Wednesday, December 28, 2011

This One Will Make You Cry


If you do not want to pull out a box of tissues then you might want to skip this one. Compare this 18 year old teen to the teens on teen mom and see what you think. On November 9, 2011, Jenni Lake gave birth to a baby boy. Nothing special in that right? Well, in order to give birth to her son and to not lose him, the 18 year old did not get any treatment for the tumors that were growing on her brain and her spine. 12 days after the birth of her son, Jenni passed away. When Jenni initially found out about her disease she did treat it with chemo and other therapies. Shortly after she started treatment she was also told she probably would never have babies so she and her boyfriend (pictured above holding frame) stopped using protection when they had sex.


Jenni was in bad shape when she gave birth and when she was admitted to the delivery room whispered to her nurse the words that have been used as a mantra by everyone close to her since. "I'm done. I did what I was supposed to do. My baby is going to get here safe."

66 comments:

Rita said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rita said...

ooooooh.

For every selfish Janelle, and Kim Krap we create, a beautiful and courageous woman like Jenni redeems us as a society.

May she rest in peace. May her son grow up knowing that his mom was a real hero. God this is painful.

EmEyeKay said...

Back to the powder room to re-do my makeup!

@Rita - you nailed it. I'm glad Enty brought her to my attention.

Cheryl said...

I hope that baby is treasured and lovingly cared for by his father and family.

Pinky said...

This won't be a popular response I am certain... but to me it seems she was selfish. Why have a child you won't be here to raise? The child has no mother. It no doubt hastened the mother's death as well. I don't understand why this is a 'good thing'?

RenoBlondee said...

That is a tearjerker for sure. :(

Rita said...

@Pinky - If you read the post, then you know 2 things:

1- During her chemo treatment for brain and spine tumors, She was told that getting pregnant was impossible for her.

2- She discovered she was pregnant, and decided to do all and carry to term. Knowing that in any case, her survival chances were quite low.

In the simplest, most human act ever, she sacrificed her life for a new healthier one.

strawberrygirl said...

Pinky, I totally agree. The baby will grow up with no mother now. I understand the baby will have his father, but nothing can replace a mother's love. Sorry.

missmade said...

**She was told AFTER she started therapy, that should would probably never have kids if she survived.

THEN she got pregnant with her teenage boyfriend.

She was selfish. And delusional.

My mother died of cancer when my brother was 3 and after seeing the effect it has had on my brother, I can't help to say that this woman is an absolute jerk for getting pregnant and abandoning it knowing she probably wouldn't be around.

Gross.

Rita said...

^I know a lot of single fathers doing a much better job than any of those loser "mothers", who think being around their kids 24/7, while watching TV, yapping on the phone, and generally not spending QUALITY time with their children, is irreplaceable maternal love!

annabella said...

I agree with pinky. life is difficult enough without a mother to love you. and the father is so young. it would be another story if she were already pregnant and didn't want treatment to protect the child. but to get pregnant purposely knowing that you are going to die, well that seems selfish to me.

Anonymous said...

There are two sets of grandparents. When first diagnosed she was told she had a 30% chance. She was probably going to die anyway. She got to name her baby and feed and hold him for a few days. The girl died young, let her have some pleasure and one of her dreams come true. The baby will be fine. If someone's wife dies and the father raises the kid on his own without remarrying immediately, is it selfish of him to not give his child a mother's love? Love is love, whether it comes from Mom or Dad. He will probably marry later anyway.

Ms Cool said...

If you ask that baby in 20 years if it would rather have had a chance to live or not be born, I'm guessing he will choose having life. This isn't a statement on abortion, it is a statement of living with the life dealt to you or not having that chance at all.

Look at all those people there to love and support him. He will have a mother figure and people to tell him about his wonderful birth mother.

Rose said...

I agree with Pinky. At first I took it as her & her boyfriend were trying for a baby and that is why they stopped protection. If they really just didn't believe they would need it, I could understand more but it does seem a bit selfish to decide to have a baby that you know you won't be able to raise. At 18, her boyfriend is pretty young to do it all on his own. There is family, but he is still a single Dad who hasn't finished college or started a career.

There are a lot of good single mom and dads but they don't always start out that way, and it's not really the ideal situation.

strawberrygirl said...

I guess we can agree to disagree. The baby is here now, so I can only hope he gets all the love that every child deserves.

SusanB said...

The picture shows the baby surrounded by a loving family - mom had to do what she thought was right - and hopefully baby will live a long, happy, productive life.

nancer said...

i'm with pinky and i admire you for stating an unpopular opinion.

DixieTheNoble82 said...

I can understand why some of you would feel this was a selfish act and I agree but only slightly.

