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 (: