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My Daughter’s Pregnant – One Mom’s Story

My Daughter's Pregnant Part 1

This week’s post comes from a mother of one of our Collage clients. She was gracious enough to share her experience of finding out her daughter was pregnant in the hopes of helping other parents who are faced with the same news. We are thankful for her willingness to share and to support her daughter through one of the most difficult decisions a young woman can make.

I never know how to describe that moment.  Some days, I will tell you that once I heard the news my brain froze.  Other days, I will say my mind raced a thousand miles per hour.  What I know for sure is that there was very little coherent linear thought as I stood there for several long minutes living in both the present and the future, watching as my dreams for my daughter were seemingly jerked away.

It had been a long month.  Not only were we preparing for our daughter’s high school graduation, but I was working 60 hour weeks on a grant proposal that had the potential to bring our small not-for-profit association hundreds of thousands of dollars.  I was in the middle of a conference call at my home office, barely 24 hours before the proposal was due, when I saw my daughter’s car pull up in the driveway.  She and her boyfriend got out and my immediate thought was, “Oh, they must have decided to eat lunch here today.”  Holding the phone to my ear, I leaned out, said a quick “hello” and told her I’d be off in a minute.   When I hung up the phone and opened my door, they both stared back at me from the hallway. She said six words, “We need to talk to you”…and I knew.  The first sentence out of my own mouth, uttered several times in succession, was, “You have got to be kidding me!”.  She quietly, wordlessly shook her head no.

That’s when everything froze.  Silence filled the air as I turned my back to them both. Somewhere in the shock, as the world screeched to a halt, one single semi-logical thought fought its way to the surface: whatever I said at that moment would live forever in both her memory and mine.  In 30 seconds, I might completely shatter our relationship if I said the wrong thing.  So, I chose silence.

She will tell you that the silence scared her the most, and that it may have been the longest minutes of her life.  I can only imagine the fear in her heart.

That was the first step of a journey the calendar reflects began for us nearly two years ago, but feels like a lifetime ago.  My daughter has her own story about her unexpected pregnancy, but this story is mine, from a parent’s perspective.

I will tell you that the first days were excruciating.  There was not a single moment that went by when the situation wasn’t on my mind, even as the rest of our lives had to move ahead, even as the grant proposal had to be finished, dinner had to be made, homework had to be done and we had to be there supporting our other daughter, as well. My illusion of control over life was shattered, I wasn’t sure what the future held or how I would help my young, teenaged daughter navigate what would become the biggest decision of her life.  In the back of my brain every emotion played on a constantly running loop day and night.  Helplessness.  Love.  Anger.  Resentment.  Sadness.  Fear.  Fear for her, for the baby, for us, for the decisions that had to be made, for the unknown.  And, guilt.   Heart-wrenching, stomach-churning guilt for having failed miserably to protect her from herself.   How could I have let this happen?

The next weeks were filled with activity…I did anything I could do to start to put order to the chaos that seemed to be our lives at that time.  Calls were quickly made to insurance and to the doctor.  We found out that while our family health insurance would cover me if I had dozens of babies, it would not cover her costs as a dependent mother-to-be (apparently 70% of insurance companies at the time did not pay for dependent maternity care).  From there began a long journey of navigating a public system we had never had a reason to know anything about.  Nor, honestly, ever wanted to.  In the end, we accepted help, knowing that any serious medical complication for mama or baby had the potential to spin our family, any family, into bankruptcy.  Expensive insurance, carefully put into place and barely used in the past by our very healthy family, had failed us.  Thank goodness a bill passed only months before the pregnancy, designed to insure the unborn children of illegal immigrants and young moms with the same insurance gap as ours, saved us.

Of course along with this came the doctor’s visits.  How far along was she?  Was the baby all right?  I shook as I heard the heartbeat.  I cried tears of fear when my daughter’s tummy measured too big for the projected date of birth. Was she farther along than we expected or, gulp, were there two babies?   How would we handle that?  And, what if, lacking early prenatal care, there was something horribly wrong?  I didn’t sleep for several nights as I replayed the worst case scenarios in my head.  In the end, I wept tears of joy and relief when two ultrasounds showed ONE HEALTHY little baby girl.

Through all of this, our biggest fear was the emotional toll this would take not only on our pregnant daughter, but on her younger sister, who was going through very intense emotions about the situation, as well.  Having no idea whether my daughter would choose to place her child for adoption, or choose to raise her child, my husband and I knew that we did not have the background needed to help her prepare for a decision I myself could not imagine making.  Nor could we prepare her, ourselves or our other daughter for the aftermath of that decision.  Luckily, when we reached out, we found amazing resources throughout our community ready to support us, guide us and just listen to us.

Finally, we needed to tell our families, our friends, and our neighbors.  We made phone calls and wrote long, thought-filled emails.  We feared judgment as we sat on the edge of our seats awaiting responses; instead, we received absolute and unconditional support and love that continues to this day.

I thank goodness that our little family did not face this alone; I thank goodness that my daughter did not face this alone.   I also feel absolutely blessed that my daughter found Collage before she found the courage to tell us.  They counseled her, held her tight and gave her strength and hope before we even knew about the situation.  For that, I will be forever grateful and faithful to their mission; they will always hold a place in my heart.

As I look back, I will tell you that while the intensity of the emotions subsided, there was nothing easy about the situation; it isn’t easy now and it won’t be easy in the future.  This new reality has led us down some roads we thought we would never travel.  We’ve learned how to navigate systems we never thought we would know anything about.  We’ve had to make tough decisions and we’ve had to repeatedly redefine our roles as both parents and grandparents.  The situation drew our family closer on some days, and pushed us farther apart on others.  It made my daughter and I best friends most of the time, but also worst enemies in rougher moments.

Yet, as I sit here typing while my young granddaughter sleeps, tucked away with her also-young Mommy two floors away, I know that while a mistake created her, she herself is no mistake.  She is the picture of her mama, her mama’s own mini-me.  She is big round eyes and belly-shaking giggles; angry cries and gap-toothed smiles; chubby fingers, wiggly toes and sleepy snuggles.  She’s learned how to give kisses and she pats us on the back when she hugs us. She howls in fits of laughter as she chases our dogs across the yard.  And on cool days, she brings us a fake fur coat with diamond buttons to put on her before she drives her plastic car across the driveway. My phone’s memory is full of pictures of her and every little thing she does.  She is surrounded by love and is the embodiment of love.  She rules this house, and it is more alive than it ever was before she existed.  Oh, and if you couldn’t tell, I love her with every fiber in my body.

I wish I could end this story now with the words, “and, we lived happily ever after”, but we all know that isn’t reality because life is messy and many of our worries from the first day we found out about our sweet girl are still present today.   On a later blog, I will talk more about that.

As I end, I ask that you be thoughtful with your comments; the anonymity the internet provides sometimes allows people to lash out without thought about how those comments affect the hearts and minds of their targets. Our decisions may not have been yours.  Sharing our story so publicly creates a vulnerability I’m not sure I am ready for, yet I know that others are in our situation and I want to do anything I can do to just say to other parents, “you are not alone” regardless of the choices you and your children make.  Life will go on, and sometimes the unexpected does become something very beautiful indeed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are 58 comments .

mom of pregnant daughter —

Thanks for sharing. Your story is beautiful and gives me hope for our family. A baby should be something to celebrate but it is hard to do so when your daughter is 16. I marvel at your grace and honesty.

