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>