Teen Love Trauma

Tragedy Strikes

"When I went to the restroom, there was a little bit of blood. I talked to the nurses. I've been under a lot of stress, and I was worried. My blood pressure was fine. When they actually did a physical ultrasound, they couldn't find the heartbeat," Devynn recounts, wiping away tears. "I don't want anything wrong to happen. I'm fighting so hard to make everything work, and it's going the wrong way. I don't know how I'll be if I do end up losing the baby.

"Yesterday, I went to the doctors, and they said everything was fine. My hormone levels were up, and I gained another pound. I thought everything was going to go OK," she continues. Then she says her world was shattered. "When they went inside to look for the baby, they couldn't find a heartbeat once again. So the doctor said I was going to miscarry. So I lost the baby."

At home in their living room, Devynn and her mom have a heated debate about Devynn's future. "I am concerned about the way you have been treated. I was concerned how you were going to be treated after the baby. I was terrified for you," Giesel says.

[AD]"Why couldn't you trust in me enough that I would be OK?" Devynn says.

"I don't trust in you, with the decisions you've been making," Giesel shoots back, raising her voice.

"I can't believe you right now."

"You decided to have the baby. Can't you see how it's affecting me?"

"Well, it's gone now," Devynn says, dissolving in tears. "There's nothing to worry about now, because there's no baby coming."

When the videotape ends, Dr. Phil addresses Giesel. "You said that you weren't happy that a baby was coming, so you're not sad that now it's not."

"I'm sad for Devynn," Giesel says. "She finds that hard to accept, because I wasn't in love with the idea of having a baby. I wasn't in love with the idea of becoming a grandmother now with the circumstances. It hurts her to know that I didn't love the baby. I love my daughter right now, and that's all I can focus on."

"I am very sorry for your loss," Dr. Phil consoles a weepy Devynn. "I know that that has been an emotional and hormonal roller coaster for you at your age."

[AD]He says Giesel is not helping to diffuse the situation by arguing with her daughter. "The rhetoric here has got to come down," he says. He refers to his notes. "'You say, ‘I am in such pain. I'm completely in a dark place. I'm crushed that everything in the family is just going down the drain. I'm consumed.' So you're consumed, you're crushed, you're going down the drain. Those things " I know they're just words " but words are laden with emotion and meaning."

"There is such hostility here. Do you sense that?" Dr. Phil asks Steve.

"Absolutely. Actually, we did take a step back, after this was going forward, once she made a decision to go against our wishes, as far as her future goes," he replies. "Unconditionally, we love her. Unconditionally, we'll love our grandchild. Giesel is still very upset with the relationship. I thought I needed to do some damage control."

Dr. Phil drills down to the crux of the matter. "What is it you don't like about this guy " other than he got your daughter pregnant?" he inquires. "What does he do that you don't like?"

"He upsets her, and he makes her angry, and he plays head games with her," Giesel replies. "He calls her names. He hangs up the phone."

Dr. Phil turns to Devynn. "You and your boyfriend don't get along well," he observes.

[AD]"We argue, of course. There are things I say," she admits. "I just see it as being immature."

"You do get that if you get married, that this will get worse, not better," Dr. Phil says.

"Well, it's getting better now. We're not arguing as much," Devynn says.

"This started actually getting better once he found out that they were pregnant," Steve chimes in.

"He started treating her like a princess once he found out she was pregnant," Giesel says. "That's how it should have been from the beginning."

"Did you get pregnant on purpose?" Dr. Phil asks Devynn.

"No, and I get so mad to hear [my mom] telling people that I got pregnant on purpose," she replies.

"Were you taking precautions?"

"There was protection involved, but the pill, no, it was not involved," she answers.

"Did you use protection?" Dr. Phil reiterates.

"No," she says.

[AD]"You say you didn't get pregnant on purpose, but you didn't use protection either. Would you agree that that's careless?"

"Oh, of course. It's careless."

