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16 yr old Niece is expecting

45 replies

Ronniebaby · 06/10/2004 12:18

Dont get me wrong, I'm sure it is a wonderful thing to have kids early, but my niece is not the Maturist of girls, after discussing with her boyfriend before she fell pregnant that maybe their relationship wasnt the strongest of ones, then falling pregnant, she wasnt anti abortion, but after visiting Brook advisory, was adamant she wasnt going to get rid of it, yet had taken the morning after pill, which technically could be deemed as getting rid.

Now 4 months in to her pregnancy, and having been told by my sister, that she will help with the baby, but isnt taking on the baby it is my nieces respoibility, my mature niece is now throwing at us, well I'll get it adopted or fostered.

And is moaning that her 19 yr boyfriend doesnt understand and wants to go out night clubbing etc and she isnt comfortable anymore with night clubbing and smokey pubs.

Tells my sister that she crys herself to sleep at night, having now realised that she is ruining her life, and that the family arent being supportive just negative about everything.

Had I have known earlier I would have given her advice on child rearing etc, maybe discussed all possibilities, but my niece is more stubborn that a mule.

I wouldnt have made her get rid, just would have help her weight up the pro's & con's, explained that her BF may not stick around, and what life would be like from now on.

I will be very supportive to her, but as I am due in December I cant be as supportive as I would wish to be as I will have my own bundle of joy/screaming to think of.

Are we being selfish, (not just my family but people in general) thinking maybe 16 is to young???

OP posts:
Thomcat · 06/10/2004 12:21

Well it is young and in many people's eyes not ideal, but i'm sure she'll make a great mum, she'll just need some support from her family and they'll both be just fine.

anorak · 06/10/2004 12:24

Better get her on mumsnet quick so she can get all the support it offers!

Thomcat · 06/10/2004 12:31

She's going to go through so many emotions. Perhaps you could help put her in touch with other young mothers? Maybe you/your sister could speak to a health visitor in the area and see if she could point you in the direction of a young mothers club or something?

beansmum · 06/10/2004 12:31

maybe 16 is too young but there is nothing you can do about it now except be as supportive as possible. she will need loads of help but is definitely not ruining her life.

my ds was totally unplanned and his dad is a complete idiot who i don't see anymore. i have great parents though who have been really helpful, hrelping me buy a house and agreeing to pay for chldcare so i can finish uni. don't regret having ds for a second.

jampot · 06/10/2004 12:38

I think you're right Ronnie - 16 is very young - I certainly wouldn;t have been ready at 16 (I wasn't at 25!!

However I hope that as the pregnancy progresses she becomes more "responsible" about what she is actually doing with or without bf. I am sure your family will be/are being supportive but at 16 the world really does revolve around you!

Amfs · 06/10/2004 12:39

She's going to grow up very fast as soon as that baby is placed in her arms .. you can't expect her to do it whilst she's pregnant .. we all obsess about ourselves when pregnant with first child, don't we? and none of us truly realise what its like until we have our babies

if she still wants to give it away for adoption when its born then that's also a valid decision and one that will probably make someone else's wish and dreams of a family of their own come true

Amfs · 06/10/2004 13:04

and she is showing a certain maturity in the 'not feeling comfortable with night clubbing and smokey pubs" too

hester · 06/10/2004 13:05

Poor little thing. I was pregnant myself at that age and remember being so scared . Plus she's probably ricocheting in that teenage way between 'I'm a grown up, leave me alone' and 'I'm a baby, look after me'. Agree with other posts that some external support could help - a young mother's group or similar. Also, some hospitals now have specialist midwives for teen mothers.

