Youngest labor patient? - page 6

What is the youngest age patient you have taken care of or has b een on your L&D unit? I was floored the other week when we had a 12 year old in labor. Yes, 12 years old. Merely a baby herself,... Read More

  1. by   SmilingBluEyes
    If you read this thread in its entirety, MaggieJo, you will see RIGHT HERE nurses ABSOLUTELY TORTURED by contemplating WHAT got these girls we discuss in their situations. We (their caregivers) DO look into their haunted eyes, and we feel endless compassion and sadness in the tragic cases. And in cases that are not tragic, NO ONE here is putting down teen moms in general. But I have to agree with those who say, in MOST cases, people under 18 are NOT ready to take on parenting and ALL it involves. Their bodies are NOT well-developed at 13, 14 and the problems early teen pregnancy can cause long-term are still being studied.

    Is that the same as saying ALL teens are not ready? No, but most are simply biologically and emotionally immature yet. That is a fact, not a judgement against teens. I have had teen moms tell me they had their babies so "someone will love me unconditionally". THAT I find SAD, not something to celebrate. FEW teenaged moms, especially under 16, REALLY plan carefully for a family and know what they are in for in starting one so young. Some rise to the occasion and do well; but most would fail miserably without really GOOD support systems helping them. And many more lack any real support at all and are left to struggle raising these babies. And, What about these kids born? Do THEY not deserve the best start? See what we are burdened with as caregivers in dealing with certain situations?

    I have had young moms write me letters, telling me the impact I had on their lives as their nurse, so I am aware EVERY day how I care for people, ALL people, makes a HUGE difference in their birth experiences and their lives. I think you will find that is true of the majority of caregivers having this discussion here.

    Anyhow, MaggieJo, please re-read this thread and you will see we (nurses/caregivers) have asked these questions you ask of us, over and over. We have seen horrific situations that shatter us, breaking our hearts deeply. It hurts us more than you know to see the truly tragic cases we do each day and it takes all we have within us not to let it destroy our morale or harden us. We are traumatized by some things we see--- far beyond your understanding, unless you do this every day like we do.

    Maybe you can have some understanding for OUR position some? I think that is a reasonable request. No one need get defensive here, we are not judging YOU as a person, or teen moms for that matter. Have a good day, now.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on May 5, '04
  2. by   border rn
    Quote from SmilingBluEyes
    If you read this thread in its entirety, Maggie, you will see nurses ABSOLUTELY TORTURED we are by contemplating WHAT got these girls we discuss in their situations. We DO look into their haunted eyes (some of them) and we feel endless compassion and sadness in the tragic cases. NO ONE here is putting down teen moms, but I agree, in MOST cases, people under 18 are NOT ready to take on parenting, they just are NOT! Is that ALL teens? No, but most.

    Anyhow, please re-read this thread and you will see we have asked these questions you ask of us, over and over. It hurts us more than you know to see the truly tragic cases we do each day and it takes all we have within us not to let it destroy or harden us.

    Maybe you can have some understanding for OUR position some?
    Well said!!
  3. by   MaggieJo
    I have read the thread in its entirety. I have kept up with it since it started. Maybe you should re-read my post. I wasn't being defensive, and I wasn't trying to make you defensive. I just want people to understand that YES, judgements do come across. And SmilingBlueEyes, don't tell me that you see things that are far beyond my understanding. I live with memories that might be far beyond your understanding. If you would re-read my post, I didn't say that all teenage pregnancies are the result of abuse, or even that some teenagers don't try to become pregnant, but that is not your job to decide who is what. I'm not here to advocate for teen pregnancy at all. As someone that has experienced it, I KNOW the difficulty that arises from it. I live with it every day of my life. The point of my post, which maybe I should have made more clearly, is that society does NOT romanticize teen pregnancy. You need to have genuine care for these girls. I was ostracized, had to endure stares, and comments from total strangers, because they were "doing society good" by their comments. My case is not isolated; this is the norm. I don't understand exactly what you want society to do to these girls. Life is hard enough. Anyway, yes, your responses to me did make me defensive. This is something that is deeply personal to me. Therefore, I'm not going to reply again to this thread because I don't want to make this a debate. I know that this is a board for you to come to without having to feel badly for your opinions.
    -Maggie
  4. by   MishlB
    We have 12 and 13 year olds quite often. In fact, I believe our county rates the highest percentage of <15-year-old pregnancies in the nation. They are treated like any other laboring patient...just as the drug users are, and we have MANY of those as well.
  5. by   fergus51
    Quote from MaggieJo
    I didn't say that all teenage pregnancies are the result of abuse, or even that some teenagers don't try to become pregnant, but that is not your job to decide who is what

