. It was with a mutual friend of theirs, who knew they had been together for a long time and knew she was pregnant. Randi broke up with Ryan in February as soon as she heard and cut all ties with him and his family. He never tried to call, never came to her house. She heard rumors he and his family were questioning the paternity of our baby. This was extremely hurtful to Randi because Ryan knew he was the only guy she had EVER made love to. 
Randi's pregnancy was relatively easy, besides being sick from sun up to sun down. Her mom was fantastic and threw her a HUGE baby shower which helped her get everything she needed for her baby boy.
Randi went into the hospital at 11pm June 12, 2001 to be induced. Her mom, her best friend & her friend Lael were there with her. They didn't really start the induction process until 7am the next day. Randi says she knows why they call it LABOR, because its hard work! At 1pm she was seven centimeters dilated and decided to get an epidural. She started pushing at 3:00pm exactly and at 3:24pm on June 13, 2001 her baby boy- Bryce Andrew was born. Randi says: "I have said it a million times. If I ever thought I knew what love was before that....I didn't. Bryce was my very first True Love." Her family and friends enjoyed spending time with Bryce, but around 9:30pm that night she realized she needed to call Ryan. After not having talked to him for 4 months it was awkward but he came that night to see Randi and Bryce. His family came the next day and they were all trying to get along. She spent that summer taking care of Bryce and loving every second of it. He had colic so it was trying at times and she got barely any sleep. She went back to college in August and started waiting tables 3 nights a week to pay for Bryce's food, diapers, and clothes. Her mom was amazing and kept Bryce if Randi was at school or work. But Randi had Bryce with her any other time. Whether she was having lunch with a friend or grocery shopping, Bryce was with her. Bryce and Randi moved into their own house and they were doing great. She and Ryan tried a few times to work it out and be a family but it was always on and off. He didn't pay stable child support or see Bryce on a set schedule. After he graduated high school Ryan moved to Nashville (10 hours away) to attend an Auto Diesel School. While he was there Bryce and Randi flew down a few times to visit and make it work, but it wasn't. He ended up meeting a girl there and they became so serious that he moved her back home to West Virginia with him.

Meanwhile Randi had decided that she needed to change her major. Preforming Arts was not a stable enough major for a mom with a young baby. She needed a career where she could find a job near her family and make good money to support herself and Bryce. Her girl friend Lael talked with her about nursing. They both decided to go for it and got accepted to RN school at West Virginia University. Bryce started preschool and Randi was in her first year of RN school, when she began talking to James. He was a guy that was friends with Lael's boyfriend Andrew. The two mostly talked online and texted. He was in college three hours away in Charleston, West Virginia. They both liked one another but didn't want to have a long distance relationship. When Randi got the news that James had been accepted to the Master Physician Assistant Program at a school only one hour away from her, that was their chance to try and be together. Their first date was July 23, 2004.

The two have been together ever since. They fell completely in love and spent every spare second they had together. She waited and had Bryce meet James around Thanksgiving. She wanted to make sure she and James were in a solid relationship before she let Bryce get attached to him as well. The first time they met, was like magic says Randi. They were instant best friends. James and Randi moved in together after one year. Meanwhile Ryan rarely saw Bryce because he had a new girlfriend and baby. His girlfriend had gotten pregnant she told Ryan's mom "because I don't want Randi to have more of Ryan than I do." After James and Randi had lived together for a few months, Bryce started calling James "Daddy" all on his own. She asked James if he minded and his response was "That boy IS my son. I don't care if I didn't make him or not. He'll always be my son." Randi says that James has been true to that statement. Anytime the two would be out and James would introduce them he would always say "this is my son Bryce". It made Randi love him even more. She and James got married on December 22, 2006. Bryce stood with them while they said their vows, and swung from their arms as they placed the rings on each others fingers. They were finally a family.

A couple of weeks ago Bryce turned 12 and he will be starting middle school in the Fall. Randi and James have been married for six years and will have been together nine years next month. He is a Physician's Assistant at a family practice. The two have had two more sons. Isaac James is five and David Paul is two. Randi says that she is so blessed to have been able to be a teen mom, graduated with her RN-BSN, have married her best friend who is smart and successful, and be raising three beautiful boys. Ryan sees Bryce a few times a year although he only lives 15 minutes from them. He has joint custody of his other son so Randi is not sure why he doesn't see Bryce more than he does. She says she can see hurt sometimes in Bryce over the relationship he and Ryan share but she always tells Bryce that Ryan loves him and that she will do whatever she can to help him if he wants more of a relationship with his Dad. Whenever Randi says that, Bryce looks at her with his big blue eyes and says "I do have a relationship with my Dad. I see him everyday. His name is James." This makes Randi's heart melt. Randi says: "I live in a house with 4 crazy, loud, funny guys and I love every second of it. Dreams do come true."

