Teen mum myth busters by Ruby Natalia @RUBY_NATALIA
This week I'm writing a piece on teenage pregnancy/motherhood. I hope its a refreshing read, I shall be addressing questions and pre conceptions I faced since falling pregnant. I was 18 when I fell pregnant and 19 when I had my son, so its something I'm very familiar with. I guess the best way to write this is to start with the questions I got whilst pregnant and end on those I face now as a mother... enjoy!
What did your boyfriend/mum say?
This question is probably one of the most common amongst newly pregnant women. Maybe the mum part is left out when you're older and your mum is about to burst if she doesn't become a grandma soon. But, in my opinion this question is not one of concern its one of pure nosiness! Sorry to be a cynic.
What are you going to do?
About? Life? Brexit? My roots? Vague. Very vague.
Where are you going to live?
Okay, so, when I fell pregnant I lived in London where I went to university. As beautiful as West Hampstead was, it just wasn't the right place for me to start my family. Also extremely expensive! So my boyfriend and I decided it would be best for me to move back home while we found a house for our family.
After moving between hospitals and transferring from my GP in London to one at home, I finally got to see my assigned midwife at my 28 week appointment. She was SO annoying! I've never come across such a condescending, patronising, overbearing mare in all my life. I was treat like a 12 year old. She asked me numerous questions, all of which I won't repeat, instead I will share those which I think other young women may be able to relate with.
Are you going to breastfeed?
Yes. I'm not sure why my midwife felt to ask me this 3 times in the same appointment. Whilst repeatedly reiterating how hard it would be and role playing with her thumb as the nipple and accidentally gagging herself - I didn't know where to look. Never felt so awkward.
Are you with 'The Dad'?
2 weeks later..
Are you still with 'The Dad'?
Have we discussed breastfeeding?
Yes. Please test my wee and let me go
Back to questions from people other than the annoying midwife:
Are you scared to give birth?
My answer all along was no, I was actually really excited. I had a peaceful water birth planned that I eagerly anticipated. Fast forward to 39+5 weeks pregnant when I had premature rupture of the membrane and a water birth was off the cards my answer changed to yes!!!
What will you do about Uni?
Go back. I sat my exams whilst 6 months pregnant, as difficult as this was it spurred me on to try my hardest. I surpassed the grades I needed to be accepted on to the second year of my Law degree and deferred for a year, meaning I will return a year behind my classmates. When I fell pregnant I think most people assumed I would quit uni. My mum had me in university and completed another degree later on as a single parent to 3 children so in my eyes this wasn't an option! And without bragging, I finished with one of the top 4 grades out of my entire year on my English Legal System module and have been invited to shadow a barrister as a result. So pleeeease don't let morning sickness and constant nosebleeds over your study books put you off! You've got this! Now I constantly get pestered by people asking when I'm going back as if looking after a 4 month old full time isn't enough, but, as my son is an August baby I get a whole year off with him as the academic year starts in September.
How are you still going to go on holiday?
Before I had my son, I would save up my wages purely to go on holiday. Between leaving school and having him I went to 9 different countries and travelled to my favourite cities. I had the best time, I absolutely love travelling and having fun. Honestly I cannot tell you how excited I am to take my son on his first holiday, my favourite reggae festival in Spain is on during his birthday week so I think we are going to take a quick trip. Baby's fly free under 2 so the more holidays we can cram in the better! Some of my favourite childhood and teenage memories are being on holiday so I'm going to make sure my son gets as many as possible... also Ocean Beach Ibiza have started kids parties!!! Any excuse I'm there! Beefa 2017 here we come, 1st birthday venue?!
Do you miss going out with your friends?
No, I honestly don't. I wasn't massive on going out pre-baby I preferred holidays so it really hasn't bothered me that I cant go out every weekend, I've not wanted to either. I understand some (sociable) people may miss this but I love my own company so I've been cool.
Is it hard?
Yes. Of course, but you just get on with it. I believe its hard at any age, if not harder when you're older and all of your friends are mums and you have people to compare yourself with. I love being a mum, I'm completely obsessed with my son and I cant imagine doing anything other than being his mummy at the minute
How do you know what to do with a baby?
In contrast with the previous answer, this is a question I think I get from my friends because none of them have children. The answer is, you just do... or maybe you don't and you pretend that you do but that works just fine too!
I do feel that because I'm young I'm an easy target for older people to fire questions at, often on subjects that are none of their business, i.e how I raise my child. But thats life, I know my boundaries and I stick to them, if people ask me something too personal I will happily tell them that it doesn't concern them. Age shouldn't determine how well you do something, women are capable of being mothers at all different ages so the last thing we should do is belittle those who have children a little earlier than what society considers the norm. After all, years ago young mums were the norm! We are trying just as hard as any other Mum and its not always easy to juggle but we manage! With exception of the odd meltdown, on the
whole we have our shit together and get on with it.
Check out Rubys blog: http://rubynataliauk.blogspot.co.uk