Client Spotlight: Young Powerful Moms
About a month ago, our Childbirth & Perinatal Specialist Ashley posed this question to our Young Moms participants: “What challenge have you faced as a young parent (housing, economic, education, health, etc.) and how did you overcome it. What helped you?”
In celebration of the strength, resiliency and perseverance of our young moms, we’d like to share with you a few of their answers:
“On September 21st, 2016 I found out I was pregnant. I was 17 years old and a junior at Dowling Catholic High School. I was scared to death on what to do, what my parents will think, the kids at Dowling, the teachers, etc. I didn’t know how to be a mom; I didn’t know where to start. I remember thinking I was going to get kicked out of school because I was pregnant. I didn’t know how I was going to tell Mr. Bosum, the dean of students. I didn’t know how they were going to react. But I remember after I told him he told me everything was going to be okay and he was going to make sure I graduated. Thanks to him, I graduated (class of 2018), but it was challenging being pregnant at a catholic school. I felt like I had to hide my pregnancy because I didn’t want people talking about me or asking me questions. So I didn’t get to enjoy my pregnancy as much. It was basically a secret and the only people who knew were family, teachers, staff, and people close to me.
After my son was born he ended up having a lot of health issues, especially with his stomach. It was difficult not getting help from WIC because they switched soy formulas and my son was allergic to any Similac formula. He was in and out of the doctors and hospitals. But the one thing that helped me was the YWRC mom group. They helped me with so much, with my pregnancy and even after I had my son. They gave me advice, helped me with baby items and clothes. Ashley and Sarah were there if I needed to talk. They helped me have more confidence in being a young mother. They helped me not feel ashamed and like less of a person. I went through terrible Postpartum Depression because of everything I was going through. They helped me through it all. I got to meet other young moms and see that I wasn’t alone. Being a young mom is hard but at the end of the day, your little one is the best thing that will ever happen to you.”
– Sara, 19 (Jiovani, 16 months)
“Being a young mom doesn’t mean we throw our life away. It means we got to share it with someone we will love forever. Times do get tough with work and bills, but in the end we always do what’s best for our family. We are always going to protect our babies even from the world. The Young Women’s Resource Center gives us the materials and the knowledge we need to take care of our children.”
– Michera, 20 (Renesmee, 3 months)
“When I was 16 I found out I was pregnant and I was terrified. The biggest challenge was when the doctor told me that my son wasn’t healthy, he wasn’t gaining weight, and at 34 weeks I had to go in to be induced. Finding out that my son was very sick and not having the support of my child’s father was heart breaking. Needless to say, I had the rest of my family and they supported me and loved Joey and I very much. They weren’t thrilled that I was pregnant at 16 but having them around now is the best thing I could ask for. They reassured me that he would be okay and even if he was not, he would be with god and he’d be okay up there too. His birthday was on September 30th and he’s a beautiful, healthy, spunky little toddler!
– Baylie, 19 (Joseph, 2 years)
“As a young mom the biggest challenge for me was balancing being a mother, school and work, as well as trying to stay within the social norms. Throughout the beginning stages of being a young mom the thing that helped me the most was surrounding myself with women who were going through the same thing I was. (For example the Young Moms group.) The most unhelpful thing was probably being with people who weren’t going through what I was! It’s difficult to hang out with people who don’t have the same mindset, priorities, etc.”
– Amber, 18 (Kayden, 2 years)
“What was the most challenging was accepting that it wasn’t going to be about me anymore and that I needed to grow up and get my stuff together. This led to one of the hardest steps, which was me deciding to leave home to go to school and do what I needed to do to be able to support BreeAylah on my own. With the support of my mother and grandma and the Young Women’s Resource Center, I as able to hang in there and keep my goal in mind and know that I needed to succeed not only for myself but more importantly for her.
When I first found out I was pregnant everyone said I wasn’t going to be anything or anyone in life and that me having her was ruining my life. In reality, the stuff I was doing and the people I was hanging out with was making a self-destructive environment, and if it wasn’t for her, I would’ve continue down that path. Now I’m working on my associate’s degree, taking care of her and her sister, and their brother that will be here soon. A lot of people put a lot of shame on being a teen mom. I wish I would’ve waited but God knew what he was doing when he put her in my life because she saved me from myself, making me want to be a better person. A better woman.”
-Osheana, 21 (Bree’Aylah, 3 and A’Riyah, 1)
We encourage our young women to feel empowered through sharing their stories, raising their voices, and advocating for themselves and others. Sharing personal experiences can also help with building a sense of community. This is especially important for those who face stigma and may have felt shamed or outcast. These young women are brilliant examples of what young, powerful moms can be.
Thank you to these young women for sharing a bit of their stories with us. We continue to be proud of their hard work, compassion and dedication. Special thanks also goes out to Anthem Foundation for their support of our programs so our Young Moms can achieve healthy birth outcomes and a strong start for their babies.