Categories
Teenage Pregnancy

Letting them all know

Dee and I decide who we are going to tell.  Jay is only 7 weeks and my mom always told me that a woman should wait until the first trimester is over before telling anyone.  Being one who likes to share pain in my life, I never quite understand the reasoning behind this.  We decide that we are only going to tell family until the three month mark.  I will tell my side of the family, he will tell his.

I try to anticipate the various responses of the family.  I know my dad is going to say “I knew it,” and he doesn’t disappoint.  “I expected this,” he says.  I am immediately annoyed.  I feel judged, like I haven’t brought her up correctly.  I also feel protective of Jay.  She may have made mistakes in the past, but it isn’t necessary to use the tar brush for the rest of her life. “Is her boyfriend going to support her?”

“Yes, dad, he is.”

“What about where they are living?  What about money?  You are supporting her, aren’t you?”  Jay is the first grandchild and has always had a special spot in my parents’ hearts.  Despite his apparent expectation of her pregnancy, he still wants to make sure she  is okay.

“Yes, dad, we are of course supporting her.  We are helping them move into better accommodation.  Don’t worry, Jay will be fine.”

“Why don’t they move in with you?  You have the space.”

“We offered, dad, they don’t want to.  They want to be independent.”

“Well, that makes no sense.”  I sigh.

“They will be fine, dad.  They need their space.  They just want to do the best they can.  Can you let Peter know please?”  Peter is my brother.

He suddenly chokes up.  “I wish your mother was here.  Oh, Sarah, she would have loved this.  You know she would have been on the first plane out there supporting you both.”  God, I missed my mom.

I change the subject.  “Are you still coming out here for christmas?”

“Yes, my flight is booked.  I arrive on the 7th December.”  That’s 3 days before Jay’s Young Women’s Clinic appointment.

“Great, we will see you then.”

Next, I phone my sister in South Africa.  As soon as I hear her voice, I burst into tears.  The first tears I have shed since I found out. “Sarah, what is it?  What is it?”  She sounds frightened and I think I must sound like someone has died.

“It’s Jay.  She’s pregnant.  Oh Gee, my baby is having a baby!”  I can barely catch my breath.

“Oh Sarah, I am so sorry.”  It feels strange to hear condolences for something that is meant to be such a happy occasion.  “How far along is she?”  I tell her the due date.  “Sarah, this is a blessing.  Mom will have died almost 2 years to the day when that baby is born.  We will have something positive to keep us going, something to celebrate.  Mom would have loved that.”  I know she is right.  “And Jay will make a wonderful mom.  You know how good she is with kids.  They stick to her like glue.”  Gee is right, of course.

Dee has in the meantime let his brother and sister know.  He tells them in a jovial, can-you-believe-I’m-going-to-be-a-grandad, kind of way.  The responses are positive, but I can’t help myself thinking, “I know what you are thinking.”  I don’t, of course, know what they are thinking, but I am still feeling judged as a mom of a teenage pregnant daughter.  Our society does not value young mums, placing them on the drop kick pile of losers.  My daughter, on the other hand and with no bias whatsoever, is intelligent, eloquent and very happy to have a baby.  She does lack education, but in this day and age, this is not insurmountable.

The next person we tell is Dee’s dad.  He is not Jays’ biological grandfather.  Dee adopted Jay when she was three.  He had met us after Jays’ biological father had died in a scuba diving accident when she was 16 months old.  We fell in love and he did not hesitate to adopt Jay.  Dee’s parents had fallen in love with Jay and were very fond of her.  They treated her 100% like she was their own.  I was so very very grateful.

Jay wants to tell them herself.  We go around to their house for coffee.  Jay stands next to her grandad and says, “I have something to tell you.”  J-A looks at Jay.

“Oh yeah, what’s that?”

“I’m going to have a baby, you’re going to be a great grandad?”

J-A looks at me almost confused.  I smile and nod.  He looks down at Jay’s tummy.  “Wooohooo!  I’m going to be a greatgrandad.  Jo! Jo! we’re going to be great grandparents.”  He is doing the dance of joy around the kitchen and we are all laughing.  It is the most positive I have felt in three weeks.  At this moment, I realise just what a wonderful gift this baby really is.  I am so happy.

The next day, I phone Jay’s biological grandmother.  I am nervous about this phone call.  Our relationship was never really good when Jay’s biological dad was alive, but it had really declined after his death and my subsequent decision not to bring my child up in South Africa.  She had never forgiven me.

“Hello?”

