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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Pregnancy and Parenting » Five Long Months

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Author Topic: Five Long Months
Alice
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Hi, I used to come here often a few years back, and I figured I'd stop in and see if this is as cool as I remember it.

I'm 21 weeks pregnant and 18 years old. After this many weeks I have kind of gotten used to the idea, but it is still freaking me out. I worry about everything - I haven't gained enough weight, is my baby okay, does he have the mental problems that my boyfriend's brother and aunt have, can I even handle this child?? I love children, I've spent my whole life taking care of children, and I'm excited for this... but I don't know.

I'm worried that it's not going to get better. I'm failing in school and I'm worried I'm not going to graduate. My boyfriend wants to drop out of college but I don't want him making close to minimum wage his whole life. My job is stressful, I'm a manager for a food place. I'm still feeling sick every day and I'm tired and stressed out and I feel isolated. I never see my boyfriend because we both work and go to school constantly, he doesn't get home until after 10pm and by then I'm sleeping.

We're looking for an apartment so we can move out of my mom's house, my mom has kicked my boyfriend out and she talks about how she wants to stay on some days, and some days she is screaming at me to get out of her life.

I guess I could just use some reassurance. People tell me that this is my fault, I shouldn't be complaining, I don't even have the kid yet. Every other minute I feel his sharp little elbows jabbing the inside of my body, and although it freaks me out, I love him already.

I hate being pregnant. Half the time I feel like I'm going to explode from anger over nothing or cry myself into a coma (over nothing). I'm afraid that I am just going to lose my mind and be a horrible mother and hate my life forever, just like my mom in her life.

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The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you. - B.B. King

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Heather
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First of all, in case you don't know already, know that it is 100% okay to feel like you do right now. It's okay not to enjoy being pregnant, even when it IS planned. It's okay to have big and small doubts. It's okay to be totally terrified.

I'd suggest the following:
1) Worry about your and your kid first, and your boyfriend second. While his life henceforth CAN effect yours, and certainly that of your child, really, when it all comes down to it, YOU and the kid are the only guaranteed players in this game for the whole of it. It's understandable you are concerned, but that's extra stress you don't need over thing you can't control. If you've just asked him to step up and do his best to deal with this and plan accordingly, that's all you can do and also all you're responsible for.

2) There's no "fault" in pregnancy. Period. Your responsibility, sure. But not fault.

3) Can you connect with any other young mamas near you? Can you ask your school guidance councelor to help connect you, as well as asking about what helps and services -- like say, free tutoring, more flexible hours -- the school might be able to provide you?

4) Can you decrease your work hours, even a little, for now?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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-Lauren-
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Miz Scarlet was right on the dot.

I'm seeing the same thing going on, except with my younger sister. You are right to be concerned with how things will work out, but don't worry yourself to death.

Even if you don't graduate (I didn't, if it helps), it's not the end of the world. There are alternatives, like the GED, or adult education. Failing in school does not mean you are not as smart and useful to society as anybody else. Few people who successfully graduate have had to deal with BOTH a pregnancy and an unsupportive home enviornment.

Are there any alternative schools around you for teen mothers? They usually have special liability insurance (which is why some pregnant girls get kicked out of traditional high school, I think), and will provide you with a sense of being less alone. They also provide free daycare once your baby is born. It sounds like you and your boyfriend are seeing each other less, and you have less people to relate to at school. I can imagine that's hard to deal with.

I 100% agree with what Heather said above: your concern now is you and your baby. Your boyfriend comes second. I hope and pray that he will be a good father to the baby as well as a good partner to you. Unfortunately, though, this is not guaranteed. Focus on what YOU want to do and what YOU want to make of yourself. Think about how you can adjust your long-term goals to cooperate with parenting. It is only hopeless if you allow it to be, dear.

I wish you the best of luck, and I just want to assure you that things WILL be better; you'll just have to work a little harder than young women without children. I know you can do it.

[ 04-11-2006, 01:02 AM: Message edited by: Miss Lauren ]

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Alice
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Thanks, I do feel a bit better.

