At 19 years old, when I first that very faint second pink line, I won’t lie, I cried.
After a string of expletives and tears, I pulled myself together and called my best friend. I honestly hadn’t expected it to show up positive and when it did I was lost.
Don’t get me wrong, I had always wanted children, to experience the joys of pregnancy and have a family of my own. Just not yet.
I was a university student, still a teenager, and my life was so far from together. Just because I was at university didn’t mean I knew what I wanted for my life. I had jumped around different courses for the two years since I had graduated high school. I was in a relationship, but it was really my first relationship and we’d only been together for just over a year.
I told my boyfriend the same night I found out. I’m not someone who can wait when it comes to figuring out details, I needed a plan and I needed before I had another meltdown.
A couple of weeks after the initial shock, and having made the decision that we would be having this baby, I was excited. We were having a baby! I wanted to know the gender, hear the heartbeat, and choose a name. I was on the computer taking in as much research as I could on every aspect of everything to do with pregnancy and babies.
This was all in private, we still hadn’t told our families, or most of our friends.
My mum and I were pretty close, and at around the 9-week point, I just didn’t want to hide it from her anymore. I was so scared but eventually fessed up through text. She was shocked and needed a day to process but very quickly came around to being supportive and excited.
I couldn’t tell my dad. I lived with my dad at the time. I was his little girl, I was far too embarrassed to admit that I had obviously had sex and now I was going to be a parent myself. My mum ended up being the one to tell him. He gave me a hug and told me he’d be there for me.
My in-laws. Now that’s a whole other story in and of itself. My boyfriend didn’t want to tell them until January (I would have been 5-6 months pregnant at this point) but after I told my mum, he decided he had to tell his parents straight away. While I was there.
He cried, his mum cried, they all went into another room to talk about it for a while. The next morning his mother was ‘disappointed in us both’ and things didn’t change for a while.
After telling our parents, my excitement dulled. For a few weeks I pretended nothing was different and went about life. I was lucky enough to escape morning sickness completely, so I could go about life with relative normality.
But by this point I couldn’t focus on my university work and I was missing classes because of the stress. The more behind I got, the more anxiety I got about trying to fix things, about talking to my lecturers and sorting something out. Eventually I dropped the classes and took the failing grade for it.
Part of me wishes I had have just pushed myself and passed those classes. End the semester and defer, whether I went back on not, at least I would have passed. I don’t blame this on being pregnant, though it did add to the stress, I had always had trouble studying in the university setting and this was an excuse, of sorts, not to.
When we reached the 12-week mark we told a select group of our friends, that we wanted to be a part of our life. We were thankfully met with excitement and support, which meant so much because it was so very needed. Shopping was a main hobby for a large portion of the pregnancy.
3 days before Christmas, at 20-weeks, we found out we were having a baby boy! Not surprising when my husband is 1 of 3 boys and his dad came from boys as well.
The last half was the fastest and slowest time of my life all at the same time. I nested, we collected the amass of baby items every new parent needs and so much that we didn’t need.
In a lot of ways, I don’t think that my age posed much of a difference on my feelings about being pregnant and having a baby. I was still shocked, as anyone would be with a surprise pregnancy. Still as excited as I would have been if I was pregnant a year or five later, even if it did take a little longer to hit.
Being 19 and pregnant did mean a few things though. I was putting my career on hold, pouring much more maturity into my social life, and very quickly weeding people out that I would not want to have around my baby. I was growing up, much faster than I had to. All-in-all though, none of this worried or upset me, it felt natural.
As my due date grew closer, my nerves grew. I was under no illusion that there would be no pain, that it would be easy. But it is so hard to anticipate something that you’ve never experienced.
How painful would it be?
What if I can’t do it?
What if something happens?
All the fears a first-time mother-to-be experiences at any age.
Come May 18th, 2014, despite a couple of hiccups (which I talk about in The Birth of Baby M), into the world came a beautiful baby boy, to a 20-year-old who was as ready as anyone could be.
The day that baby M was born, all my hesitations, fears, worries, and doubts, all of it was gone. At 20, I was a Mum and I wouldn’t change that for anything.