Sharonda Jenkins was a skinny 12-year-old in the sixth grade when she became a preteen mom. She was at a relative’s house, and the boy was a friend a few years older than herself.
“I’m not sure how it happened,” Jenkins told the Miami Herald. “We did not know what we were doing.”
Her menstrual cycle stopped, her breasts began growing, and her baby’s movements were even noticeable.
Jenkins felt the baby move, but didn’t know it was actually a baby, and she would squeeze her stomach hoping the sensation would go away.
The preteen had not been aware that the signs and symptoms she was experiencing were because she was pregnant.
On top of that, she had no morning sickness and a small stomach. So it wasn’t until she was five months along that the pregnancy was finally discovered.
And once the news got around, she became known as the pregnant 12-year-old who made a very bad mistake.
She lost many friends during that time, both from being told to home school by her principal and from parents believing her bad influence would rub off on their own kids. Many people even suggested her mom should have taken her to have an abortion.
But Jenkins refused to have an abortion and refused to give into the idea that her life was forever ruined.
The nurse supporting her when she gave birth to her healthy daughter made a statement that Jenkins has never forgotten.
According to an essay Jenkins wrote, the nurse told the young and scared mom, “God would have never given you that child if He didn’t think you could care for her.”
Jenkins, now a 32-year-old married woman, reflects back on her preteen pregnancy with no regrets for not having an abortion.
Jenkins went back to middle school after having the baby. Then, she went on to graduate from high school and later went to Denmark Technical College where she earned a practical nursing diploma.
As a Licensed Practical Nurse, she is particularly empathic and understanding. While she was still in nursing school, she wrote a personal essay during the maternity care section of a class.
Little Girl Gets Pregnant at Age 12. Told to Abort Baby But She Refusedhttps://t.co/jZdkP7jH20
— Liftable.com (@liftableonline) February 15, 2018
“I would now like to speak on behalf of preteen and teen moms to all nurses. Please be sensitive to our situations the same way you would be to an expecting mother of age,” she wrote.
“There is not enough good in the best of us to criticize the bad in the rest of us,” the mother finished her essay.
Jenkins now has two daughters, ages 19 and 10, and has been married for over 11 years. Her advice urging nurses to be sensitive to preteen and teen mothers is wise advice for all of us who want to see the best outcome for all mothers and babies.
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