Saturday, 21 July 2012

Responsibility

If you're over the age of 21, think back to that age.  Think about what you were doing and what your responsibilities were.  I would venture that many of my readers were perhaps starting their first job, getting their careers underway, maybe dating, though probably not seriously.  I was just finished college, about to start graduate school.  I was still a year away from meeting my wife, so I was blissfully (read: miserably) single.  

If you're under 21, think about where you are now and what you're doing.  Now keep that thought in your head for the next few minutes, because it's about to get blown away.

I was consulted by one of our obstetricians on a 21-year old woman due to abdominal pain which turned out to be from gallstones.  She was 19 weeks pregnant, and her pain from the gallstones wouldn't go away.  The second trimester is a good time to do surgery, so I discussed the risks of removing her gall bladder laparoscopically, including the remote risk of losing the fetus.  During the discussion, I asked if this was her first pregnancy.

"No, it's my fifth."

HOLY SHIT that's a lot of pregnancies for such a young woman, I thought.  Fortunately my mouth was smarter than my brain and said, "So how many children do you have?"

"Oh, I have four.  They're 5, 4, 2, and my baby is 1."

That's right - she's 21 and is pregnant with her fifth child.  Think about that for a moment.  When I was that age I could barely match a tie with a shirt and pants, and I was barely responsible enough to feed and clothe myself let alone 5 other tiny people who are completely dependent on me.

I'm not judging her parenting ability, because I didn't see that in action.  She may be the best mother in the world.  What I am judging, however, is bringing that many new people into this world which is already fucked up enough as it is.

18 comments:

  1. I'm sure she has known a world of abuse and doesn't understand your world either.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Normally, I enjoy your blog.

    However, isn't it a little ineffectual to give a look askance to people with multiple children AFTER the children are born? They're here already, and they have a right to life too. Childbirth is NOT a disease. Deal with it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nowhere did I see doc compare childhood to a disease. Like he says, there is no way to know how good of a parent she is, but if you think back to your life at twenty one I'm pretty damn sure you, or 99 percent of the rest of the world could afford five kids. The children have a right to life, but why imagine what kind of childhood you would have had with 4 siblings and non established parents.

      Delete
    2. KamikazeSpider - Who ever compared childbirth to a disease? All I did was imply that it's irresponsible to bring that many children into the world at such a young age. As I said, she may be the best mother in the world and may well be able to afford to feed and clothe five children, but having interacted with her and her "husband" several times, I strongly suspect she is not.

      Delete
  3. I have read that statistically a woman who has one child before the age of 18 is astonishingly more likely to have another within a year, but this is just ridiculous!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Could go either way because the onesi met are happy with there one child

      Delete
  4. How how's her gallstone?
    Same man with 5 kids or multiple fathers?
    Anyway when I was 24 I met a girl my age with 6 kids and 6 different fathers. I have no clue how she managed to raise them all alone with no father figure in the picture

    ReplyDelete
  5. And there are those who judge my daughter-in-law because she doesn't want to produce more children. My grandson is a hemophiliac and his mother is a type 1 diabetic. Not a genetic match. Why would she want another pregnancy? Don't hate.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Huh. I'm 23 and I thought my friends with 2 kids was crazy. I can't imagine having 5 kids....and at the rate she's going, she'll be up to 8 or even 10 by the time she's my age!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Although I agree 5 is a bit much, age doesn't really matter in all cases! I just turned 22, 2 weeks ago and I'm 20 weeks pregnant with my second.. Yes it was planned, and this baby was a long year of hoping! My "husband" and I are very well established at 22 and 23! We may not be doctors but could comfortably raise 5 children if we chose to. However 2 is enough for us.

    ReplyDelete
  8. At 21 I was pretty much half-way through 8 years at university. I had just about met my wife but was 2 years from us becoming an item and 10 years from having our first child.

    It amazes me how differently people approach having kids: I will admit that at 28 I was not at all sure that I could handle being a dad or that we were stable and ready enough to have a family. Conversely, some people seem to give it barely any thought. Thankfully I seem to cope OK, but actually so do most people, so far as I can see.

    In fact I now suspect that if you think about it too much you will never consider yourself perfectly ready for such things - you grow (and indeed grow-up) to meet these things rather than being ready for them. However, to my mind a first kid at 16 and 5 by the age of 21 is too much growing up, too fast. It's nice to have some adult life for yourself before you become an accessory to your children.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Okay, first off, I think your blog is great. That's why I showed it to my Aunt and Uncle.

    They say that no reputable Doctor would post real X-rays and stuff online, nor discuss the sort of things you do, no matter how anonymous it is, because of patient confidentiality and the fact that they could sue you and all.
    So are you legit? And how come you can post those X-rays and such?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not a doctor but I'm sure case histories, X-rays etc get published in medical journals all the time - they are public and you don't need to be a doctor to buy a journal. That's why humans are unique - we can learn from the experiences of others without having to be shown/told directly by them. You could argue that this blog is not here in the name of medical scholarship but the issues of confidentiality would be the same.

      Personally, I think the doc' is legit. Or at least I see nothing here to suggest otherwise.

      Delete
    2. Kate -

      It depends on what you mean by "legit" and "reputable". I can assure you that I am legitimately a doctor, and I am quite reputable. I have a feeling that your aunt nor uncle are A) American (based on the "they could sue you") and B) not in healthcare, or if they are they only have a passing knowledge of confidentiality laws and/or medical ethics. Doctors and other healthcare personnel are free to discuss anything regarding their patients as long as the patients are not identifiable in any way. If you go back through my blog, I have been meticulously careful in maintaining the anonymity of all my patients.

      The litigious attitude ("I'M GOING TO SUE YOU!") is mainly limited to Americans, from what I understand. However, if anyone can identify any of my patients based on what I've posted, I will take the post down immediately and issue a public apology. Keep in mind, though, that I often change certain details to protect privacy, including age and gender.

      Delete
  10. Well, you're right. They are American. And neither or them are Doctors or Medical professionals. In fact, one of them is a lawyer. But yeah, they're American, Republican Christians.

    Anyways, I was just curious. I do and did think you were legit, mostly because of the way you talked and all of the medical knowledge you displayed.

    Either ways, I love your site. Whenever I visit, I usually crack up a lot.

    I honestly can't fathom what on earth the woman in this post must have been thinking. I mean, yes, I am a teenager, but at the moment, I don't want ANY kids, let alone five. And I wouldn't even consider having kids until I was at least 30 or so. Or at least had an established career. I suppose It'd be a little harsh to say that this post made me lose even more faith in humanity, bringing that many kids into the world, most of them while their mother is still a teenager?

    ReplyDelete
  11. I appreciate that you wrapped up with the admission that you can't know what her parenting skills are like, and that she may be the most wonderful mother ever (or whatever). That was very respectable of you. What saddens me is seeing young men and women have an abundance of kids that they conceivably cannot properly care for, yet there are those (like myself) who cannot conceive at all and yet would LOVE the chance to have a youngun. In a perfect world...

    ReplyDelete

If you post spam or advertisements, I will hunt you down and eliminate you.

Comments may be moderated. Trolls will be deleted, and off-topic comments will not be approved.

Web-hosted images may be included thusly: [im]image url here[/im]. Maybe. I'm testing it.