For the first part of my pregnancy, I genuinely believed I was having a little girl. I’d had a name picked out practically since the day I found out. However, the past few weeks I’ve been feeling that I was having a baby boy. Craving salt like crazy, I basically always had a can of Pringles clutched in my fat little pregnant fingers.
On Monday, which was St. Patrick’s Day, I went in for my 18 week check-up. During the ultrasound, my boyfriend and I learned that we were having a sweet little boy. I couldn’t be happier, although most people think I was desperate for a girl. I’m glad we are having a boy. It will be easier on his daddy for our “Little Nuggie” to be a boy. Honestly, it’s helpful for us financially because my baby brother will be about 2 when our little guy is born, and already I’ve racked up enough hand-me-downs to completely clothe and entertain our son with gently used toys and baby gear.
When you watch shows like 16 and Pregnant and any of the Teen Mom series, you see all these “baby daddies” that are total unsupportive jerks. I don’t know if that’s just them being young and mentally/emotionally unprepared for the arrival of their unplanned children, or if that’s simply pop culture’s portrayal of them on television. Either way, statistically young males don’t react well to getting a girl pregnant and becoming a father. Typically a lot of young moms don’t end up with their baby’s father. It doesn’t necessarily mean that their love wasn’t real; it just means that their relationship was too underdeveloped to support the strains of pregnancy and a new baby.
There are some young mothers, however, that do carry on a positive relationship with their babies’ fathers. The lucky ones. I don’t think that those guys get enough credit. The fathers that stay and support the mom without resenting her or the child. The dads that get some kind of job, no matter what it is, to offer financial support for the child he helped create. The ones that only see their child every other weekend and offer what little help he can. The ways to be a good dad, no matter the extent of involvement, are endless.
Even though I’m only 15 weeks pregnant, I consider myself to be very lucky. I have a very supportive boyfriend. I’ve been pretty weak and sick during my pregnancy thus far, and he takes care of me completely. He helps me with my household chores and does favors for me (usually) without complaint. He remains adamant that he wants to be with me and have our baby together, even when I’m an emotional pregnant monster from time to time. I constantly thank him and tell him how much I appreciate him, but I never feel like it’s enough.
Our lives are both changing drastically from what we’d originally planned. Instead of living carefree away at college, we take care of each other and plan for a future of life with a baby. Instead of running from his problems or resenting me and the baby, my boyfriend Alex stays by my side. He makes me feel like the luckiest girl in the world. I know that no matter where life takes us, I’ll forever have an amazing best friend and wonderful dad for my baby. I look forward to what the future holds for my “baby daddy” and me, and I can’t wait to prove to him that I appreciate everything he does for me.
Every young mom should appreciate the support they have, whether it’s from the baby’s father or not. Most young moms don’t have the opportunity to raise their children as a family with their babies’ fathers. It takes a special type of guy to step up and be a young dad. I am lucky enough to have one, and I feel for the women that aren’t.
It seems like such a small accomplishment, but I’m proud to have made it this far. My appointment on Friday wasn’t too exciting. I literally saw my doctor for 5 minutes and he used one of those portable dopplers to listen to the heartbeat, which wasn’t very loud and didn’t provide a very clear sound. Don’t get me wrong, I loved hearing my baby’s heartbeat I just wasn’t as blown away by it as I was the first time, but I think that was just the quality of the sound that I was disappointed in. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how I felt hearing the Doppler. For now, I’m just happy that I have a healthy baby with what my doctor said was a “perfect” heartbeat.
The thing no one tells you about being young and pregnant is how alone you’re going to feel. Especially when you’re 20 years old and none of the people in your everyday life are pregnant. Your friends don’t understand the fatigue or the morning sickness. Your friends don’t understand your constant babbles about the benefits of breastfeeding or bargain-hunting for baby clothes. Your friends don’t understand how overwhelmed you may feel or the roller coaster of emotions you can’t get off of.
When you’re young and in college, you’re supposed to party and have fun. It’s what’s expected of you. You’re supposed to balance experimenting and finding yourself with school work. You’re supposed to change your major frequently and discover who you want to be and what you want to do with your life. Not plan for a baby.
When I found out I was pregnant, I was terrified of what people would think of me more than anything else. I hadn’t planned on getting pregnant, but I was with the guy I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I didn’t see it as ruining my life like most college students probably would. I just felt as though my life was simply being redirected. I felt as though I was getting the life I’d always dreamed of…just sooner than I’d expected and much harder.
In writing this blog, I hope to share my stories and my struggles in effort to work through the issues I face as a young mom, and maybe help others along the way too.