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Teenage Pregnancy Uncategorized

Teenage pregnancy – is it so bad?

Jay is still pregnant. 36 weeks and four days. Of course, this is a good thing, but there is no denying that we are now getting impatient. We just want to meet the little man that has continuously kept us on our toes for over 10 weeks now.  Jay is feeling very heavy, tired and exasperated and who can blame her.  Anyone who has carried a baby knows that those last four weeks are the most difficult.  you just feel like the size of a house and just breathing is an effort.

“Seriously, you would have thought that they would have come up with a more efficient way of having a baby,” Jay says.

I look at her quizzically.  “Who do you mean ‘they’?”

“I dont know,” she says impatiently, “but surely in the 21st century we should have a better way of doing this!”

I smile at how her young mind thinks that everything should have some technological solution. “Pregnancy is biological, there is no other way.”

“Well, there should be.”

Poor Jay. In the last final push, it is getting all too much. She looks beautiful though. Truly, the most radiant pregnant woman around. Everyone who sees her keeps telling her so.

I have changed my mind about having babies at a young age. I think we were meant to have them young. Young enough to carry them, and still enjoy a good body afterwards; young enough to play with them, enjoy them and still have energy for other parts of our life as well.  Watching Jay grow, both physically and mentally over these past nine months has totally changed my point of view.  Nature intended that we do this young, it is society that dictated otherwise. Now, less than 4% of babies born in Australia are to young mothers. I’m not suggesting for one second that teenage girls should rush out and get pregnant, I’m just observing that our bodies are better equipped for it at that age.

Pregnancy matures us in a way no other facet of life can.  We have no choice but to become selfless when we have another human being to care for. We no longer worry about our own needs, all we care about is that dependent little being. That process begins when  we first know we are growing a child inside of us. I have seen it with Jay – the fear on her face when at just six weeks they thought it might be ectopic, how she has given up food that she loves for fear of harming the baby, how she observes other moms (both young and old) and makes judgements on what she will and won’t do as a mom herself. At a young age, we are not too set in our ways.  We are more adaptable, able to cope with the changeable needs of our children. Yet, we tend to view children as the end of our indeoendence, the end of our lives.

My mom, herself, told me when I fell pregnant with Jay that I wasn’t ready, despite being a whole five years older than  her when she had me.  I was offended at the time, hurt even. I fell pregnant on purpose. I wanted my baby, yet here I was being told by the one person I respected and trusted the most that I wasnt ready. It would set me on a path of insecurity for a very long time. I second guessed myself as a parent all time. I don’t want that for Jay. I want her to feel supported, yes, but not incapable. She has already shown such capability. I could not be more proud of her.

Why is it that there has been this move to have babies later and later in life?  Has anyone thought there might be  a correlation between the increase in autism and the increase in age of women getting pregnant, like there is a correlation between women over forty and downs syndrome? As someone who has a child with autism, was 30 when he was born, I have.  There are many theories, but what if it is just the simple fact that we are meant to be younger when we bare children.  I know I’m not going to be popular for even thinking it.  Women have fought for decades, still fight, long and hard for the right to choose, but what if we have it all wrong?

I dont have the answers, and it would be a politicaly incorrect thing to research, but watching Jay grow and flourish, despite her complications, has me thinking.

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Teenage Pregnancy

Kittens and the preparation of motherhood

Little Milo

We are on the home stretch and it feels amazing.  Jay is staying with us and it is so good to have her home.  She is miserable, of course.  Being nearly 35 weeks pregnant, unable to sleep and not in your own bed will do that to a person.  But I am loving having her here.  Mothers need their daughters as much as daughters need their mothers.  I miss having another woman in the house.  It is fun having girly things to talk about and we do find lots to talk about.

Jay has bought herself a new kitten.  Of course, we parents advised against it.  She is about to have a baby after all.  But Jay was adamant.  Em’s sister got a new kitten a few weeks ago and since then Jay has been obsessed with getting one.  Personally, I think it is the mothering instinct that is coming to the fore.  She is getting to the stage where she just needs something to nurture.  Being 19, she couldn’t wait for the few weeks until Baby C makes his appearance, so she wangled a kitten.

It is a cute kitten.  They call it tortoise shell, I think, but to me it looks like it has the genes of every coloured cat going – black, ginger, white, grey – it’s all in there.  Jay has named her Milo.  Of course, because Jay is living with us, so is Milo.  Dee hates cats.  This does pose a problem.  My two dogs also do not like cats.  Another problem.  So Milo is currently living in our bathroom, with frequent periods of reprieve when Jay feels the need for a cuddle.

Dee has taken a couple of days off work as we need some “us” time.  When Dee booked the leave, we had not realised that Jay (and Milo) would be staying with us.  There is no “us” time happening.  “Remind me why I took leave right now.” he says.

“Well, when you booked it, Jay was stable and we were going to have a few days together before the baby came.  That was then, this is now.  Now it is the three of us.”

Dee is not really impressed.  We need some intimacy and having Jay at home isn’t helping that cause.  We love having her, of course, but us parents desperately need some “us” time.

Jay walks into the lounge.  “Hi love, how did you sleep?”

“Not well.  Milo had me awake at 7am!”

I laugh.  Could this be a good precursor to what to expect when the baby comes.  Jay does not see the humour.  Oh, the 19 year old mind!  I am being condescending, but I don’t care.  I remember what it was like to be 19 and how I thought the everything was about me.  Jay is no different, even if she is having a baby.  She will adapt, of course, but for now, she doesn’t really have to.

“Tee has invited us to her house for a couple of days.  Will you look after Milo?”

“No, I’m afraid I won’t.” I say.  This is the tough part of motherhood.  In reality I have no issue with looking after Milo, but Dee has taken time off to be with me.  It wouldn’t be fair to be tied to a kitten for the remainder of his time off, and Jay needs to learn that if she chooses to take on a living  being, she has to make tough decisions sometimes to look after it.  I feel horrible for saying no.

Jay wanders back to her room and returns a few minutes later with Milo in tow.  “I spoke to Em.  I’m not going to go to Tee’s.  She is looking after someone else’s dog and doesn’t really want to have another kitten there as well.”  She seems to accept that she has had to make this decision to look after Milo.  I still feel horrible.  Oh, the joys of motherhood.  Even when your own baby is having a baby, it isn’t easy.

The day is cold and horrible.  We were due to try and sort out the nursery today.  I don’t really feel up to it because my back is playing up and I am in quite a bit of pain.  However, “Do you want to go through to your house today to do the nursery?”  I ask.

“Actually, Mum, is it okay if we skip it today.  I’m feeling really heavy and tired.  It is so cold, I just would like to sit at home and relax, if that is okay.”  I say a silent thank you to the universe.

“If that’s what you want, my love, that is what you will have.”

We snuggle up on the sofa together.  Milo is desperately trying to escape, meowing with each new attempt.  My dogs look on with curiosity.  I wander at whether I should just let Milo go and hope they won’t attack her.  They don’t seem to want to do anything bad to her.  I suggest it to Jay.  “Mum!  No!  How could you even think such a thing?  I’m not putting her at risk like that!”  I suddenly feel stupid for even suggesting it.  Me, the child, Jay, the adult.

I smile.  Yes, indeed, she is learning.  Learning the joys of motherhood!