Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Teen Pregnancy (A Personal Story)

Personally, I have never experienced any of the stressors mentioned in week four but I do have a friend who has experienced a teen pregnancy at age 16 and she willingly wrote her story to share with me and I wanted to share it with all of you. In her story she speaks about how she copes with the stressors of her situation and the things that helped her to survive through it.  Here is her personal story:

Teen Pregnancy on the Rise:
A Personal Look at How Teens Deal With Stress
©2012 Ann M. Hampton

            What do you do when you think that you might be pregnant? Now what do you do when you might be pregnant as a teenager? How do you deal with everyone finding out? How do you deal with your parents finding out? How do you tell them? And where do you go from there once they find out? How will her boyfriend, who’s the father of the baby, react, and how will that affect your relationship with him? Those are just some of the thoughts going through the minds of a teenager when she suspects she might be pregnant. 

Ignoring the situation (hoping it would go away)
            I was only 16 when I found out I was pregnant. In my mind, I did not want to believe it even though I knew that I had taken the actions that could have lead to the possibility of me getting pregnant. Still, I did not want to believe it. I let months go by. I started gaining weight. Without knowing I was pregnant, my parents just bought me bigger clothes for the next school year when it began, as they did not know I was pregnant; the bigger clothes allowed me to hide my pregnancy even longer. 

            See, as a teenager in small town America, it was easy for me to hide. I was not in the popular group at school; however, everyone knew who I was, being from a small town. Because I was not popular, I didn’t have all the attention drawn to me, so I could float through my days and months undetected. I would never recommend anyone to do this; however, that is part of how I coped and how I managed to make it so long without anyone really knowing I was pregnant. While rumors began to fly, various students would haggle me in the hallways. I used humor to let the stress roll off my shoulders and down my back. When asked if I was pregnant, I would respond, “If I am, that is news to me.” That was usually enough to shut them all up. 

Confronted & facing reality
            The day came when everyone found out! How did that happen? I was being so careful. I had hidden it so well. I managed to hide my pregnancy for 7 months. Apparently, the baby’s paternal grandmother got wind of some rumors flying around town. She called my mother and told her what she heard and said that we all needed to meet. We were pulled into a room at the baby’s paternal grandmother’s house by both of our mothers, and I was asked if I was pregnant. Once our mothers learned the truth, I was then forced to tell my dad. Then, my mother made me confront my dad and tell him the unknown—I was pregnant! Mom was in tears; dad was speechless except to tell my boyfriend and father of the baby, “Don’t you know better?” And one would think he should since he was several years older than me. I wanted to say to my parents, “Don’t you know better? What were you thinking letting me date him in the first place? Isn’t it your job as my parent to protect me from myself, others, and the world?

            It was at that point that I had to face reality, the doctor’s appointments began. I had to get a pregnancy test to confirm what we already knew to be true. Once the test confirmed the fact, I not only had to deal with the embarrassment of pelvic exams (which I had not ever had one at that point), but I also had to deal with answering very personal questions. I had to deal with adult issues and with adult situations before I was truly ready. I had to grow up fast whether I wanted to or not. I had to start attending not only doctor’s appointments, WIC appointments, but I also started having to use my study halls at school to meet with the County Nurse who showed me films, and talked to me to prepare me for labor and beyond. The information she provided during the times I met with her was on what to expect during labor and delivery, how to breathe during labor, what would happen after labor and delivery, what was my post-pregnancy plan, what were my options, as well, what were my decisions to those options? 

