Day 4: Guest Post by Janine Sherman, MSN WHNP-BC

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Day 4 – Guest Post

The Importance of Open Communication
by Janine Sherman, MSN WHNP-BC

NOTE: This is a TRUE story.

One day I received a call from a patient who told me her 16 year old daughter hadn’t had a period in a few months and that she had put on a few pounds. My first question for her was could the daughter be pregnant? The mom promptly responded that would be impossible. I asked if her daughter had a boyfriend and the mom told me yes, but that they were never alone. I told her to bring her daughter into the office.

When I saw the adolescent, I couldn’t believe my eyes; she looked pregnant and not just a few weeks. I got a urine pregnancy test that came back positive. I asked the girl while we were alone if she thought she could be pregnant and she exclaimed “no!” Then I asked if she ever had sex and she replied “well, sort of…” Then I told her we needed to examine her and perform an ultrasound of her uterus.

When I started the ultrasound, I was shocked to see a very well-formed 23 week fetus, which would be about 6 months pregnant. When I told the girl that she was pregnant, she had a blank look on her face; I asked her to look at the screen to see the very active fetus. I brought her mother back and we broke the news to her, pointing out the ultrasound pictures. They were all in shock. Even after the scan, she still seemed in a state of denial. We spent the next hour talking about options. It still makes me sad that the option that they had chosen was to terminate the pregnancy.

The worst part of this is that if there had been real honest communication between the mom and her daughter, this situation would have been preventable. It was just very clear that neither mother nor daughter were comfortable talking to each other about anything related to sex. Remember it is your job as a mother to ask the hard questions, and do not be afraid to set boundaries.

NOTE from Blog Owner: To those who comment on this post, please let’s NOT discuss the pro-choice VS pro-life part of this story. Let’s focus on the need for communcation with our daughters and on other such matters.

Want to buy Start Talking by Mary Jo Rapini and Janine Sherman?

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.