    The point of my post, which maybe I should have made more clearly, is that society does NOT romanticize teen pregnancy.
    I just had to reply to these 2 points. In general it is not our place to figure out how a grown woman got pregnant. It is our place to find out in the instance of minors if we are concerned about abuse. We are legally required to report child abuse, and a step father impregnating his 12 year old step daughter qualifies.

    Perhaps society doesn't romanticize teen pregnancy, but a lot of teens sure do. I don't know where else they get the ideas from.
  6. by   SmilingBluEyes
    In case you do return, let me say I am sorry you are upset, Maggie. But you contributed to making it a debate in the way you voiced your response to the thread. That is ok with me. We can debate without being angry with each other can't we?

    Let me say, I CAN say with fair certainty you don't know what it's like us for unless you are in our positon as nurses. If I understand correctly, you are not yet. It's hard for nurses (and social workers, doctors and others), to see so many tough cases come and know we can DO NOTHING to help other than be there for our patients when they are in our care. It hurts knowing the hellish situations they and their babies go home to in so many cases. Knowing we can do NOTHING to help beyond this is so frustrating, you can't believe it.

    And I am sorry to have to disagree with you but---- In some segments of society, teen pregnancy IS romanticized---I can say this with absolute veracity, because I hear what is said and see the friends visiting, half of them pregnant themselves. I can hear them making statements like "Oh isn't this gonna be so fuuuuuuuuuun, we are all gonna be moms together". At 14 and 15, this is hard for me to hear, yes I admit. FUN? They have NO idea what they are in for when the babies are here and the work they are in for. yet, I have seen this so many times I can't count. I don't think they see it as seriously as it is until they begin the lifelong struggle to raise these babies they are having. It's almost like a "club" for some of them, I swear. That is NO exaggeration.

    Am I saying ALL teens are this cavalier and immature? Again, I say no. But to say teen pregnancy is NOT romanticized is simply untrue. It IS by many, and it is SAD. Heck even some parents act like it's one big joke or party. I become nauseated when some "mom" thinks it's oh- so- cute to see her 13 year old daughter giving her a grandbaby. If that makes me judgemental, ok then so indict me. I won't argue with you on that one.

    Do I treat teen moms any differently than older ones? No,--- only if they are especially needy and then, I do ALL I can to be there for them. Trust me when I say, NO judgemental attitude comes from me when I care for them. I would NOT do that to people in as vulnerable position as they are under my care. I would daresay most nurses here would tell you the same thing.


    One more point I have to address, Maggie: For you to say nurses treating teen moms badly is the "norm" is a rather generalized statement without justification, as least from where I sit, as an experienced RN. I have worked as an OB nurse for 7 years in 3 different clinical/hospital settings and this is FAR from true in any of the places I worked. I never witnessed a nurse (or doctor/midwife, for that matter), being rude, uncaring, cold or judgemental towards these younger moms. I honestly never have. If you are going to make a point, please, at least do not generalize this way. This automatically can put some on the defensive and contributes nothing to productive dialogue.

    Take care now, and again, sorry if you are upset MaggieJo, but I stand by what I said here. Debate is NOT a bad thing, you know, as long as we can be respectful and not attack each other. I am in no way attacking you, I hope you realize. But, When you are a fulltime nurse, you may see it a bit differently. Time will tell but you are not there, yet.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on May 6, '04
  7. by   Kyriaka
    Maggie,

    I can understand your sensitivity in regards to nurses making judgements. I remember when one of my sons was born (they both are no longer living) with a giant occipital encephlocele--the largest on record at that time-12 lbs. He was able to have a shunt but we had to take him back when it did not work right.

    Most of the nurses knew us but there were a few new ones.