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another mother of pregnant daughter —

Thank you so much for posting this. Since our world was shattered a week ago by news of our daughter’s pregnancy, I’ve read article after article about supporting your daughter, but nothing addressing what we, as parents, were dealing with emotionally. For the first time, I have some hope about this situation as I try to simultaneously support my daughter and wrestle with my own flood of emotion.

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    CollageCenter

    You are so welcome! The mom who wrote these two blogs truly wanted to share their story in hopes it would encourage someone else. She knows what it’s like and knows that there is a way through it. Slowly but surely, your family really can create beauty from the unexpected. Don’t give up! There really is HOPE!!

    Reply »
    Leslie —

    I encourage you to read A Bump in Life, and seek out a group called Embrace Grace. Both were helpful to us.

    Reply »
    Brian Zaleski —

    I just found out that our daughter is pregnant for the second time with another fellow. She had her first one with another guy without protection. We now have her at home with us and the grandson is 4 now.When the wife told me that she was pregnant with this boyfriend I was floored, didn,t know what to say. Was feeling like i was going to explode. Thought it better if i was silent rather than blow up at her and this guy. I still don,t know what to say. All i know is she and this guy better get their priorities straight.This time our daughter will have to find out what it,s like to raise 2 kids.This guy isn,t looking for a job yet and it,s so frustrating watching them as if they don,t know what,s going on. PLease, if anyone has some suggestions on what to do it would be very helpful.

    Reply »
      CollageCenter

      Dear Brian,

      Thanks for writing to share your story, giving us a peek into your situation. I can certainly sense your fervent love for your daughter & grandson. I imagine it must be very difficult to process through the many emotions you’re probably feeling about this situation and applaud you for taking the time to choose silence before responding to the news—that was definitely wisdom on your part! The truth is – we all have the ability to choose how we respond to our circumstances. Isn’t it crazy when it feels like our whole world is seemingly falling apart, that the rest of the world continues on as if nothing has changed?!

      Where you go from here matters. You and your family can come out of this stronger. It sounds like you’ve already taken the time to invest in your daughter & grandson. The sacrifice of labor and love by you and your wife is beautiful. Now, your daughter may need your wisdom and loving direction more than ever. Open and honest communication is vital. One suggestion would be to talk to her about healthy steps moving forward. Make it a dialogue (not a monologue) between you and your daughter by asking open-ended questions that can steer her in the right direction, while allowing her to make some important decisions for herself and her growing family. Here’s a few conversation starters to consider:

      “What steps do you plan to take moving forward in your relationships?” (Will your daughter continue to live with you, or need to find a bigger place for her and the kids… will this new boyfriend be in the picture… is he a healthy fit for her current son, etc. Help her to think through the next few years and lay aside her own desires for what might be best for her son & new baby)

      “How can we support you during this time?” (Let her know it’s your job to provide emotional support, without making decisions on her behalf. Does she need help telling other family members… applying for Medicaid… a temporary babysitter while she helps her boyfriend on the job hunt, etc.)

      “Can we tell you how amazing you are and the future that we dream for you and your children?” (Take some time to cast vision over her life and speak truth to her in the process. Take the opportunity to affirm her in how valuable she is. Help her to see that her current decisions may not be YOUR decisions, but that you believe in her NO MATTER WHAT! Every girl wants to be loved and needs affection. Many times we have the tendency to “Look for love in all the wrong places.” She needs to know that your desire is that she’d love herself enough take time to think about her near future as well as her long-term dreams & goals. Let her know that her decisions today, will affect her realities tomorrow.)

      We have this saying on our wall here at the Center: “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anybody can start today and make a new ending.” Encourage your daughter that we all have the power to rise above our circumstances and write our own story. Ask what kind of future she’d like to have for herself and her kids – then encourage her to go after it.

      I hope this helps in some way, Brian! As you and your wife navigate this season of life, may you lean on each other for comfort and realize that there’s strength in reaching out to those who have been in your shoes for advice. If you need further guidance and encouragement, there’s an organization called Focus on the Family that has a staff of licensed, professional counselors available to talk with at no charge. Just call 800-A-FAMILY (232-6459).

      Michelle
      Client Advocate & mom of 5

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Mariana Collins —

My daughter is 19, in college with a boyfriend who is soon to be deployed and 5 months pregnant. I yearn for the young girl experiencing college life and talking to me about her “boy troubles”. However, I feel blessed her boyfriend is very supportive and they eventually want to get married but baby coming soon so they will wait. Thank you for your blog because I TOO felt overwhelmed, stressed and anxious about her future. My family is being wonderful. GOD builds blessings and I too am falling in love with this baby while being scared!

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    CollageCenter

    We’re so glad you were encouraged by the blog. There really is BEAUTY and HOPE that exists amidst unexpected circumstances, even though it may take a while to see it and be able to embrace it. It sounds like you’re doing a great job!! We’re thankful for the blessings you are already experiencing like the support of your family and the love that’s already growing for your new little grand baby. You and your daughter both will be able to be that light for someone else down the road, just as the mom in the blog was for you.

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    jennifer —

    I’m currently going thru same thing. My daughter is 22 lives with me & the father is stationed in Lousiana (we live in Massachusetts). He took leave & married her baby is born. He wants her to move down there right away. I’m so worried for her being so far away from family or friends.

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Another mom of pregnant teen —

Thank you for sharing.

As my daughter nears the delivery of her baby, we are still on an emotional rollercoaster. She hid her pregnancy through her senior activities of ball, prom, and graduation — she told us when she was 24 weeks. Although I can charge hormones for her emotional outbursts, I cannot help but feel completely helpless with her intense anger towards me. I thought I was being as supportive as possible (buying maternity clothes, baby bed, baby clothes, etc.), but then she tells me I am “fake supporting” her. Could her rage toward me possibly be her own feelings of disappointment in herself that she has yet to express? She doesn’t see my tears – I hide those from her.

It’s been rough us, yet I hope she allows us (her dad/my husband, and me) to be there for her.

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    CollageCenter

    Hello,

    Thanks so much for reaching out. Our hearts really do hurt for you in this challenging time.

    I actually sent your note to the mom who wrote the blog you read. I thought I’d post her thoughts here in hopes that it would encourage you…

    …I think you are on the right track in believing that your daughter’s anger toward you is perhaps misplaced disappointment in herself or her situation, in comparison to either what she wanted for herself or believed her parents wanted for her. And, clearly, in hiding it for so long, you know she either feared judgment (even if none existed) or was in denial, or maybe both. Her attitude may indeed be a self-defense mechanism if she (even mistakenly) believes that her parents and others are disappointed in her even in the slightest.

    And, of course, she still hasn’t fully grown-up so her brain doesn’t process things the same way an adult’s does.

    On top of it all, she has just altered the entire course of her life and has become “different” than all of her friends. She may be experiencing friends leaving her, as well, as they go on about their college lives. Nothing on their social media probably resembles her life at all anymore. I think all of that takes its toll in the way she perceives the way anyone interacts with her.