I'm wondering though if they did stop using birth control specifically to try and get pregnant or because she was pretty much told it was unnecessary?

Either way, the child is here now with what appears to be a very loving family around to help raise him.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Pinky also. I read that the dad has legal custody but his mom is raising the baby. It was very selfish of this girl to saddle her boyfriend and his mom with the baby. It says she was told she 'probably' couldn't have kids, probably isn't a guarantee. Probably isn't a reason to stop using protection.

Seachica said...

Presumably her boyfriend is ok with the decision to have a child at such a young age. It sounds like these two kids were wise beyond their years, because they had to grow up quickly. A life threatening disease can do that to kids, and I feel for the entire family having to go through that.

That said, I am really tired and get angry seeing yet another "how wonderful, she had a child" story that celebrates young motherhood. Meanwhile, you never see the "how wonderful, she decided not to have a child" stories. The one part of this story that I like is that they were using birth control when they first had sex! That's the part that should be lauded - two 18 year olds with a normal sex life are properly using protection.

I get so sick of the hypocrisy of our society. Don't make birth control easy to get. Don't give them access to abortion when they DO get pregnant. Put two kids on a pedestal for having a child, like it's her life mission to have a baby. Some days I feel like we still live in the dark ages, when a woman's entire life value was her ability to give birth.

OK, I realize I went of on a tangent. But I just can't get into this story.

Anonymous said...

This is really sad & inspirational all at the same time. Whether or not we agree with her, the choice was hers to make. Isn't this part of what life is about - choices and decisions? For each and every one of us.

joymama said...

why couldn't they havest eggs and then treat her?

DixieTheNoble82 said...

@Seachica - Very well put.

@Lizzeh - I agree that 'probably' is no guarantee however personally I just can't call this a 'selfish' act because I'm not in that family.

I don't understand why that girl did all of this either but it's not for me to understand. So how could I then say it was definitely selfish of her? Who knows what other surrounding circumstances could have been involved.

hotchacha said...

I don't think anyone's love can be replaced but that doesn't mean that life can't be good, productive, vibrant, etc.

It seems that this baby is surrounded by a lot of love which is more than I can say for a lot of people in two parent households. No one has a perfect upbringing. We all get life injuries that we spend the rest of our lives trying to sort. I tend to think that's how life goes.

Jennifer H. said...

On the Pinky train. I find this to be a story of selfishness and disillusionment. I wish it would have occured to her that she could adopt someday if she survived. This is also the exact opposite of a story about someone dealing with what they were dealt.

lilivonshtupp said...

Wait, why are so many people mad at this now deceased girl? I read this as, she was told she wouldn't get pregnant and stopped using protection. She did get pregnant (ACCIDENTALLY) and decided to keep it instead of aborting it. Should she have had an abortion and then died? I'm not sure what's so selfish.

Anonymous said...

I feel sad that she died so young because that's just terrible. I don't see her as a hero for having a baby. Maybe if it were after a nuclear apocalypse and the population was low...

My take is the boy didn't realize what he was getting into. I can't imagine dealing with the emotions they had and maybe the thought of a baby was a bright spot in their life and a way for her to live on. However more thought than that ought to go into having a baby.

hotchacha said...

I don't see her as a hero or as a villain. I just see this as a very sad story with the upshot that an infant is surrounded by a lot of love and that especially under the circumstances, his birth is a relief and a comfort to his whole family.

Lori said...

agreed @missmade and @Pinky

Maja. With a J. said...

Yeah, I have to kind of agree with hotchacha here - this girl was not a hero in my eyes, but I don' t think she was necessarily selfish or a bad person.

I also agree with every word seachica said.

Crystal Jones said...

That was not a tear jerker ATTY. Why try to get preg when you know you are dying?

Whatever. I agree with Pinky.

hotchacha said...

Whether or not she was actively TRYING to conceive is unclear.

Rose said...

I'm not mad at this girl, nor do I think she won't be loved or will wish she was dead in twenty years. I just don't see her as a hero or someone who made a giant sacrifice.

Rita said...

@Seachica - Very well said!

__-__=__ said...

DixieTheNoble82 - Take a look at the father's face. I think that tells lots about this. Not to mention the sister to the left of the mother, obviously the older sister. I don't think this went as planned. Enty says they stopped using protection when they found out she would probably never have babies. Good luck to them all.

Jasmine said...

Thank you Hotchacha- you nailed exactly my feelings toward this.
I guess I felt slightly angry at first toward the girl for giving up on fighting for her life in order to bring a new person into this life that odds were she wouldnt be there for.
HOWEVER- sheesh, I mean think about how fucking difficult a decision this may have been for her to make. So I think you're right- she is neither villian nor hero in this story. And it IS nice to see the baby is surrounded by love.

