• Fri, Jul 6 2012

Tragic Story Proves Why We Need To Educate At-Risk Moms-To-Be About Prenatal Care

Every mother has her own personal style and philosophy. At this website and others like it, we spend a lot of time discussing choices, making suggestions and debating philosophies. Some parents loved to get involved in those conversations. And some choose simply to trust their gut and listen to their own instinct.

I think both choices are valid and both can produce amazing families and children. But there’s a point when the “Live and let live” motherhood agreement gets pushed too far. There’s a place where it stops being about personal choice and starts becoming a safety issue. And one blogger brilliantly demonstrated the point where that “personal choice” goes too far and endangers the lives of children. And whether it’s from a lack of information or a lack of interest, the results can be disastrous.

Today, a friend of mine sent me the sad story of a young mother, who obviously didn’t understand the responsibility of being a parent. On the blog, “Get Off My Internets” they tell the story of Karlee Malik and her boyfriend Bam. The tragedy is pieced together from both the young mother’s Facebook page and the blog of the girl’s sister Kayla.

Karlee was recently pregnant for a second time. Evidently having  never had a prenatal appointment,  Karlee had quite a surprise waiting for her when she went into early labor. According to Kayla, who addressed a letter to her own child on the matter:

On June 25th your aunt Karlee had surprise twin boys; Kyle Fly and Miles Trust.  They were 6 weeks early so they were very tiny and under a lot of stress.  They were both doing pretty good, but Kyle was barely hanging in there.  He passed away last night at 4:09am.

This tragic end to a tragically mishandled pregnancy is being dealt with by Karlee the only way she knows how:

Resting up in this hotel with my lover Bam. Glad i got my pain med. Filled i was hurtin 2 badly. Pickin up kyles ash’s tomorrow cant wait 2 get them on necklesses :-)

This young woman had no prenatal care. She didn’t realize she was having twins. On her various social media accounts she talks about living in the woods with her boyfriend and smoking pot throughout her pregnancy. She just seems to have no idea what responsibility is or what a mother should do to take care of her children. And it’s tragic. It’s tragic to think that she wanted those babies, but didn’t realize what she was doing to them.

There are a lot of conversations about parenthood to be had. And there are a lot of people who are honestly trying to be the best parents they can. But we forget about the need to inform and educate moms and dads who aren’t actively engaged in parenthood.

I think about all the readers that I interact with throughout the day. We may disagree on some choices, but we’re all active parents, we’re all engaged in learning more and doing out best. I think we’re all solely concerned with raising happy, healthy and confident children.

We forget that there’s this whole group of parents who aren’t discussing the merits of attachment versus free-range. They’re not debating homemade versus jarred baby food. They aren’t worried about new statistics on discipline techniques. And we spend so much time in those conversations, we don’t think to reach out and try to help new moms who lack basic understanding about pregnancy, healthcare and how to raise kids.

This story wasn’t a mother in a third-world country with no access to adequate medical care. This was a teenager in the US who decided to live in the woods with her boyfriend and never bothered to visit a doctor to see how her pregnancy was doing. This was a girl who simply didn’t understand the gravity of her choices. And the fact that horrible things like this happen while we’re all debating make-up or peanuts in pre-schools is just insane.

It’s so upsetting that I can’t comprehend both at the same time, in the same place. This family’s story is painful. And it makes me want to hop off the internet and find a volunteer organization in my city that helps prepare young parents. It makes me want to reach out to our Church and talk about giving parenting classes. It makes me want to do more. And I hope you get the same kind of inspiration from it. Because if we spent as much time helping others as we do debating with each other, we could do a lot of good.

(Photo: attem/Shutterstock)

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  • Shelly G

    My question is how we’re supposed to push prenatal care to those who don’t know/refuse to acknowledge that they’re pregnant. It is important, yes, but you can’t force someone to care for something when they are too afraid of dealing with the reality of it to even take a test to know for sure.

  • Michelle

    Any one can go to a public library and read up on pregnancy or use the library’s computers to research it. How are we supposed to be responsible for those who lack common sense? If she was that irresponsible who’s to say that she would even show up to doctor’s appointments or listen to those trying to help her?
    You said it yourself, she decided to go off in the woods with her boyfriend and ignore any bit of common sense she might have had. She is the only one responsible for her actions. You can only help those willing to receive that help.

    • JannaM

      It’s attitudes like this that keep people judging, and not helping, each other. Do you think you were born with the common sense you have now? Or do you think that your common sense was developed by living in a normal household, with a normal school education, with normal friends and a normal lifestyle? There are tons of people for whom that doesn’t happen. You weren’t born with the blessing of common sense, you were given it. Some people weren’t. Jump down off your high horse for a second.

    • Michelle

      No, we aren’t born with common sense, we learn it at the free public schools that all children in this country attend. Why should she be given a free pass for how she acted?
      Please read up on these sisters, they are knowingly acting in irresponsible and dangerous ways that directly put their children in harms way.

  • rebecca

    What makes anyone assume she wanted these babies? Because she got pregnant? Because she didn’t abort them? If she had wanted these babies she could have done any number of things to give them a better chance. It makes no sense to say she wanted these kids, given her contradictory behavior.

    What makes more sense is the notion that inaction rules her life: got pregnant because didn’t take steps not to get pregnant; didn’t abort because that would have taken thought, planning, action; didn’t seek care; didn’t change any of her habits. Inaction–not caring at all–explains everything.

    In her own words, she seems just as happy to get a cool ash necklace. Delighted, actually, punctuated with an smiley face. Her own words list what’s important: her lover, her pain meds, her ash necklace. No mention of, you know, the kid who lived.

    This is not a case of lacking education, common sense, access to health care, or an ability to understanding the gravity of one’s actions (or inaction). This is a case of understanding perfectly well and not caring. At all.

  • Tiffany

    Maybe she didn’t have health insurance. Many health insurers could deny you for being pregnant, which is considered a pre existing condition

    • lex350

      she wouldnt be denied care, there are policies against denying anyone in medical need, based on health insurance status. That is what a county hospital is for. Although I do agree that having insurance would be extremely hard for her to get, there are still places for her to go to get prenatal care. And at the very least, she should have known not to do drugs while pregnant.

  • gwenhara

    What’s missing from this story is that Karlee already has one child that she left with her father so she could go off to live in the woods. She was no newb to the pregnancy thing, she knew what she was doing.

  • BK

    I would hardly call this tragic. She knew she was pregnant, engaged in very dangerous behavior for a pregnant woman, and neglected the health of her babies. It’s awful, but it was entirely preventable. She just didn’t bother to put her unborn children in front of herself.

  • stefany

    Just curious if you ever ACTUALLY DID any of those things you said you were inspired to do? We all can feel strong feelings about something, but unless we actually DO something, it’s all just hot air.