Learning that my teenage daughter was pregnant was very hard. It brought up so many issues, so many questions...so many insecurities. I wondered if her choice to have sex and her choice to keep the baby was an indictment on my parenting. Where did i go wrong?
Ever since she was young, i brought my daughter everywhere with me. And where possible, i worked at every school she attended. I wanted to be near. I loved so much sharing my life with her and her sharing her life with me. No matter how busy my life was, no matter the demands placed on my time by work and study, i kept her close. I never wanted her to have the life of an absent parent...someone so busy helping the world or working that she/he wouldn't have time to nurture her/his own child.
Over the years, i watched her grow. She dealt with loss and several large challenges at a young age. I did my best to help her work through them. And attempted to bring others into her life to offer love and support. She is such a wonderful child...and every year, every moment of her life i have loved and cherished. If there is such a thing as a blessing (i am not a religious person in any way), then she certainly is it.
As she grew older, we had many conversations about menstruation, relationships, sex, pregnancy, disease, sexual abuse, self-love, life's purpose, walking with integrity, and so on. The discussions about sex, in particular, were hard for me but i knew that making informed decisions was more important than making decisions without accurate information. My hope was that with all of this information, she would make different choices or do a better job protecting herself.
But she still became pregnant. And she chose to keep the baby.
It has taken time to accept this decision. I had so many plans for her...i had her life all mapped out. She would first go here and then there. And then she would do this and then that. What parent doesn't have hopes and dreams for their children? All the good work that goes into rearing a child. All the love and commitment, all the sacrifice and investment, all the struggles and joys. But she was/is determined to make her life. My hope now is that she continues to learn from her's and other's successes, mistakes and challenges. And i am confident that she will.
But knowing that she will get through this didn't stop me from feeling the disappointment in her, but mainly in myself. What could i have done differently? But the time for those questions has passed. Now i am helping to pave the way for a healthy and positive birth experience. Now that we know the baby is coming, it is important to welcome her/him into the world with love. The baby should never be made to feel as though she/he was unwanted in any way. The baby should know that her/his life was meant to be, that her/his life is so valuable and that nothing in the world will get in the way of her/his coming.
And as for my daughter. Her life will go on. And she will do well, even or especially with her miniature life partner.