Dr. Phil says that Devynn needs to learn to value herself more. "Anybody whom you're associated with, any relationship you have " whether it's this guy, or the next guy or somebody you meet five years down the road " if they can't recognize your personal goals and your personal value, and they would put you at risk of jeopardizing all of that, then I would question either their maturity or their motivation."

"I'm not the only one with goals. He has goals too," Devynn says.

Dr. Phil tries to give Devynn a wake-up call about the reality of teen pregnancy. "There's not a lot of upside to having a baby at a very young age with no education completed, no career in place, no life plan for the child," he tells Devynn.

"As hard as it is, it's possible," Devynn says. "There are, like, girls who get pregnant at 15. I was 18. I, at least, finished high school. I'm still pursuing my college degrees."

"Dr. Phil, this is exactly what I want her to see. She thinks it's easy for that 15-year-old to have a child," Steve chimes in.

[AD]"I didn't say it was easy," Devynn says.

"I need her to see reality," Steve says. 

Dr. Phil tries to reason with the teen. "Because you can have a baby at a young age, and because you can survive, doesn't mean that it's wise to do that. If you have the choice, and you do, then wouldn't you choose a course that would give you the best chance, the baby the best chance?" he asks. "You have lost the baby. You have to make a decision now that says, ‘If I'm old enough, and big enough and mature enough to have a child, then I'm old enough, big enough and responsible enough to do this in a way that gives that baby the best chance in this world that they can get.'"

"I'm in an angry place right now with her, because I'm desperate, and I don't know what else to do," Giesel tells Dr. Phil, her voice breaking. "I see what it's done to our relationship, and she doesn't seem to care!"

"Do you want that relationship back?"

"Absolutely."

"Why can't you tell her that without anger? Why don't you tell her that without anger?" Dr. Phil asks. "Take the risk and tell her what you want."

Giesel turns to her daughter. Raising her voice, she says, "Haven't I told you " "

"Don't argue. You start out arguing," Dr. Phil reprimands. "You've got to put the anger aside. Anger is nothing but a protection against your real feelings of hurt. You are very hurt by what this little girl has done, because you had dreams for her, you sacrificed for her, you gave to her, and she has turned her back on all of that."

"She turned her back on her family," Giesel says through sobs. "She's chosen him over us. She left our home to go be with him, and she's still there."

[AD]She faces Devynn. "I love you, and I am in pain because of all of this," she says.


"Do you miss your daughter?" Dr. Phil inquires.

"Absolutely."

"Tell her that."

"I miss you, and I miss our relationship. I love you," she tells Devynn.

"I love you too," she replies.

Dr. Phil gestures to Devynn's folks. "Do you believe that these two people want the best for you?" he asks the teen.

"Of course," she answers.

"Do you think there's anybody in this life who would choose a better life for you than them?"

"No," she says. "I do not question their love for me. It wasn't like that. Just to go back on the reason why I left is that my dad had mentioned that if I did keep my baby, that I would be out of the house."

Dr. Phil asks Devynn to examine the stability of her relationship. "What are you going to do if he just breaks up with you and says, ‘I've just had enough'?" he asks. "What are you going to do if he quits on you?"

"That's his choice. There's nothing else I can do."

"That's what he's saying. He's backstage right now telling the people back there, ‘I'm through with her. I'm done. I'm out of here,'" Dr. Phil reveals. "At some point, you have to decide you're going to take care of you."

"We only want what's best. If their relationship was on good standing where they had some goals and some initiative, it would be completely different," Steve says.

[AD]"What I'm interested in focusing on, at this point, is how we get back to some unity in this family," Dr. Phil says. He says Giesel can do her part to heal the family by laying aside her rage. "Do you think you could partner with her without this anger at this point?"

"Yes," Giesel replies.

"I think you've had a wake-up call," Dr. Phil tells Devynn. "I see a different look of clarity in her eyes."

Dr. Phil says he will provide resources to get the family started down the right road. "You have responsibilities in this relationship as well," he tells the teen. "Close the gaps. Don't be a victim."