Lily

Lily
Lily Tessa

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Archer

Archer
Archer Leo

Being Pregnant At 21 Saved Me


My early twenties were a pretty unremarkable time for me. I was doing what is customary for most students in their early 2os to do - living in a grotty flat, skipping more lectures than I was attending and going out most nights of the week. At the time I was happy enough living that kind of lifestyle but I wasn't fulfilled or inspired and I know I felt for a lot of that time period that I was just plodding along without a purpose.


I can still picture the morning I found out I was pregnant. 

I remember that I'd woken up early because it was so cold in our flat and we had dodgy heating thanks to our dodgy landlord. My boobs had been hurting for a few days and I'd told myself I'd do a pregnancy test that morning if they were still hurting when I woke, which they were. I remember so clearly sneaking out of our grubby little bathroom & back to my bedroom in my pyjamas clutching this pregnancy test that I'd not yet looked at and hoping not to bump into any of my flatmates on the way. 


When I got back to my room and looked down to see those two lines on the test everything changed for me, like, instantly, and it might sound corny and a bit unreal but in a split second those two lines improved the way I saw the world. It's really strange now to think that if I'd have looked down to see just one line then nothing would have changed at all that day and I'd have carried on with my life the way is was - content enough but not truly happy and that thought scares me a little.
I went and sat in my lecture that morning and didn't hear a word of what the lecturer said in that hour. I can picture the room, every detail of the lecturer himself and even what chair I was sat in but ask me what that particular lecture had been about and I wouldn't have been able to tell you. My mind was all over the place and I was sat there in shock. Shock was definitely my primary emotion at the time but despite the million and one questions battering my brain such as how I was going to tell James and how my parents would react my overwhelming feeling inside was happiness. Simply because already I no longer felt lost, my life finally had a purpose. Having children really isn't a life sentence like so many people seem to think and its certainly not a case of your life being over and if I could find the words to tell you all how much of a better person I am now because of my kids then trust me I would.

This post actually stems from a conversation I had at the weekend with a stranger that I've been thinking about a lot ever since. I was at our local museum (having just been to get Arch registered at the Town hall, Lily had been so well behaved we told her she could come and look at the museum animals) and a lady waiting for the lift at the same time as us started cooing over Archer (James and Lily were in the toilet at this point). She asked me 'Oh is he your first?" to which I replied "No, second" and she looked at me and said "Oh but you look so young! Didn't you want to live a little first?" 

Like seriously, what!? Despite the fact that statement is incredibly rude, I wasn't offended, I get it - a lot of people still think that way. It reminded me about the prejudice that often surrounds being a young parent - something I've luckily not been exposed to throughout my four years of parenting although I know a lot of 'young parents' who have. 
I'm 25. I got pregnant at 21 and I don't really feel like a young parent, I never really have. Maybe because parenting has aged me so much that I feel about 50 ha ha but every now and again I'm reminded of the fact that I am still quite young. Lily's school run for example, I'm by far the youngest parent dropping off their child every morning but it doesn't bother me in the slightest, it's just something I've noticed.


 The point I'm quite badly trying to make is that if I didn't have Lily when I did I certainly wouldn't have had the strength to do half the things I've done in the past 4 years. I definitely wouldn't have had the motivation to go back to uni, put everything I had and more in to it and graduate. I wouldn't have the strength to better myself every single day, because now I'm doing it for the sake of myself and my children and our family unit. These two little people who look up to me and for who I have to lead by example for. To be honest I don't even know the person I'd be today if I hadn't have woken up to those two lines on a stick that morning in March. I'd probably still be feeling just as unfulfilled and uninspired as I felt in my early twenties and so yes becoming a parent at a young age saved me, in so many ways, just like it did for millions of other girls out there, and I guess people would do well to remember that before making throwaway comments and assumptions



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2 comments

  1. I know exactly how you feel! I went through the same, I was 19 when I found out and had Isla and at the time I was living on the other side of the world with P all on my own. It was a scary time but I feel like it was a sign and sent for me :) wouldn't change my life at all now I'm probably better off than most late 20 year olds now anyway. I don't feel I've missed out at all :) duvet, pjs, takeaway and tele is all I need hehe xx

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  2. I could probably write exactly what Tara has written (although I wasn't half way across the world when I found out haha - but I was 19). I absolutely love my life though, and i don't think I would change it for a second. Besides we'll be the ones enjoying life when we get older, not having to do the school runs :) xx

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