Tag Archives: premature

The Original Teen Mom

31 Oct

18 years ago today I was 17.  It was my senior year of high school or at least it should of been. I was that girl. You all knew her. That girl in high school who suddenly disappeared from the halls-the girl who got pregnant in high school. Let me tell you, it wasn’t trendy 18 years ago to be that girl. There were no television shows or magazine covers to glamorize it.

At 23 weeks pregnant I went into preterm labor. For a week they were able to pump enough medication into me to delay delivery. Halloween 1995 at 24 weeks pregnant I welcomed my 1 lb 12 oz baby girl into the world. The doctor laid her briefly on my chest before being whisked away by a team of doctors and nurses. Hours later I was wheeled down to get a glimpse at my daughter. She was covered in tubes and wires and her eyes were still fused shut. She was beautiful despite it all.

Her outcome was bleak. I was told to prepare for wheel chairs, feeding tubes, extreme mental impairments and the list went on. Some said it was what I deserved for being a teen mom, others said that I got myself into this so I would have to deal with this on my own, and I was ridiculed by the rest. Let me tell you, it was a dark, terrifying, lonely time.

No matter, everyday I was there mothering her as much as I could under the extreme circumstances. Two and half months later and one month and one day before her due date, Alison beat the odds and came home months ahead of schedule weighing a hefty 4lbs 7 oz. Not only did she come home but she stayed home. The first few months were rough. Sleeping for only 45 minutes at a time, countless doctor appointments, and financial hardship.

Alison beat the odds in ways that doctors can’t explain. It wasn’t an easy ride but we made it.

I could go on, the story is good….well, at least I think so:) I share the good with the bad. The triumphs with the tragedies. No, it wasn’t ideal to be a pregnant teenager. I see my daughter now at the age I was when she was born and she is such a baby still. I think back to the girl I used to be and I see a scared young girl in need of a little compassion, guidance, and forgiveness.

I think sometimes we dismiss people who are hurting when we feel like they brought it on themselves. We pick and chose who is deserving of mercy and compassion and when we do we are playing god. Loving someone who is hurting because of their poor choice doesn’t mean you agree with or support their transgression.  Indifference and humiliation further breaks the person. We serve a God of healing and mercy and sometimes that healing and mercy comes from you.

Today, I rejoice and thank God for the miracle who sleeps down the hall. I thank God for giving that 17 year old girl such love and compassion for that tiny baby, and I thank God for His compassion and mercy on me, and for being the God of second chances.

*Photo is of the first time I got to hold my daughter*

~Be Blessed and be a Blessing~
Rebecca

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Reflections

28 Sep

I am coming up on a big milestone in my life.  My oldest daughter is getting ready to turn 18.  I became her mama under the most unfortunate of circumstances.  I was a young, unwed, teenage girl with no money and honestly no clue.  What makes the story a little more complicated is that she was born not well.  I was only 24 weeks pregnant when she made her very small and very quiet way into the world.  I think we can all agree that even under the best circumstances having a baby is hard and having a sick baby is super hard.

The past several months has had me being very reflective.  Looking back on that hard first year and the subsequent years that were still a little hard but mostly joyful.  I keep thinking on all the things I should of done and the things I could of done better. I look at her now, a senior in high school, enjoying a life much different than my own.

I was the youngest in a blended family of five, actually I was a big oops!  My older siblings really gave my parents a run for their money.  It seemed one big problem kept overlapping the next.  I was often told to go play and probably unintentionally overlooked because I wasn’t causing any problems.  Fast forward to the really formative years of my life and I was still alone.  I was left to navigate these years with only destructive bahavior patterns leftover from my now grown but still incapable siblings.  It was now my legacy and I didn’t disappoint.  The only difference is that being left alone for so long, I was good at hiding in the shadows, therfore, I was able to avoid real trouble.

I really missed out on healthy behaviors being modeled for me.  When I became a mama, I ferociosly loved my baby girl with all that I had. I didn’t know what being a good parent looked like but I knew that I wanted to be one.  The first years were trial and error.  What I really lacked and really craved for was a woman who I could look up to and someone who could encourage me.  Self pity is an expesive trip to take and I certainly maxed out.  A time came where at a cross road I had to decide once and for all the path I would take.  Since I didn’t have the people I needed I could become the type of person I needed.  I love that even though I didn’t know God, He still had His hand on me.

Thus, the journey began. So here, 18 years later, I reflect on the journey and all that I’ve learned. That the brokenness of your past does not have to be the legacy of your future.  It is never too late to keep trying again.  That with God nothing is truly broken, that all the past wounds, heartaches, disappointments etc..are all God shaped.

So here we are.  I look over at the one who made me a mama and thank God for our journey this far.  She is learning to navigate this complicated world as a young woman with dreams and desires and she is trying to make a mark for herself despite the physical limitations of Cerebral Palsy.  She is walking with the one who loves her most and because of that she is OK and so am I.

~Be Blessed and be a Blessing~

Rebecca

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