Also co-sign all that Seachica said- you genius girl you.

Missjenny619 said...

She could have had her embyros frozen and hired a surrogate later in life when she was finished with treatment, cancer-free and mature enough to handle the responsibility of raising a child.

Whatever.

Sue Ellen Mishkey said...

This doesn't bring the tears for me. I feel...whatever about this.

Rose said...

Why is the Dad holding the baby? I would think it would be a better photo for whatever news story or article it's for if the Dad was holding his own baby.

Krab said...

Yeah, I'm not crying either. The smart thing to do would have been to have an abortion and continued treatment.

Chrissy Buns said...

This story gave me the warm fuzzies. Her family should be so very very proud of her. Rest in peace, Jenni. Your baby is safe <3

Jamie said...

Hmm, at first I agreed with Pinky, but I've reconsidered.

Jenni had been told 13 months earlier that she had a 30% chance of surviving two years. Brain cancer is savage. What a thing to hear at 16 years of age.

I don’t know if she deliberately got pregnant. However, I'm sure it brought her some comfort in her last months to know that she would be leaving a baby to carry on her genes. The urge to reproduce is pretty much hard-wired into us.

So too is the desire to survive as long as possible, and to at least have access to pain killers when in the agony of late-stage cancer.

Jenni could have aborted. Instead she chose a quicker and much more painful death to give her child a chance at a life. The DM says Jenni was 5'4" and 108lbs at full term. Take away the baby weight and she must have been almost skeletal.

Sorry, Pinky. I can’t agree with you on this one. It sounds as though her son is in good hands. I can’t see selfishness here: just more courage than I would ever have.

lilivonshtupp said...

Missjenny619, all that stuff costs a lot of money. And she was very likely not to live anyway. But I'm still trying to figure out why most people assume she was purposely trying to get pregnant. I'm genuinely asking, because I haven't read anything on this story other than the post here. To me, it sounds like she never intended to get pregnant, but when she found out she was, she decided the baby's chance for a healthly full life were far greater than hers (which is correct). That child seems to have a loving family.

Seachica said...

Aww, Jasmine, you've made my day!

Jasmine said...

I'm glad Seachica :))

Your comment made the feminist in me sit up and purr, so thanks for that.

Damn I love the smart educated female bloggers on this site. You all make me keep coming back.

iheartjacksparrow said...

I'm also Team Pinky. And if she was having "chemo and other therapies," I don't think sex would be that much fun, so it sounds to me like she and her boyfriend intended for her to get pregnant. Maybe it's a comfort for her parents to have her baby to care for, but it still seems like a dumb thing to do. And the boyfriend looks really young (which might be why he's not holding the baby).

surfer said...

Jamie - I have to disagree with you on a few things. First off, not everyone has the urge to reproduce.

And second, where you mention the desire to live as long as possible. Again, that may apply to most, but not all. One of my friends died two months ago from a brain tumor - he said he had no desire to go through treatment as he was single and without kids, and because the odds he would survive were minimal. On a personal note, I was really angry that he wouldn't fight to live, but I suppose we all have a right to decide our destiny.

DixieTheNoble82 said...

@_-_=_ Nobody looks insanely pleased, I agree.

I think @hotchacha said what I was trying to say, only WAAAY better.

Jamie said...

@surfer: I've never reproduced, but it is a definite urge.

I support your friend's choice to die quickly. He was educated and knew that his odds were almost nil.

I know someone who died of brain cancer this year too, a young doctor. It's a terrible disease.

Like your friend, I'm single without kids and I would make the same choice he did, but probably others with a family would want to hope for a longer life. Chemo and radiation are terrible treatments to undergo.

If you have a cancer that responds to them, it makes sense to me to poison your body and go through hell for months if you have some realistic hope of coming out healthy at the end of it.

It just isn't the case for brain cancer.

I think you should direct your anger at the disease that took your friend's life, not at your friend who got that dreaded diagnosis. I'm pretty sure it wasn't the destiny he chose.

surfer said...

You see Jamie, this is where we part ways (and that's okay). I too am single and without kids, but I'm not ready to die, so I would fight like hell, even if the odds were against me. I'm just not ready to go yet.

As for my friend, I got over my anger. I was disappointed that he threw in the towel, but that was his right. I guess we never know how we'll handle a situation until we find ourselves in it.

JustJen said...

I agree w Pinky...my first thought was, "How freakin' selfish of her to bring a child into the world that will never know his mother..."

I believe you give a child the very very very best start you can 'cause it's a rough world out there and some things can't be helped but you don't knowingly start them off at a disadvantage.