I really believe that my boyfriend is going to stick around and do his best. I know that he loves me and he's excited about our baby. I just worry about how quickly he gives up on things.

I go to a special art school where I've been studying dance. It used to be the one wonderful thing in my life, now I can hardly stand it. I'm thinking about transferring to an alternative school where I can take one class at time, independant study, until I graduate. It's just a really hard transition, especially because no one knows what I'm really going through. I act all happy about it with my friends, and they are all excited. It's going to be quite a shock when I just leave school, a month and a half before graduation.

But I think that's what I have to do. And I have to take less responsabilites at work. It's ridiculous that I'm in the position I am in at work, my boss promoted me to manager immediately one year ago, and now I am the general manager while he lives two states away.

I guess I'll just take it one (baby) step at a time.
Thanks

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The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you. - B.B. King

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Heather
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Alice, are you in Washington State?

If so, check out a topic like this at Girl-Mom: http://www.girl-mom.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=262&

That's an excellent site, and through there, or somewhere like HipMama, you can often hook up, even in person, with other young women who CAN have an idea of what you're going through, who can become part of an extended support circle for you, which you need now, and will all the more need after your kiddo is born.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Alice
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Yes, I live in Tacoma. I'll check that out. Having friends I can comfortably be honest with would be a nice change.

Thank you.

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-Lauren-
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Sounds like a grand idea to me. I know how it can be to have issues your friends in highschool just can't understand.

You're on the right track looking for alternative schools; how far are you from graduating? If you're only a semester behind, independant study can be a good way to catch up. However, I tried it for an extended period of time and that caused me to fail HS. It's tough to keep focused on your work (I.S. requires you to not only do a LOT of written work, but teach yourself) when you live in a less-than-peaceful home. Also, independant or home study could add to feelings of loneliness or isolation. It also requires a LOT of self-powered motivation, which I just didn't have.

Check out the link above, and call your school district and ask about academic alternatives for teen mothers in your area. Your school counselor could also help you to assess your situation and what you need to do to graduate. I'm rooting for ya.

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Heather
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(Just checking in, Alice, to see if things are going any better for you, and/or if you need any other resources we can help with.)

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Alice
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Hey all. Things are going ok, I feel like I'm barely surviving, but surviving. My boyfriend and I moved into a new apartment this weekend, so I've been trying to get all packed and set up. I'm a little bit under the weight where I should be still, so I'm eating a lot. I've been having a lot of stomach pain, but I think it's stress.

I haven't been to school in... a long time. I am a dancer, and I heard today that my teacher took away my dancers from my choreography class and gave them to someone else. I just don't want to face it. But I don't know how I'm going to tell my mom that I'm not going to graduate. Everything feels crazy. I think I am 5 or 6 credits behind graduating. I don't know if I should try to fix it now, or wait, but I have a feeling that once my baby is here I'm not going to feel like going to any type of school.

Things are crazy, but I am really trying to hang in there. I cry a lot, but I'm pretty sure it's a normal hormone thing. But I freak out for stupid reasons. Like, I bought this really cool glass thing for olive oil (it looked GREAT on the back of my oven) and I was strangely excited about it... but when I was filling it for the first time I dropped it and it shattered on my kitchen floor. I got really upset, and I am still pretty upset. The thing was like $4 and I can get a new one... but it just makes me super sad. But tell me something really awful, like my grandma is sick, and I'll just shrug and walk away. I feel insane.

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The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you. - B.B. King

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Heather
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Aliuce: have you talked to a guidance counselor at your school about all of this? If not, I'd suggest you do: you may be able to graduate just fine, and I woukld encourage you to get help with that now -- be it in school or via a GED -- rather than after the fact. I think your thoughts on this are apt: it's going to be a lot harder with a newborn around.