    Hang in there the best you can, and try not to take it too personally. It may change when baby gets here. At the same time, don’t let yourself become a punching bag either. That’s just not fair to you and you do have a right to say something!

    You may find help in visiting a counselor even once or twice to help you figure out this new, weird role you have in life! Because, it is weird even under the best circumstances, trust me!

    I know it’s hard, but you can do this!

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Mum of concealed pregnancy daughter —

Thank you. My daughter had concealed her pregnancy and we learned yesterday the baby is due in 2wks. The emotions we are feeling are enormous. Disappointment, anger, frustration everything you mentioned. I know everything will be ok but, I am morning the loss of her great college future she had. She’ll be 19 next week and had s great first semester at college. She will go back but, we are hurt.
Thank you again.

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    CollageCenter

    We’re so sorry Mum! What a difficult few weeks you’ve had. Lots of changes. Lots of disappointments. Lots of heartache. But we want to encourage you. Many young gals have told us that their relationships with their parents actually got better after an unexpected pregnancy. Allow yourselves time to grieve. Allow yourselves time to heal. We know it won’t be easy but take heart! Keep loving, even when you don’t feel like it, and keep walking in the new normal. There really is unexpected beauty and joy to be found! We promise!

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    Cindy —

    I am new to this site so if I have overstepped by replying I’m sorry. But your situation sounds just like mine. My 20yrold daughter came home from college and I did notice that she was a little “pudgy” in the belly but thru it up to poor eating during exams. She told me she didn’t feel well and that she was constipated and had a bad stomach ache. I took her to the hospital and after urine and blood tests BLAM there is was! Not only was she pregnant but she is due in 2 weeks! She has chosen adoption which I fully support. We are trying to be as supportive as possible. Its hard as a mother. Is there something I could’ve done? I want to blame myself but that’s not going to help anyone. I’m just glad to see I’m not alone in this world that I never thought id be a part of.

    Reply »
      CollageCenter

      Thank you for your vulnerability in writing Cindy. I can’t imagine how surprised and shocked you were when you heard the news that your daughter is pregnant. I’ve found in working with gals that have unexpected pregnancies one thing that makes a HUGE difference in their journeys is having good support. It sounds like you’ve done a great job giving support, including your response to your daughter’s decision to choose an adoption plan. Adoption is a very selfless choice and an act of deep love! Don’t underestimate the power of walking alongside her during this time. Your daughter needs to hear words like: “I’ll always love you, no matter what.” “I’m here for you and will help you in whatever way I can.” “It’s not what you planned, but it will be okay.” And “We’ll get through this together.” I think all mothers want to blame themselves for the choices their kids make. It’s not your fault. Someone once told me free will always trumps good parenting. That’s the hard part of parenting, letting go and watching our kids make choices that can result in difficulty in their lives. Although this news comes as a surprise, be encouraged! Many families have successfully navigated these turbulent waters and come out stronger on the other side.

      Always remember, you’re not alone.

      Jolie
      Collage Patient Advocate

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Becky Lewis —

My daughter is 15 and 22 weeks pregnant. There are so many support groups for teen moms, but none for parents of teen moms. We found out she was pregnant early due to severe morning sickness. This was just one month after she tried to commit suicide by overdosing. I am trying to be supportive, but I have so much anger and resentment at the same time.

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    CollageCenter

    Hi Becky,

    Oh, that’s so hard and heartbreaking. We’re so sorry for your very rough situation and heartache. First of all I would really encourage you to acknowledge your feelings and that it’s okay to feel these things. It is normal and okay to feel sad, hurt, angry, tired, and so many more emotions. I think it’s when we bury these things and try to hustle our lives into looking okay, that resentment can really boil inside us. Just like your daughter needs support, you also need it. If you have some close friends or family you can get support from, that would be great. Otherwise there is always counseling which can be a huge help and resource. And I agree with you, I wish there were more support groups for parents of teems moms. Great idea, maybe someday after all your experience you will start something like this. May sound crazy now, but I bet in 2 years, 5 years, 10 years later, you will be that much stronger and wiser. Also, remember, it’s okay and wise to take care of yourself too and will help you better be able to support your daughter.

    It sounds like your daughter has been through the ringer too. If you don’t have her in already, I might recommend counseling for her too. With the pregnancy and suicide attempt, this would probably really help her.

    It’s hard, so hard. We here at Collage will be thinking and praying for you both!
    Please let us know if there is any other way we can help!

    Collage Team

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Pazi Bingham —

Just found out that my Junior pre -med student daughter is pregnant!! I can’t stop crying for her dreams and I am so scared for her…My emotions are all over the place … Thank you for your support…We have such a hard work ahead… Her dad doesn’t know yet, I have faith in God , and yet I am full of fear for her dreams not to become true,,,She worked so hard …How do I tell her 13 year old sister?? The rest of the family??? It’s a lot, but I am glad to know I can write to you …God Bless

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    CollageCenter

    Pazi,

    Wow, thank you for being vulnerable enough to share. No doubt this is a difficult time and our hearts go out to you! You must have a thousand thoughts running through your mind. It’s understandable that your emotions are all over the place, and you really need to give yourself time to digest all that you’re processing. You may find yourself (like the mom in our blog) living in “both the present and the future,” feeling like the dreams you had for your daughter have been seemingly jerked away…and most likely, she may have a few of those same worries and fears.

    Many young women who are faced with an unexpected pregnancy may ask themselves, “Do I have to choose between my baby and my future?” They may not feel like they’re in the right season of life, or have enough finances, be emotionally prepared, or even ready to tackle this new challenge. But I want to encourage you both that sometimes the best changes in life are unplanned.

    With lots of hard work and determination, many women are able to realize their dreams if they are flexible enough to adapt to unexpected circumstances. Other women find that their goals and aspirations evolve and adapt throughout life, and they have to make adjustments to their plans and continue to make new goals. Either way, if your daughter is pre-med, it sounds like she must be a real go-getter…an achiever. And while nothing about this situation may be easy, sometimes it is the hardest, even most painful times in our lives that bring forth the most beauty. You are absolutely right that you and your family have a lot of hard work ahead. But that’s ok. Many of us at Collage have experienced the restoration of beauty in our own broken lives, and that’s the very thing that has allowed us to speak hope and life into others who are facing their own trials.

    Life is messy. It rarely goes just the way we have planned, and can sometimes be disappointing. But the good news is that you’re not alone. We all need help sometimes and you may have more support than you think. I know telling your daughter & your loved ones the news can be scary. You may fear they will respond with sadness, shock, anger, or even judgment. You may expect them to react in a certain way, but their responses could still surprise you. Most likely, you may find that there is also a lot of love and unconditional support that awaits.

    Consider telling your partner first and look for an undistracted time to share the big news. Tell him what you’re thinking and feeling. Work together to unpack some of those emotions, heartache & fear. Next you could talk to your daughter about helping you share the news with her younger sister. At 13 yrs old, she will be looking to you to set the tone of this next season. Stay calm & be comforting. Tell her that, “It’s not what we planned, but it will be okay.” You can explain that while this will be a challenging journey, a healthy family can stick together to support one another and share both good times and bad. You can get through this together. Sometimes as we work through the struggles of life it even draws us closer to one another-as we learn to laugh together, cry together and lift each other up in our times of weakness.