One other thing to think about...in my experience, when undergoing this kind of treatment, you are strongly cautioned about the risk of pregnancy and encouraged to use two forms of birth control. Some treatment centers even include it in their forms that you sign every visit. So it possible, not that I know for sure, but it's possible that she was counseled many times about getting pregnant and questioned about her form of birth control.

Giving birth isn't a prime directive. It's the most wonderful thing a woman can do, but not every woman is meant to do it.

Jamie said...

@Surfer. Agreed. Peace. Hope it never happens to either of us.

Nerdista said...

This is the stupidest thing I have ever heard! She had a baby on purpose! Now that baby has no mom and her boyfriend is left raising it and so are both their families? What a weird, weird thing. That's not a tearjerker, sorry. I see no nobility in that story.

surfer said...

I kept thinking, how on earth did her parents allow her to keep the pregnancy. Then I read some of her backstory - Jenni's parents (mom's 39, dad 43) are divorced and had eight kids. So this may explain why they seem to be okay with the situation. Also, while her boyfriend has legal custody, the baby is being raised by his mother. Again, he's a child too.

I agree with lots of you - this was not heroic or brave, but a selfish decision. She went through with the pregnancy which probably sped up the disease. Even though the odds weren't in her favor, I still believe that while there's life, there is hope. And she left her child to be raised by other people.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes, life is neither good nor bad. It just is. I think this is one of those times.

JasonBlueEyes said...

If she knew she was going to die she wanted to leave something with her family that symbolized hope and life. That's what she did. Having a baby to raise and care for will help ease the pain of her death. That's my view on it anyway.

Sis said...

A truly sad story and I do not find this "heroic" at all.

She could have received treatment and lived and eventually adopted a child, selfish in my book and now the father's mother is raising the child? Sad all around.

Miranda said...

How is it heroic to have a baby knowing you're going to die and leave it without a mother?

Robin the Mad Photographer said...

Can I say I'm terribly ambivalent about the whole business? I can see how managing to have a baby made her happier in her last days, and the little guy is no doubt giving her family and boyfriend some consolation (a part of her living on & all that), and being pro-choice, I agree that the decision was up to her, and she made the one that she felt was best. On the other hand, I can't help but sense the overall mood in recent years being that the only decent thing for a woman to do in a situation like this is to sacrifice any chance at saving her own life, and doing otherwise makes her a horrible, selfish person who probably doesn't deserve to live...and that bothers me a whole lot. I think I can safely say that, had I been in her shoes, my family would have been pretty adamant that I keep on w/the chemo, etc. and not continue the pregnancy if doing so would put my life at further risk. (This isn't a completely theoretical issue; it seems that I have a congenital uterine anomaly that would make trying to carry both risky and impossible; trying to do so would result in either a 2nd-trimester miscarriage, or, if by some fluke a miscarriage didn't happen, a potentially fatal uterine rupture might. Or, as my mom put it once, "You're my baby, and you're what's important to me--you're already here, and I don't want anything to happen to you because you're trying to give me a grandchild.")

I could go on & on, angsting about society's schizoid attitudes towards mothers (which basically amount to: no matter what you do, you're screwed)... *sigh* I hope her baby grows up well and happy, and that he gives a lot of comfort to everyone his mom left behind, and I hope she's resting in peace. I just can't say that everyone should feel as if they have to do likewise...

Wil said...

I think I would have frozen my eggs and hoped that I survived the treatments and been able to find a surrogate.

Pregnancy pretty much is like speed for cancer. She might have had a long healthy life if she would have chosen another route. But .. that being said .. I feel she did what she thought was best for her. Whether she was right nor wrong .. I can't judge. I am not her.

Hopefully her family and the father of the child will be able to raise a happy, healthy well adjusted child who knows he is loved.

FS said...

this seems like the type of story I need to read at another website so that I have a more complete picture of the facts. based on what's posted here I would be inclined to agree with Pinky, something does not seem right here. I'm not in tears reading this story, I'm actually a bit befuddled.

FS said...

Okay, now that I've read the full story at USA Today, this is just sad all around. The pregnancy was accidental and unplanned, and she definitely sacrificed her life for her child. Incredibly strong young woman, shame that she had to die so young.

B said...

dumb selfish young people the child will suffer

Kim said...

This poor girl was told that her chances of survival was quite low, regardless of her treatment choices. She chose to leave a piece of her here for her family.

That little one is going to have more love than he will know what to do with. Nothing can replace a mother's love, of course...but it can come pretty damn close. How in the hell can anyone call it selfish?

Lori said...

@ JustJen "It's the most wonderful thing a woman can do"

I seriously disagree that the most wonderful thing a woman can do is give birth.

Lori said...

I fail to see how a working uterus is the best contribution I have to offer to society...

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