I was 20 and Pregnant

studio portrait of pregnant woman

My experience, and what I learned from being pregnant in college.

Happy mother’s day to all my beautiful moms out there reading this. Motherhood is truly a blessing and I’m so fortunate to have a tiny little munchkin to watch grow and to love. Becoming pregnant was nothing short of a shock for us. As soon as I met Leo I had an overwhelming feeling I can’t really describe. It was almost an instinctual feeling of protection and love, this new person in my life became the missing piece I had not known I needed.

Becoming a mom was not all rainbows and butterflies. I, admittedly, was too young. My mind and body changed into a completely new person I didn’t recognize. Postpartum depression hit me hard, and I was not prepared.

I know there are too many women who struggle with infertility and my heart completely goes out to you. In no way am I trying to upset anyone with this blog post, but if you are sensitive around the topic of pregnancy, know that you are in my heart and I completely understand if this blog post isn’t for you.

I just want to share my story, my struggles, what I learned, and how I grew.

There were no resources.

And if there were, they weren’t that great. The best advice I can give you is follow the advice of your doctor. I was actually shocked when I had nurses tell me that younger moms tend to skip some of their appointments. My OBGYN was a lifesaver for me, and my baby, while I was pregnant. At my first appointment I was so scared. Leaving it, I felt so much better and knew I’d be ok. It’s also important to make sure you and your baby are safe and healthy. WIC is also a great program for any mom.

Figuring out how to finish college was the hard part. I went small, private university where it seemed like I was the first person to get pregnant while enrolled. Relying on the emotional support of my academic adviser, who knew me more than any of the professors there, helped a lot. I just made it up as I went, knowing I wanted to graduate. There was too much time and money spent not to and graduating was my priority.

I was more afraid of what people would think than what I would do.

That was more my fault than anyone else, but there’s a stereotype for women you get pregnant while they’re young. I was terrified of what people would think of me or say. Now, typing this, I don’t really know why. I was an adult (barely, but I was), me and my husband had been together for 3 years, and I was always smart. Me getting pregnant was not stupid, it was not a mistake, it just wasn’t in my plan.

I was actually surprised and overwhelmed with love and support. The people who really loved me were so excited, and the friends who weren’t faded away. After I got over the initial fear, I was 100% fine.

People will say rude things, but it’s unintentional.

What are you going to do? Are you and his father still together? Are you keeping it? ….. IT (moms, you know what I mean!)

It’s weird to say, but if we had been married when I had gotten pregnant, I wouldn’t have been asked any of those questions. People don’t understand that asking those things aren’t appropriate. I had a point in my pregnancy that I was feeling so faint, I went to the college nurse. We had never met before, but in that moment I needed help. I told her I was pregnant, she looked at me and said, “that’s unfortunate, I’m so sorry.”

A classmate looked me straight in the eye, and told me they didn’t think I was coming back for my senior year. I had never said I wasn’t finishing school, wouldn’t be back, etc. But, because I was a mom now, there was assumption that I couldn’t, or wouldn’t, be able to finish school. I know that person wasn’t the only one who thought that, and I know there were no ill intentions, however, those types of comments are unintentionally hurtful.

Did I become defensive in those moments, sometimes. Did I make mistakes, absolutely. I learned it’s ok to move on from some friendships. It doesn’t mean they weren’t meaningful, it just inevitable as you grow and change.

I still get comments about being too you, someone said, “opps” when I told them I had a two year old. My advice, don’t ignore it. Politely correct it, and then move forward with your life.

studio portrait of small baby on black background

How I made it work.

First, God works in weird ways. I (unplanned) was due in July, so I was able to take the summer months for my “maternity” leave from college and return to finish my senior year in the fall. If I was due during the school year, I probably would have to had to take a semester off, and I don’t know if I honestly would have finished school.

I also relied a lot on my family. My dad recently retired, and agreed to watch him while I was at school. Without his support I wouldn’t have been able to do it.

How WE made it work.

Just because you’re young, doesn’t mean you can’t be a good parent. I have no clue how I would have made it work without my husband. He would take my turn getting up in the middle of the night. He would pick up my slack when I laid in bed unmotivated to do anything. We became true partners. He made so many sacrifices for our son, and for me to be able to finish school and start this business.

It was by no means easy, we didn’t always get along. We definitely learned as we went. We still don’t have it all together. But without each other, it wouldn’t have worked.

Studio portrait of pregnant woman sitting

There is so much more I could talk about in this blog. I’m a completely different person now than I was when I started college. It’s almost been 4 years since I sat across from Richard, on his bed, with a positive pregnancy test.

No matter how hopeless or scared you may be, remember to keep fighting. If you believe you can do it, and really try your best, it’ll work itself out.

And to all my moms out there, I’m on the other side of this blog, giving you the biggest virtual hug.

May 13, 2018

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