Tressa Middleton was Britain’s youngest mum when she had a daughter in 2006, but she was forced to give her up after confessing the child’s dad was her brother, who raped her
A mum who gave birth at 12 is having a tot with her fiance.
Tressa Middleton’s first was her rapist brother’s which she gave up. She said: “I’ll never let this one go.”
As Tressa Middleton struggled to get pregnant with her fiance, she felt she was being punished for letting her firstborn be taken away and feared she would never have another child.
But the 23-year-old’s despair turned to joy when she discovered she was finally carrying the tot she and Darren Young, 30, had longed for.
The happy moment came 10 years after she had been forced to give up her toddler when she confessed the child’s dad was her elder brother who had raped her at 11, making her Britain’s youngest mum.
Tressa, who has also had amiscarriage, has vowed to “never let this baby go” – but she admitted she is still haunted by the loss of her first tot to another family.
She said: “I know it sounds crazy but when I was trying to fall pregnant and it wasn’t happening, I thought the worst.
“Not having my daughter with me still affects me every single day and I thought I was being punished for what happened with her, for letting her go.
“Discovering I was pregnant was bittersweet. I am so excited about what the future holds and I already love my baby.
“I cannot wait to meet him or her but when both lines on thatpregnancytest showed up, although I was happy, I was desperately sad as well. I had a little cry.
“I am so grateful I am finally going to be the mother I have longed to be all these years. But I don’t ever want my first child to think I abandoned her, or that I am replacing her with this new baby.
“I’d welcome her back tomorrow with open arms if I could and I hope she knows she will always be a part of our family.
“But this is the future for me and I can’t keep looking back. The past has made me even more determined to keep this child and give him or her the best possible life.”
Tressa stunned her family when she announced she was pregnant at the age of 11. She kept the terrible secret that she had beenrapedby 16-year-old brother Jason from her relatives, insisting the baby was the result of a drunken fling.
Tressa gave birth to a daughter in 2006 aged 12 and raised her child for two years. But when she finally confessed the truth, she was denied contact with her child.
She spent the next three years in and out of care homes and fell into a spiral of drink and drug use to numb the pain – using up to £400 of heroin a day at her lowest point in 2011.
But she has now beaten her demons and turned her life around – with Darren and her new baby the icing on the cake.
Tressa, who has bravely waived her right to anonymity to share her moving story, said: “My little girl is 10 now. She’ll be 11 in the summer almost the same age I was when I fell pregnant.
“It has made me realise just how young I was when all that happened. At the time I didn’t feel like I was that young because I had already been through so much but now, it makes me feel sick. No child should have that happen.”
She and Darren, who have been together for seven years, began trying for their own baby 18 months ago – around the same time her daughter stopped writing to her.
Tressa said: “I used to sit waiting for her letters to arrive every six months and my whole life revolved around knowing how she was doing, dreaming of the day we would be reunited.
“I would hang on every little detail about how she was doing in school and what toys she liked. Then the letters suddenly stopped coming and I had to face the reality that my daughter has moved on with another family. I was heartbroken but I realised I wanted to be a proper mum more than anything so we started trying for a baby.
“Struggling to conceive really affected me and we stopped for a while because I was getting so upset by the memories it brought back.
“Then we said, ‘If it is meant to be, it will be’ and that is when I fell pregnant.
“I keep comparing this pregnancy to when I was pregnant with my first but it is completely different circumstances. I was a child back then and what happened to me was out of my control, although I still feel guilty even though I know deep down it wasn’t my fault.
“This time the baby is coming into a happy, secure home with two adults who are going to adore him or her and do everything we can to make sure they have a healthy and happy upbringing.
“I will tell our child about their big sister. There will be no secrets because she is still a big part of our family.
“My hope is that one day my two babies can meet each other but who knows whether that will happen.”
Tressa, of Bathgate, West Lothian, told how she and Darren had contemplated trying to get custody of her daughter but decided against it.
She added: “I realise now that would be selfish.
“She is settled and has her own life. I wouldn’t want to disrupt that.
“I knew she would be going to a stable and secure home and that was what I wanted for her. That is why I gave up my daughter. I want her to have the best life possible, just like we are going to give this baby. But I just wish her parents would let me know she is OK.
“I write letters in a book to her. It will be up to her if one day she decides to find me, and I will be here waiting and she can read everything I have written. It helps me to get my feelings down”
Tressa, whose baby is due in the autumn, said Darren is “over the moon” about being a father. She added: “He is going to be a fantastic dad, I know it. He has always wanted children and now seems like the perfect time.
“We suffered a miscarriage before but we feel positive now.”
Tressa’s optimism for the future is shadowed by her traumatic past – which includes the death of her mother Tracey Tallons in 2012.
She said: “Every girl wants their mum when they are pregnant, but this is just another thing I am going to have to do without her.
“I have grown up so much within the last couple of years. Darren and I keep ourselves to ourselves and he is my rock.
“We are all each other needs but it is still going to be difficult to do this without my mum.
“I like to think that she will be watching over us.” Although Tressa, whose brother was jailed for the rape, has put the troubles of her past behind her, she still fears the involvement of social workers.
She added: “I struggled in the past with depression when I was such a young mum.
“But that was then and this is now. I am on medication to help me deal with it now. I have spoken with social workers and a midwife who said that as long as I keep doing what I am doing, and looking after myself everything will be OK.
“But what happened before with my daughter being taken away really affects me. I’ll do everything I can. I will not let this baby go. I don’t want anything to jeopardise my future with my baby.
“I just want things to be perfect this time around.”