“One in three women get pregnant before the age of 20”
Pregnancy is a scary word at any age. You are carrying a child inside of you for ten months. You are feeding them, taking care of them before they have even taken their first breath. Every decision you make in those nine months impacts your unborn child. It doesn’t end there either for the next eighteen years (at the least) you are caring for that child: feeding them, clothing them, teaching them right from wrong and how to speak. It doesn’t stop there either, for the rest of your life you are worrying nonstop, hoping you raised them right, hoping they are happy, safe, and successful. You spend time hoping you did enough and everything will change: life, outlooks and priorities change.
When I was sixteen I found out I was pregnant, it was a terrifying moment. My boyfriend and I had broken up the month before this discovery, and I felt absolutely alone. I found out I was four months pregnant and I felt like I was a horribly unobservant. The following few weeks was a rollercoaster of events. I found out I was having a baby girl, I was repeatedly attempting to tell the father and my parents about her (and failing countless times) and researching what it would take to be a mother. I was ecstatic, I always wanted a kid, yeah I was young, but things would work out right? Well no, around 25 weeks pregnant I miscarried, and it was devastating. I was heartbroken, I had grown to love my little angel growing inside of me. I didn’t know then but that heartbreak would follow me for years, still does to this day in fact. I had fallen into a deep depression, I felt lost and I felt like my world had changed.
It took me years to get out of that depression, it didn’t help that I was hiding it from everyone I knew in shame or fear of being judged. It wasn’t until the age of eighteen that I finally opened up and told someone about my pregnancy. I realized bottling everything in was not healthy, and it did not help me at all; in reality keeping it all inside hurt me more than anything. I realized that I had made things out to be worse in my head then they were in reality, and the people I have opened up to are all fairly supportive about it. I was very fortunate in that sense that everyone I told accepted it and didn’t harshly judge me on it. However not everyone is as fortunate as I was, and may receive some backlash upon opening up to people.
Many youth going through a young pregnancy do not have a very positive response and can have some very negative setbacks. Some are disowned, lose friends or family support, face bullying, and some may have the other parent walk away not ready to handle having a child. Those among many others are all reasons youth can be scared to talk to people about what’s going on. There is also the necessities that come with raising a child, such as feeding, housing and looking after that child, which can take up a lot of one’s time and resources. To top it all off is the stigma young parents seem to face that basically says that all teen parents are horrible parents, which by the way is false… Lets be realistic here guys, you can be a horrible parent no matter what age you had your child(ren), and also making mistakes is part of human nature. It is not right to label someone a ‘bad parent’ due to someone else’s mistakes, or for any reason for that matter especially if you are not directly involved (even if you are though, not nice).
Many people see having a child young as an end of one’s freedom, lack of experience, and a waste of the person’s young years. While they could be valid points they are not necessarily all true; I mean yes you have to sacrifice a lot for this child but you gain a lot too. Where you don’t have the freedom to go out and party with your friends nonstop; you’ve gained a pal to play with, to grow with. Yes you may have gained more responsibility but having a child does not end your life, they just enhance it.
Stay Proud, Stay Loud Lovies!
Marie Olsson xx