    You may be overwhelmed and facing a future that none of you had planned. You won’t have all the answers. Though it’s hard to imagine right this minute, good can also come from this. Take some time to also think about some of the good times you and your family have in your future. But for now, don’t feel like you have to have it all figured out. Live one moment at a time.

    We will be praying for you and your family. Please let us know if there is any other way we can help!

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Melody —

Thank you for the article. We too found out 3 weeks ago that our 17 year old daughter is pregnant. It has been a roller coaster of emotions. I feel blessed that she told us early and is only about 7-8 weeks. She is a month away from graduation and has plans to go to college. I want to support her as much as I can, but I also want her and her boyfriend to be a family. We love her boyfriend and so far he is supportive.
Another piece of our puzzle is that my husband holds a part time ministry position and is a teacher at her high school. He is struggling more than I am with how to move foward. The emotions of wanting to help her, but not knowing what we are going face is scary. Only a handful of people know, including our pastor, but they have been supportive. Our hope is that we can continue to experience support as we tell our friends and family.
This article said so much of what I am feeling. It is nice to have confirmation that I am not alone.

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    CollageCenter

    Thank you for reaching out to share your story Melody! We’re so glad you found the article helpful. And just to affirm you… you’re right. When we’re walking through life it’s so important to realize that we’re not alone. It’s encouraging to know that there are people walking alongside us, facing similar struggles and familiar fears. At times, it can be challenging to know how to best move forward—trying to simply figure out exactly what that next step is.

    I just want to say that it sounds like you’ve already taken one of the most difficult (and courageous) first steps—which is reaching out to confide in your support people. It’s great that you have people you can trust & be vulnerable with, people there to help you process through some of the emotions you’re experiencing and standing by you as you learn to face your fears… How will we tell our family? What will people say about us? How will this affect our daughter’s future? The fear of the unknown can be overwhelming and may even produce unexpected events. But the results of walking through these trials can also help us to grow, bringing joys into our lives that we might not ever have known; or as we like to say at Collage, “Creating Beauty From the Unexpected.”

    You may not have all the puzzle pieces figured out, but you do sound like a very supportive person yourself who has the capacity to help your daughter navigate this next season of her journey with a lot of wisdom, compassion and care, so good job mom! And if we can offer any additional help or partner with you and your family as you move forward, please don’t hesitate to let us know. What a special opportunity it is, to lovingly come alongside others: helping them not just survive their circumstances, but helping them to truly thrive. We wish your daughter the very best for her pregnancy and upcoming graduation. And please know that you & your husband will definitely be in our prayers.

    Reply »
Kay —

She is 21 junior in college. I dropped her off on campus and she was getting settled in her room. Two weeks later I find out she is pregnant and can barely keep her eyes open from exhaustion. Not only that a large cyst is on her ONLY ovary and she needs immediate surgery. School is out of the question. I had just been in a car accident and was recooping from a concussion when I got a
Facebook message from her bisexual friend who was in a jealous fit and wanted to blow the whistle. Health wise this was not what I needed as my blood pressure was sky high at the time. I literally could not deal with her issues, so I didnt. It took a week or so to be able to talk to her without putting myself in harms way.

This boy is not someone she should have ever been involved with. I dont like him and never have. She and I had a disagreement about her behavior and he felt he had the right to send me a FB message questioning me about conversation I had with my daughter. This was a sign of total disrespect and I have had a low opinion of him sense. He has mistreated her in school and degraded her on FB AFTER she refused to end the child’s life for hisconvienceance. She keeps running back to him and Im sick about the whole thing. I done even want to be bothered with it.

But she is no mature enough to make good decision concerning him. She is trying to force his family to accept her and the baby. He set her up and invited her over so his mom and grandmom could convince her to give it up for adoption. Im so angry with her. 3 years of stubborn rebellion and causing nothing but stress. I asked God to help me release her emotionally so I could move on. I did. Then she come with this. I was looking forward to a life without the immediate stress of dealing with her daily. No she is home withdrawn from school. I need prayer Im really angry about all this. Im not past that phase yet because I know she has been sneaking behind my back this whole time seeing him and trying to get him to be what he is not. He wants her to get rid of the baby and give it up. She doesnt listen to me and keeps tunning to his family for advice while painting me as the bad guy her dad tells her the same things but she stll shhots her own self in the foot.

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    CollageCenter

    It sounds like you’ve had a lot going on and along with that a LOT to digest! This is a situation that is FAR beyond an easy fix, but I want to express that you’re not alone & I’m so glad you reached out. We all want only the VERY best for our children, so it can be truly disappointing when they make decisions we don’t approve of–sometimes even painful! As a junior in college, your daughter may be showing signs that she’s ready to be making decisions for herself–even if you believe she is still not ready. It may be time to let her grow into the adult she is becoming. This won’t be easy. In fact, this is probably one of the hardest things a mother may have to do at times. But soon, your once little girl, is going to be a mother herself. She will need to continue to grow up & be strong enough to make some of the big life decisions necessary for her & this child. So while it may be difficult to let go of control, there are benefits to having the courage to do so.

    Your role as her mom is still crucially vital, but guarding your own health (and sanity) is important too. It may be healthy to take a few steps back to allow your daughter to find her way, even possibly make a few mistakes along the way. As you do this, I would encourage you, from one mom to another, not to allow fear to discourage your heart. Despite the anger and frustration that you express with her situation, I can hear the fierce love that you have for her. So share that with her. Be honest & vulnerable. Explain that your attempts to guide & correct her have been in an endeavor to protect not only her, but your relationship. Let her know that while you cannot condone destructive behavior or approve of all of her life choices, you do love her enough to respect her ability to choose. After all, she is now the one who will be responsible (good or bad) for seeing through the consequences. In reality, your daughter will definitely have to work hard & learn to be strong–but it is important to keep in mind that as she finds her way, she WILL make mistakes. Other times, she’ll get it right and you will be so proud! But the good news is, she has just as many opportunities to succeed as she does to fail.

    The truth is, your daughter’s in the driver’s seat. And that’s scary. Not only for you, but maybe for her too. She may already be feeling the weightiness of her own mistakes and bad decisions. So now more than ever, she’s going to need a mom who can continue to love her, pray for her, and speak truth into her life. Responding with sensitivity during stressful moments is sometimes difficult, but also very important if we want to continue to have a voice in their lives–especially if we’re concerned that the relationships they’re in may be in any way toxic or unhealthy. https://collagecenter.com/do-healthy-relationship/ So rather than focusing too much on their seemingly bad decisions, we can learn to listen really well & go after the hearts of our children…by creating a safe space, where despite her imperfections she can be real & get the help she needs to make healthy decisions moving forward. Create an authentic space where there’s room for her to learn, grow, make mistakes and eventually (hopefully) even learn to change behaviors. At Collage we say it like this, “CREATING BEAUTY FROM THE UNEXPECTED.” And please know that we will definitely be praying for you and your daughter. You can do this! You both deserve to thrive and walk in freedom.

