The next two weeks pass by in somewhat of a blur. Jay and I keep our usual Tuesday and Friday dates but rather than go to the movies or look at shoes shops (Jay’s obsession), we wander around baby sections and imagine a life with a baby. I am still not really ready to play this game.
I have done some research. There is a young women’s clinic at our local hospital for women (girls) aged 19 and under. Jay just qualifies. I phone the clinic. They need a referral from the doctor, which I agree to get. We talk about the support that she will receive and what will be involved for her. I still feel like this is some ridiculous dream. I keep saying to myself that this is just not real. I am fooling myself of course. I make an appointment for Jay to attend the clinic in about 6 weeks time. She will be about 12 weeks pregnant.
On the day Jay is to see the doctor, she is to have the follow up ultrasound to make the confirmation. This time, Em is not with her and I pick Jay up from home. I am irritated by this. Dee was at every one of my ultrasounds and we shared the journey together. I realise that Em is still probably hoping for a different result, but am still annoyed.
“Why isn’t Em with you, Jay. He should be here.”
“Oh Mum, don’t start. He has to work. He can’t get the time off.”
I drop it. “You don’t really look well. Are you okay.”
“I’ve been feeling sick. Do you think it’s morning sickness?”
Sure confirmation there then. “It could be love. Is it mostly in the morning?”
“Not really, I just feel nauseous all day.” Mother like daughter.
“It could be.”
We make our way into the ultrasound waiting room. This time we have an appointment and Jay’s bladder is nice and full. Jay’s name is called. It is a different sonographer so we quickly run through the story again. We come to realise that repeating ourselves over and over again will become the norm with this pregnancy.
“Ah yes, there is the embryo. And it’s heart is beating nice and strongly.” Jay smiles. So there it is, my grandchild is a reality. I wasn’t expecting any other result really. The women in my family are fertile and strong when it comes to baby making.
The size of the baby has changed. Jay notices it. “You can see its head now Mum.”
“Yes, you can my darling. It is resembling a little baby now.”
We make our way to the doctor upstairs. “Is this your first pregnancy?” At 19 years of age, is she serious?
“Yes,” Jay replies.
“Well, you are now about 7 weeks pregnant and the ultrasound that you had two weeks ago shows that your due date is the 7th July.” I sigh. The baby is due the day before the anniversary of mom’s death. “You will need to take some vitamins specifically for pregnant women. This greatly reduces the risk of birth defects like Spina Bifida.” I know Jay has no idea what that is.
I ask the doctor for a referral to the Young Women’s Clinic. Surprisingly, she has never heard of it, but agrees to give me the referral anyway.
“So, you’re going to have a baby, angel.” I squeeze her tightly into me. “Are you happy?”
“I am Mum, but I am also scared.”
“Of course you are angel. That is totally understandable. But you know you aren’t alone don’t you. We will absolutely be with you 100% of the way.”
“I know, Mum, I love you.”
“I love you too my darling.” I feel my heart swell.
I take Jay to the shopping centre for a drink and some food. Em and Jay have been struggling for money in the last couple of weeks and I am sure Jay would not have had breakfast. Judging by the way she demolishes the food, I know I am right.
After our meal, I offer to take her to a dedicated baby store to check out the essentials that we will need. Jay eagerly agrees. We go to a shop called Baby Train. I am totally blown away by how far baby things have come along since I had JC 13 years ago. So much choice!
The manager of the store wanders over to us. “Can I help you?” I falter momentarily.
“Yes, my daughter is expecting a baby. She is not due for a few months [obviously], but we thought we would have a look at what we might need.”
He doesn’t miss a beat. “Of course.” and to Jay with a big smile, “Congratulations, what are you hoping for?” I wonder how many 19 year old pregnant girls have walked through his doors. Not many. I have done my research. Only 1.6% of pregnant women in Australia are between the ages of 15 and 19. The median age of pregnant women is 30.7 years. Jay is a full 11 years below the average pregnant woman. This could be a problem.
“I don’t mind what I have, as long as it is healthy.” Every woman’s wish, no matter their age.
We have fun test driving prams, cots and other paraphenalia. I feel like an expert as I impart my advice to her.
On the way home, I call Dee. “Hey Grandad. It’s confirmed, we are going to be grandparents.” I suddenly feel quite warm inside.
“Well, I guess we better let everyone know then,” he says.