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young 22 year old mother of 3, soon to be 4 in need of advice (Anonymous)

November 24, 2009

I am a 22 year old mother of 3, soon to be 4. I am now 20 wks preganant. I am having very mixed emotions. This is my seventh pregnancy. I was 14 when i miscarried twins. i had my oldest daughter at 16, she is now 5. My second is 4 and my youngest just made 1. Yes, all girls!!! But they are so beautiful and fun. They were all born by c-section. I am a little bitter about that becuase my doctor never really let me know why my first was scheduled i was only a day overdue and i didn’t even get the chance to be induced. I have had a total of 3 miscarrages, one which was ectopic( where my left tube was removed). So I have been cut in the same spot four times already. i am really scared about having a fourth c-section being that my youngest will only be 18 months on my scheduled delivery date. i know every womans body is different, but I hemmoraged with my last. i am soo worried right now. I actually contemplated getting an abortion. My kids father wasn’t really supportive of having another child at the begining because he believes that i am already stressed out and he worries that he will be left to take care of our three daughters if something were to go wrong. But I just want to believe that this is all part of God’s plan for me. I can’t honestly say that i am excited because we are having financial problems and our house is going into foreclosure. My husband really doesn’t keep a steady job and he isn’t really much help when it comes to domestic duties. i am trying hard not to stress out but i can’t help it. i really love my girls they are so beautiful and talented but i cry when i think of losing them. I know I probably sound dramatic but with my last they told me not to have anymore only i was too young to get my tubes tide. i feel so lost right now i feel like i can’t control my emotions. I don’t want to say that i am depressed but i don’t feel like myself these days. It’s really as though I don’t even know who I am. My whole life is centered around my kids i don’t go out, i’ve never been to a club and i don’t have friends. Don’t get me wrong dress-up and tea parties are going to always be great but i just want to know who I am outside of being a good mother. It doesn’t help that people constanly tell me how I look 16 and I’m only a baby what am i doing with all these babies. But I don’t regret them. I just want to define myself outside of my house. I just feel so alone. Does anyone have any type of advice for me?

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25 Responses to “young 22 year old mother of 3, soon to be 4 in need of advice (Anonymous)”

  1. shannon Says:
    November 24th, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    leave it in God’s hands…what happens will happen. I understand you were too young to get your tubes tied…but take birth control…

  2. Heather Says:
    November 24th, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    Have you considered adoption and getting your tubes tied? I’m not suggesting you are inadequate or anything of the sort. For one, I am VERY worried about a 5th surgical birth. For every c-section (and similar surgery you have), your risk for adhesions and post surgical bleeding increase exponentially. The fact that you hemorrhaged with a previous birth also increases your risk of hemorrhage for a future birth, regardless of delivery method. Your risk of things like placenta accreta, placental abruption, and placenta problems in general also increase exponentially. Your health is HUGE with 4 little ones dependent on you. Whatever you do, consider your physical as well as mental health. I would also strongly suggest finding someone you can talk to in person, whether that be a postpartum doula, clergy, a fellow mom (there are TONS of mom-groups out there!), whomever you can confide in. Finally, find something just for you. I am also a young mother of 3 and when our first was born, I remember hearing things like that and it hurt no matter who said it or how it was said. One of the best things I did for myself and my family was found what made ME happy. Keeping your autonomy can mean keeping your sanity and there is NOTHING wrong with that! I became a doula, and am beginning my midwifery journey. For you it might be volunteer work, starting a Meetup group to meet people your age with similar interests, a church group, whatever. Think about the things that make you happy and then find a way to connect with people who enjoy the same things. DOn’t give up. No matter what you do, you’re the only one who has to sleep at night knowing the decisions you’ve made. As long as you think about it like that, you will make the right call for YOU and YOUR FAMILY!

