I explained to the mother again why her baby couldn't go home, because he still had an IV in and wasn't eating enough to take the IV out, and assured her we would send her home as soon as possible. She was very nice. She was also only 16 years old, but was trying to do her best in the strange environment of the NICU. I asked her if she was going to school, hoping that she was enrolled in the special high school in our area for pregnant teens. She said she was home schooling for now but was planning on going back to school.
I cannot imagine having a baby when I was 16. It seems I barely knew where babies came from at that age. Sixteen year olds should be out at the mall with their friends, or playing a high school sport, or doing homework. They shouldn't have to be caring for a baby all the time. This mom is missing her teenage years.
Today we admitted another baby for antibiotics. That baby's mother was only 20 years old, but she looked like she was about 30. This was her third baby. She had a five year old and a two year old at home. Can you imagine having the responsibility of three children at age 20? It's almost mind boggling.
I feel sorry for these young moms. I know they love their kids and are appropriately concerned about them, but I think even they would admit their lives would be better if they could have delayed child rearing for a while. Even if we ignore the economic consequences - teenage mothers have a tough time getting a good education and job - the social consequences alone, the absence of a relatively carefree adolescence, is enough to make teenage motherhood an unfortunate thing.
P.S. So long to Geek Nurse, whose blog - for unclear reasons - was recently shut down. I think I'll keep blogging anonymously.