Temea is so serious about school, her job and her rambunctious 1-year-old son, Jayce, that she frequently can catch people off-guard with her wicked sense of humor.
Her Nurse-Family Partnership® nurse Kristi has enjoyed getting to know the clever side of Temea as the two have built a trusting friendship through the challenges of being a young mom.
“She appears shy and is pretty quiet, but she’s really funny,” Kristi said.
It’s her superpower.
Temea was 17 years old and 12-weeks pregnant when she was referred to Gift of Life in Montgomery, Ala., and enrolled in Nurse-Family Partnership.
“When I found out I was pregnant, I was so scared,” said Temea. Then, when Kristi began coming for home visits, “she was so sweet, I could talk to her about anything. Right away she became my older best friend.”
Temea’s initial questions were all about labor and delivery. “That’s what everyone wants to talk about at first,” Kristi said.
She was so sweet, I could talk to her about anything. Right away she became my older best friend.
Temea listened to Kristi and decided she wanted natural childbirth with no pain medicine and no epidural.
“I had some apprehension about that,” Kristi said, “but she sure did it and she did it beautifully.”
Temea went back to school and work when Jayce was 6 weeks old. “It wasn’t really that challenging,” she said, “except that he woke up every two hours.”
She graduated from high school on time and now is enrolled in a medical technology program at Trenholm State Community College. She expects to complete the program in May 2021 and will seek a job in a hospital or doctor’s office.
“I’ve been debating going on to school to be an RN after I finish,” she said. “I’m thinking about it and still trying to decide. Before I had the baby, I wanted to be a doctor.”
Kristi has encouraged her. “She’s a very smart girl,” she said. “Even with a baby and a full-time job, she gets all A’s and B’s. From the start, she said she wanted to go to college and has worked hard to fulfill that goal.”
Meanwhile, Jayce is a healthy, happy little boy.
“He’s very smart,” Temea said. “He’s learning to talk and loves to play, move around and laugh. He loves day care and he loves Kristi. She always plays with him and talks to him when she comes for a visit.”
At each visit, Kristi offers a selection of topics to discuss and Temea picks one that seems most relevant at the moment. “At her next visit, I picked how to get my child on a sleeping schedule,” Temea said.
And while meeting Jayce’s developmental milestones and making sure he’s a healthy child are big parts of the NFP program, guiding Temea to reach her personal goals is equally important.
“Kristi is very easy to talk to,” said Temea. “She really listens and if I have a problem, she’s there to help find a resolution. She has always encouraged me to go to school and to set goals for the future.”
One of those goals is to find her own apartment.
Temea lives with her mom, who is very supportive, but in the next year or so both she and her mom plan to make some changes. “I am working toward finding my own apartment and she’s looking for a house,” Temea said.
Jayce’s dad and his family are involved in his life and they all have maintained good relationships, Temea said. “Jayce calls him ‘Dadda’ and is excited to see him.”
When Jayce had his first birthday, Kristi asked Temea to reflect over the year. Was it harder than she expected? Easier?
“She said it was a little easier than what she had envisioned,” Kristi said. “But she really did a good job transitioning through the various stages from finding out she was pregnant to staying healthy and moving on.
“She has a clear mindset. She believes it’s important that Jayce is in day care, that she goes to school and works at her job. She’s done really well with all of that.”
And, through it all, her playful sense of humor keeps everyone smiling.