Saturday, April 13, 2013
Martha was engaged to her high school sweetheart, James, at the age of 16. A few months after their engagement Martha and James found out they were pregnant, so they got married immediately. They felt they were perfectly ready for their lives together as a married couple, and parents. But nothing could have prepared them for what happened to their son. At just 30 weeks pregnant Martha was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia, so she had to go in for a non-stress test every week to make sure her baby was growing healthily. At 37 weeks she went in for her weekly test and after being on the machine for three hours the doctor told her to get her stuff packed because she was being induced in one hour. She was scared but excited.
When Martha and her husband arrived at the hospital they were taken to a room and explained that Martha was being induced because the baby was showing signs of being stressed; and pre-eclampsia increases the risk of the mother and/or child having seizures which could possibly lead to death. Martha and James were terrified and hoped that everything would be okay with their son. Martha had her Pitocin started that day.
After two days of unsuccessfully trying to jump-start labor Martha had to have an emergency C-section done. They took her back to the OR at 8 am and by 8:45 am Dustyn was born. He was not healthy at all. Martha didn’t hear him cry, and the doctor never showed him to her. They ran out of the room with him immediately and James followed. Martha had to be in the recovery room for 45 minutes and all she could do was wonder what was wrong and if Dustyn was going to be okay. As she was being wheeled back to her room she expected everyone to be in there looking in awe at her newborn son. But instead everyone was standing in the hallway with red, puffy eyes. Instantly Martha’s heart sank.
Finally James came into the room and told her that something was wrong with Dustyn and his pediatrician had something to tell Martha. She couldn’t stand not knowing what was happening. Was her baby okay? Was he still alive? Where was he? Why couldn’t she see him? She needed answers immediately. The doctor came in at that moment and told her that Dustyn was having difficulty breathing and they didn’t have the technology to take care of him there so he was being Mediflighted out 2 ½ hours away, and Martha had to stay at this hospital to recover.
Martha insisted that she get discharged the next day. As soon as she was discharged she began the long trip to OKC (where Dustyn was.) When she finally got there they told her what she had been dreading since the morning before: her son wasn’t going to make it. At this point all she could do was scream and cry and ask God why he was doing this to her. Why had she just been given this beautiful gift of a son and already he was being taken away from her? She knew that she would do whatever it took to make Dustyn better.
The hospital had Dustyn on an ECMO machine which works as the mother’s body would to support him. Baby Dustyn had two holes in his lungs and three holes in his heart. He couldn’t breathe because of the holes in his lungs. His heart valve didn’t close when he was born so his body was still relying on his mother’s to support him. On top of that he had too much CO2 in his blood.
All Martha could do was pray, cry, and sit with her newborn baby in the NICU. She stayed with him for five days and hoped for the best. Her prayers ended up paying off. On the fifth day, to the doctor’s surprise, Dustyn’s holes in his heart AND lungs were almost completely closed. He was recovering beautifully. Dustyn still couldn’t breathe on his own so he had to be on a ventilator. But he was able to get off of the ventilator on Mother’s day. This was the greatest first Mother’s Day gift that Martha could have ever asked for. He was able to go home one month after he was born! Martha and James were stunned and thrilled, they had been told their son was not going to make it and here he was coming home with them! They knew they had been blessed. They had a long, hard struggle but in the end it all paid off. They now have a healthy happy three year old little boy.
Friday, April 12, 2013
Lexi had to drop out of high school her senior year because she was suffering from thyroid disease and needed surgery. Her boyfriend at the time was by her side through her surgery and recovery. They were inseparable, and one month later they found out the consequences. Lexi was feeling off, she was overly exhausted and very nauseous. At first she thought that maybe these were side effects of her surgery. But eventually she decided that she should take a pregnancy test just to be safe. Her boyfriend picked up two pregnancy tests for her. He waited in her bedroom while she took the first test. Lexi wasn’t surprised to see the two pink lines show up but her boyfriend didn’t believe it. He made her take the second one, and sure enough she was pregnant.