  3. Audrey Says:
    November 24th, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    You could do some online schooling for a degree. Then by the time all the kids are in school you will have a degree so you can get a good paying job. I’m sorry you feel so alone, I’ve felt that way mt whole life, even though I have close friends. You aren’t too young to get your tubes tied if you already have all the kids you feel you can handle, that’s your choice, not your doctors or anyone else. Try looking for “mommy” clubs in your area, then you and your girls can get some interaction from outside your family. Hope some that helps, feel better :)

  4. Anna Kate Says:
    November 24th, 2009 at 6:28 pm

    You are a young mum, and right now with the economy and the lack of stable income- it can all seem very overwhelming. State funds and welfare are available. Talk to your doctor and go see a therapist There is nothing wrong with getting help. Your post is slightly frantic and I would suggest that you forgo an abortion, simply because I don’t think you’d be okay with yourself if you did (I am pro-choice). You have absolutely every right to have your birth the way you want it. If your doctor will not work with you- it’s time to find another one. Things do work out- it takes time- it’ll drive you mad- but they do. Remember, control what you can control, and what you can’t- let it go. Good luck and best of wishes that your troubles will come to an end and you can see joy again in your pregnancy and birth of your forth!

  5. Allison Says:
    November 24th, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    Hun, I feel for you. I don’t know what the regulations are where you live, but in Canada (and the U.S., I think), 20 weeks is too late to have an abortion. Have you thought about adoption? Maybe you could give this baby as a gift to a couple who wants a child. I know it’s a huge decision but you are so young and four kids is a lot to handle. Whatever you do, I encourage you to take charge of your body. If you don’t want more kids, get some birth control. If getting your tubes tied is what you really want – find a doctor who will do it. Empower yourself! Best of luck with your babies.

  6. Bonnie (SOAM) Says:
    November 24th, 2009 at 6:54 pm

    Frankly, I find it pretty unfair that they told you not to have more children and then refused you a tubal ligation. They left you with no options since no other birth control is 100% (even sterilization isn’t, really). If it is truly a health risk (and I’d get a second and maybe third opinion on that) then they NEED to offer it to you despite your age. (((hug)))

  7. terri c Says:
    November 24th, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    I am thinking of you. This sounds so hard. I don’t know that adoption is going to be any easier–adoption is tremendously complex–I’d like to see you get some support so that you can take the best care possible of yourself during the next weeks and go into the birth as healthy as you can be. I agree with whoever above posted that there may be assistance available–check with your county Social Services agency–and I also agree that you deserve someone to talk to who will listen to YOU and help you cope. These are hard times but let’s have hope for a good outcome for you and the baby and then some really reliable birth control.

  8. Elizabeth Says:
    November 24th, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    Maybe you should look into adoption. I too think that you may regret an abortion- especially one this late if you could even get one. You are halfway there. I know you are scared, but things will get better. Stay strong. *hugs*

  9. Ann-Marie Says:
    November 24th, 2009 at 11:20 pm

    I feel for you, but sweetie you have your WHOLE life ahead of you.there is life outside of your house..trust me..A lot of moms feel like this..I do at times.I know times are REALLY scary right now…a c-section is scary, two and three are and four, based on your last experience of course will be scary..and every surgical procedure has its risks, but it does NOT mean it will happen again this time..”Late Term Abortion”(b/c you are over 20 weeks) ALSO has it’s risks as well, (Uterine Rupture/hemorrhage, Anesthetic complications, sepsis, even death).There are so many options out there..You need help, and support, you don’t want to do something you may regret one day, abortion or C/section. But one thing that you know is true, is you need to use birth control. You also have to be strong and people will say what they say…don’t let that influence you-when they refer to you as a baby yourself. Your baby, has been hearing your voice since 16-17weeks..your baby knows your voice. When you think of yourself in 10 years, you won’t want to be looking back thinking “I regret”..I will be praying for you and your angels..