Bryce, Isaac, and David

Saturday, June 29, 2013


Ariel graduated high school in June 2010 and met her husband in August 2010. They were engaged four days after they met. When they were together for five months and Ariel was 18 years old, she found out that she was pregnant. They were so scared. It wasn't just the early pregnancy that frightened the couple, it was the fact that there were potential health risks involved.
Ariel has a rare medical condition called AnHidrotic EctoDermal Dysplasia. It affects her hair, her teeth, her sweat glands, and her ability to breastfeed. She has sparse hair, six of her own teeth, and does not sweat enough to cool herself down. Due to her condition her family was very concerned for both her and the baby. This caused her to be at outs with her extended family for most of her pregnancy. She only had about five family members that were there for her unconditionally throughout her pregnancy. 
Childbirth is difficult with Ariel's condition due to the tension from contractions causing her to get easily overheated. Also, if her baby was a girl there was a 50/50 chance that she would inherit her mother's medical condition. If her baby was a boy there was an 85/15 chance, 85% he would have it and 15% he would not. Her family was very worried. 

Ariel went to the doctor to determine how far along she was and they figured her due date to be August 18. This was a week before her late father's 60th birthday. She lost her dad when she was eight years old so they knew it was fate for her baby to be born around it's grandpa's birthday. 

On April 7, 2011 they went in to find out the gender of the baby. They found out they were expecting a little boy. Upon this news Ariel's mom cried and everyone's first thought was "what if he inherits the condition?" Everyone had been hoping for a girl but Ariel knew in her heart it was a boy.

Newborn Aidan and Daddy
The rest of Ariel's pregnancy went smoothly. On August 15, 2011 (9:51 am) at just 19 years old, Ariel welcomed her baby boy Aidan Dennis Alan Paul into this world. (Dennis Alan is in honor of Ariel's father.) He weighed 7 pounds 9.5 ounces and was 20.5 inches long at birth. Aidan was born three days early, just ten days before his grandpa's birthday.

Ariel and 4-month-old Aidan
As far as anyone can tell Aidan does not currently show signs of possessing Ariel's medical condition. This is a blessing for Ariel because there was an 85% chance he would inherit it.

Ariel says Aidan is her perfect little miracle and he is thriving in life.

Friday, June 28, 2013


Emily and her boyfriend Liam started dating when they were 15 years old. By the time they were 17 Emily knew that she was truly in love. A lot of people did not take them seriously but she knew what she felt. Emily was a senior in high school and by October had already been accepted to NYU, her dream school! She didn't know what she was going to major in but she knew it was a good school to start her life at. 

In early November Emily started feeling sick, she was nauseous and had stomach pains. She wasn't sure if she could be pregnant or not. She and Liam had used some precautions when they had sex, she was on the birth control pill, but they didn't always use a condom. Emily decided to take a home pregnancy test. It was positive. She decided to take another test the next day just to be sure, it was positive. She told Liam first and then told her mom. Her mom said she would take Emily to the doctor the next day to confirm the pregnancy and then they would talk. 

The next day Emily went to the doctor and found out she was eight weeks along with... TRIPLETS!

Emily's mind was blown and her mom was shouting "adoption!" She told her mom it was her decision and she would decide what was best for her babies. Liam freaked.

At home that night everyone was looking at Emily funny. Her parents are both Christians who go to church on a regular basis, and do not believe in premarital sex. They were so upset with her. The only words out of her parents mouths at dinner were "Liam is NOT moving in here, and you are not living together if you are not married!" Emily felt so alone that night. Her parents wouldn't even hear her speak. Deep down she knew that the best decision for her babies was to give them up for adoption since she was only 17. She just didn't know if she could do it.

Emily had until approximately May 4th to decide what she would be doing with her triplets after they were born. She knew they would probably come even earlier than that since most multiples don't make it to the full term of 40 weeks. 

Emily turned 18 in February and that was when she decided she was going to keep her babies. She found out she would be having three baby girls! After a while her parents became excited for the girls to come and her dad even painted the girls' room yellow with butterflies and bumblebees. 

In March Emily was having very bad back pains. She was put on bed rest, but not for long because she was under too much stress. Emily was induced on March 30th making her babies five weeks early. Her three little girls were born by c-section on March 30th. Lilah Mae was 4 pounds 1 ounce, Libby Capri was 3 pounds 6 ounces, and Lanie Noelle was 3 pounds exactly. 

