Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Some advice for teen mums


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Dear Christine,
I would like to share my story and also comment  on the letter that was published on Thursday May 29, under the headline: Why so many pregnant teens?
Christine, I became pregnant at 15 years old about four months after I was baptised. I was scared and confused. I did not know how to handle a baby because  I was now getting my own life in shape. I did not know how to tell my mother or the child’s father.
While you and the secondary school teacher did  make some points, things are not always the cases,  as those identified.
When I was growing up I was a very happy and intelligent child who was always cherished and loved.  I did not have any sort of “emotional deprivation”.
I also did not believe that getting pregnant would have made the child’s father stay with me. However,  he did, and he is now my husband.
In my case, this teacher was also right to a certain extent. Yes, some of these young women are bright, talented individuals. The teacher, however, failed to realise that after having a baby at the age of 14, 15, or 16, these young girls still have their lives ahead of them. A baby can be a setback when it comes to reaching their goals in life. They should not use it as an excuse for finishing their education or to get pregnant again. However, they should use it to their advantage  to make a better life for them and their young one.
I say this because I did. I sat seven CXC’s and got them back at Grades 1 and 2. I got back physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics and English Language all at Grade 1. I went on to the Barbados Community College and the University of the West Indies where I gained my degree and I am now a head nurse and part time doctor studying to be a full time doctor. This was my dream from the time I was three years old. In fact, by the age of 21 years, I had accomplished my dream in just five years, while still raising my loving son.
While I am not for teenage pregnancy, I know how it is to be a teenage mother. It is not an easy road because we live in a society where people judge us and put us in categories because of our mistakes.
My advice to teenage mothers and teenage mothers-to-be is; do not give up on your dreams. Try [as hard as you can]to make a better life for you and your child. You have another person to think about and everything you do will affect your child. Believe you can be the best you can be and strive for greatness and success. Always remember God is a gracious and merciful God who forgives us of our sins no matter how big they are.
– Nurse Young
Dear Nurse Young,
Thank you so much for sharing. Testimonies such as yours should be publicly shared so that individuals who feel trapped [whether as a result of early pregnancy or any other set-back they may faced], are reassured that there is life after every set-back.
Perhaps, in order to save time, you made the decision not to share all the little details; like how difficult it was, how  your family rallied around you, whether  you returned to school or took up evening classes, and, essentially, how you conquered.
The truth is, teenage pregnancies can prove difficult for the teenager and the family and your success story is actually one of quite  a number of which I am personally aware.
I thank you for giving hope to those who became pregnant as teenagers, or those who  may now be pregnant.
However, we still need to face the fact that teenage pregnancy is not a desired state, and  we still need to educate our sons and daughters about the importance of abstinence until marriage, and how to better protect themselves  if they are going to become sexually active.  In other words, we teach them what is morally and biblically right, but leave them to make  their own choices. Engaging in sex is a responsibility. Each of us must be aware of  the consequences, whether we are teenagers, adults, married or unmarried.
Yes! God is full of love, mercy and  forgiveness, but we both know that all  teenage pregnancies do not and always have happy endings.


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