At 15 years old, Destynee fell pregnant. Estranged from her family, she moved from Hervey Bay to Burpengary in an attempt to reconnect with her mother and obtain stable housing. After she made contact with Caboolture Hospital, she was referred to Caboolture Young Mothers for Young women (CYMYW) for antenatal education and support.
Destynee remembers a worker from CYMYW picking her up and taking her to the Mothers’ group as soon as she arrived in Caboolture. She was worried about hating that first meeting and dreading the judgement and attitude she might face. However, to her surprise she found it was very relaxing, with great food and no judgement.
Destynee was nervous and scared about the pregnancy and the birth ahead but the Mothers’ group helped her to feel supported and less stressed.
“Deb, the midwife from Caboolture Young Mothers for Young Women helped me through the early contractions while I was at the Mothers’ group and was at the hospital when I gave birth too. Everyone supported me so much, including all the young mothers. I was in labour for 24 hours and the one person I wanted to be there was Deb. And she was – she did come.”
“CYMYW took me to all my check-up appointments during my pregnancy too. The group in Caboolture weren’t family but actually they felt like family.
Having a baby actually made my life better. When I was pregnant it was difficult, confusing and full of anxiety. I was often verbally abused and called awful names. Some older people seeing Warwick and me walking down the street treated us with disgust and called us ‘a disgrace’. The Mothers’ group benefitted my life so much. Everyone gave me tips on how to do things. They really gave me confidence.
Destynee now lives independently in Brisbane. Young Mothers for Young Women in Brisbane (YMYW) assisted her and Warwick (Destynee’s partner and the new father) with housing and financial planning. Both Destynee and Warwick are enjoying parenting Maason and they are both hoping to return to school when Maasyn is a bit older.
Destynee says “Warwick and I both feel we are going really well now and the YMYW workers tell us we are doing a great job of parenting. They are going to refer me to Headspace too. I had a pretty tough childhood and I hated counselling in the past, but YMYW has helped change my attitude to counselling. I am now looking forward to working with Headspace to resolve some issues.”
Warwick says he is very keen to be a better father-figure than his father was to him. “Maasyn is such a happy baby, he hardly ever cries and is always laughing and he sleeps well too.” Warwick had found himself out of school and home from an early age as his Mother’s new partner was abusive towards him.
Warwick and Destynee have been together for three years. They were in share houses together at a variety of locations before Destynee became pregnant. Both Warwick and Destynee say their young lives have been filled with continually moving so they really appreciate having stable housing. They are looking forward to Warwick turning 18 so they can lease a house in their own right. They then feel they’ll be able to get back to education, independence and creating a good rental history.
Destynee says “YMYW helped us with payments when it was necessary. They also gave us some gift cards for nappies, wipes and food when we really needed it. I have had so many great donations for clothes and baby needs for Maasyn. It really makes me appreciate the support that is available. I look forward to making donations back to the ‘baby community’ as Maasyn grows out of things.”