Libby was able to come home first because she gained weight the fastest. The doctors were a bit surprised that she was so healthy, but Libby was home by May 1st. Lanie was struggling breathing on her own and was having a rough time gaining weight. She ended up being flown to a hospital 70 miles away because she needed to have her heart looked at more extensively. Emily was struggling with the fact that she had one baby at home, one baby at the hospital in her home town, and one baby at a hospital 70 miles away. She, Liam, and her parents were rotating taking care of and visiting the babies. Lilah was able to come home on May 19th. Finally they found out that Lanie was okay and she came home on June 1st. Emily was so relieved to see all of her girls reunited at last. 

In late August Lilah was rushed to the ER and they found out that she had severe acid reflux. She was hospitalized for a day and then was put on medication. 

Emily is now 23 years old and has a family of 6. She and Liam got married when the girls were two years old. In October of 2012 they welcomed their son Lindon into their family. Emily is a CNA at her local hospital and just recently completed her RN. Liam is a computer technician at a local computer store. She says that they were frequently asked why they had four kids by the age of 21. Emily's response is that God granted her with these babies and she is taking care of them, she could not picture her life any other way. Her kids are her angels. 

Emily manages to go to school full time because she has a nanny. She does not regret getting an education and working because her kids are well taken care of. Lilah still has acid reflux issues and Lanie has asthma. Libby has some vision issues and wears some cute little tyke glasses. People ask her all the time if her daughters have health issues but she feels that they are healthy little girls. Her son does not have any health issues and he was born 11 days after his due date. Emily says she is blessed that she had two healthy pregnancies and she does not plan to have any more children. Her life dream was always to adopt and foster children but she does not know if she will still pursue this. She is satisfied with her four little angels, she is so grateful for her little gifts from God. 

Emily gets asked why all her children have L names and her reply is: "the funny thing is, Liam's family all have "D" names like Donna, Dewayne and Deanda but Deanda has an L middle name and my family have L names Leon, and  Leslie but my middle name is Leighannah so its an odd tradition and very cool."

Thanks for sharing Emily! Do you think you could handle triplets or do you know someone that does? Share your thoughts below! 