“Hi Ellie, it’s Sarah.”

“Oh hello, my baby.  How are you?”  I can feel my heart thumping in my chest.

“Jay is pregnant.”  I just blurt it out.

There is a slight pause.  “Yes, of course.  Is she going to keep it?”  I say she is and that we are supporting her in that decision.  She is not happy.  “Do you want me to talk to her about having an abortion.  I mean, it really isn’t very good to bring a child into the world if you can’t support it, is it.”  This is Ellie through and through.  Judgemental, practical, never mind the cost.

“No, don’t talk to her.  Jay will phone you, but please don’t mention anything like that.  She is adamant she wants to keep the baby. She will be very upset if you mention that.”

Two days later I get a phone call from Jay.  She is in tears.  “I’ve just spoken to Nanna.”  Damn that woman!  “She said that I should consider not keeping it because it isn’t fair to Em who will have to support us, and to you and dad.  Why would she suggest that, Mum, why?”  I am furious.  I consider phoning Ellie and giving her a piece of my mind, but think better of it.  She has had so much loss of her own in her life and I know she is just thinking practically.  I say this to Jay and to not take too much notice.  “Mum, she told me to think about it and to give her my decision in a few days!”

“Jay, this is your body, and your life.  You are answerable to no-one.  You only have to be responsible for your own actions.”

“Well, I’m keeping this baby no matter what.”

Three weeks later, Jay sends Ellie a text.  Dear Nanna, I have decided to keep the baby.

Categories
Teenage Pregnancy

The confirmation – take 2

The next two weeks pass by in somewhat of a blur.  Jay and I keep our usual Tuesday and Friday dates but rather than go to the movies or look at shoes shops (Jay’s obsession), we wander around baby sections and imagine a life with a baby.  I am still not really ready to play this game.

I have done some research.  There is a young women’s clinic at our local hospital for women (girls) aged 19 and under.  Jay just qualifies.  I phone the clinic.  They need a referral from the doctor, which I agree to get.  We talk about the support that she will receive and what will be involved for her.  I still feel like this is some ridiculous dream.  I keep saying to myself that this is just not real.  I am fooling myself of course.  I make an appointment for Jay to attend the clinic in about 6 weeks time.  She will be about 12 weeks pregnant.

On the day Jay is to see the doctor, she is to have the follow up ultrasound to make the confirmation.  This time, Em is not with her and I pick Jay up from home.  I am irritated by this.  Dee was at every one of my ultrasounds and we shared the journey together.  I realise that Em is still probably hoping for a different result, but am still annoyed.

“Why isn’t Em with you, Jay.  He should be here.”

“Oh Mum, don’t start.  He has to work.  He can’t get the time off.”

I drop it.  “You don’t really look well.  Are you okay.”

“I’ve been feeling sick.  Do you think it’s morning sickness?”

Sure confirmation there then.  “It could be love.  Is it mostly in the morning?”

“Not really,  I just feel nauseous all day.”  Mother like daughter.

“It could be.”

We make our way into the ultrasound waiting room.  This time we have an appointment and Jay’s bladder is nice and full.  Jay’s name is called.  It is a different sonographer so we quickly run through the story again.  We come to realise that repeating ourselves over and over again will become the norm with this pregnancy.

“Ah yes, there is the embryo.  And it’s heart is beating nice and strongly.”  Jay smiles.  So there it is, my grandchild is a reality.  I wasn’t expecting any other result really.  The women in my family are fertile and strong when it comes to baby making.

The size of the baby has changed.  Jay notices it.  “You can see its head now Mum.”

“Yes, you can my darling.  It is resembling a little baby now.”

We make our way to the doctor upstairs.  “Is this your first pregnancy?”  At 19 years of age, is she serious?

“Yes,” Jay replies.

“Well, you are now about 7 weeks pregnant and the ultrasound that you had two weeks ago shows that your due date is the 7th July.”  I sigh.  The baby is due the day before the anniversary of mom’s death.  “You will need to take some vitamins specifically for pregnant women.  This greatly reduces the risk of birth defects like Spina Bifida.”  I know Jay has no idea what that is.

I ask the doctor for a referral to the Young Women’s Clinic.  Surprisingly, she has never heard of it, but agrees to give me the referral anyway.

“So, you’re going to have a baby, angel.”  I squeeze her tightly into me.  “Are you happy?”

“I am Mum, but I am also scared.”

“Of course you are angel.  That is totally understandable.  But you know you aren’t alone don’t you.  We will absolutely be with you 100% of the way.”