    Michelle
    Collage Advocate

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Kirena —

My daughter told me she pregnant. She is 21 and happy about it. I’m 39 and totally devastated. My worse nightmare. I had hysterectomy last year due to uterine cancer .. was due to get married in 2 months and my partner of ten years cancelled the wedding.. I’m still trying to deal with that..I feel so ashamed at being a grandmother at my age.. I lost thousands on the wedding and not in a financial place to help her even though her boyfriend comes from a wealthy family..years wasted on hoping she would do better than this. If I was married I would feel better not I’m alone and not good in my life at the moment .. j feel ashamed and thought when she turned 21 that I could live again especially after my partner cancelling the wedding which devastated me and my life .. I’m totally crushed by this

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    CollageCenter

    Thank you for sharing your story Kirena and your honesty about your struggles. You certainly have a lot to process. I just want to encourage you in that it’s normal to feel shocked and disappointed. It will likely take time to wrap your head around all that’s happening in your world right now.

    My heart went out to you when I read your words, “If I was married I would feel better.” Kirena, I know from first hand experience that our marital status doesn’t have the power to dictate our feelings. We get to CHOOSE how we feel. And you can choose to not let these circumstances define you. You can define your circumstances by saying, “I have value and worth as a woman, whether I’m married or single. I am beautiful inside and out no matter if there’s a man in my life or not. I am a victor, not a victim!”

    And even though it can be hard, now more than ever, your daughter needs to hear you say:
    • “I’ll always love you. No matter what.”
    • “I’m here for you and will help you in whatever way I can…”
    • “It’s not exactly how I imagined things would go, but it will be okay.”
    • “We’ll get through this together.”

    You know, many parents would say that while the timing of their daughter’s pregnancy wasn’t what they’d wished, they found great comfort in knowing that they helped her plan a safe and secure future for her child—their grandchild. You have a great opportunity to work together to support one another and create a plan that will eventually strengthen your relationship.

    I know it’s hard to imagine right at this minute, but I truly believe that good can come from this. I know you can do this, girl! You can choose to define these circumstances and be an overcomer! You are strong! You are beautiful!

    We’re rooting for you!!
    Gaye

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Carol —

I found this article to be very calming, in knowing that i am not alone in these feelings. My daughter 18 the weekend of Christmas left my house with her boyfriend, because she didn’t want to be respectful and follow the home rules. He scooped her right up. Our relationship got very rocky. Story after Story he has told her pulling her in. I never have really cared for this boy for these reasons. Now she is 16 weeks pregnant and they had been living together all this time. He has decided he dont want to do this and has broke up with her. I love my kids with all my heart and this whole situation has broke my heart. She has lost friends, her job, her car and now is back home with us. I am really trying to be strong for her. He has taken everything from her. Yes i know she played a part as well, but she is very believing of people and he really reeled her in. I dont know how to help her, or get her back in her feet. They still talk but he is back and forth with it all. I have had conversations with her about it all. I still think she believes there is gonna be a happy ending with them. Im really concerned with the future.

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    CollageCenter

    Dear Carol,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m glad the blog was a comfort to you! I think the reason this article resonates with so many is exactly what you mentioned—it’s comforting to know that we’re not alone in our trials. You and your daughter may be overwhelmed in facing a future that neither of you had planned. You can’t expect to have all the answers. Although this might not be the ideal situation, or even the kind of life you might have imagined for your daughter, I do know from the countless stories we hear from young women who walk through our doors—that beauty can come from the unexpected. Every single person has tremendous value, despite whatever choices we’ve made. We get to choose how we respond to the difficult situations in our life. Will we let them define us, or will we allow them to shape and mold us into the people we are meant to become? The good news is that this may be a difficult chapter in her life, but it’s not the end of the story. With lots of hard work and determination, many women are able to realize their dreams if they are flexible enough to adapt to unexpected circumstances. Other women find that their goals and aspirations evolve and adapt throughout life, and choose to make adjustments to their plans and continue to make new goals.

    One way to help your daughter get back on her feet is to speak to her about her worth and also some practical ways to develop healthy relationships in her life. If you need some ideas, check out our BLOG on how to have a healthy relationship. https://collagecenter.com/do-healthy-relationship/.

    I want to encourage you to believe that the two of you really can grow closer than ever and even come to enjoy this next season of your journey together.

    We’re believing with you!

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Sarah —

I am 65 years old and our 30 year old unmarried daughter is 12 weeks pregnant. She sent the ultra sound today and wants her dad (age 70) and me to “get excited”. She was in nursing school and has had to drop out and is simply a CNA now so she can get insurance. We warned her last year to break up with her boyfriend as he was using her. We thought we had raised our 3 daughters to be moral and strong young ladies. We are heart-sick. She thinks the father will marry her. He refuses to do it so far before the baby is born. We told her that she has no legal rights to his house, the car they share. That she will be stuck with all the medical bills. Goodness sake, we are still helping her with her phone bill!!
This will be our first grandchild and I feel really bad that this baby will be illegitimate. Having a grandchild at the bottom rung of financial society makes us very very sad for the baby. My birth mother was single when she gave birth to me and put me up for adoption. I have been petrified our girls would be like my birth mother. We have searched and searched our hearts where we have gone wrong. We have zero desire to celebrate. When she told us she was pregnant, I knew I couldn’t “unload” on her so I simply told her, “THank you for not aborting. We will always love you.” Then, I hung up and cannot face her. We had to see them at our other daughter’s wedding two weeks ago and it was all I could do to not go over and smack the daylights out of the boyfriend and my daughter. I hate that I feel this way. I want to be like other mothers I read about that were so wonderfully gracious to their daughters, but I am just so angry. I wonder if anyone really cares about the welfare of the baby being born to a single mother. I would like for her to place the baby for adoption, but know she will never get over this emotionally if she does. Plus, it’s not my place to suggest it. I hope and pray I can forgive my daughter for being so irresponsible.

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    CollageCenter

    Hello Sarah,

    Thanks for being vulnerable enough to reach out. As a mom, my heart breaks for you. It’s comforting to know though that we’re not alone in our trials. Unfortunately, suffering is a theme that life affords us all. It’s painful to go through and makes you question everything you might have once believed. Although this situation might not be ideal, or even the kind of life you might have imagined for your daughter, I do know that beauty can come from the unexpected. I was raised by a single mother myself, and while I’m sure it wasn’t easy for her to raise us alone at times, I do know how thankful I am to have had such a strong mother who loved me so dearly.

    I hear a mother’s love amidst your anger. I also hear in your words that you see value in life. I want to commend you for affirming your love for your daughter, despite the mixed emotions you’re feeling– that takes a lot of strength. Your hope to forgive her is admirable, and it’s also very doable, because it’s a choice. And sometimes we have to choose to forgive again and again and again. This also means forgiving yourself, to let yourself off the hook for her decisions. The greatest of parents are still human—we do the best we can. And at the end of the day, we have to allow our kids to own their own choices.

    Every single person has tremendous value, despite whatever choices we’ve made. We get to choose how we respond to the difficult situations in our life. Will we let them define us, or will we allow them to shape and mold us into the people we are meant to become? Life is messy. It rarely goes just the way we have planned and can sometimes be disappointing. Though it’s hard to imagine right this minute, good can also come from this. Celebrate this new life, even despite the messiness that you see. Take some time to think about some of the good times you and your family may have in your future. But for now, realize it’s ok not to have it all figured out. Live one moment at a time.