Thursday, April 18, 2013


Ashley graduated high school when she was 17 years old and found herself pregnant when she was 18. She was very nervous upon finding out about her pregnancy in March 2011 but her boyfriend was really supportive. Her parents were also supportive, though not happy. Unfortunately her boyfriend’s family was not supportive. They were not involved in the pregnancy whatsoever. But Ashley didn’t mind. She had all that she needed.
At 24 weeks she found out that she was having a girl. Together she and her boyfriend decided on the name Aubree Jordana. Her boyfriend wanted to join the air force and they decided they wanted to get married. So, they did. They got married before he left for boot camp in September 2011. Shortly after he left Ashley started getting really bad headaches. When she went to her doctor they discovered that her blood pressure was really high. She had to be hospitalized and ended up not being able to attend her sister’s wedding.
Ashley was diagnosed with preeclampsia and given betamethasone shots to speed up the development of Aubree’s lungs. She was put on bed rest. She remained on bed rest for seven weeks before she woke up one morning feeling ill and suffering from a bad headache. Ashley called her doctor and she was told to go to the hospital. Upon arrival Ashley was induced and her daughter was born at 8:39 am on October 30, 2011. Luckily this was a Sunday and subsequently the only day that Aubree’s dad was allowed to call home from boot camp so Ashley was able to tell him that their daughter was born. Aubree Jordana was born at just 35 weeks and had to have an IV to receive fluids as she had trouble sucking. She also had trouble breathing and thus had to be kept in the “level 2” nursery for a couple of days.
It was so hard for Ashley to see her newborn baby hooked up to so many machines and monitors, but she knew that this was only helping. After they went home Aubree did really well. The only thing Ashley struggled with was finding the right formula for baby Aubree. Then, two weeks after the birth, Ashley started to have a lot of bleeding that never stopped or slowed down. She became concerned and called her doctor. She had to return to the hospital and get surgery done. It turns out part of the placenta was left in her uterus after the birth, and this is what was causing the bleeding. The piece of remaining placenta was removed and Ashley had to remain at the hospital for a few days. It was so hard for her to be away from baby Aubree even for that short period of time, but she got through it.
Aubree, Ashley, and Ashley’s husband are all currently doing well. Ashley is taking college classes and her husband is still in the air force. It was especially hard for her to be apart from him when he was away at training because he wasn’t able to meet his daughter for the first time until she was two months old, but they make it work. Ashley loves being an army wife and she loves her family so very much.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Lexi got pregnant one year after she was given an ounce of freedom in her life. Her and her boyfriend had only been in a very rocky four month relationship when she got pregnant. The morning after Lexi found out she was pregnant her mother called her and told her of the dream she had the night before wherein a baby told her that Lexi was pregnant. With a sigh of relief her mother begged her not to get knocked up anytime soon. Needless to say Lexi did not tell her mom about the pregnancy for a long while. Lexi was 18 at the time so luckily she had graduated high school three months prior to getting pregnant, and she had a steady job at a call center that paid well.
Her pregnancy was beautiful; she didn’t have any nausea, morning sickness, Braxton hicks contractions, anything. She was a happy girl! Her boyfriend however was not there for her physically or emotionally like he should have been. He had also walked out of every job he’d ever gotten, never keeping one long enough to help out with any pregnancy expenses. Finally on the day their son was born, he got a part time job. It was very part time but a job nonetheless.
Lexi’s boyfriend went to the hospital with her when she was being induced, but he left to go to dinner with his family as she was starting active labor. He didn’t return until she was vomiting as a side effect of her epidural and next thing she knew she was pushing. He had made it just in time for the birth of his son. Baby Jace was born on May 6 weighing 7 pounds 13 ounces. He was magnificent. The way he looked into Lexi’s eyes changed her life forever. She knew in that moment that she had become who she was born to be, Jace’s mother. There was nothing more she could ever want to be.
Her boyfriend didn’t help at all the first night with Jace, and didn’t stay with them the second night either. However the day Lexi got to take Jace home was perfect. It was Mother’s Day. She and Jace had a miraculous first week together, so she hardly noticed that her boyfriend hadn’t shown up once. He however didn’t forget to yell at her when she didn’t respond to his text messages quick enough. He thought that it was a breeze for Lexi to be a single parent.
Eventually he started coming around once or twice a week, but instead of helping out with his son he would always ask why Lexi couldn’t feed Jace or why she couldn’t just change his diaper. Apparently seeing Lexi eating wasn’t a good enough reason for him to help out. Luckily Lexi had grown accustomed to taking care of her son without any help from his father. She just thanks God that she had her mother to help. Her mother was a perfect Mimi to Jace; Lexi would have been lost without her guidance.
Lexi loves Jace more than anything in her life but deep down she had always felt like she was never good enough for him. It was possible that she had taken some corrective criticism from her mom the wrong way, but she always felt like people didn’t see her as a good mother because she was too young.  Her doctor and family would even tell her that she was a good mother yet she herself could never grasp the idea as being true. She felt guilty and selfish for wanting to take anytime for herself, or for being away from Jace for a few minutes. She even felt guilty for falling asleep at night, even though Jace was safe in his crib. She finally learned that she had been suffering from post-partum depression. At first she didn’t want to accept it because she never once thought about hurting her baby or neglecting him, and she thought this is what postpartum depression was all about. She didn’t want people to think she wasn’t a fit mother due to what she was suffering from. It made her feel completely worthless.
Lexi eventually got over her depression with the help of her doctor and especially the guidance from her mother. Her boyfriend did not help out her stress level though. Things were always up and down with him. Aside from getting him to see Jace, the most difficult thing was getting him to pay child support. He made her write out a list of everything Jace needed for a month along with their prices in order to justify him giving her the amount she asked for. He accused her of being a liar on numerous occasions. Financially, it is very hard being a young parent.
As of last time I spoke with Lexi, Jace’s father was three months behind on child support. This was rough for Lexi because she was hoping to make Jace’s Christmas bountiful and she was struggling without the help from his dad. Jace was growing very bored with his current assortment of toys so Lexi had to get creative. She frequently finds herself dancing and singing silly songs all day long to entertain Jace. She has no complaint there, of course.
She and Jace currently have their own place. At first it was very difficult for Lexi not having him sleep in the same room as she did, but it helped him sleep through the night for the most part. The two of them are a better family than she could have ever dreamed of. She prefers his company much more than her ex-boyfriends. Watching Jace learn is so rewarding, Lexi gets so excited for his life. He has always been developmentally advanced (holding his head up perfectly at birth, standing at six months) she always tearfully says that it will just be tomorrow that he is driving and wanting to date.
Here are some words of wisdom from Lexi: “Being a teen mom was the best thing for me, my son saved my life. I don't think any teen should try to get pregnant on purpose; you all have your whole life to become a mother. Enjoy your freedom and learn about yourself before you're no longer a priority. Also, a big message I'd like to send out is that girls really need to think about who they are having sex with. Think, "It's possible this guy could be the father of my child." Because it's not just sex. Take a good look at the person you're giving yourself to, because if you do get pregnant, your child deserves the very best father. You can't force someone to be the daddy your future child will need. Be selective, and never settle.”