Lexi realized that she was only 17 years old and she was going to have a baby. Instantly she knew she wouldn’t be considering adoption or abortion, and her boyfriend agreed that no matter what he would be by her side. But shortly thereafter his demeanor began changing. She made her first doctor’s appointment and told her family. But the day they were going to tell his family his personality changed. He went over to her house after work and he was acting very strange. Finally Lexi asked him what was up and he told her that if she didn’t get an abortion then he was going to leave her. She told him she wouldn’t so he kept his word and he left.
Lexi still didn’t consider abortion or adoption after he left. It was for this reason that his family constantly harassed her, but she never let it affect her. When word got out at her old high school that she was pregnant she lost pretty much all support she had for her pregnancy. Her family were the only ones she could count on. But they were all she needed.
Just one month after Lexi’s 18th birthday she gave birth to her beautiful son. Camden was born on July 27, 2011 at 9:47 am with Lexi’s mom and sister in the room. He weighed 7 pounds 2 ounces. His father has never seen him. He hasn’t contacted Lexi since the day he left her house. Lexi earned her GED and is planning on going to school to become a certified nurse midwife.
Lexi felt it was important to share her story because most girls think that if they get pregnant they will force their boyfriend to stay with them forever. She wants girls to see that there is not always a “perfect ending.” In fact, for the most part, teen dads don’t stick around.
|This is cute baby Camden when he was four months old!|
Thursday, April 11, 2013
Jonna had just come out of a two-year relationship when she had a one night stand with her neighbor. This was the night she conceived. When she found out she was pregnant she was beyond scared, she gathered up a group of her friends to help her tell her parents so that they wouldn’t be so hard on her. They approached her mom first and she was mad but took it better than Jonna had expected. Then it was time to tell her dad. Jonna had one of her friends go tell him first and then he called her into the living room alone and asked her if it was true. Jonna said yes and he was infuriated. He proceeded to call her a “whore” and told her that she would never become anything in life so she should just give up now. He was also adamant about the fact that she should give the baby up for adoption.
Jonna thought about adoption a lot but in the end she decided to do everything in her power to make sure that she would be there for her baby no matter what. She was heartbroken about her dad’s reaction, so much so that they fought constantly. Eventually Jonna decided that her living arrangements were too stressful for her pregnancy so she decided to move out. Her father was FURIOUS. He threw her clothes in her face and told her to never show her face again. He also said he would NEVER love her baby.
Jonna moved in with her baby’s father who didn’t live too far from her own home. Their relationship ended up flourishing and they got married. On February 20, 2007 her son Robert was born. He weighed seven pounds nine ounces and was perfect. Needless to say her dad ended up falling in love at first sight. He was so proud of Jonna for the decisions she ended up making and he apologized for the way he acted and told her it was because he was just so scared for her and he didn’t know how to express it. Jonna felt so accomplished. Her life felt complete.
Jonna and her husband have now been married for six years and couldn’t be happier. Jonna now has four kids at the age of 22. She knows it’s a lot for her age but she thinks she was made to be a mother and she wouldn’t have it any other way. She loves children and is honored to have her life taken up by her four little wonders. She would like everyone to know that four is her limit though because she had her tubes tied after the birth of her fourth.
Thanks for sharing Jonna!
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Keiry met her baby’s father her sophomore year of high school. Though they were the same age he was a junior because he skipped a grade. He was her first real boyfriend and she felt her life was perfect. She was totally in love with him. He had always been a smart guy so it was no surprise when he got accepted to the University of Notre Dame. Of course Keiry was happy for him but she was sad knowing that he would be half way across the country. They lived in California and Notre Dame is in Indiana. But he went away, and this is the reason that their relationship went down the drain. But Keiry still loved him. When he visited they reconnected, but when he was gone they fought badly.
Eventually Keiry started her senior year of high school. She was so excited but she knew that she really needed to focus if she wanted to graduate. She was very smart but she got distracted easily so her grades weren’t very good. She was having fun being carefree her senior year. Then during her birthday week in March her boyfriend came to visit again. Keiry was in her second semester of her senior year and had just turned 18, and then she missed her period. She took a pregnancy test and it came back negative, she was so relieved. Then she took a trip to Chicago to spend Easter weekend with her boyfriend. Just in case she took another pregnancy test the day before she left for Chicago. It was positive. She ran to the store and bought four more tests. She took them and they ALL came back positive. Suddenly Keiry felt alone, scared, and confused. But most of all she had no idea how her boyfriend would react. She left for Chicago the next day and didn’t tell her parents she was pregnant.
