Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Teen Pregnancy- God help the little ones

It is scary how the minds of people have changed.  It used to be that parents taught their children not to get pregnant unless he married her, but now I hear all sorts of things.  This is a story about a patient of mine.  About a year and the half ago I met a young 16 year old naive girl in my office. She came to see me for an initial obstetrics visit (aka. IOB).

At the time, I gave her my usual teen pregnancy lecture, it got intense at some point and I remembered asking her mom to leave the room because she kept laughing and wasn't taking me seriously.  After that visit, to the surprise of my staff, the young lady followed up with all of her appointments until eventually she dissappeared off the face of the earth and we were unsure of what happened to her. 

A few months later, which was months past her due date, she came in to my office pregnant and I was very confused because she should have had the baby.  That day to my dismay I learned that this was a new pregnancy and she miscarried the last one.  I felt like a worthless doctor, I had wasted my time talking to her and she was given a chance to start her life anew but instead is back in my office for ob care.  With tears in my eyes, I asked to talk this time with the whole family including this boyfriend.  During this meeting I learned a lot about this family's values, my patient's mom at one point said "you no doc, amo tell you the truth, we allow her boyfriend live with her in her room, that way we least know the father of her baby." 

I was filled with silence at first but eventually found my voice and asked her parents if they were married and they said yes.  And I asked her why she couldn't teach her daughter to be married, or finish school first.  I wanted to know why exactly she was instilling in her daughter that it was well for another man to take pride and half ownership of her body without respecting her enough to commit himself.  I went on to tell her that whatever little self esteem her daughter has, by bringing her up this way she had made it worst.  And her response to me was "Doctor ChiChi ah still thinks is beta for me, 'cause they gats people I know tha don't know who's the father of their grandbabies." Wow I thought...then I rest my case

Well I was present as the delivering physician,  and while handing her to the new mom I asked God to be with this child.  During her postpartum visit, I was prepared for her, I didn't want to give up on her futue.  We discussed intensely about prevention and finishing school and I was so sure that I made a connection. 

Well that newborn is not even a year old and I have another IOB visit with her, she is again 5 months pregnant.  So do I say congrats?  I enjoy delivering babies but I find myself saying less congratulations and doing more worrying.  I find it hard to congratulate a 14 year old on a pregnancy, or one who tested positive for cocaine and 2 other drugs, I just do my job.  Though I like the opportunity to make a difference, i must confess it is nice to see those couples who are stable and trying to start their little family.

How do they afford it? At their age I was trying to build a future with comfort (I was selfish), and even as my huasband and I plan, we are budgeting future costs and so on.  How are they so bold and fearless to not worry about bringing the little innocents with no finds>

Monday, January 17, 2011

I am getting ready to embrace My Stubborn Hair

When I was a little girl, I remembered my mom keeping my hair short, while my sister wore braids.  I never understood why, and one day when she got tired of me feeling left out, she asked me if I wanted to grow my hair out.  Well of course I said yes, for once I will look as beautiful as my sister, she always had the coolest braids ... well I remembered my mom fighting with my hair as she tried to comb through my hair.  I remembered we would both come out of the room angry after it was over. I dreaded those days and hence regretted that my decision. 
Everyone including the local stylist, encouraged my mom to perm my hair saying my hair was too stubborn and unique, well mom refused to perm our hairs and I heard her say "I refuse to raise fast girls and if she wants to cut it she always has that option." Lol- like perming your hair ultimately makes you fast. 
Now at this point, my mom didn't care anymore because she now payed someone else weekly to keep my hair in braids and to do the combing.  I learned during this process that moms are much nicer than strangers when combing your hair and I really began to accept how really stubborn my hair was.  My mom's only job now was to load me up with panadol prior to my going to the braiding stylist, I had to do the rest of the work, including sitting for hours, with my face dug into the braiding stylist smelling vagina.  Well prior to my starting day secondary school, I had to cut my hair and most girls who went to my school cried but I came home with a smile because now I could breath, I did not have to put a comb through my "stubborn-thick-lucious-hair" every weekend and I did not have to keep my nose for hours in a smelling woman's wrapper.  I was pleased to wet my hair everyday and not worry about my mom smacking my face so hard that my head spinned.  I couldn't believe that I was finally free! 
Well I had my hair short until I came to America, specifically Auburndale.  We hated the idea of moving and we wanted to go back home every chance we got.  Now what does this have to do with my hair? well the kids at school made me feel welcome, I was called all sorts of things "ugly African," broom stick- do you want my left overs," "you look like a boy and so on."  My mom was very good at making us overlook everything they said but the only one she took action over was the boy comment and she decided for me then that I will grow my hair.  Urghhh... I thought and yes I re-lived every memory of my childhood hair until I permed it on prom night, March of 2000.  I was the happiest girl alive and I still am whenever I perm my hair.  But I tell you as you get older, your taste does change and I want to celebrate the natural hair God gave me.  This is the beginning of all of the good things I expect this year.  I am going back to those stubborn roots
I have talked about it for years and my stylists, hubby and friends have discouraged me saying your hair is so thick, uh-uh don't come to me for help -lol Well it is my 10 and the half year with perm and I hope I make it. My hubby has been nervous about it but I have talked about it so much that he gave in.
My hair currently is a little past shoulder length when straightened, I am open to ideas and suggestions to make this process easier, including product ideas.  Thanks for reading :)