    My prayer is that this circumstance will empower you to dream larger dreams, pray bigger prayers and love more deeply than you’ve ever loved before. You can do this! We believe in you!

    Michelle
    Client Advocate

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Scott —

I’ll tell you what as a dad at 17 and my current wife at 15 and being together since the baby was born it is a daily struggle. I’m 39 now and my wife is 37 our daughter is 21 now and pregnant. There is no baby daddy in the picture. I’m very sad at this and I will be helping daily take care of the baby. You see I have been a stay at home dad and have had odd jobs while my wife made a career. Looking back now I wish both my wife’s and my mom were more help. So to all the grandparents out there faced with this situation it can be tough for everyone. The thing that caused me the most pain as a going parent and now as a young grandpa is the judgement and ridicule placed upon my family through the years. We stared off homeless and worked very hard. We own a home and carry debt just like the rest. However I wouldn’t take my daughter back for anything in the world. I wish things didn’t always end these ways but we must face the fact that some things our out of our control in this world. It was very nice reading your thoughts.

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    CollageCenter

    Thanks for your honesty and transparency Scott! You’re right…life doesn’t always turn out the way we want, BUT, there is definitely joy and beauty to be found in the journey, as you have found with your daughter. And your new grandchild will add a whole new dimension of beauty to your lives. Keep up the good work and thanks for encouraging other readers as well.

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Hope —

I am in tears! My daughter is 18, soon to be 19. She just wrapped her senior year up and attending classes at a local university. Got her license and car not so long ago. Now, she is sitting at a local teen resource center waiting for results. When she told me last night, I was saddened, but had an idea because of how she’d been acting and feeling. NOT what I wanted for her. I was her age when I got pregnant with her. I worked full time, school full time, mother full time and it was NOT easy. Many times I’ve spoken with her and her sister in hopes of preventing a repeat of my situation, but that wasn’t enough. I’m lost so I can only imagine how she feels. I am here with and for her no matter what, but I’m terrified.

Reading this post, calmed me, I suppose there are worse things. Thank you for sharing.

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    CollageCenter

    Dear Hope,
    Thanks so much for being open enough to tell us a little of your life right now. This blog seems to bring hope to many, so I’m glad it brought you a little calm in the midst of your storm. As you share your own story, I believe it helps others to know they’re not alone. It’s totally understandable that you have a wide array of emotions to process right now. Your journey has been difficult and full of sacrifice. I know it’s hard to imagine, but as you continue to speak life and encouragement into your daughter, beauty really can come from even the most unexpected circumstances. So I just want to affirm you for being a good mom and being there for your family. Please let us know if there’s any way we can help in the future.

    Michelle
    Collage Client Advocate

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Heather Dewees —

Thank you for your post. Life has felt surreal since I learned that my 16 year old is pregnant. The dynamics of our total situation are so complicated that some days I just want to run away. The way you articulate the roller coaster of emotion is so on point. I have been praying for strength daily and the grain of faith I have is really all that keeps me going sometimes. In the end..it’s a life and that’s a miracle. I just wish the miracle would have held of a few years.

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    CollageCenter

    Heather,
    We’re thrilled that this mom’s post is impacting so many hearts and encouraging those who find themselves in a similar situation. I’m so thankful for the strength that you’re finding as you continue to pray and move forward. You’re right, life is a miracle. Regardless, that doesn’t make it easy. I have found though, that some of the most challenging situations in life can actually bring forth some of the most incredible stories of triumph in the end. So while this part of the journey might be unplanned and downright painful at times, I believe that one day you just might find yourself lifting up the next mom with your story of creating beauty from the unexpected. Even though your lives have been catapulted into unknown territory, remember that God is big enough to handle your fears, doubts, and questions. Pain can be a catalyst for personal growth. Be encouraged—many families have successfully navigated these turbulent waters and come out stronger on the other side. We believe in you!

    Michelle
    Client Advocate

    Reply »
      Heather Dewees —

      Thank you! Words of hope and encouragement for other women are so appreciated. I agree that when we understand the challenge, we can help others to know that they are not alone. The feeling of helplessness and isolation is NOT fun. Acceptance doesn’t come easy, but I am beginning to realize that it’s crucial.

      Reply »
Tiff —

I am struggling with my 17 year olds pregnancy. I found out yesterday. Everything I have read tells me to support her…..but man that’s hard when the father is a disrespectful loser…..hits his mom steals from her and has never shown me one oz of respect. My daughter is very respectful ( YES she has teen moments) but all in all a respectful individual! I know she will be an awesome mom….(better later) but this boy….yes I say boy cause he has the muturty of a 6 year old. She will be a single mom…..so how do I approach this?

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    CollageCenter

    Tiffany,
    Wow! I love reading how you can already see the gold in your daughter and you know that she’s going to be an awesome mom. I totally understand your desire to want to protect your daughter. While it’s easy to focus on the negative aspects of this boy, the best way forward might be to focus on your relationship with your daughter.

    No matter what’s going on, it’s important to remind your daughter (and yourself) that you are stronger than your circumstances. It might be helpful to sit down and share your concerns with her after you’ve had some time to process and think through some healthy ways to communicate the love you feel for her, as well as the pain you feel about this situation.

    It is definitely normal to feel shocked and disappointed. But remember that she too, is facing an overwhelming situation. Put yourself in her shoes and try to understand her fears. Your initial response will have a significant impact on your future relationship with your daughter.

    Bottom line. Remain calm. Don’t burn bridges by saying something today that you might regret tomorrow. More than likely, your family is facing a future none of you had planned. However, that doesn’t mean your world is coming to an end. Though it’s hard to imagine right at this minute, good can come from this. Just live one moment at a time.

    One thing you might try to do is create a safe, non-threatening atmosphere to begin a conversation with your daughter. Listen as she talks about her feelings and plans. Ask open ended questions to help her think through some of her options, while still respecting her decision to choose her own path. What kind of relationship(s) does she envision for her future? What type of environment does she hope to create for this baby? Sharing wisdom gained through your own life experiences can be a valuable component in your daughter’s decision-making process, but first, she has to know she’s loved. Tell her things like: “I’ll always love you, no matter what.” “I’m here to help you in whatever way I can.” “It’s not what we planned, but it will be ok.” And “We’ll get through this together, one step at a time.”

    I can totally understand your desire to want to protect your daughter. Take time to affirm your confidence in her and remind your daughter that a partner who truly loves her, will not only treat her—but others with respect, kindness, gentleness and patience. And of course, violence is not a sign of a healthy relationship. We have several blogs on our website that might be helpful to check out. Here are a few:

    https://collagecenter.com/do-healthy-relationship/
    https://collagecenter.com/six-signs-hes-mr-wrong/
    https://collagecenter.com/domestic-violence-4-signs-looking/

    I just want to encourage you, Tiffany. Many parents have told us that while the timing of their daughter’s pregnancy was not what they had wished, they found great comfort in knowing that they helped her plan a safe and secure future for her child—their grandchild. Work together to support one another and create a plan that will strengthen your relationship. It’s not easy—but it’s possible! You can do this!

