Wednesday, May 9, 2012

16 & Pregnant: Ben Steps Up for Hope

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Here's an episode of 16 and Pregnant where things really work out for the best, which is incredibly rare. Although BabyDaddy Ben wasn't ready for parenthood when Hope first announced her pregnancy, he sure comes around by the time baby Tristan is born! He's very supportive of Hope when it comes to her body image issues, labor, childcare, and Hope's return to the workforce. I understood his initial hesitance to meet her family, but when the time came, he really stepped up and did what needed to be done. It's nice to see this sort of ending for an episode, especially because it still incorporated how much Hope had to give up (friends, college, family an hour away).

16 and Pregnant "Hope" (S04E08): She's 17, just graduated from high school, and lives with her divorced mother and younger brother and sister in Lee's Summit, MO. [this city has been popping up a lot in my life lately, which surprises me because I only first heard of it about six months ago!] She had wanted to go to Arizona State (purely because it's a big party school) but is currently working at a local coffee shop four days a week at nine hours per shift. BabyDaddy Ben is also a big partier, so it's not too surprising that he wouldn't want to have anything to do with the pregnancy. He was her first partner, and they had sex a few times using the pull-out method. [so, despite the fact that she had all these big college plans, she wasn't intelligent enough to know that "the pull-out" is a horrible "method."]

June, 26 Weeks: Ben now wants to be in her life, and suggests that she move in with him before the baby comes, even though he lives an hour away. 

June, 28 Weeks: Her mom is surprised that Hope wants to move in with Ben, and says that Hope really should have strong feelings for him if they're going to live together. It will be a good thing, though, as her mom can't afford to help with baby expenses. Hope is struggling at work because of how swollen her feet get, so she asks the doctor what she can do to help. But, aside from taking breaks and putting up her feet, all he suggests is slowing down her weight gain - she started at 178 and is now at 193. He encourages her to try not to get too far past 200. [this is an interesting aspect for teens that is often not seen in the episodes - healthy weight gain during pregnancy depends on the individual, but 20-30 pounds is generally seen as the "okay" range.] Unfortunately, Hope can't get more breaks because of company policy, so she's forced to quit, relying on Ben's work as a full-time as a bartender. [not bad money!] She plans to move in August 1st (which he says is "a couple weeks away").

July, 32 Weeks: Hope's mother meets Ben, and asks him about affording to care for Hope and the baby, and adding Hope to his car insurance. [I sorta want to nitpick here, but I'll leave her mother's comments alone.]

July, 36 Weeks: Hope packs her essentials and gets a pedicure. She's trying to decide if she should try some college or just work after the baby is born. Her mom tells her not to expect too much from Ben, in case things go south. Her mom thinks the place is "yucky," and she cries when she leaves. [mothers. that's all I have to say.]

38 Weeks: She's up to 204 pounds (a 26-pound gain) and wants to be induced early because she's unhappy about her size. She's 50% thinned out and 2cm dilated, so they can induce her in a week. [I'm no doctor, but wouldn't they also do an ultrasound to measure the size of the baby before scheduling an early birth?] 

When the time comes, she realizes she should have taken a labor class. [haha! too little, too late!] She's given pitocin and starts having contractions. Seven hours into labor, she gets an epidural. Ten hours in, things are progressing slowly, so the doctor recommends a c-section. [ten hours isn't all that long, and unless the baby was in distress, I'm not sure why a c-section would be recommended at this point...] 13 hours into labor, the surgery is performed and at 7:23pm on August 26th, Tristan Blaise is born at 8 pounds, 5 ounces. [very rarely does this show ever cover the parents' discussions about the names they choose - why don't we ever hear how they came up with these things?]

3 Days Old: They go home and Hope is really sore. They put him in the swing pretty much first thing. It looks like they're co-sleeping and formula-feeding.

1 Week Old: Ben has to go back to work, and is gone at night.

1 Month Old
: Hope is getting cabin fever and misses her friends, who are all at college. She asks Ben about getting a job, as she misses doing things and seeing people. He says it's fine. [she wastes no time! probably a good thing, even if her reasoning isn't ideal.]

6 Weeks Old: Hope becomes a server/hostess/phone order-taker at a restaurant. 

7 Weeks Old
: Hope and Tristan go to the University of Kansas to visit one of Hope's friends. 

2 Months Old: Hope and Ben struggle to spend time together. She doesn't think she'll ever make friends because she's different from other teenagers, and doesn't really talk to her old friends anymore. [and apparently doesn't know how to find Mommy & Me classes or Meetup groups for mothers. though I suspect the problem is more that she would rather be around teenagers than mothers.] 
Photo by MTV
Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Email This Pin This

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What an absolutely wonderful and mature man Ben is. Tristan is very, very lucky to have such a rare and great guy for a father. what a shame that there are not more guys out there like Ben. The world would certainly be a much better place. From a 45 yr old mother of 4.