Beetlebug · 06/10/2004 13:28

Hi Ronniebaby.
This is a subject quite close to my heart. I fell pregnant at 17 with my first child (gave birth at 18)and being my mothers only child of course she had concerns about me ruining my life as I was always hugely ambitious. She let me know from the get go that although she would guide me and support me where ever possible I'd made this baby and was responsible for him. My boyfriend was very unhappy about the thought of becoming a father (he was a year younger than me) and I was was left to do alot of the parenting on my own. Unfortunately my mother was killed before my son was born and I was on my own. I had to organise the funeral on my own and it was a dreadful experience. The father of my child came back into the picture and I fell pregnant again at 19 and was immediatley written off as being a lazy no good teenage mother abusing the state and destined to claim income support forever. Now 10 years later my ds is 10, my dd is 9, my then horrid boyfriend is now my wonderful husband (we got married on Valentines day this year), we are home owners, I am a learning centre assistant in a college, my husband is a train driver and I am due to have baby No 3 in March. My life although it had a difficult start is fantastic now. Although you may not be able to give your neice as much support as you'd like there is still plenty you can do. People will give her a bl*y hard time and there will be some negative remarks but with your support and guidance she will learn to overcome them and become a great person. Keep telling her what a fantastic job she's doing and be approachable. I wish her, you and her mother all the luck in the world.

Uwila · 06/10/2004 13:33

OMG, I better get off this website so I can keep from crying on my desk at work! That was the sadest story...

suzywong · 06/10/2004 13:39

Beetlebug, perhaps YOU could be the one to get in touch with Ronniebaby's niece, as that is one of the most positive posts I have read in a long time, good on ya mate!

Beetlebug · 06/10/2004 13:39

but it has a happy ending Uwila!!!! Not my intention to make anybody cry...promise. Just wanted to let people know that being pregnant at a young is not always a bad thing.

Beetlebug · 06/10/2004 13:41

Thanks suzy! I would be more than happy to do this. I think it's soooooo important for teen mums to know that they count too.

bundle · 06/10/2004 13:42

a friend of mine adopted a girl whose birth mother was 16 or 17 when she gave birth (quite early) and I believe her decision to go for adoption has been a positive one for all involved. with the right support i hope ronniebaby's niece can decide what's best for her and the baby, including inspirational stories like beetlebug's.

snmum · 06/10/2004 13:43


I really think we are not to judge what others decide. yes 16 is young but your sister is going to have to let her daughter make her own decisions. If neice is threatening to have the child adopted, maybe suggest she has the child fostered for a while so she can take the responsibility of her own child and make her mind up slowly. What your sister must not do is back down and start looking after her grandchild when your neice should be doing it. i am a heartless cow and i think she has made her bed and she will have to lie in it. I really think though once the child is born, your neice WILL grow up. i was 21 when i had my first and boy did i grow up. faster than my husband who was 8 years older than me. I think you just 'do' grow up tbh.

i really hope things do work out for her, because it will be bloody hard work!

I have seen it from all angles in amongst my own family and friends. My sil had a baby adopted at 14 and then went on to have another child at 32. You would have thought at 32 she 'would' make a better mother, but if i am very truthful (and judgemental!) she isnt. i dont think age makes you a better mother either way. But that is my own,very honest opinion!

harrassedmum · 06/10/2004 13:45

God beetlebug, how amazing! Loosing your mum like that must be about the hardest thing you can cope with!

Ronniebaby, i can totally understand your concerns, she sounds really desperate for some reassurance, but it can be hard at any age! Even though i fell pg at 24 i was still really immature, only interested in clubbing etc, but had to grow up fast. I was lucky to have great support, though not from the dad, but i did have to take the responsibility on myself and its the best thing ive ever done. I also know other people whohave had babies young and done ok, going back into education later in life etc. Im sure there will be support groups near by for young mums, or volunteers who can help such as home start. Good luck with your pregnancy, by the way!

tammybear · 06/10/2004 13:53

I was 17 when I got pregnant. At the time, I was completely anti-abortion, but kept telling myself I cant do this, Im not ready, Im too young to be a mum etc. I wasn't responsible or mature or anything either. But having dd changed me completely, and made me such a strong and mature person. Everyone says that Ive changed so much, and it wasnt so much because I wanted to, it was because I had to. I stuck it out with my exp as I didnt want to be a single mum at 18 but I got to the point where I wanted to be on my own. It does seem such a daunting thing, committing yourself to raising a child for the rest of your life at such a young age where you've hardly lived your life yourself, but I would say having dd was the best thing that could have happened to me as it has made me a better person.