    You can try 864-231-0077 (pregancy crisis center 24/7)

    and Light of Hope Pregnancy Center: 800-671-0681
    or email them at: info@lightofhopepc.org

    I hope this helps…Keep us updated and if you ever need to talk: Mom2008514@yahoo.com

    Take Care
    Ann-Marie

  10. meredith Says:
    November 25th, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    Everything’s going to be okay. Times are scary right now, but you will have this baby and bring him or her home to meet his/her sisters and in a year’s time you will be breathing a sigh of relief that this too has passed. Do not abort, do not adopt out, I’m guessing from the almost deperate tone of your letter that these are not things that you truly want, but are just so overwhelmed by your circumstances. You will get through this and everything will be okay. I’m sure you know that things will not be easy, but it sounds like life hasn’t been a piece of cake thus far. I’m sorry that no adults in your life gave you guidance while you were a teen and spelled out the hardships that young parents face. Will you ever be a free-wheeling twenty-something? No. Will you ever be able to spend your weekends partying and not doing much of anything trying to figure your life out? No. I’m sure you’ve realized this already and are struggling to find your way while taking care of several young kids. But you will find it. Try to enlist the help of family and keep your nose to the grindstone and try to get some career training once your little one is a bit older. Allow yourself to be angry that you were subjected to an unecessarean. You were young and inpressionable and trusted that your doctor would make the best decision for you. As you’ve learned this is not always the case. And that wasn’t your fault.I would urge you to talk to your doctor about tubal ligation and seek a second opinion if they refuse. Optimally this should happen with the birth of your fourth child so you can walk out of the hospital not having to worry about it. At the very least, secure some reliable birth control (i.e. the pill, IUD) and take it! Please remember that you and only you can make the best decisions for yourself. Don’t let anyone take your power from you. Keep your beautiful kids as your focus. Press on. Things will get better and you will be okay.

  11. B.C. Says:
    November 27th, 2009 at 12:55 am

    I strongly agree with Ann-Marie. Look into the crises pregnancy centers. They can give you much needed emotional support and direct you to other resources that you may need. The main thing is to continue to reach out. You absolutely need as much love and support as you can get. Surrounding yourself with good people will help keep you strong and your kids need you to be strong.
    Just take this one step at a time and enjoy every little moment with your angels. I truly hope you continue to carry and keep this newest baby. Blessings and Hugs!

  12. brittany Says:
    November 27th, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    don’t give up on the child, if you give it up for adoption and she or he knows you kept all the others, she/he will end up feeling very emotionally distressed (being adopted, i know the feeling) maybe just start on cloth diapers and breast feeding, and luckily you have so much clothes that it should cost too too much!!! me and my husband are broke and living with my parents at the moment trying to survive. so i know how you feel. and as for the surgery, have you asked into a vbac?

  13. Audrey Says:
    November 28th, 2009 at 10:28 am

    I wonder if she’s read anyone’s advice… hope she’s ok.

  14. Christie Says:
    November 28th, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    My best advice would be for you to get a simple part time (only a few hours a week) job. It will get you out of the house where you can be just you and make friends/socialize. It will also help a little with your financial problems. And if your significant other has to watch the children, he will know how hard it is to watch the children and do the domestic duties. Also, working will give you a break and when you get back to your children you will feel refreshed.

  15. Sarah Says:
    November 29th, 2009 at 1:18 am

    I’m glad you have faith in God because you’ll need it, but time does pass and things get easier. Sometimes you’ll feel like you’re holding your breath, but when you exhale, you’ll open your eyes to so much beauty–your children–that it’ll be worth it. So worth it.

    “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

  16. Sarah Says:
    November 29th, 2009 at 1:21 am

    About adoption, there is a thing called “Open Adoption” which most families nowadays are open to. It means that you can keep a relationship with the family as well as your child. This is meant to reduce the pain to the child and actually children end up better adjusted.

    American Association of Open Adoption Agencies:
    http://www.openadoption.org/index.html