“I know, Mum, I love you.”

“I love you too my darling.”  I feel my heart swell.

I take Jay to the shopping centre for a drink and some food.  Em and Jay have been struggling for money in the last couple of weeks and I am sure Jay would not have had breakfast.  Judging by the way she demolishes the food, I know I am right.

After our meal, I offer to take her to a dedicated baby store to check out the essentials that we will need.  Jay eagerly agrees.  We go to a shop called Baby Train.  I am totally blown away by how far baby things have come along since I had JC 13 years ago.  So much choice!

The manager of the store wanders over to us.  “Can I help you?”  I falter momentarily.

“Yes, my daughter is expecting a baby.  She is not due for a few months [obviously], but we thought we would have a look at what we might need.”

He doesn’t miss a beat.  “Of course.” and to Jay with a big smile, “Congratulations, what are you hoping for?”  I wonder how many 19 year old pregnant girls have walked through his doors.  Not many.  I have done my research.  Only 1.6% of pregnant women in Australia are between the ages of 15 and 19.  The median age of pregnant women is 30.7 years.  Jay is a full 11 years below the average pregnant woman.  This could be a problem.

“I don’t mind what I have, as long as it is healthy.”  Every woman’s wish, no matter their age.

We have fun test driving prams, cots and other paraphenalia.  I feel like an expert as I impart my advice to her.

On the way home, I call Dee.  “Hey Grandad.  It’s confirmed, we are going to be grandparents.”  I suddenly feel quite warm inside.

“Well, I guess we better let everyone know then,” he says.

Categories
Teenage Pregnancy Uncategorized

The confirmation

I drop JC off at school and make my way to where Jay is having her ultrasound.  It takes me 45 minutes to get there.  Appropriately, it is raining.  I call them to let them know that I am on my way and to please wait before going in because I want to be there.

When I arrive, I see Amy at the entrance to the building.  Damn, what is she doing here?  I like her, but today I could really do without her sickly sweetness.  She is 16 and living with her boyfriend.  Tough upbringing.  I wonder about the influence she has had over my daughter.

“Hey Amy.”  She looks at me with eyes that say something terrible is about to happen.  I am mildly irritated.  What the hell is she doing here?  I feel like we are waiting for the axe to fall.

Jay and Em eventually arrive.  There has been a misunderstanding.  Jay was meant to make an appointment, but she was told she didn’t have to make one.  They agree to fit her in where they can, but it could be a while.  “But I need to pee!” Jay wails.

Em has been very quiet.  We sit down in the waiting room.  “Mum, I can’t wait any longer.  I really need to pee.  I’m in pain.”  I encourage her to hang on a little while.  I feel like I am talking to three year old Jay.  Amy says that because we have to wait, she can pee and then gulp down some more water.  I advise against it, but Jay agrees and heads off to the loo, with Amy in tow.

Em has his head down.  I do not know what to say.  He is clearly uncomfortable.  I am uncomfortable.

“Jay X!” The ultrasounds woman shouts.  Dammit, I knew Jay should have waited.  I yell for Jay.  She appears with a big bottle of water.  “Drink, drink, drink!” I snap.

I rush into the room with Jay, and notice Em has not followed us.  “Okay, so you are about 5 weeks pregnant?”  Jay nods.  “And you had some pain.” She nods again.  “Right, I am going to take a look, but what you will see is not really a baby.  Jay looks at me, confused.  I shake my head and mouth later. “Remove your jeans please.”  Again, Jay looks at me with fear in her eyes.  God, this is hard.

The sonographer places the gel on Jay’s belly and slides the wand over her tummy to have a good look.  “Well, it is not ectocpic.  There is an embryo, but there is no heart beat, so you will need to come back in two weeks to confirm the pregnancy.”  I’m staring at what closely resemble a jelly bean on the screen.  My grandchild is a jelly bean.  I feel warm, confused, teary.  There is life inside my daughter – an extension of me.

Image

“What does she mean I have to come back in two weeks to confirm the pregnancy?”  I snap back to reality.  The sonographer has left to let Jay get dressed.

“Well, a lot of times woman have eggs that become fertilised but then the body reabsorbs them, so I think that until they can see a heart beat, they don’t consider it an actual pregancy.”  I don’t know if this is true or not, but it sounds plausible.

“But my blood tests at the hospital said my HCG level were over 5,000.  He said that was high and that I was definitely pregnant.”  There was desperation in her voice.  I wonder if she has any clue what this means, how her life is going to change forever.

