It makes me wonder… how do mothers feel when they bring their daughter to the emergency room due to intense abdominal pain, anticipating that they might be confined and operated on, and then suddenly, slapped with the findings that their daughter is due to deliver a baby at that very moment?
Shocked? Horrified? Happy? Betrayed?
This is the story of three mothers…
She owns an apartment for rent at the metropolis but she is based at the province. She has a daughter studying also at the metropolis and was supposed to be in her 3rd year of nursing school. By the first semester however, she didn’t enroll, but kept on receiving allowance as if she were still studying. She was pregnant and never told her family about it out of fear.
One time, the mother came over to visit her and see the tenants of the apartment they are renting out. Her daughter complained of severe abdominal pain. She thought her daughter has acute appendicitis needing emergency medical attention. She rushed her daughter to the emergency room at the Surgery section. She was attended to immediately but she wondered why an OB-Gyne resident was being called. The OB-Gyne resident did her examination and told the mother, your daughter is 28-weeks pregnant, is fully dilated and needs to be wheeled to the delivery room as baby could come out in a few minutes. No prenatal check-ups done whatsoever.
She also is based in the province and sent her daughter to a university to study. The daughter is already on her 4th year of schooling. She got pregnant by her boyfriend who is her batch mate. She never told her parents about it, didn’t go home during summer breaks and took up summer classes instead. Even before enrollment for the first semester, she didn’t go home. (Maybe her parents thought she is diligent and is eager to finish her studies on time as she was already about to be in her 4th year).
The daughter at least saw an obstetrician few days before, but still didn’t inform her parents of her condition. Then she came because she had preterm labor. She gave birth to a preterm baby who encountered all the problems a preterm would. Then the innocent mother at the province was called up, informed for the very first time that the daughter was pregnant, in the wee hours of the morning, being summoned to bring money for the hospital expenses.
An emergency call in the wee hours of the morning woke me up telling me of a walk-in admission for pediatric care. The mother is 20 years old, first time pregnant, came if due to second stage of labor, fully dilated and is about to deliver that hour. I was also informed that the expectant mother is a student, and never had prenatal check-ups for this pregnancy.
I drove to the hospital to attend the baby’s delivery. While doing the latching on and awaiting the baby to suckle, I was asking the mother who was half-sedated. She said she never informed her family about her condition out of fear again. The school where she studies also does not know of her condition. She was supposed to have a quiz later in the day but we told her she can’t go to school yet. The OB told her that anyway she will be given a medical certificate. Then she panicked, what will be written in the certificate? I told her, the truth. Then she said the school has no knowledge of her pregnancy. So we told her, we will talk to her later when she becomes fully awake. She never had prenatal check-up thus her baby ended term, but very small for her age.
As for her mother, she went home, to get some things both for the mother and the newly born baby. They came unprepared for this unexpected delivery.
Which brings me back to the question… how do these mother react to this news of their daughter, having known of their daughter’s pregnancy the very first time, at that very moment? Do they feel embarrassed that they never knew of it, and they have known it in a very painful manner, in front of the medical personnel? Do they feel that the medical professionals think they are negligent because how could not they find out their daughter’s condition when pregnancy is something hard to be hidden? Do they fear what their neighbors would say that instead of a college diploma, their daughters brought home a baby instead? Do they feel crashed that their dreams for their daughters may no longer come true as their daughter has to start a family of her own already? If they get angry, they should be understood. Their trust was betrayed.
These teenage moms? While they seem to be at fault, the best approach for them now is to accept their situation, avoid telling things that will aggravate their guilt feelings and help them start their new life. But this should not be tolerated. Parents should now let their daughters stand on their own. They could help but should not be the sole provider all over again. They may supervise but should not dictate how their daughters should run their lives. Parents should remember that they can only do so much, but not to the extent of tolerating everything.
(PHOTO COURTESY OF: http://philippinephotography.blogspot.com/2008/05/batang-ina-photo-documentary-on-teenage.html)