Living Life’s Consequence       
            Hiding a teen pregnancy as well, hiding it so long, I missed so much of the enjoyment of being pregnant; however, the pregnancy seemed to go really quickly as it was only the last couple months that I really was pregnant in everyone’s eyes. Life’s consequences were painful. I had to face the pain of embarrassment, the pain of labor, the pain of the loss of my innocence and childhood. However, while I could have lost my education along the way, I did not. I was able to complete my education and further it beyond high school. The Public School system where I lived managed to work with me so that I was able to complete my high school education and graduate with my class. This, back at that time, was rarely heard of in my high school. It’s nothing like the public school systems now where there are many girls in school that are running around and getting pregnant, thinking it is cool. While there had been a few girls before me to get pregnant, most of them dropped out of school and got married. To my knowledge, there was only one other girl from my high school who got pregnant before me and she too went on to graduate high school with her class; I was the second. In the end, I had to face a failing relationship. However, I kept pushing forward when most people probably would have given up. How? By God’s grace He shielded me and carried me along the path before I could even really comprehend what happened to me. It wasn’t until I became an adult that I understood this. See, I was raised around the church; however, back then I was unsaved. I just went through the motions. But God still loved me. God still cared for me. God still took care of me. And he still takes care of me.  I know now that regardless of what happens to me, I am a child of God and that doesn’t mean that I won’t face bad things happening to me, but I do know that I will never be alone. I know that God will give me the strength to do what needs to be done as long as I stay focused on Him. While I may have known it back then, my past mistakes have lead me to embrace Him more and more with each challenge I face. 

Beyond the Consequences
            Our actions speak volumes to other people. If you think it is hard to be a teen mom, try facing teen pregnancy from your parent’s standpoint! How will you deal when your child comes to you as a pregnant teen? For many times, the process repeats itself and until we learn the cause of this, it will continue to repeat. One of the ways to cope is through faith. Another is through family and community support. As Nancy Reagan once said, “It takes a village to raise a child.” However, from my observation, many of these villages are leaving God out of the picture and then wondering why they are failing miserably and having the teen pregnancy rates skyrocket. God must come first. We must put our faith and families back together if we want to have any chance of changing the world. We need to get out of our comfort zones and out social bubbles and reach out to others in need in our own communities. There is enough abundance in the world as long as we believe there is. The problem lies in that we buy into the lies that there is no abundance. Therefore, we continue to seek competition and disconnect ourselves from our families, our neighbors, and God only to find ourselves doomed to failure. Why? Because we have disconnected ourselves from the Source that makes the world spin. Education is another way to cope. We need to education not only the parents but the pregnant teens that it can happen to them, for many teens have the mindset that “It can’t happen to me.” I usually respond to them this way: Don’t you think that every teen mother has said that at one time or another—It can’t happen to me!” I’m here to tell them, “It can happen to me if I take the actions to make it happen to me. If I am taking the action and nothing happens, that is just a matter of time until it does. The statistics are in your favor the more you take the actions toward a certain behavior, you are creating the habit that will eventually become.” And while I’m directing this towards teen pregnancy, it can apply to any area of one’s life. For this reason, I want to propose the following challenge:

The Challenge
            I would like to challenge folks to step out of their comfort zones, to get involved, to make a difference, and to be the example to those seeking guidance. This guidance, or roadmap as I call it, can only come from God. God has to power to give, to take away, to build up, or bring you to your knees. It is only at your knees that you can truly make a difference.  I once heard this saying, “Never be taller than you are when you are standing on your knees.” This is so true. Moreover, “Be the difference you wish to see in the world. Lead by example.” Let God shine through you and live your lives as if you were the hands and feet of God. Live with integrity, meaning no closed door activities. Integrity is doing the same thing you are doing when people are watching, as well as when they are not watching. And to repeat the same thing, expecting different results is insanity. Without God, you will only find insanity. Get on your knees today and stand taller than you could on any man’s shoulders, for God will carry you in bad times and walk beside you in good times. Ask God for the Serenity Prayer to come true in your life:

“God, grant me the SERENITY
To accept the things I cannot Change,
The COURAGE to change the things I can,
And the WISDOM to know the difference.
Living one day at a time,
                                                     Enjoying one moment at a time;                           
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace;
Taking as God did, the sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it;
Trusting that You will make all things right
If I surrender to Your will;
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.”

(To be continued.... not finished!) 

Teen Pregnancy in Africa:

Teen pregnancy is on the rise in Africa and in many other places around the world. Africans are firm believers that the more children you have, the more blessed you are. In Africa, the wealth of a man is determined by the number of wives and children he is. The more children they have, the wealthier they are considered. 

 Sadly, Africans bring children into the world knowing they won't be able to care for them the way they deserve to be, and knowing they won't ever be able to afford to send their children to school- this is cruelty! Children as young as 12 and 13 are having babies in Africa! 

