Well… I did say THE REALITY of being nineteen and pregnant…

I had a look in one of those pregnancy diary things I got right at the start the other day… think it’s from a baby milk company or a toiletries company or something, I’ve got too many to count. It says that on week 24, you should –

  • Get a pregnancy massage
  • Book a 4D scan, if you want one!

Well a pregnancy massage sounds a little bit creepy, and all three times I’ve seen my baby it’s been upside down or chewing its feet, so I’m not sure we’d get very attractive pictures (we are hoping to at some point, maybe, but I wouldn’t say it’s on my to-do list).

I’ll be 24 weeks pregnant as of tomorrow, and my to-do list for week 24 looks a bit like this –

  • Contact Citizens Advice Bureau. Book appointment to discuss benefits, as I’m not sure whether we’re entitled/how much we’re entitled to/when we can start claiming.
  • Feel immensely guilty for claiming said benefits, because this wasn’t how I wanted my life to turn out after all.
  • Try and finish filling in that bloody housing form. It’ll probably take us the whole week just to do this one.
  • Finish three assignments for university, all but one of them are 2,500 word essays. As well as planning a directing project. 
  • Try and fit in some time to swim, or I’ll be an unfit mess by the time the baby is born – as opposed to just a nervous mess. 
  • Call the insurance company, phone company, every bloody company going to try and get a better deal. 
  • Talk to student services about finding somewhere to live. 
  • Look at private rent places. 
  • I might do a bit of knitting. Maybe. 
  • Eat occasionally (no sleep though. Sleep is for the weak). 

Carrying on from my last post, THIS is what they need to be teaching people – not just girls, as boys need to know this too – about the choice of accepting parenthood. When they choose to keep a baby, they make a choice to accept these consequences – and these consequences are what they need to know. Every other bit of education we receive is all about making an informed choice – about whether to smoke, whether to drink, whether to exercise or not. What makes sex education different? Because it has an effect on everyone around the person, and the taxpayer, should someone get pregnant underage?

So does drinking. So does smoking. So does taking drugs, so does driving dangerously, so does not exercising. But we are trusted, as 16 year olds, to make our own choices on that. At 16, the notion of having a choice as to whether we have unprotected sex, and whether we then continue with an unplanned pregnancy, is foreign to us, because we’re not taught about having a choice. You wear a condom, or else. And that’s it.

Becoming a young parent IS a choice. It’s a choice with positive and negative consequences, just like every other choice, and by no means is it an easy way out of anything – but the very fact that we are not showing that it IS a choice with consequences, could be why our teenage pregnancy rates are among the highest in Europe.

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