When she got to Chicago she told her boyfriend they were going to have a baby and to her surprise he was extremely supportive. They decided they would tell their parents together in May when he came home for the summer. When she got back from her weekend with him she went to her doctor and he confirmed that she was indeed pregnant. After that she began going to the OBGYN. She always went alone, and this made her a little sad. It was April and things between Keiry and her boyfriend. Then one day they were on the phone arguing and Keiry brought up the pregnancy. Unfortunately her mom was listening. Needless to say her mom freaked out, she yelled at Keiry like never before. But in the end, her mom agreed to be there for her no matter what. Her mom even kept it a secret until May.
When Keiry’s boyfriend came back to town that May they told his parents and Keiry’s dad. They were all extremely disappointed. But they all agreed on one thing, they wouldn’t let the school find out. Keiry only told her very close friends about the pregnancy. They had begun to wonder what was up because she had been missing an average of three school periods a day due to her morning sickness for the past three months. Her friends were supportive and with a lot of makeup work and diligence, Keiry graduated high school.
The rest of the pregnancy went well and on November 21, Keiry’s son Aaron was born. It was a stressful day for her because she worried her boyfriend wouldn’t make it to the birth of their son but in the end he did. He had to go back for school that weekend though. Keiry was so thankful for her parents who helped her day and night for the first three months she spent alone. In March Keiry and Aaron moved out to Indiana to be with her boyfriend for his last two months of school. Then during the summer they moved back to California. But when August rolled around they moved back to Indiana for school.
They are currently living in Indiana and Keiry says it is very hard. Not just the back and forth, but the day to day life troubles her. It was really hard for her to adjust to being across the country from her family and just relying on her family of three. Her boyfriend goes to school during the day five days a week and Keiry goes to school three nights a week. It’s not easy but they make it work. Aaron’s dad is very supportive and Keiry is so grateful for him. He is graduating this spring and they have been together for five years. Aaron turned two this past November and he is a happy, healthy, playful toddler.
Here are some words of wisdom from Keiry: “Everybody tells us teens that it's not easy to be a teen parent, but nobody can actually tell us how HARD it really is. It’s HARD, I cry sometimes, but I get up every day for my son. I wouldn't trade having my son for anything in the world.”
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Adriauna was fourteen years old when she met Ryan. He was a charming boy with gorgeous blue eyes and a knack for persuading girls to do anything he wanted. She fell head over heels for him. They began dating and things moved rather quickly. Five months into the relationship Ryan moved in with Adriauna and her family. In November of 2005 Adriauna found out that she was pregnant. She was fifteen years old and Ryan was sixteen. Instantly she worried. She had always loved kids and been very maternal but would her boyfriend be the same way? All she knew was that she wanted this to work out for them. Then the cheating started. Later came the abuse. Why did she stay? She had convinced herself that her unborn child needed a mother and a father.
On July 2, 2006 Adriauna gave birth to her beautiful son, Houston. His father was distant and he used excuses like: “I don’t know how to be a dad.” But she stuck with him. Finally Ryan got a job and they were doing well. But that only lasted for two months. Then he met friends and started drugs. Life wasn’t good for any of them. So finally when Houston was seven months old they broke up.
Ryan started dating another girl to hurt Adriauna, but that didn’t last long. He got kicked out of where he was staying and then called Adriauna and begged her to take him back. She did. She went right back to acting as if nothing happened. Then Ryan started using drugs again, but harder drugs (meth) this time. He would disappear for weeks on end, and then one day he finally came back and packed his stuff. He had met someone else, and wanted her. But he couldn’t seem to leave Adriauna alone either. When he was lonely there he was knocking at her door. She finally had enough and told him to stop coming around. His response was leaving his hand print on her face. He went to jail that night for domestic violence. He was released three days later and where was Adriauna? Outside the jail waiting for him, and of course she went back to acting as if nothing happened.