Here's also some information on financial help which may be available to you: http://www1.dshs.wa.gov/esa/eazmanual/Sections/TeenParents.htm

That feeling of insane you're describing is something a lot of pregnant women talk about: your hormones are all over the place, the whole business of being pregnant, nearing being a parent is at times so huge to deal with, that it's pretty common for there to be times when your brain just plotzes under the weight of it all.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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-Lauren-
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Miz Scarlet is so right. I dropped out of school without really thinking about it (I too, thought it was pretty hopeless) and now I don't have the resources a guidance counselor could provide. That is your best bet.

I had to tell my mom I wouldn't graduate, too. She didn't react too badly. From what you've mentioned about your mom, it doesn't seem like she'll be of much help to you in terms of finishing your education. Don't worry, mine wasn't either.

I'll be taking the GED exam the weekend of May 19th. Now that you're 18, I'm certain you can take it anytime you like. Call your school district and ask for GED testing centers/adult school in your area if you decide to go that route. A monkey with a pencil can pass, I hear [Smile] .

I'm glad that you're surviving through this, and doing so well under so much stress. Do keep us updated, okay hun?

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Alice
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I've been talking to my school's counselor. He seems to think that I should have no problem finishing school NEXT semester, as the place has free childcare and parenting classes and stuff.

I am not stupid. I can handle my classes, I can handle stress. But right now I feel like I have pretty much HAD IT. I can't go to school right now. It's pointless, I'm going to fail. It's too late, they won't let me make up all the stuff I've missed, which is understandable as I've missed a lot, BUT if I could make it up, I'd have no problem with the work...

But really... I feel like I'm going to explode. I just talked to my mom, which doesn't help. I guess the counselor keeps calling her, which is ridiculous, I'm 18 and I don't live at home. I'm trying so hard to be grown up and responsable but I'm messing everything up, school AND work. So besides that, my mom calls me because they are (this is GROSS) having a bad fly problem at her house, which she is blaming ME for, as she thinks I left food in my room or something. It's a strange thing - it's a nice house, it's a clean house, and I think they're coming from the attic. So she expects me to go over there right now and deal with, BUT I CAN'T. I can't stop crying and I just want to hide for a really long time. I can't get ahold of my boyfriend, I think he's probably out 'smoking' with his friends. He says he's going to stop before the baby gets here, but that will be within 4 months and I honestly don't think it's going to change.

So here I am crying and freaking out and the only thing I can think to do about it is leave a long rambling message on here. I feel hopeless and desperate. I love my apartment but I want to leave and I don't have a car so I feel SO trapped. Baby is kicking and I want him to stop. My grandma bought me some beautiful maternity clothes today but I don't want to put them on because maybe if I keep wearing my old stretchpants and t-shirts and sweatshirts that fit me before, then I won't really look or even be pregnant.

I'm really losing my mind and I hardly even care anymore. I don't know what to do.

[ 05-01-2006, 09:21 PM: Message edited by: Alice ]

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The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you. - B.B. King

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Heather
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Hey, Alice, did you look at that link I sent you per funds? It might help some of this, and using the social services to get those, you'll need documentation which shows you to be living independently, something you could likely plop on your school counselor's desk.

Of course, given you are a legal adult, one formal letter informaing them that they are NOT to call your mother would also do the trick, probably, too.

Per school, look: if it is clear to you that it would be less stressful for you by far to finish next semester, finish next semester. Seriously. In some ways, when you're pregnant, your life is already in a sort of holding pattern, so school also being there would be pretty normal. You are nothing close to the only young mama who could not complete school on time, not at all. Pregancy like this is STRESSFUL. It takes a LOT out of you, physically, emotionally, intellectually.

Probably, only some of this is helpful right now because you're freaking out, and practical advice has limited mileage at times like these.

But if any of us can do ANYTHING, please do make a list of what you might need we could hook you up with. I'm pretty decently connected with some good folks in WA that could be of help in various regards, or help get you to it, all the more so now that I'm here.

And I'm glad to.

(In fact, this month, in just a couple weeks, I'm going back to MN for a week to be with another friend who is in a bad spot with a solo pregnancy and hopefully, the timing will be right so she doesn't have to go into labor alone or take care of her kid alone the first few days. So, suffice it to say, it's a mama-themed month for me, anyway.)

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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