Hi my name is Tai-se, I’m 17-years-old and I’m a teen mum. I was 16 when I found out I was pregnant with my now 5 month-old-baby boy. When I found out I was pregnant we had just gone into national lockdown and I suffered with bad anxiety and depression. Before I got pregnant, February 2019 I was diagnosed with Non-Epileptic Attack Disorder, which means that I have seizures that are not related to epilepsy but mine were caused by stress, anxiety and depression. My last episode was February 2020 and I haven’t had one since but dealing with pregnancy and my episodes were hard.
Pregnancy by myself at the age of 16 was hard. I hated the thought of me being a single parent let alone be having to go through a pregnancy so young with my disorder and my mental health. This affected me very hard. I had a lot of worries like any other parent would of had like ‘will I have a miscarriage?’ ‘Is my child going to have any health problems?’ ‘What if my baby is too small or too big?’ ‘What if I can’t push my baby out naturally?’ And then of course with my disorder I had the thoughts of ‘what if I have an episode while pregnant?’ ‘Will that harm my baby?’ ‘What if I fall down the stairs while having an episode?’ ‘What if my baby develops this?’
Luckily, I had the support of my parents and my friends and a couple of months down the line in the last stages of my pregnancy I met my now fiancé who supported me so much.
Medical advice that I had was from the midwives. I had a lovely midwife who sat there and talked to me about all my worries and fears and about all my questions that I was having. I was told that even if I did have an episode that it wouldn’t harm my baby while my baby is still in my belly.
I was once told that labour was very easy and that I would be able to do it easily... Well that was a lie! Everyone paints this picture of labour being so calm and simple when really labour can go any way that it wants to. My labour was very stressful but that was only because I stressed myself out a lot.
My contractions were really painful and it didn’t help that I can’t take pain. I’m the type to graze my knee and cry so when I felt those contractions, I knew straight away that I wanted an epidural. When I arrived at the hospital at 3 in the morning, I was told that I was 3cm dilated so there was no point in me going home. I dilated to 9cm really fast but once I got to 9cm my labour started to slow down. My son is stubborn like me so he didn’t want to move down my birth canal and he started scaring everyone but an hour later at 1:55pm he arrived safely and I pushed him out. I originally wanted a water birth but because of my disorder nothing was ready in time.
It’s been 5 months since I’ve given birth and I still haven’t had an episode however, I can say that being a mum is wonderful and I wouldn’t have changed anything for the world. Mentally, I’ve had some ups and downs but that’s just me in general. There have been times where I’ve wanted to give up but all I have to do is look at my son and see what I created to know that I can’t give up on him. Being a new mum is hard especially now that we’re in a pandemic.
At first, I thought things were gonna be easy as when I was in the hospital I had no problems but once I got home that’s when things got hard for me. I’ve met loads of young parents online, which has made things easier as I know I can always talk to them and see how they get on with things. I’ve still got loads of support from family and friends and I’ve even joined a baby massage group!
My advice to any other young parent that is struggling with a medical problem is try not to stress. I know when people say that you think it’s easier said than done but really try. However, if you have any concerns definitely speak to a health professional like your GP or midwife.
There’s always someone there that you can talk to and health professionals are always available to offer professional advice. Take your time and explain all your concerns, they want what is best for you and your baby. No question is silly! I haven’t been in touch with any organisations or charities yet apart from Little Lullaby, however I do plan on either joining another teen parent organisation to help others just like me and one day I hope to have my own organisation to help others!