Tag Archives: teen moms

Pregnancy The Great Equalizer

One really rad thing about getting pregnant is that I finally get to experience what pregnant teens go through. For years I always saw those teenage girls as the symbol of everything I never wanted to be: flippant and careless. I mean it’s not that hard not to get pregnant so how else could you explain it? No one needed to give me a long lecture on the many birth control methods available or how to deal with boys. My ten-year-goals were too important to throw away on a one-night-stand of what would most likely be mediocre sex. I mean come on—teenagers? Sure the enthusiasm might be there, but when did any of us meet a teenager comfortable enough in his/her own skin to make for a truly memorable time? So instead I held off until I was ready to deal with the consequences, and immediately built the fortress against becoming an unplanned parent. Whether through a shot, a pill, or a condom, I did everything in my power to make sure that if anything did happen, it would be more than just an accident, it would have to be an act of God.

So finally now in my thirties, looking at those infertile years coming right for me, how was I supposed to let go of my raging fear of having babies so I could let nature do its thing? To do so just seemed so flippant, so careless. It meant I had to become a dumb teen. Now I didn’t say become an impractical teen–the first couple of months I made sure to dip my toe into the wild world of doin’ it freestyle by gettin’ it on any day that didn’t show my little “You’re Ovulating” flowers on the Pink Pad Pro calendar on my iPhone. Once I got comfortable with that, it was time to do it when I could be voted as most likely to reproduce. I had to take a deep breath, put all the fear of a kid ready to jump off a high dive for the first time aside, and look that ovulation flower in the face and say, “Yeah I see you, but I wanna do it and I am no longer afraid of you and your frightening happy yellow petals!”

The first thing I thought as I took those steps to scary parent land was, “How do those kids do it?” We all have sex knowing you can get prego right? Or did someone forget to tell their kids? Suddenly I felt kind of bad for them; to go into this world of sex and knowing so little. Or maybe they do know what they’re doing. It does make the act of sex more thrilling when you add danger to the mix. Maybe I was the one who had been wrong. Plus, having sex with no protection makes you  feel even more naked. And what could be better than more naked?! Maybe those thoughtless kids had it right. It was so exciting to do it without knowing if what we were doing was the right thing or not. I felt, dare I say it, wild. I had become like everyone else I had ever met who had done it without a care in the world. I never felt so vulnerable, so present, so strangely human.

And then three months later I walked into the pregnancy clinic to confirm that I was pregnant. The waiting room was empty except for two teenage girls and their giddy moms. After having spent time imagining what pregnant teenagers think, I had forgotten that those teenagers are real and not as thoughtful as I had briefly imagined. With that familiar annoyed teen look, the two pregnant girls stared straight ahead silently while their moms blabbered on about where they could go to pick up some cute baby clothes. Suddenly my inner judge came roaring out. I wanted to tell those moms they were crazy for encouraging the end of their daughters’ futures. Although there was little they could do now, at least have the decency to make the child feel worse about what they did than they already do! Then I looked at those pathetic girls sitting there…pregnant, not knowing what’s going to happen next, their lives completely taken off track before they could get their careers going in any certain direction. “Oh shoot,” I thought, “That’s me too.” Sitting there with cheerful daytime hosts blaring on the television set over our heads, the three of us stared ahead silently awaiting our results. Pregnancy, I then learned, is the great equalizer; it doesn’t care who you are or when you’re ready. It made me one of them and suddenly, I wished my mom was there to blabber on about cute baby clothes or anything else to try to help make me feel at ease.

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