Reaction to a Teen Pregnancy

Cynthia Flynn's picture
Experts: 

QUESTION

Dear Midwife,
My name is Melissa. I am 14, turning 15 I have a boyfriend named Lucas. He is 14 also. I am a freshman and I have lots of goals ahead of me.

Lucas and I have been wanting a baby. We have been discussing it for about 5 months and trying for the past 2 months. We had sexual intercourse on November 28 and my last period was the 14 of November. When is the earliest I can find out if I am pregnant?

The last time I though I was I took a test and we both where certain that this was the real thing. We got too attached to the baby that we both thought existed. Well the day my period came down I was freaking out. I thought it was a miscarriage. My school nurse told me to go home and take a home pregnancy test. I did and it came out negative and to this day I don’t know if it was a miscarriage or if it was just my period. It hurt both of us a lot and we are scared to get attached to it again and feel the pain we both felt.

Also I don't know how to tell my mom. How will she react? Will she hit me? Can she kick me out? I have so many questions. I know a lot of my family will be very disappointed. I am supposed to be the good one, the one that would always listen to her family and her mom and dad. I just can't wait to find out but I am worried and also scared. Because what if she rejects it? Can she make me give up our baby? Can she make me give it up for adoption, or even worse abortion? Abortion is NEVER an option. To this point I really don't care what people say or what people think after they find out about our baby. I know that they will be disappointed in us. But if we wanted this, why stop what I want for my happiness?

Lucas's mom is way more understanding, I know she will gladly take me in if my mom decided not to support me anymore. I know she will be disappointed, but me and her son have gone though way to much for her not to be ok with it. Before when I though I was she was ok well bring her over and we will take a test. So I am pretty sure she will be mad for a while but have a change of heart. The person I am really scared of is my mom. I don’t know what she will do or what she will say.

How can a teenager girl tell her whole family that is really close, "Mom, I am pregnant?" I just don't know what to say. But no matter what happens I will always love my babies. Oh and there is a 75% chance I may have twins.

ANSWER

You say, "But if we wanted this, why stop what I want for my happiness?" I think you know the answer to that question. Are you really ready for stretch marks, morning sickness, and the possible medical complications of a teen pregnancy (including some that can kill you), never mind if you have twins? Having a baby is not just about you and your boyfriend; it is about being mature enough to provide a stable marriage, home, and finances to give a child what *they* deserve for a couple of decades at least.

We're not just talking about taking care of a baby, but also a two-year-old with tantrums and a teenager and eventually providing for a college student, hopefully. At 14 in this country, you are not even old enough to get married, never mind get a full-time job to support the child. You are still children yourselves, depending on adults to take care of you. I didn't hear anything in what you wrote about how the young man plans to support you and the baby, for instance, or about being ready to provide your own home for the three of you -- you are both way too young for any of that.

So the real question is, what is missing from your life that you think will be filled by having unprotected sex at age 14 and risking dragging an innocent baby into it? I honestly think the most mature thing you could do at this point is to go to your mom and tell her that you need counseling and ask for her help to get it.

You don't have to tell her why, but you are on a path that has a very good chance of messing up several lives -- including your own. Hopefully, you can get the help you need before this happens. Or maybe you could at least talk to a school counselor. If you don't get to a counselor who understands teens, at least see a women's health specialist, tell her (in private) what is going on and make sure you are ok physically.

I know what I am saying may sound harsh, but I do care about you and I definitely care about what would happen to the innocent child. You might check with some of your friends who are teenage moms and ask them how fun it is to miss out on all the normal activities that their friends are doing because they have to work and take care of their child.

In case you didn't know, a baby is a 24/7 job, so to do anything you are doing now (including sleep), you would have to find someone to care for your child. I have yet to meet the 14-year-old who is prepared and able to change their entire life to give a child what it needs. If you want a baby, borrow a two-year-old for a week over Christmas break and take care of it 24/7 instead of doing whatever else you were planning, and I think you'll understand what I'm trying to say.

I know you want to be a good parent, but to become the kind of woman that it takes to be a good mom will take some more time, and will require that you make better choices than you have so far. Look around you at the women who you respect (not necessarily "like") as mothers, women who are doing a good job of raising children who are happy doing the right things, and look at what these women did before they became mothers. I hope you will choose to do those things yourself so that one day, you will raise really great kids!

When the day does come that you tell your mother that you are pregnant with her first grandchild, my wish for you both is that she says she is absolutely thrilled for you and your husband! If you are scared to tell her, then that should tell you something.

-- Cynthia, CNM