    I remember being in the room and getting glares from the staff one evening. If looks could kill...Finally one of the nurses came over and with hands on her hips asked in a very ugly manner, "how did this happen?". I looked at her strangely because he was born without a skull in the back. Born that way. How it happened no one could say. I finally said he was born needing a shunt. The nurse said, "sure he was".

    I had been confused with the abusive mother down the hall whose child needed a shunt due to shaken baby syndrome.

    Judgements sometimes are very very wrong.
  8. by   Rita Marie
    Comic Sans MS
    Quote from kat911
    12 POUNDS!!! HOLY COW I hope they did a CSection! The youngest I ever had was 11, whe wanted to know what that yellow stuff was in the catheter tubing. Her mom was just delighted to have a grandbaby by her own boyfriend. Gee she got a new baby to play with and didn't have to go birthin it herself! :angryfire

    One of the quotes to this is that the guy needed castration...he needed to have his butt in jail! He is a pedophile--that's all there is to it. :angryfire

    The girl's mom should have been in there right along side with the boyfriend, for being stupid!

    The two adults deserve each other, the young mother and the baby should have been removed from the home!
    Too bad the county or state this child resides in didn't do it though.
  9. by   Rita Marie
    Although this isn't about the youngest to have given birth--it is something that I saw when I was in school back in 1974...a young couple (unmarried, 17-19 age group) were in labor while I was at clinical. They had gotten pregnant to "see what it would be like." I was pretty young too (age 19), but that had to be the lamest excuse to get pregnant that I had ever heard.

    They did know where babies came from though.
  10. by   mercyteapot
    I visit a number of NICUs in my position, and one of them had 2 12 year old moms last year. A few years ago, they had an 11 year old. The father was 20, and in jail when the baby arrived. What was very sad was that when the social worker asked one of the 12 year olds what she would like for Christmas, the new mom's response was that she'd like a doll. She had just had a baby, and she wanted a doll!
  11. by   niki1983
    I have been reading some more of these posts. A lot of what is being said is so generalized. I was a teen mom, three times (had a 4th at 20), so I can relate to what the other teen moms have said and are going thru. We do get a lot of looks and rude comments and gestures. The nurses at my first delivery ( I was 15) were in disbelief about everything I said. They didn't even beleive me that I had to push, mean while the baby was crowning. That could have turned into a dangerous situation had my mother not been there advocating for me, like that nurse should have been. I am not saying that all nurses are this way, but enough of them are that something needs to be done about it. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but it should never be shown during patient care.

    On the other hand I agree with the nurses who have posted comments about it being sad. Although not all cases are, those that invole abuse are. However, If the case doesn't involve abuse you as the nurse have no right to judge that individual at whatever age they are. You don't know if that girl is one that is going to struggle the rest of her life or one that is going to "rise to the occassion" and succeed in life. Teen moms are given these stereotypes all of the time and people who go around saying negative things about us just have no clue how bably it hurts. In my case, which I know may be the exception, I continued school ( only one year left untill my nursing degree), I am married, and all of my children have the same father (my husband) .

    I guess what I am trying to get across is that noone, on either side, has a right to generalize or stereotype and individual situation. If you do not know first hand, you need to be open and not judge.
  12. by   border rn
    Quote from niki1983
    I have been reading some more of these posts. A lot of what is being said is so generalized. I was a teen mom, three times (had a 4th at 20), so I can relate to what the other teen moms have said and are going thru. We do get a lot of looks and rude comments and gestures. The nurses at my first delivery ( I was 15) were in disbelief about everything I said. They didn't even beleive me that I had to push, mean while the baby was crowning. That could have turned into a dangerous situation had my mother not been there advocating for me, like that nurse should have been. I am not saying that all nurses are this way, but enough of them are that something needs to be done about it. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but it should never be shown during patient care.

    On the other hand I agree with the nurses who have posted comments about it being sad. Although not all cases are, those that invole abuse are. However, If the case doesn't involve abuse you as the nurse have no right to judge that individual at whatever age they are. You don't know if that girl is one that is going to struggle the rest of her life or one that is going to "rise to the occassion" and succeed in life. Teen moms are given these stereotypes all of the time and people who go around saying negative things about us just have no clue how bably it hurts. In my case, which I know may be the exception, I continued school ( only one year left untill my nursing degree), I am married, and all of my children have the same father (my husband) .