    With much love,
    Michelle

    Reply »
Fay canniford —

Hi my daughter is 18 and has always done things. Early teenage years were hard running away refusing to go to school but we got there a retraining order on a boyfriend that use to hit her until he hit me and then she came to she is beautiful a go getter and is now working as a beauty therapist she has chosen a boy who was on speed went to jail for break and enter and who has cheated on her but she still sees the good in him now she is pregnant about eleven weeks and I must admit I was trying to sway her towards a termination however whenever I ask her if she has spoken to anyone she says she has been working and has not had time I am on this roller coaster they both smoke pot and ciggie he is working now it took me a long time to regain a relationship with her after the teenage years and I fear I have screwed it up her not doing anything is driving me insane and her not looking after herself is driving me nuts also I feel like I am losing my mind as I have not told anyone waiting for her to make a decision all his family know as he told them what do I do I have tried to get her to counselling I have talked about things she needs to do if she is keeping it I have even told her to stop smoking pot and get her head out of the clouds help cause I don’t know how to let gp

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    CollageCenter

    Oh wow Fay. I can’t imagine how helpless you must feel watching your daughter in this situation. Thanks for pouring out your heart to us. My best advice is to be supportive by helping her evaluate what the next right step is when she asks and to be available to walk this pregnancy journey with her if that’s what she’s choosing. Someone once told me, don’t try to do more for someone then they’re willing to do for themselves. As hard as it can be to watch, these are her choices. There are few things more difficult than seeing our own children make harmful choices, but we as parents can’t make their choices for them. Since changing someone else’s behavior isn’t up to us, it can be helpful to talk with someone like a counselor about how we ourselves can learn to live in peace in the midst of the crazy. How we choose to respond really is up to us. There’s no easy answer here but we know that you can love her and support her despite her choices. And that there really is a place of rest and freedom for you. Don’t give up! We believe in you!

    Reply »
Teresa M —

Thank you for sharing your experiences. Very well written! You have captured all of my thiughts, fears, anger, worry … as we await birth of twins to my daughter who is single.

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Tina —

I need to share. My daughter is 23 with twin girls. She is 30 weeks and is exhibiting signs of depression and loneliness. She has avoided any contact for over a month and has stated that she wants to be alone and doesn’t like being around people. I’m in the process of preparing a baby shower next month and she has shown minimal interest in the celebration. When I ask for suggestions, she is easily irritated and says she doesn’t want to be a part of the planning, and just recently said she did not want to attend. It saddens me that I more excited than she. I have expressed that if she didn’t want the shower, then we can postpone until after the babies are born. She burst out in tears expressing that she has nothing for her baby and that she can deliver at any time. I feel helpless and powerless because I can’t seem to get her to express her feelings to me. I am very supportive as much as I can and is very concerned about the well being of my daughter, as well as the twins. At this point, I want to postpone the shower until she is in a better space mentally. I sense the boyfriend is contributing to the stress and her frequent isolation from her family. She values his feelings over her own. How can I help her to see that she is valuable and that her voice matters? Any encouragement would help! Thank you!

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    CollageCenter

    Oh, Tina! My heart hurts for you. You’re obviously a mother who loves her daughter very much! It’s so clear that you want the very best for her! Even the idea of a shower, whether it has occurred or not, is a beautiful way to show your support for her. As a mother of an adult child, I totally understand your desire to have her respond positively to the myriad of things coming at her. If I can give any encouragement to you it would be to simply continue to be present in her life in any form that your daughter allows. You’re giving her the gift of presence. With your presence in her life, you ARE recognizing her great value. Continue to encourage her in any way you can and eventually, I believe, she will begin to find her voice. Believing with you, Julie

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Neet —

We are facing this now. I can totally relate to the range of emotions. I’m still trying to wrap my head around all of this. My daughter is 15. She had too much alone time at home this summer and decided to invite a boy over. I’m mad at myself for not making sure she stayed busy doing something….camp, volunteer work, etc. I have always just wanted to protect her from harm and early pregnancy. We have talked about sex, pregnancy, but she didn’t use any protection and now look what happened. Uuugghhhh!!! She has no clue what she’s in for, which may explain why she seems to be handling it better than I am.

I just found out yesterday that my health insurance won’t cover maternity services for my daughter so we’ll be applying for “Medicaid for Pregnant Women”. I am not ready for all of this, but it’s real and I need to get ready. The baby will be here in April 2019.

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    CollageCenter

    Neet,

    Our hearts go out to you. This is never an easy thing, but we want to encourage you not to beat yourself up. It could’ve happened in a myriad of ways whether you kept her occupied or not. We hear your mama’s heart in wanting to protect your daughter and that’s a wonderful thing. She’s blessed to have you!

    The road will surely be difficult, but be encouraged as many girls have told us that their relationship with their moms has gotten even better after walking through this trial. We’re firm believers that though this isn’t the picture you would’ve painted for your lives, you truly can create much beauty from these unexpected circumstances.

    We’d encourage you to surround yourself with people you can trust and be real with. It’s important for you to have a support system in your life as well.

    Try not to look too far forward, but take one step at a time. You can do this. We believe in you!

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Renee —

It is no easier when they are older. My 28 year old daughter and her boyfriend just told us she is pregnant. I feel such intense disappointment. The hopes and dreams are still shattered. She was raised in a Christian home where marriage and family were taught and practiced. At her age, this was a choice, not an accident. Now she is angry because I told her I was disappointed about all the moments she will not have. I did not say I was disappointed about the baby. How can I be disappointed about a little gift from God.? I cry every day. I have told her I want to be with her through this whole process and that I will love her as much as ever,and will love her baby as if it were my own. How do I get past this heartbreak over her choices? And how do I repair a damaged relationship with her?

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    CollageCenter

    Hi Renee. I’m so glad you felt comfortable to share your situation with us.

    I wish I could reach out and give you a big hug from one mama’s heart to another! Disappointment with our kids is one of those things that can shatter us. I’m so sorry for the heartache you’re experiencing.

    I want to tell you that you’ve done something very important by communicating with your daughter that you love her and will love her baby. Your daughter may need and want your wisdom and encouragement in the months ahead. Your desire to have a restored relationship shows your heart.

    I’d encourage you to find a safe friend or perhaps a counselor to process your feelings with so you don’t pour those out on your daughter. Of course, you don’t want to ignore all of those intense emotions but deal with them in a healthy way instead. This way when you’re with your daughter you can be freed up to be a support to her and extend the unconditional love all of us desire. This will go a long way in bringing about restoration in your relationship. Here at Collage, we see over and over again how beauty can truly come from unexpected circumstances even a deepening in relationships. And when I’m in a hard situation that was NOT a part of my plan, I try not to ask “why” but instead I like to ask, “what does this make possible?” I’m sometimes surprised by what that little shift in perception can open up in my mind.

    I hope this provides a little encouragement to you in your journey.

    Jolie

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Marie —

Thank you for sharing. I just found out my daughter is pregnant last..your story give me courage.

