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.”