“It’s okay, Jay.  We’ll just make an appointment for two weeks and confirm everything is okay.”  She looked deflated.  This wasn’t what she was hoping for.  Her maternal instinct was clearly strong.

We walked back into the waiting room.  Em was there, looking very pale.  “Why didn’t you come in with us, Em?” I said.  “It is your baby too you know.”  I tried to sound light hearted.

“I just thought it best if Jay was with you.”  I note a tone of denial.

“The baby is there, but no heartbeat, so I have to come back in two weeks for a follow up to confirm the pregnancy.”  Jay is petulant.  Patience was never her thing.  I’m wondering if Em is praying for it not to be a pregnancy at all.

Em heads back to work and I agree to take Jay home.  We stop off for a coffee at the shopping centre nearby.  Why are there so many pregnant women around, and so many babies?  Have these people never heard of contraception?

“Can we look at baby stuff?”  Jay asks.  I feel like we are playing dolls.  Does she truly get that we are bringing an actual human being into this world?

“Sure.”  We wonder around the baby sections of K-mart and Target.  So much stuff will be needed.  How on earth are we going to afford all of this?  We have just forked out a fortune furnishing the new house.

“When will I start to show, Mum?”  I sigh.  So eager.

“Not for another few months, yet, love, not for another few months.”

Categories
Teenage Pregnancy

The Confrontation

We make our way over to where Jay and Em are living.  It is a dump.  A derelict house that has been marked for demolition to make way for three townhouses.  But it is cheap and all they can afford.  I hate going there.  It wreaks of cat pee and is very damp.  It is no place to bring up a baby.

As we arrive, Em is in the front garden.  We don’t say anything to him and just enter the house.  I hug Jay.  “Are you okay?”

She looks up at me.  I can see she is frightened.  I feel sick at what is unfolding around me.  This is definitely a game-changer.

Em enters the house and takes a seat beside Jay.  He puts his arm around her shoulder.  I like that.

Dee speaks first.  “I’m not happy…” he pauses.  Em’s face suddenly drains of all colour.  “…about being called Grandad.”  Dee smiles a big smile and we all laugh, if somewhat nervously.  It is enough to break the ice and we start chatting about the baby.

Em immediately says that they will look for something better to live.  He knows that they cannot bring a baby into this environment.  We offer to help them with the deposit.  We know that they don’t have a jellybean to rub together.  Teenage love (lust) knows no financial planning, I am afraid.

“What are your intentions, Em.  Are you going to marry Jay?” I suddenly blurt out.  Jay glares at me, but I can’t help myself.  I am a traditionalist.  I know it’s not a requirement these days, but I need to know.

Em looks down, then back at me.  “It’s on the cards,” he says.  Safe answer.  Later Jay tells me that he clarifies with her that it’s not on the cards for a long time.  Just as well, none of us can afford a big wedding right now and I know Jay has been dreaming of a big wedding from when she was a little girl.  What am I saying?  She is still a little girl, my little girl!

“How are you feeling about everything Em?”  I ask.

“I will go along with whatever Jay wants.”  Dee and I both know that this means he wishes at this moment that she had chosen the easy option.  I hope that this changes.

We ask about the hospital visit.  “I started having quite bad abdominal pains, so Em took me to the hospital.  They confirmed that I was pregnant, but the pains could mean that it is an ectopic pregnancy which is why I have to go for an ultrasound tomorrow.”

“Are you going to be there, Em?” I ask.  I want to ascertain his level of involvement straight off the bat.

“Yes, I will be there.”  He looks shell shocked.  I know how he feels.  We are all shell shocked.  I feel surreal, like I am walking through someone else’s life.

We decide to leave.  There doesn’t seem much else to say.  I give Jay a big hug.  “It will be okay.” I say.

We dissect the evening’s conversation on the way home.  “Did you have to bring up marriage?” Dee says.

“I know, I just panicked.  Who gets married just for the sake of the kids these days?  I really wish I hadn’t said it now.  You were funny though, giving Em the scare of his life. He thought you meant you weren’t happy with him.”

“That was my intention.  I’m not happy with him, or Jay, but I want him to know I expect him to take care of our daughter.”

We are quiet for the rest of the journey home.  I still feel sick.  I am ashamed of myself for worrying about what other people will think.  Jay is only 19 after all, and she was so difficult in the last two years.  I imagine people thinking that they expected this.  I am even more ashamed at wondering how this will affect how people see me as a parent.  I wonder if there is something more I could have done.  Perhaps I should have been more strict, perhaps I could have been more involved in her life.  JC took up so much energy, after all.

