My friend became a secret grandmother at 35

Tracey Folly

*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events as told to me by a woman who experienced them firsthand; used with permission.

My friend was a grandmother at the relatively young age of thirty-five, and she didn't even know it. Her teenage son and his girlfriend hid the girl's pregnancy for nine months and then left the baby in a public place for someone else to find, and no one suspected a thing, including my friend.

The girl had always been overweight. As her pregnancy progressed and her belly grew, she wore baggier clothes to cover her expanding waistline and added weight. Her mother never even noticed. Her mother also failed to notice that her daughter hadn't had her menses in nearly a year.

The teenagers were alone in my friend's apartment when the girl went into labor. She gave birth to the baby boy in her bedroom, collected herself, and then limped outside with the newborn and placed him in the trash.

Fortunately, a passerby heard the baby's cries and rescued the newborn. The story even made the local news. When my friend saw the story on the news, she couldn't believe it was possible that someone would abandon a newborn baby outside. She did not know that someone was her teenage son and his girlfriend, who were both children themselves.

The baby was alive and healthy and placed into foster care. Police discovered the identities of the child's parents, and believe it or not, the teens regained custody of the child.

The last time I saw them, they were pushing the child down the street in a baby carriage, neither of them being old enough to drive.

Surprisingly, finding babies in trash cans or dumpsters is not an isolated event. This incident happened years ago. The baby is old enough to drive a car by now, maybe even old enough to vote. He might have children of his own, especially if he became a father as early in life as his own father.

This is a cautionary true tale about teenage pregnancy and the importance of communication between parents and children. It's also a story about how even the best intentions can go horribly wrong.

If you're a parent, talk to your kids. If you're a teenager, be honest with your parents about your thoughts and feelings on the subject. No one knows what the future holds, but communication is key to navigating these types of situations.

If you think this story is far-fetched, think again. This type of thing happens more often than you might think. A quick Google search will reveal that a similar situation where a baby was found in a trash can happened earlier this year. And last year. And 2014. It's not an uncommon event.

My friend never imagined that her son would become a father at such a young age, let alone that he would hide the pregnancy and birth from her. If she had only known, she could have helped them through the situation and prevented the baby from being abandoned.

Once she found out that the baby on the news was her grandchild, she did everything she could to help and support the young parents. She was integral in helping them regain custody of the child and getting him out of foster care.

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Writing about relationships online since 2009.

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