Two lines on a stick. Those two lines can either bring joy and happiness, or fear, sorrow and despair.
Pregnancy and motherhood can be a scary thing, especially if you’re a young mom. I don’t have any children (yet), but I have had the privilege of speaking to three amazing young mothers – Nikita, Kourtney and Maxine. All three of them had unplanned pregnancies. I’ll be sharing their experiences with you right here:
How old were you when you fell pregnant?
Nikita: I was 20 years old.
Kourtney: I was 18, in college.
Is/was the baby’s father in the picture?
Nikita: The father was always in the picture from beginning.
Kourtney: Yes, the father was in the picture and although we’re no longer together, he’s still in the picture.
How did your parents handle the news?
Nikita: She was in disbelief and very shocked, I cried when I told her. But she wasn’t disappointed, she was very supportive throughout the pregnancy.
Kourtney: My mother was extremely happy. My father only found out much later in the pregnancy, he was nothing but supportive.
Maxine: My mother was disappointed.
How did your friends and the community treat you during your pregnancy?
Nikita: I lost friends because I was only 20 and they did not understand the responsibility I had. I received so many judgemental looks because of how young I was. I would then change my look, to look older so that I wouldn’t get judgmental stares. I remember a family member looking at my belly and said out loud in front of everyone, “oh, a baby raising a baby!”
Kourtney: My friends were my biggest cheerleaders, even now, they apparently see the mother in me that I don’t see. There were a lot of scholars who gave me judgemental looks. But people are generally judgemental and will always have something to say, regardless of what it is in life.
Maxine: My friends were supportive, although a lot of people were upset and disappointed.
What were the challenges you faced in pregnancy?
Nikita: I had gestational diabetes. This diabetes you have during the pregnancy and once my baby was delivered it was gone. The most challenging thing about it was not being able to eat what I craved and being stuck to a diet while being pregnant was the worst. Because of the gestational diabetes I was then told I was going to have C-section which scared me as well.
Kourtney: Throughout my pregnancy I suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum, which meant that I wasn’t able to withhold nutrients. This led to needing to be hospitalised and placed on a drip. I suffer from SAA (Severe Aplastic Anaemia) which was another cause of spending most of my pregnancy in a hospital bed. One of the scariest moments of my pregnancy was when a doctor told me that she doesn’t think I’d make it during child birth, because I’ll be loosing an extreme amount of blood that my body cannot handle.
Maxine: The pains of discomfort and having to pee a lot. Financially it is challenging, children are expensive.
What advice do you have to any young girl wanting to be pregnant?
Nikita: My advice is have a circle of people who you can lean on and who you can run to for anything. Make sure you have a strong support system. It takes a village to raise a kid/kids in other words you don’t have to do it on your own lean on you support group. It helps a whole lot because being a mom is not easy but it is rewarding.
Kourtney: I would like to make them aware of not all the “pleasures” of pregnancy, but also the terrifying things. There’ll be nights you won’t be able to sleep, because you’ll have Braxton Hicks or baby will be turning and it is uncomfortable. You’ll want to do things that you can’t do. You’ll have aches in body parts you never knew existed. You’ll have a whole different eating plan, you could love fried chicken, but then boom, you’re pregnant and you can’t stand the smell of it or the texture. Your skin will change, your once perfect skin, might become oily or dry. But then come nine months later, hours of pushing and tearing, you get to hold your baby in your arms for the first time, you’ll love yourself for making the decision to raise that tiny human. It’ll be a date that you’ll never forget.
Maxine: Make sure you ready for this because I wasn’t. Tell parents earlier because they will be unhappy but once the baby is born, things will change. God don’t make mistake by blessing you with a child. It won’t be easy but you will get through it.
Well, my beautiful sisters, there you have it. Pregnancy is not easy. If you’re still very young and you’re thinking about getting pregnant and starting a family or if you have a boyfriend who tells you he needs you to give him a child, take a moment and think first. Look at your situation, picture it with a child. A child needs the security of both parents, a child needs the security of having enough to eat. Sometimes we didn’t have certain things, but we can let our child have it. So, wait sis, everything beautiful happens in its own time.
If you’re already pregnant or recently found out that you’re pregnant, firstly, congratulations, a baby is truly a blessing and a joy, despite whether it was planned or not. If this baby wasn’t planned, don’t hate yourself for it and don’t go through this journey alone, reach out and make sure that you have a genuine support system.
Raising a child takes courage and bravery and if you’ve chosen that, you are a courageous young woman.
Love you, sis!
Read about red flags in relationships here.
Tell us: What advice would you give to a young mother?