Jay is not ready for this.  I think of my mom at 19 finding out she was pregnant with me.  She must have been so frightened.  I feel a pang in my stomach.  Oh Mom.  Why oh why did you have to die?  I really really need you right now.

Getting into bed, we discuss becoming grandparents.  “I don’t feel I have perfected motherhood, nevermind entering grandmotherhood.”

“Our daughter certainly doesn’t do things in half measures, does she?” Em says.

It is true.  Jay has always pushed the boundaries, always lived life to the beat of her own drum, and not always in a good way.

As I drift off to sleep, I imagine myself as a grandmother.  I toy with what I want to be called.  Nanna? Nope.  Grannie? Nope.  Urgh, I am way too young for this!

Categories
Autism Teenage Pregnancy

Breaking the news

I sit down after replacing the receiver and take a deep breath. A grandmother? Me? Now? Is this some sick joke the universe is playing on me? Have I not suffered enough in the last two years (because, yes, in this moment I do think it is all about me , dammit!)?

I scan the perfectly decorated room imagining a baby in its midst. I am not ready for this.  Jay is not ready for this! God, she certainly knows how to push those boundaries! What the bloody hell was she thinking?  I am furious at her.  Selfishly, not for getting pImageregnant but for ruining my year of peace. Damn, damn, damn.

I pick JC up from school. It has been one of his better days. “How was your day?

“Fine.” This is autism speak for an okay day, not a disastrous day. I ask what he did. “Nothing.” Then, “I’m hungry.” We perform this routine every afternoon.

“It’s not Thursday, JC, no Hungry Jacks.” He starts winding himself up, as per usual. I’m tired, frustrated, I do not want to play today. “I have something to tell you.”

“What?” he snaps. I know he doesn’t care what it is I have to say, all he wants is that damn burger.

I try to sound upbeat, nonchalant, normal. “Jay is pregnant, you are going to be an uncle.”

He looks at me briefly. “Goddammit!” I choose not to reprimand him.

“Not good news?” Why am I asking my 13 year old son?  I choose to tell myself that JC has high functioning autism, that he doesn’t like change and telling him early is the right thing to do. I’m kidding myself, I just need to tell someone, anyone, what had been searing my brain for the last four hours.

“No its not.”

“Why?”

“Because it will annoy me.”  Poor JC, people annoyed him all the time and now having a baby around would be the ultimate annoyance.  I get it.  “So I guess Jay and Em had sex.”  I smile at the literal way his mind works.

“I guess so.”

“I’m hungry.” You have to love how with kids with autism, it is always about them.

“No Hungry Jacks, JC.”

Later that afternoon, I pop in to JC’s room.  “Please don’t mention the Jay thing to dad okay?  I want to tell him gently.”  I am regretting telling him.  He is totally unable to keep a secret.  He doesn’t understand the implications of telling secrets and as such doesn’t see the need to keep them.  I hope that I can grab Dee before JC lets the cat out the bag.

The dogs bark as usual when Dee opens the front door.  As I sprint up the hallway to catch Dee, JC yells, “Jay is pregnant.”  Goddammit!  I sigh as Dee looks at me confused.  I motion to our bedroom and follow him in.  “It’s true, Jay is pregnant.  She phoned me this morning to let me know.  I have to go with her to the docs for an ultrasound to make sure all is okay as she was in hospital last night with severe pains.”

“I knew I saw Em’s car when I drove past the hospital last night.  Seriously, she’s having a baby?”

“I know, it’s a lot to take in.  Yes, we are going to be grandparents.”

“I don’t want to be a grandparent.”  I know how he feels.  “What about Em, is he going to support her?  They have only been together a year.  Dammit, I knew we should never have let her move in with him.”  I sigh.  Hindsight is crap, especially when you know it wouldn’t have made a bit of difference.

I tell him of Jay’s decision to keep the baby and her apparent nervousness at losing it, despite only being about five weeks pregnant.  It seems that Em is prepared to stand by her.  We both agree that this is a blessing as we know of a fair few stories of men older than 22 year old Em who would head for the hills.  We thank the universe that Jay fell pregnant to a man that clearly loves her and is prepared to support her.

“How on earth is Jay going to cope?  Sarah, she can’t even decide what drink to have in the morning!”  Dee is right. Jay has always been indecisive, always afraid of making the wrong decision. I know in that instant that I have to support her, but I also have to enable her to make decisions about her own baby.  I did my bit with her, it is time for her to do her bit with her own baby.  I know this is not going to come easily for her – or me.

