As of right now, I am 10 weeks and 5 days pregnant. All my books and websites say at this point my baby is the size of a kumquat, but I have no idea what the hell that is. [UPDATE: I googled it. Never had one, but they’re adorable. They’re like grape-sized oranges.]
The other week, I went to my first gynecology appointment. As I was sitting in the waiting room, I looked around and really noticed who I was surrounded by. To my left, a woman exhausted trying to keep a toddler sitting still with one hand on his shirt and the other on her protruding stomach. To my right, a gorgeous woman with a real pregnant glow — the kind you hear about in magazines and in movies — wearing a beautiful pink floral sundress and wearing 3 inch heels despite the fact that she looked about ready to pop. Looked probably in her late 20’s. Behind me, a woman with her husband holding hands while their two children sit across from them sharing a bag of chips. In a back corner, a woman that pulled out a huge blanket and spread it on the floor and put her baby on it, then proceeded to pour out at least 10 different toys onto her child.
No matter who I looked at, I noticed something they all had in common: They were much older than me.
There I sat, a little 18 year old in a neon pink raincoat and a Hello Kitty hat, 9 weeks pregnant with no idea what I’m doing. I felt a sense of shame, and panic.
I remembered at the beginning of last school year, I heard that this girl I’ve been going to school with since middle school got pregnant and had a baby. I thought, “Wow, how awful. Poor thing, life is gonna be so hard for her.” You know, all the stereotypical things to worry about and question for a pregnant teenager. And then I felt bad, realizing that now, hey, here I am.
After my exam, they gave me an bag full of pamphlets and information about being a first-time mom with some information about support groups for teenage moms. I had about another hour in the waiting room while I waited for my friend to pick me up, and I started reading some things when I noticed another girl come out of the office holding the same bag as me. She couldn’t have been much older than me, definitely had the feel of a student. She was wearing one of our school shirts.
That’s when I remembered. Soon after I found out, I actually (very awkwardly) messaged the girl I knew that got pregnant on Facebook and told her my situation and asked if she had any advice. And I’ll never forget what she said.
“Relax. You aren’t the first, and you won’t be the last.”
Which is 100000000000000000000000000000% true.
There are resources out there. There are friends and family. I am in no way alone. I can do this.
When I started college, I was asking myself what my legacy would be. What would I be remembered for from my peers?
I’ve always been “that quiet kid.” That “weird girl that doesn’t really say much.” “A little awkward.”
Never in my life have I wanted to be, “That girl that got pregnant in school.”
Of course I can’t decide my own legacy, but here’s what I want it to be:
That girl that got pregnant freshman year of college, and she had a beautiful baby and she finished school and now she has a successful career and a beautiful family.
Look out world, because that’s going to be me. Because I’m strong, and that’s exactly how I’m going to raise my child. No one will look down on us.