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    CollageCenter

    Marie, we all need the stories of others who have gone before us to give us courage when the unexpected rocks our world. You’re not alone! You can do this! Always remember that beautiful things can come from difficult times.

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Neet —

Update: I posted on 8/28/2018 that I had just found out that my 15 year old was pregnant. At the time, I was overwhelmed, disappointed, in shock, and mad. Well, the baby boy was born on 4/19/2019. He is 3 weeks old now and we are enjoying him so much!!! My daughter is now 16 and she has be doing an awesome job of taking care of her son. I took 6 weeks off work to be with her and the baby, thinking that she would need me. Youth is definitely a plus because her recovery has gone great. Since I’m not needed that much and I’m off work, I spend my time loving on the baby and doing house projects.

Other moms of pregnant teens, be encouraged. I was disappointed but I learned early on to find someone to vent to other than my daughter. She remained as positive as she could throughout her pregnancy and I had to be there to uplift her the times that she was down. If I had continued to be negative and vent to her, I would have pushed her to a place emotionally and then I would have had to deal with a whole different problem.

While I don’t like that she had a baby at 16, we are making the best of it. Friends and family have been so supportive and encouraging in so many ways. They even have a pregnancy support group at her high school. It’s sad that they have to have it, but I’m glad they do.

One more thing…..my chosen grandma name is “g-mom”.

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    CollageCenter

    wow! thanks for sharing such a beautiful update 🙂 It’s so encouraging and refreshing! And what great wisdom you had in finding someone else to vent to early on instead of your daughter. Well done! Life is just hard sometimes, there’s no way around it no matter how hard we try. It’s so good to point out and focus on the positive instead of living beneath all the heaviness. Thank you again! You’ve helped create a beautiful story from the unexpected happenings and will be a great encouragement to others 🙂

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JZ —

HI, It has been a week since we found out our 18 y.o daughter is pregnant. We are going through all the emotions. Shattered dreams, she had just submitted all her college applications. We adopted our daughter so she has very strong feelings on keeping the baby. We would like her to keep an open mind on adoptions. Feeling are a little tense around the house, I am trying not to give my opinion but sometimes I feel I don’t do a good job and upset her. The father says he wants to be active in the baby life (he is 21) but I see him not sticking around long term. I worry so much about the struggle our daughter and this baby will have financially.

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    CollageCenter

    Wow, that’s tough. So many thoughts and fears going through your mind as a mom. And you’re right, so many emotions as well. I imagine you’ve had a few sleepless nights too. I’m so sorry for what you’re going through! The fact that you reached out to us and your obvious heart for your daughter not to have to struggle shows how much you love her and care about her well being. What a great example you’re setting for your daughter, whether she’s able to see it now or not.

    I don’t know if you’ll find hope and encouragement from my own experience but I’d like you to remind you that you’re not alone. We actually experienced those same emotions, fears, and shattered dreams almost a year ago when our daughter told us she was pregnant. She’s in college, not married, and wasn’t ready in her mind or ours to have a baby. She was so scared. And all of the “what ifs”, and “whys” can be so incredibly consuming. It can feel like a bomb has gone off and you have no idea how to gather the shrapnel, or make sense of it all. But slowly, with time came acceptance and clarity.

    Maybe if you looked at it almost like the stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance) because you are grieving what you pictured your daughter’s life to be. However, we can learn a lot through this difficult journey…as we often do when we face adversity. There can be hope and a lot of beauty that come, although it’s understandably difficult to see right now.

    With time I saw how this pregnancy could be used for my daughter’s, her boyfriend’s, and our family’s good. The pregnancy brought us closer together as a family, my daughter and I have grown closer in our relationship, and we have a sweet little grandson who has brought so much joy to our family and everyone he meets!! My daughter is still in college and working part-time. It’s definitely hard even though she and her boyfriend are still together. We don’t know what the future holds for them, but we are taking one day at a time–and really enjoying our time with our beautiful grandson.

    While this is our story, I’m hopeful that with the groundwork of love and grace that you’ve already demonstrated, a beautiful, unexpected outcome could be in your future as well. Be encouraged, friend!

    Reply »
Whattodo Now —

Ok. 23 yr old left my wife and me, she is terminally ill, my wife. 23 dropped out of college, left good job left everything w/o a word. We found out she had moved in with man who did nothing and his parents, he had dropped out of school had no job. She stayed away over a year no contact then called to say she is pregnant and man and his parents had thrown her out over a year ago. Also found that she had now moved in with her Dad’s family who we and she had been estranged from since she was born. They are now treating her like dirt and take all the money from her $9.00 hr. part time job. She has nothing not even heat in the winter they have stuck her in the basement. She calls now to talk but we do not know what to do. My wife’s Doctor has told me the stress of trying to move her back with a baby could kill her and that my wife should not be in contact with her or any of the chaos. She my wife, is already doing worse worrying about the whole thing. My wife also has to deal with all the mean things she now tells us everyday that her Dad’s family says about she and I. Her Dad is no where in the picture just his family. We also can not afford her but have begun sending her any extra we may have. Should we try and move her in with us? Should we leave her where she is? How can she go to work and take care of a baby when she has nothing? Who will Babysit? Does she know how to get up and get a baby out on a bus to a daycare and then pick up and back home. What if she loses patience with the baby and how do you live in a rental with other people if the baby is crying all day and night won’t they kick her out? If I move her back in I may kill my wife if I don’t my grandchild will be without heat. We aren’t in the same state. My wife also can not physically take care of a newborn but is trying to get herself together. What happens if we don’t take her back? Also she does not know who the father exactly is and the person she thinks it is has told her she says that he wants nothing to do with her or the baby. I have to make a decision fast and I haven’t a clue what to do. Kill my grandchild it seems or put so much on my terminally ill wife by bringing my daughter back home that she dies?

Reply »
    CollageCenter

    First of all, I’m so sorry that you are walking through this sickness with your wife. This must be incredibly difficult.

    It sounds like you’re in a very hard situation and that there are no easy answers. In your e-mail, you communicated that your wife doesn’t have the emotional or physical capacity to handle having your daughter move back in and her doctor has communicated that this might be harmful to your wife as well. You also shared that you’re not in a place to do this financially. It sounds like you’re being supportive of your daughter by being a listening ear and helping with what extra you can send her way.

    It’s important for you and your wife to be on the same page with this decision so I’d encourage you to ask yourselves some questions to try to sort out what the best solution is…

    What’s your end goal? Is your end goal stability for your wife in her final days? Do you both desire to have some healing in your relationship with your daughter in your wife’s final days? Would having your daughter move in provide that healing? Who are you doing this for? Will having your daughter move in with you benefit her in the long run or enable her? Are the benefits of having her move in worth the risks to your wife? You can further examine what’s motivating this decision – guilt, fear, love?

    Your daughter is an adult and has made choices that have led her to this point. If you and your wife decide to not have your daughter move in with you, it doesn’t mean that you don’t love her. Maybe she can get support through a friend or a shelter near her until she gets on her feet again.

    My heart goes out to you as you must feel caught in the middle, trying to help both your wife and your daughter. Getting some perspective from a counselor is another suggestion, especially since your wife has a terminal illness. Getting support for yourself is also so important. I hope this gives you some food for thought.

    Reply »

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