She's probably feeling very confused, and does sound like she wants the baby but is afraid of losing everyone that loves her and supports her, especially if her family are not being very supportive and so is starting to think of other options such as adoption. She may not stick with that idea as she may change her mind completely and fall in love with her baby when she's had him/her as we all do. I was just looking at this website which is trying to get more respect and support for young mums. Does her area that she lives in have a group for young parents? I had a midwife who was for just young mums and she was great.

KateandtheGirls · 06/10/2004 14:07

I'm confused about the idea of her "threatening" to have the baby adopted. Adoption may very well be the best route for her to take, and she is the only one who can decide that.

I think if it was my daughter I would offer all the support I could, including talking through the various options. If she decided to keep the baby I would offer whatever practical support I could but be insistent that the baby would not be my responsibility. If she decided to abort I would support her 100%. If she decided to adopt I would also support her 100%, even if I myself may be sad about losing my grandchild.

Of course, my oldest is only 5, so I haven't been in this situation. And I was 27 and had been happily married for 5 years before I had my first child, so I haven't been in your neices situation. But I do think that it how I would react.

Cam · 06/10/2004 14:10

Yes of course 16 is too young (I should know) but your neice needs all the support she can get for whatever decision she makes. It is vital that she feels able to rely on her adult relatives for help as she is extremely vulnerable right now. All pregnant women deserve as much support as possible no matter what the circumstances of conception. I wish her and the rest of her family the best of luck with this big change in their lives.

sweetheart · 06/10/2004 14:37

I'm so glad this thread has a positive vibe. I would have been so upset if it didn't.

I fell preg with dd when I was 18. My partner and I got married a year after dd was born and are now living in our second home.

It has been hard at times and I agree with Beetlebug that young mums have a stigma attached which is very hard to shake and can be very upsetting BUT if you have the love and support of a family and are a strong willed person than anything is possible.

I work full time and have also gone back to college since dd and am now studying to be an accountant. My dh and I have a fantastic life and I wouldn't change anything.

Tell her to stay strong and focused and she'll be fine

suedonim · 06/10/2004 14:39

I think NCT is doing work with young mums - try calling them on 0870 444 8707.

My friend, M, has been put it the same position as your sister, Ronniebaby, except her 17yo dd, R, didn't tell her mum she was pg until she was in labour!! R kept the baby, he's about 18mths now, but there's no doubt it's put a huge strain on the family. M's dh had begun a new job 300 miles away and they were to move there but now R won't move away from her friends and the baby's father, so M and her dh only see each other once a fortnight. M acknowledges she has been almost too supportive with the baby, as R depends on M for all sorts of decisions, panicking at minor events etc and she can't cope witht he baby.

I think your sister and niece need to sit down and try to think through how they would tackle the whole thing, what hopes your sister has for the future (whether she works FT, what plans she has now her family are older etc) and how your niece sees her future. Only then can your niece make her decision, whatever she decides to do.

