During the first few weeks after finding out I was pregnant and going to be a single mum at the age of 18, my thought process was completely all over the place. I felt my life would potentially be over and all I would ever be from then on was a mum... I had worked hard for many years at school and college in order to fulfil my dream of becoming a midwife and I began to believe that I could no longer follow my chosen career path.
When I first found out about the Family Nurse Partnership (FNP) I was rather sceptical. I thought “how can someone I don’t know help me to be the best mother I can be?” A part of me also thought that they would constantly be judging me for being a mum at 18 years old and were there just to check I was being a good mum.
However, I was completely wrong and I don’t know how I would have managed through some of the things I have encountered in the last two years without the help, support and advice from my amazing family nurse, Joanne. Joanne explained the different stages of my baby’s development, supported me with weaning and ensured that my baby met his milestones. She helped me with my own personal health problems and any worries or concerns I had about me or my son, and also advised me on finances and what I could be entitled to.
Since having a family nurse, my confidence in being a mum and a young woman with dreams has rocketed. My family nurse reassured me that I could still follow my dreams and explained many aspects of support you can receive going to university when you’re a mother, e.g. the childcare grant and parents learning allowance.
The help and advice I received from Joanne convinced me to apply for university. After completing five interviews, seven tests alongside 2000 other applicants, I was offered one of 29 places to study midwifery and finally become a midwife!
I can honestly say I don’t think I would be where I am today if it wasn’t for the help, support and confidence Joanne has given me, not with just being an amazing mother to my son but for helping me get into University.
Personally I believe that FNP is an amazing service and helped me in so many ways I never imagined - every young mother should be given the opportunity to have a family nurse. I would like to say a big thank you to my incredible Family Nurse, Joanne for everything you have done, and continue to do, for me and my son.