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 (:

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