|The birthday girl. We took better pix with Naomi's camera but didn't have an opportunity to load them yet|
So what is the proper attitude to have when you find that your teenager is pregnant. I felt despair and felt like a failure as a mother. I tried so hard but after a point, things get out of control. I think I had an on-line pity party, since erased. One watches TV shows with moms measuring success by having their teenagers turn twenty without becoming pregnant and winces. A friend of mine had a baby at the same age as Naomi and another of our friend was forbidden by her mother to see her as pregnancy might be contagious. Naomi has several young friends with babies. Not one of the baby daddies can be found. One of the baby mommies left her son with a friend for only 'a few hours' and didn't come back for 4 days. And the money issues: Don'tae works hard but has very little to show for it. He is a good daddy and very affectionate to his baby though. We had to have the state provide some assistance ( our insurance covered Naomi only when she was a full time student but it would not cover Maya unless we adopted her.) The housing situation was awful too. They paid for an apartment in a crime ridden complex for too much money. We bought the condo, which should be a good investment for us in the long term and in the short term, gives them nice, safe nearby housing that was affordable for them.
But in the end, you are dealt certain cards and have to figure how to play them and not whine about why you were dealt those cards. Occasionally people hint to me how things might have been different if only I had.....
I don't appreciate these hints.
As I have documented in photos, Naomi barely looked pregnant and never wore maternity clothes. A day after the delivery, her belly snapped back into its flat self. Naomi does not suffer in silence but she swore she would never get an epidural because she hates needles. She did take a class in natural childbirth, which she actually used. But it is easy to say you won't take pain killers when you aren't actually in pain. I would have said there was a 99% chance that Naomi would be begging for an epidural but she told them no on several occasions, even when things got 'bad'. We showed up at the hospital the day before the birth because Naomi thought her water had broke. We were there several hours before being attended to as we were low down on the triage totem pole but when they finally monitored her, they found 1) the waters were intact 2) she was 6 cm dilated 3) she was in active labor with strong contractions 2 minutes apart. The fly in the ointment was that Naomi did not feel these contractions beyond a tightening. They advised admittance but she hadn't slept or eaten in a long time so I said that I would take care of that and return once things progressed. We spent a good portion of the next day walking and walking but the contractions remained 2 minutes apart and still she could barely feel them. We returned to the hospital after Don'tae put in a day of work. She had dilated another cm but still not much happening. When I was 7 cm dilated with Shanna, 3 hours later, I had her but it took forever to get that far; most of the time was to creep up to 3 cm.
In the triage area, I had asked the midwife to ascertain that the head was down. Of course it is. I feel it. But is it posterior? The only pain she complains of is in her back. Well I don't know that, do you want me to do an ultrasound?
Yeah I want you to do an ultrasound. The midwife in Shanna's case insisted that the head was down and only when Shanna was trying to push Oliver out did she discover that the baby was breech. This will never happen again on my watch. But Maya was in a perfect position, I could see for myself. She was also 'practising breathing' a good sign. Still we were left to wait for a good time. I amused myself futzing around with the computer left open in the room. There was a spread sheet with all the OB patients vitals: how many weeks they were, how dilated, how effaced. Naomi's official designation was 39wk1d. 7cm. Some woman was in labor at 23 weeks. Scary and sad. Not many were as dilated as Naomi so why were we chilling in triage?
She eventually got a room and since labor was so easy, she decided to invite several people to be there. However, the new midwife on duty decided that things would speed up if that bulging bag of waters were broken. She was right. Maya was out in less than 2 hours later with only 5 minutes or so of pushing. Naomi spent part of that time in the whirlpool but by that time, she was plenty uncomfortable. She did a lot of breathing and seemed very much in control of things. Who would have thought? It was thrilling to see ones grandchild slowly emerge. With the boys, I could only see fuzzy reflections in the glass. I did hear Oliver's first cry and saw him red faced and kicking on his way to be cleaned off seconds after his birth. Daniel's birth was much scarier taking way too long with lots of nurses huddled over him. I heard no cry though finally some nurse saw my anxious face and gave me a thumbs up. The mask had muffled his cries.
She's been a good mom. Maybe the prolactin mellowed her. She is one of the few young moms who nursed beyond a week. She is still nursing but Maya does not want to be weaned. Financially, this baby has not been kind to anyone's pocketbook and has delayed Naomi's studies. But she is a cute, engaging baby that everyone adores. I will post her pictures later. We will have a party for her Sunday. Don'tae's family is doing something for her today.