    I guess what I am trying to get across is that noone, on either side, has a right to generalize or stereotype and individual situation. If you do not know first hand, you need to be open and not judge.
    Again I would like to say that I do not judge my pts. All of pts be they teen moms, prostitues, drug users or Drs wives get the same treatment from me. I try to teach and coach and hope for the best. I think the sad part is that all of you who were teen Mothers are so defensive about it. Alot of you have over come quite an obstacle since you all seem to be in Nursing school or about to graduate- I say Bravo!! What you need to realize is that you are the exception to the rule. Not everyone is able to over come such adversity as having a baby young. Look at the statisics. Greater % of being in low income family for life, greater chance of failure to thrive, greater incidents of more childhood ailments, greater learning disabilities. This is not because of the nurse you had, this is just because as a teenager you are not prepared to be the kind of parent you need to be to nurture your children.
    I do believe you get looks and snide comments but not from as many nurses as you might think. I work with a wonderful and nurturing bunch of nurses and although there is the odd nurse who does not care to take care of teens or drug abusers ect, I as a charge nurse accomodate that for the sake of the pt and so the pt no matter who they are or why they are on our floor, will get the care they so much deserve during this special time in their lives.
    Stop walking around with the defensive chip and look what you have achieved despite it.
  13. by   border rn
    Quote from SmilingBluEyes
    In case you do return, let me say I am sorry you are upset, Maggie. But you contributed to making it a debate in the way you voiced your response to the thread. That is ok with me. We can debate without being angry with each other can't we?

    Let me say, I CAN say with fair certainty you don't know what it's like us for unless you are in our positon as nurses. If I understand correctly, you are not yet. It's hard for nurses (and social workers, doctors and others), to see so many tough cases come and know we can DO NOTHING to help other than be there for our patients when they are in our care. It hurts knowing the hellish situations they and their babies go home to in so many cases. Knowing we can do NOTHING to help beyond this is so frustrating, you can't believe it.

    And I am sorry to have to disagree with you but---- In some segments of society, teen pregnancy IS romanticized---I can say this with absolute veracity, because I hear what is said and see the friends visiting, half of them pregnant themselves. I can hear them making statements like "Oh isn't this gonna be so fuuuuuuuuuun, we are all gonna be moms together". At 14 and 15, this is hard for me to hear, yes I admit. FUN? They have NO idea what they are in for when the babies are here and the work they are in for. yet, I have seen this so many times I can't count. I don't think they see it as seriously as it is until they begin the lifelong struggle to raise these babies they are having. It's almost like a "club" for some of them, I swear. That is NO exaggeration.

    Am I saying ALL teens are this cavalier and immature? Again, I say no. But to say teen pregnancy is NOT romanticized is simply untrue. It IS by many, and it is SAD. Heck even some parents act like it's one big joke or party. I become nauseated when some "mom" thinks it's oh- so- cute to see her 13 year old daughter giving her a grandbaby. If that makes me judgemental, ok then so indict me. I won't argue with you on that one.

    Do I treat teen moms any differently than older ones? No,--- only if they are especially needy and then, I do ALL I can to be there for them. Trust me when I say, NO judgemental attitude comes from me when I care for them. I would NOT do that to people in as vulnerable position as they are under my care. I would daresay most nurses here would tell you the same thing.


    One more point I have to address, Maggie: For you to say nurses treating teen moms badly is the "norm" is a rather generalized statement without justification, as least from where I sit, as an experienced RN. I have worked as an OB nurse for 7 years in 3 different clinical/hospital settings and this is FAR from true in any of the places I worked. I never witnessed a nurse (or doctor/midwife, for that matter), being rude, uncaring, cold or judgemental towards these younger moms. I honestly never have. If you are going to make a point, please, at least do not generalize this way. This automatically can put some on the defensive and contributes nothing to productive dialogue.

    Take care now, and again, sorry if you are upset MaggieJo, but I stand by what I said here. Debate is NOT a bad thing, you know, as long as we can be respectful and not attack each other. I am in no way attacking you, I hope you realize. But, When you are a fulltime nurse, you may see it a bit differently. Time will tell but you are not there, yet.

    Very well said

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