One reason that teen pregnancy is so common in Africa is because not a lot of teen girls even know what a condom is. Young girls in Africa tend to abandon their babies because they are unable to care for them. They also tend to practice what they see and hear on TV and on the radio. A lot of these girls end up dropping out of school and dying before they reach the age of 40. A lot of times girls will result to aborting their babies illegally. Often times they just can't afford to go to a hospital so they do things their way.

Poverty is a major reason along with lack of education that there is a rise in teenage pregnancy in Africa. Most of these young girls and boys don't know the consequences of their actions. 

 Sadly, Africans are dealing with teen pregnancy on the rise, poverty, diseases such as polio,  Malaria, and even yellow fever, chaos, hunger, and many other stressors as well. Not much is being done to eliminate the harm but there is little progress. Many donor nations have helped Africa. For example: Many countries within Africa have improved:
1.) Kenya has free primary education which has brought back 1.2 million children back to school.
2.) Ugandia has reduced HIV from 20% in 1991 to 6.5% in 2001.

Africans are facing some of the most difficult situations and although there may be some progress it really opens up my eyes as an American and makes me realize how thankful I am for what I have.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Immunizations- For or Against?


Immunizations have been something I have been doing a lot of research on lately. It's something I speak about often with my friends and other parents to get their view/opinion on it. From doing research over the past few months on this topic I have found out that there is SO much information on this. This topic is meaningful to me because I am a Mother. It's my job as a parent to know what is being injected into my children and why. A lot of articles speak about the benefits of immunizations while others speak about why they should not be given and the potential consequences. There is definitely a rise in anti-immunizations research/articles on this topic. I can assure you that the web is a very confusing place to get information on immunizations. There is just so much debate! After doing my research and talking to others and even hearing of personal stories of people's children dying from certain immunizations and seeing many online articles of this happening- I have come to a personal conclusion for me and my children and future children as far as immunizing.
What parent doesn't want to keep their children healthy and spare them from serious diseases? I personally feel that vaccines are effective and have more benefits than risks. I feel that vaccines do work to prevent children from getting serious illnesses. When it came time to decide weather or not I would vaccinate my daughter and future children I did extensive research, took a close look at the benefits/disadvantages and then made my decision. In making my decision what really helped me to make my decision was knowing that my parents always made sure I was up to date on my vaccines and looking back and remembering that I was very rarely ever sick. I feel that getting my immunizations as a child really helped to prevent me from getting sick. I never had any negative consequences to getting my vaccines. My daughter is 14 months old and she has had all of her recommended immunizations since she was born, including her influenza shot, and she has never had any negative consequences to her immunizations either.

I've read many news articles on how vaccines cause autism, SIDS, and even cancer, and how children have died from getting vaccinated and it was so sad to read these types of stories but I just didn't feel there was enough proof behind these stories to prove that immunizations have caused these types of things to happen. There is not enough evidence for me to be sold on the fact that vaccines cause death in children, and disorders such as autism, SIDS, and cancer.

I have an ex-best friend of mine that was completely against vaccinating her children. When I asked her-her thoughts on the topic and why she felt the way she did she shared with me some articles that spoke about the consequences of vaccinating. I asked her if her children's Doctor/Pediatrician was  supportive of her decision not to have her children vaccinated and she informed me that her children's doctor/Pediatrician was NOT supportive of her decision, constantly tried to get her to change her mind yet she stayed true to her decision, no one was changing her mind. One of her two boys is about to start school this year and it's required by the Elementary school for her child to get vaccinated before he enters into school. She is being forced to go against something she truly doesn't believe in and she has absolutely no say in it because it's just school policy. She has gone all these years not vaccinating her children only for her children to be vaccinated before they start school.... this is another reason I chose to believe in immunizing my children. It's required when they enter school anyways (As a parent I have no say) so there is no reason not to give them as recommended by all Doctors. I like to think that most Doctors recommend vaccines for a reason. If there were more risks then benefits I don't think Doctors would recommend them as much as they do.

With that being said- what is your opinion on immunizations? Do you vaccinate your children? Why or why not?