MTS · 06/10/2004 14:41

i think everyone else has posted what I would have said - so just a few comments; what is your niece planning to do education wise? can she carry on at school college? is there a local mum/pg girl and education unit? also is your niece anywhere near a SureStart area - even if she is a few miles outside the catchment area, her HV could refer her there, and they do loads of free classes etc; parenting classes, gym/educational classes with creche, baby massage classes, toddler groups, toy libraries - they are a brilliant resource.

also does your niece know how to bottle feed a baby/change a nappy/bath a baby etc - learning the little practicalities will help now. BTW not just assuming off hand that your niece will bottle feed rather than breast feed - but even then it never does any harm to learn these things when you are less tired/hormonal etc than just after childbirth

roisin · 06/10/2004 14:53

Hmmm... I had a baby adopted at birth when I was a teenager, and I have to say it is the hardest thing I have ever done, and the ongoing implications of such a decision are immense. I certainly would not actively try and persuade anyone else to make the decision I did. (Of course the ongoing implications of keeping a child are immense too, I just thought I should offer a view from a different perspective.)

But ultimately the decision I made was in everyone's best interests, and I have to conclude that if I had my time over ... [I wouldn't get pregnant in the first place!]... sorry, seriously if I had my time over I would make the same decision again, even though 15 yrs on it still makes me cry sometimes.

Ronniebaby · 06/10/2004 15:27

Ladies Ladies, thank you so much for your comments.

I will reply to as many in a minute, (Kateandthe girls) my niece is the type of person who altho says it is her decision to have it adopted will find a way of blaming my sister and the family regardless.

Now then to the replies (if I dont actualy reply to you directly, thank you very much for your comments) I will be printing out this thread and giving it to my Niece.

Firstly in my own opinion and this is MY opinion, I do think 16 is too young, but its happened and we cant change that. I am not a judgemental person, and would never judge anyone on their actions, god I've made enough mistakes in my life already to last a life time and I'm sure I have more to make yet.

Her family will always be there for her no matter what, but as I said before she is the most stubbornist person I know and that bets me as I'm very stubborn toooooo. But she is the type of person even if you give her an inch she will take a mile and then blame you for her mistakes. You really cant win or do right for doing wrong with her.

I havent yet seen my niece as my sister told me on the phone only today, but I will look up as much info for her as possible and let her read my MN book on pregn. I will try to get and see my niece very soon to chat and I am a very open and not narrow minded person I will listen and give her advie and support, I am possibly the only on in the family she listens to, but it is a bit late for that.

I personally dont beleive in abortion, but in the right circumstances think maybe it is for the best, I am not saying this is one of them.

I very much support my sister and agree to some degree that this is my nieces choice (mistake whatever you wanna call it), and that my sis shouldnt have to give up her life for her grandchild, my sis will give her more than enough support, so will the rest of the family (me included), but for my niece it will never be enough.

snmum - I agree it is her bed etc, but as I've said my niece just goes on the defensive and tries blackmail almost (adoption etc), she knows non of her family would wish her to do that, but again we will stand by her decision

Beetlebug - you made me cry, my hormones are all over the place as it is, but gosh what you went thru, I couldnt begin to imagine, you are very brave and deserve all the good things in life.

I am pleased that the vibes on this are good, and if you think gosh she's gonna show her niece this even with her comment on it, Yep, I dont beat about the bush with my family, I tell them straight what I think, firstly it is my opinion and I am allowed a certain amount of freedom of speech and secondly my niece knows me well enough to know I am not being malicious just caring/supportive.

Thank you once again ladies

OP posts:
SpringChicken · 06/10/2004 15:46

Know everyone has already said it Ronniebabe but definitely just give her as much support as possible!
I dont know how close the 2 of you are but let her know that if there is anything at all that is bothering her or anything she wants to bitch or moan about then she can come to you.
If he DP turns ou to be a complete waste of space she is going to need comfort and support not someone telling her "i told you so" (Not saying you or your sister would do this).

I had my DD when i was 19 - people were surprised to find out she was completely planned and very much wanted and waited for (we had been trying for 11 months before i conceived)! DP and i own our own home, are in the process of moving, own our own cars, DP works full time and i work part time.
Your nece just needs to accept that yes it is going to be hard at time but the rewards she will get from seeing her beautiful baby grow and learn are so much greater than any of the bad points.
I hope everything works out OK x

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