  17. Anthonia Says:
    November 29th, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    Hello,
    Not sure why everyone is suggesting adoption as a first solution, age does not matter I have known mums in their 30s struggle. I haemorrhaged with my first not much but over the limit, with my second it was 6 pints, close call but they managed to stop the bleeding and I went on to have another baby even with the risk of bleeding again, this time I bled less than my first as I was closely monitored. My mum got sterilised on health grounds straight after she gave birth to her last child she was older but like you told if she had anymore she could die, hopefully if you persist they will tie them or get the implant. I can’t comment on the medical side but I too have struggled with my identity and I am 28 years old, work helped me. See if there are support groups or toddler groups where you can go and meet other mums. Contact your local council (not sure in USA what it is) to see if their are any free courses you can do in the evening or if you can get financial help with childcare even if it is only 1/2hr, that 1/2hr you can have a bath or go for a walk on your own. I luckily get support from my husband at weekends with chores or he cooks, which allows me to go unwind. It is hard but the rewards are far greater and if you have a routine and get organised it makes life easier ie plan out meals for the week (freeze extra for quick healthy ready meals), bath time and bed time is easier with a routine (diff. times helps for eg my 6yr old is at 7pm,3yr old at 6.30 and 3mnth old at 6pm). I think you have taken the first step just talking about it, this will help and also follow your gut instinct. Hope this helps and not too long winded. ps your not missing out going to clubs you’re just delaying it by spending quality time with your children now whilst they want to know you instead of trying to make up for it when they are teenagers and don’t want to know. If you want to chat more let me know : ) x

  18. Colleen Says:
    November 30th, 2009 at 8:14 am

    I’m with Bonnie on this one–I think it’s crap that they told you not to have anymore kids but won’t sterlize you. Seven pregnancies and 4 surgeries this young is A LOT on your body, and an arbitrary rule about when you can be sterilized is a stupid reason to add more stress to that body. A tubal ligation at age 22 is better than a hysterectomy due to complications at age 22. After this baby is born you need to get other opinions on the tubal ligation.

    Have you considered switching to a doctor who has experience in multiple c-sections? Such a doctor would be better able to handle the complications that might arise with your fourth surgery. Finding one that would be supportive of a tubal ligation as well would be even better, because they can do both at once (delivery the baby and tie your tubes), so you only have to have one incision.

    You need to sit down and talk to your significant other about the situation. Tell him you can’t do all this on your own and that your health and the health of your (and his) children is at stake if he doesn’t pitch in. It isn’t fair that you should have to shoulder all of the burden.

  19. Lindsey Says:
    December 1st, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    I am 22 and I am a mother of two. I have lost 4 babies through miscarriage as well.

    I just wanted to let you know that it will get easier and it will get better. This child is just as loved and will bring just as much joy as your older three do.

    I have gone back to school and I am doing great, and I truly believe that you can too!

  20. Valerie Says:
    December 10th, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    Oh hun! You are NOT too young to have your tubes tied. I had my tubes when i was 20 years old! I have 3 kids under the age of 3 (twins and a single).
    Your doctor has NO RIGHT to tell you no when it comes to tubal ligation, and for you it is in your best interest!

    20 weeks is too late for an abortion IMO. Take a deep breath, take a day off (Wake up before your husband does and leave for the day. Dont take a phone and take a “me” day) and get another doctor that is specialized in difficult pregnancies.
    Honestly you shouldnt have had the first C-secion and should have been offered a V-Bac for the second one.

    Also find some counseling (be it a pastor, a psycologist or even a midwife)

    I am praying for yoU!

  21. THANK YOU, I AM THE ONE WHO POSTED Says:
    December 14th, 2009 at 1:17 am

    THANK EVERYONE FOR YOUR ADVICE AND SUPPORT!!!!I am now 29 weeks pregant with my first son. I could not go through with having an abortion. I feel very blessed right now. I still do have those days where i am so overwhelmed and stressed but i just try and be postive. I have changed doctors. Although i will have another c-section i am going to have my other tube removed( on the operating table). i know it seems like common sense to just get on birth control but i really am just not able to really keep up with my appointements and remember to take pills and everything, i really don’t even have good excuses. But on the bright side, I have registered for online classes at city college. Although, I am still isolated at home with my girls, i am just going to make the best of it for now. I know my future is great. I really do appreciate all of the advice. I am going to keep my baby and just continue to do the best i can. I know now that i am not alone and that just talking about what i am going through really helps to just relieve stress. I don’t vent enough and i really don’t like to tell anyone how i really feel. But this experience has really helped me to have a more positive outlook on life. I’ll soon be able to post an update with pictures and everything!! I just pray that God trully has a plan for me and i just want everything to work out for the best.

