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