“It will be okay.  Jay will be okay.  My mom was 19 when she had us and she didn’t have the support Jay will have.  It will be okay.”  This is to become my mantra – it will be okay.

Dee puts his arms around me, and kisses me on the lips.  “Can we just not get a break?  Sarah, what about your rest?  How much more do you have to take?”  I love the fact that after 16 years of marriage, he still cares so much about me.

“I guess the universe thinks I am one tough cookie because it keeps throwing buckets of shit at me.  I will be okay, we will be okay.”

Dee sits on the edge of the bed.  He doesn’t look well.  I wonder how much more he can take.  I also wonder if he wishes he owned a shot gun right now, assuming this is the appropriate response for a father of a pregnant teenager.  I laugh at myself.  Yeah, right, my gentle man owning a shot gun.  It is what it is and without speaking, we know we have to support two kids who are probably scared out of their minds right now.

“I think we should go to the house and speak to them,”  I say quietly.

Dee looks up at me and all he can do is nod.

Categories
Teenage Pregnancy

And so it begins…

Monday and the time is around 11am.  I am seated on our new chocolate brown leather lounge suite enjoying what I feel is a much deserved cup of tea. I have managed to do a fair bit of housework and our beautiful new house feels calm and restful.

I scan around the room. I still can’t believe we are finally in. Three years it has taken us to finally get to this point. The financial crisis had been good to us – we had bought the builder’s display home, with all its extras, for a steel – but it had still been a long, emotionally fraught road until we moved in. The reflection of the ripples of the lap pool dance on the ceiling.   I take a deep breath and exhale slowly.

Dee and I had discussed me giving up formal employment for a year before it happened, but, finally, here I am taking the year off I had been promising myself. After the past two years – losing mom, becoming a recovering alcoholic and discovering JC has autism – I am actually looking forward to 2012, my year of peace.

I am wondering if I should make some chocolate muffins or read a book after lunch when the phone rings.

“Hi mum.”  It’s Jay. “Hi my love, how are you?” I love hearing her voice. During all the grief and drama that had surrounded our family in the past two years, she and I had fallen out miserably. At 16 she had become the overly feral rebellious teenager and I had reacted by becoming the equally feral mother, though of course I could not see it at the time. For the full two years we had fought, going from being  best friends to being mortal enemies. Whilst her confidence of where she fit in the world had become shaken, mine as a mother had plummeted. But that was behind us now. We were firmly on the mend. Still a bit shaky at times, perhaps, but definitely on the mend.

Jay had decided a year ago she didn’t want to move into the new house with us. At the age of 18, we could not stop her from moving in with her boyfriend and with nearly two years sobriety under my belt, I knew better than to fight what I could not control. Releasing my foot off the pedal of control had been a good move in the direction of our mother/daughter relationship, plus we really liked Em, he was really good to her.

“I’m good, mum. What are you doing?”

“Just finished tidying up the house. We still on for tomorrow?”

Since moving into our house and out of our old area a month ago, Jay and I had settled into meeting up every Tuesday and Friday. She still needed her mamma!

“Mummy, I have something to tell you.”

Of course, I know instantly what is coming, but nevertheless, I say a mini prayer of please don’t let it be what I think it is. “Oh, really,” I say in a very upbeat voice, “what is that?” I pray she has won the lottery for some reason.

“I’m pregnant.”

I take a deep breath. What is the appropriate response in this instance? Yelling “You stupid girl, what were you thinking?” seems firstly, to be stating the obvious – she is stupid and was clearly not thinking, and secondly a slow learning process has taught me yelling does not work with Jay – her sensitive soul just did not respond well to yelling.

“Are you okay?” I finally say.

She starts crying.”Oh, mummy, I am so sorry to disappoint you.”

“Oh baby girl, you have not disappointed me.” I pause. “What are you going to do?” Yes, I am asking that question.

“Em asked me if I wanted to keep the baby. Mum, I can’t get rid of it.”

Am I selfish for breathing a sigh of relief?

“It’s okay, angel, we will get through this. You know dad and I will support you no matter what.”

“I have to have an ultrasound tomorrow mum. I had severe pain yesterday and the doctor wants to check it isn’t ectopic. Will you come with me mum?”

I can tell from the sound in her voice that good old Mother Nature has already stepped in – despite being only 19, Jay is frightened of losing the baby.

“Of course, I’ll be there.

Yep, there it goes.  That year of peace has just flown out of the window.