According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, all children should have their vaccines and be up to date. The following vaccinations are recommended for France: Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Tetanus, diphtheria, and influenza. These vaccines are recommended for travelers during certain times throughout the year. There have been many reported outbreaks in France since early as 2008 from the measles, rabies, leptospirosis, legionnaires, avion influenza, typhoid fever, and even meningococcal. I tried researching reqquired immunizations for the country in general but I could only find articles/web searches on vaccines that were required for travelers.

After reading and finding out so much about immunizations, I hope to be able to apply what I have learned into my classroom when I become a future teacher. There may be a time when a parent asks me my opinion on vaccines and the benefits/risks and now I will be able to share with them what I have learned and my view on it in hopes that I help them make the right choice for their children.


Goldberg, D. (n.d.). France. Retrieved from 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

My Daughter's Birth Story

Right before heading to the hospital for my induction. My Mother in law and I on October 17th, 2010.

Just arrived to the hospital for my induction on October 17th, 2010.

I chose to write about the birth of my daughter because it was the greatest day of my life and a learning experience that I will never forget. There are not enough words to describe how I felt that day. My daughter’s due date was October 16th, 2010. At my 39 week appointment there was no progress as far as dilation/effacement so my Doctor scheduled an induction for October 17th, 2010 just in case she did not come on her own. Needless to say, she did not come on her own. I was induced at 7:00 P.M on October 17th, 2010.  We got to the hospital to find out that I was already in labor and I didn’t even know it!! Who knows how long I was actually in labor prior to that but I was glad that I had progressed some on my own. At 8:00 P.M, I was given Misoprostal (Cytotek) which is a pill that was placed near my cervix to help with induction. With the pill being inserted, I was asked to lay flat on my back for two hours without moving. Talk about being uncomfortable!! (Not to mention this caused a lot of back labor for me.) About 30-45 minutes after the pill was inserted I started having really painful contractions.
Having contractions...

      The first time that the Doctor checked me for dilation was a little over two hours after the pill was inserted and I was 1 ½ CM dilated at that time. Contractions began to increase in intensity. I was given an injection of pain medicine into my IV to suppress pain. The medicine only last one hour. Around 1:45 A.M on October 18th, 2010 my contractions became unbearable. I decided on the epidural. I was in labor over six hours before I decided I wanted to get the epidural. I was asked twice by the nurse if I wanted it before I even started hurting and I told her no. (I wanted to be brave and see if I could do it without the epidural) I waited as long as I could and then finally decided that it would be best to go ahead and do it. At the time that I decided I would get the epidural, all the anesthesiologists had gone home for the night. They called one that was on call and I waited about 45 minutes for him to arrive. (It felt like forever!)

     After I got the epidural, I was checked for dilation. At this point I was 3-4 CM dilated.  By 3:45 A.M, I was feeling some pain but at the same time I was able to rest comfortably. At this time, I was unable to go to the bathroom by myself so I was catheterized. By 6:10 A.M, I was a good 6 CM dilated. My water bag was bulging by this time too. At 7:55 A.M, I was 9 CM dilated. At 8:15 A.M, the Doctor decided to go ahead and break my bag of water for me. This is when I found out that the baby had a bowel movement. The Doctor told me how my daughter would have to be suctioned really good when she entered into the world. At 10:10 AM, the Doctor told me that I would be able to start pushing in 30 minutes. I started pushing at 11:15 A.M. Due to the epidural, I did not feel any pain, just some pressure but it was definitely bearable compared to what I was feeling before I got the epidural.
My husband and I... he was a trooper through it all!

     Towards the end of my delivery we had a frightening emergency. The Doctor had told me to stop pushing. She had to do an internal rotation. She reached her whole arm inside of me and was trying to pull the baby’s body out. Her head had been out at this point but her body had gotten stuck. (Especially her shoulder) I noticed that the Doctor was moving really fast trying to get the baby out but it wasn’t working. The nurse applied suprapubic pressure steadily for a few minutes and had applied rough downward traction on my upper abdomen to try and get the baby to move to a different position. Even after this frightening ordeal, Lailie Nevaeh Perry was born at 11:51 A.M.   She weighed 8 pounds, 9 ounces and was 20 inches long. Her head circumference was 14 CM. She was purple when she entered into the world; the Doctor says that she was stressed out due to having shoulder dystocia. Her left shoulder was lodged pretty good up above my pelvic bone. Shoulder dystocia often causes fractures, breakage of bones, brain damage and sometimes even death along with several other life long complications. Lailie didn’t suffer any of the above. Her shoulder ended up being okay and she was perfectly healthy!! What a blessing!! Keep in mind that my husband Ryan and his Mom Sharon accompanied me at the hospital the whole night and they were both in the delivery room with me.
Our little girl arrived at 11:51 AM on October 18, 2010.

