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Teen mom labors through her first delivery

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- At 5:22 p.m. on Dec. 12, 2011, at Thomas Memorial Hospital in South Charleston, teen mom Tonja Danberry gave birth to a 7-pound, 15-ounce, 21-inch baby girl she named Destinee Faith.

Being pregnant wasn't what Danberry wanted as a teenager, but she said she wouldn't change it for the world. "The best thing about being pregnant was seeing my baby's face for the first time.

"The pain was the worst I've ever experienced, but in the end, it was worth it," she added.

Danberry planned on growing up, getting her GED, a job and her own place. Unprotected sex changed those plans.

"I wasn't practicing safe sex because I didn't think it could happen to me," she said.

After finding out she was pregnant, Danberry started eating a lot healthier. She met with her doctor every three weeks at first. Then, when she was 20 weeks pregnant, she began seeing the doctor every two weeks until the baby was finally born.

Danberry experienced premature labor pains frequently before she finally went into actual labor. When it was time to deliver her baby, she was induced (meaning medication or other techniques were used to start her contractions) and then in labor for 12 hours, using medication to ease her pain. Instead of a natural childbirth, her baby was delivered by C-section.

Putting the pain on a scale of one to 10, with 10 the highest, Danberry rated her pain as a 10. She also said she was very scared during the whole process.

"The only thing I kept thinking about was just to get her out and have everything be OK," the teen mom said.

Teen parenting isn't something out of the ordinary in Danberry's family. Her aunts and grandmother were teen moms. Her own mom had her at the age of 18. Right now, her family is helping her support the baby until she can get on her own feet.

"I use to party a lot and not care about anything," Danberry said. "Now all that I care about is my baby. I want to do good for myself now so she can have a better life. I would like to be a nurse or something to that effect, so I have the income to support her and myself on my own."

Danberry feels that most people give teen moms a bad rap because they think that only people who have a lot of sexual partners become teen moms. This isn't true, though. Sometimes it only takes two irresponsible people having sex for the first time to get pregnant.


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