In January 2008 she found out she was pregnant yet again. Ryan was still distant in the relationship, still couldn’t hold down a job, and was still into drugs. But a couple of months into the pregnancy he cleaned himself up and got another job. Things were better to an extent mostly because he was working so they had an income, but there were still the drugs and other girls at work. On Houston’s second birthday Adriauna walked into their bedroom to find her boyfriend and her best friend making out. They acted as if she was seeing things and they both left, together. They lied about the affair until they moved to Texas together and then she lost contact with Houston’s and her unborn baby’s father altogether. At the time Adriauna felt this was the worst thing that had happened to her yet.
Adriauna moved to Arizona in August 2008 with her parents for a fresh start. Then things went south between her ex-best friend and her ex-boyfriend. She had gotten pregnant and lost the baby and then Ryan started calling Adriauna again, begging for her to take him back. She was hesitant. But after she gave birth to their second son on September 13, 2008 she had an unbelievable emptiness. So, she took Ryan back again. He moved to Arizona to be with her but the drugs didn’t stop. She was left once again to look for work in order to support her children.
One day Ryan started a fight with Adriauna’s brother, then her step-dad, then her mom. Adriauna, of course, took his side. Things got physical between Adriauna and her mom. She and Ryan packed everything they could into their car and headed to Texas with their two boys and no money. Things were good for a while after that, Ryan had a job and they were actually happy.
Then in April 2009 she found out she was pregnant again. Ryan quit his job and she had to go out and get a job. The abuse started up again and everything went downhill from there. But Adriauna, still desperate to make her family work, convinced him to move back to Nevada with her in July 2009. He met new friends there and got into hardcore drugs, heavily. He did anything illegal for money and avoided Adriauna and their children, out cheating and doing whatever he felt like. They bounced back and forth between houses of family members and weekly motels. She gave birth to their third son on December 7, 2009.
Their family seemed to be complete and happy. Finally Adriauna made the decision to change her life and go to school for a career. Since she was starting school her father and step-mom helped them get into an apartment so that their children had a stable place to live and they could get on their feet. She did everything she could; she went to school and babysat up to ten kids 7 days a week, all hours of the day, just to make ends meet. Eventually her hard work paid off. Adriauna graduated with high honors. Naturally Ryan saw it as a free ride in life, he never got a job. She finally convinced him to try to get into school, but once he enrolled it was all trouble. He met a girl and when she turned him down he came home and beat the crap out of Adriauna in front of their children. He went to jail again that night for domestic violence. When he got out two week later, where was Adriauna? Sitting outside the jail again, waiting to take him back. After everything she still loved him, she felt she was doing everything for their children.
In February 2011, Adriauna got a job and finally didn’t have to stay home anymore. Once she got out and spent time with “normal” people she finally saw that she was beautiful, she was smart. She was finally able to realize that the best decision for her and her children was to leave Ryan. So, in March 2011 she did.
Adriauna met her new boyfriend in May 2011 and they are still together. To her children HE is their daddy. Only Houston remembers Ryan, but to him Ryan is just the other guy they used to live with. Adriauna realizes that she has three beautiful, smart little boys. If she did anything right, she says, it was them. She looks at her story and sees a lot of horrible things, but if she wouldn’t have endured them she wouldn’t have her boys. Even though she became a mother at 15, then 17, and again at 19, she says she wouldn’t change any of it.
Here are some words of experience Adriauna shared with me: “My journey as a teenager and a mother was not one I wanted in my life, and I certainly was not the girl who would end up in that position. Even more so, not the mother of three by the age of nineteen. It’s been a struggle for me and my children, but it’s a struggle that I would never change in a million years. Granted I wish they didn’t have to endure half of what they’ve had to at their young ages, but we all have come out stronger in the end and only continue to get stronger. There is not a second of my life as a teenage mother that I regret, for without my children I would have continued down my path of self-destruction and would not be here today. Houston, to some is a city, but to me, it’s who gave me life.”