I would never wish a teenage pregnancy on anyone. It is a situation full of drama, confusion, and worry.
But the gift of my daughter’s teen pregnancy is now a young man who has become my son. He is such a sweet piece of my life.
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Alice, my first daughter, healed so much and learned a lot of new coping skills as she grew. But the trauma and injuries early in her life have left her with a lot of vulnerabilities. She craves connection but does not always know how to read people well. She is sweet, friendly, polite and respectful. She has a smile that shines a mile away. But she takes everyone at face value and cannot judge situations and relationships until she is a long way down the road. These issues continue to draw her into hard places.
As a teen, Alice was sweet-talked by a young man (who ended up being a drug dealer…yikes!) and she fell into an edgy group of kids. It was a short period of time – about 4 months (which is a lifetime for a parent who is watching this evolve), but she experimented with drugs, alcohol and, obviously, sex. However, once she was a “long way down the road,” and found out she was pregnant, she recognized the situation as not good and returned home.
Alice did so well with her pregnancy. She swam on her school team until she was 5 months along. She continued taking her classes, and she kept all her appointments. Alice also took birth and parenting classes and our family threw her a baby shower. She discovered she was having a boy and named him David.
David was 5 weeks
Alice did experience increasing post-partum depression, but accepted medication and returned to counseling for a while. She also returned to school and work right away, while I got to care for David. After taking in 3 little girls at 4 and 5 years old, it was kind of fun learning baby care (and boy care).
Alice was a great mom! She got up with him when needed at nights, did his laundry, breastfed for over a year, and took him on outings with her. She graduated high school and continued to work as a lifeguard. And my, oh my, Alice loved (and still does love) her little boy!
David’s first two years were wonderful while I continued to parent and nurture my three girls, one of them being a mommy herself now. David loved all the attention from the girls. He loved anything with wheels and buttons and knobs when he was young. And he had THE BEST baby smile!
Being able to see everything through the eyes of a baby made my life richer. Those first two years after David was born were especially sweet with my growing family!