  22. Audrey Says:
    December 23rd, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    You got a boy! That’s great. I’m so glad you are feeling better and that you are going to take online classes. It’s a very good idea to get the tubal done if you can’t remember to take birth control. Sounds like you have your hands full enough as it is. Thank you for updating and post some pics of the girls with their little brother when he gets here. Take care!

  23. JJ Says:
    December 30th, 2009 at 12:11 am

    Thank you for updating your own post with your new found motivation and drive to do and be your best. In the end that’s all we can expect out of ourselves. I am 17 weeks along with my 4th child. I was searching the net to find some type of solice in the deep fears I am experiencing of having another child while under such financial hardship. I was on the pill and it failed. I had all types of thoughts running through my mind and have hardly had one moment where I actually felt excited about this baby, and that makes me feel so guilty. It all started when I felt the baby kick for the first time tonight, and I got the worst anxiety attack from that. It hit me that this baby will be here soon and I will now have what people consider “A LOT” of kids. I wonder if I will have what it takes to be a good mom. When I told my husband tonight how the kicking made me feel, he just joked at me and said ” well its too late now”. I just got up and said goodnight. I don’t know if I’m being hormonal and pregnant, or if my fears are validated,but it really hurt my feelings to not have my husband curb my feelings of isolation, and calm my fears with reassurance. Or do men just suck at that in general?? Maybe my expectations are too high or maybe his empathy is too low? Either way it is a real gift to see so many good woman come together and give this girl and others good honest advice, and a cyber hug.
    God Bless you all for not just being a good mom to your own kids, but to complete strangers as well..that deserves a pat on the back.

  24. vanessa Says:
    January 5th, 2010 at 5:55 am

    Try not to worry hun, age really has nothing to do with it you need to remember that. reach out and get some help about your house, have your name put on an emergency housing list, sounds like you’d go to the top of the list. once all your babies are in school start focusing on a course at uni or tafe, just concentrate on making the time you have with your kids before they start school the best. and just remember that your goal is to define yourself as a person outside of the home once they are in school, kids are they best, so much work but they’re the best motivation in life.

  25. Christina Says:
    February 22nd, 2010 at 12:16 am

    Hey girl, don’t be too hard on yourself. You’re a great mom and have had to sacrifice ur goals to raise ur children. Don’t worry, ur doing great. I am 21 and a proud mother of 3 ages 4,2 and 6 months. I know how crazy it can be juggling young children and ur sanity, but I’ve found myself at a happy medium. I was supposed to go to a big university and persue my carreer, but it never happened and i’m ok with it. Sometimes I feel like in the world’s eyes, I’m a failure bc I am so young to have 3 children, but I very often find myself much happier than other people who are where I thought i would be in life. As for the upcoming baby, I’d say do what’s in ur heart. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. I have a friend who is 23 and has 4 kids (last pregnancy was twins and they did not expect that)! It’s hard. It gets lonely and sometimes u just feel downright unappreciated, but what it all comes down to is doing the right thing for ur life. So, this is how I prioritize my life…. #1-Alone time with God (doesn’t have to be very long). This helps with the sanity issue. And it makes me feel loved. #2- strengthen my marriage. Ur husband will be with u til the end, and as for the kids, they’ll leave one day for a family of their own so it’s sooo important to keep the spice in ur marriage. #3- Kids!!! Spend valuable time with them bc one day, they’ll be off on their own! Cherish them and guide them as best u can bc u are who God left in charge of His little angels. Oh and by the way, I used to go out to clubs (Mex… Very immature) and I can tell u that when i became a mom, I wanted nothing to do with my past and that environment usually causes very awkward situations. As far as friends go, it is hard relating to others ur age bc of the lifestyle differences and I’m fortunate to have a best friend who’s a single and independent woman, but she totally respects my lifestyle. I met her at church and I swear she is like an angel sent to me! Other friends are usually much older and it’s cool to talk to people with more experience. My best advice to u is to maybe join a church or get together with some of ur husband’s friends’ wives, but make sure they’re supportive. U can do it girl! But if at any time u feel ur in way over ur head, don’t be afraid to seek the help of a professional. What ur feeling is totally normal in my opinion. Yeah and people say I look 16 all the time but hey what do they know?

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