     I had a wonderful pregnancy and I can’t complain about my labor/delivery either. The hospital staff took such good care of me, everyone was so friendly and made me feel really comfortable. I couldn’t have asked for a better Doctor to deliver Lailie and my nurse was so helpful. The Doctor told me that if Lailie would have been one ounce more that she would have had to do an emergency C-section. Thankfully I was able to give birth vaginally and was out of the hospital the next day. We were able to take Lailie home between 9:30-10:00 P.M on October 19th, 2010. This was her first time sleeping at home.  
1 day old...

        The first couple of days at home were really rough because Lailie had Jaundice and her numbers kept going up. We feared that she would have to be hospitalized and be put under the lights. She had several Doctors appointments within the first few days and kept having to go back to the hospital to have her heel pricked. Thankfully by the third or fourth day, we were told that her numbers had drastically decreased and she no longer had Jaundice. What a relief!! When Lailie was just a few days old she had to have the bottom of her tongue clipped. She was what is called “Tongue tied” meaning her tongue was a little too short. If we didn’t get this clipped she would have experienced problems with feeding and speech later on down the road. Her tongue is now able to reach her lips and is a normal size.     
On the way home for the first time...

      Lailie’s umbilical cord fell off on November 1st, 2010 when she was exactly two weeks old. In her one month of life the only problem we have had so far is dealing with umbilical granuloma. Umbilical granuloma is a small piece of bright red, moist flesh that remains in the umbilicus after cord separation when normal healing should have occurred. It is a small piece of scar tissue, usually on a stalk, that did not become normally covered with skin cells. It contains no nerves and has no feeling. Depending upon when they are more flat or berry-like, these things are either cauterized with silver nitrate, tied off with a suture and allowed to wither and drop off, or just plucked off with a clamp and cauterized. At her one month appointment, her Pediatrician went ahead and used the silver nitrate on her belly button. It took a few weeks to clear up but it did improve.
Taking her for a walk- her first Thanksgiving... a few days after she was born.

One of Lailie's one year pictures...
       Lailie Nevaeh is now 14 months old and the smartest, most beautiful girl I've ever met! 
Lailie at 13 months old... one of her Christmas pictures.

There’s a little about my personal childbirth story of delivering my daughter who is such a blessing and we are currently in the process of trying to conceive another baby!!


Before giving birth in Alaska there are a few things you should know: 
1.)  "Explore your options. Did you know that in Alaska you have the choice of using a midwife in the hospital, a free-standing birth center, an O.B. in the hospital or even a home birth?  Did you know that Denali Kid Care (Medicaid) will pay for a birthing center or home birth?  Most people are surprised to hear that there are 7 free-standing birthing centers in Alaska.  Some communities in Alaska have a wide variety of birth options while others have very limited care."  ("New Book “Birthing in Alaska: A Modern Woman’s Guide”")
2.)  Choose your Doctor wisely. In Alaska, your birth outcome depends on the provider that you choose and the location of your provider. If you choose a high intervention Doctor, you are at a higher risk of a complicated birth. If you hire a low intervention O.B, general practitioner, or midwife, you will have a much higher chance of having a normal birth.
3.) Make your memories of your birth last a lifetime!
4.) "Hire a doula! Doctors, nurses, and midwives don’t have the time to give you all the support you need in labor.  A doula is a labor support professional that gives you emotional, physical, and informational support throughout your labor, start to finish.   Women who hire doulas enjoy shorter labors, experience less pain, end up with less surgical births, and have more success in early parenting and breastfeeding." ("New Book “Birthing in Alaska: A Modern Woman’s Guide”")
5.) Relax!

The good news: Fewer teens are giving birth in Alaska!

. "AlaskaBirth." New Book “Birthing in Alaska: A Modern Woman’s Guide”. N.p., 12, 07, 2011. Web. 12 Jan 2012. <>.