Teenage pregnancy – is it so bad?

Jay is still pregnant. 36 weeks and four days. Of course, this is a good thing, but there is no denying that we are now getting impatient. We just want to meet the little man that has continuously kept us on our toes for over 10 weeks now.  Jay is feeling very heavy, tired and exasperated and who can blame her.  Anyone who has carried a baby knows that those last four weeks are the most difficult.  you just feel like the size of a house and just breathing is an effort.

“Seriously, you would have thought that they would have come up with a more efficient way of having a baby,” Jay says.

I look at her quizzically.  “Who do you mean ‘they’?”

“I dont know,” she says impatiently, “but surely in the 21st century we should have a better way of doing this!”

I smile at how her young mind thinks that everything should have some technological solution. “Pregnancy is biological, there is no other way.”

“Well, there should be.”

Poor Jay. In the last final push, it is getting all too much. She looks beautiful though. Truly, the most radiant pregnant woman around. Everyone who sees her keeps telling her so.

I have changed my mind about having babies at a young age. I think we were meant to have them young. Young enough to carry them, and still enjoy a good body afterwards; young enough to play with them, enjoy them and still have energy for other parts of our life as well.  Watching Jay grow, both physically and mentally over these past nine months has totally changed my point of view.  Nature intended that we do this young, it is society that dictated otherwise. Now, less than 4% of babies born in Australia are to young mothers. I’m not suggesting for one second that teenage girls should rush out and get pregnant, I’m just observing that our bodies are better equipped for it at that age.

Pregnancy matures us in a way no other facet of life can.  We have no choice but to become selfless when we have another human being to care for. We no longer worry about our own needs, all we care about is that dependent little being. That process begins when  we first know we are growing a child inside of us. I have seen it with Jay – the fear on her face when at just six weeks they thought it might be ectopic, how she has given up food that she loves for fear of harming the baby, how she observes other moms (both young and old) and makes judgements on what she will and won’t do as a mom herself. At a young age, we are not too set in our ways.  We are more adaptable, able to cope with the changeable needs of our children. Yet, we tend to view children as the end of our indeoendence, the end of our lives.

My mom, herself, told me when I fell pregnant with Jay that I wasn’t ready, despite being a whole five years older than  her when she had me.  I was offended at the time, hurt even. I fell pregnant on purpose. I wanted my baby, yet here I was being told by the one person I respected and trusted the most that I wasnt ready. It would set me on a path of insecurity for a very long time. I second guessed myself as a parent all time. I don’t want that for Jay. I want her to feel supported, yes, but not incapable. She has already shown such capability. I could not be more proud of her.

Why is it that there has been this move to have babies later and later in life?  Has anyone thought there might be  a correlation between the increase in autism and the increase in age of women getting pregnant, like there is a correlation between women over forty and downs syndrome? As someone who has a child with autism, was 30 when he was born, I have.  There are many theories, but what if it is just the simple fact that we are meant to be younger when we bare children.  I know I’m not going to be popular for even thinking it.  Women have fought for decades, still fight, long and hard for the right to choose, but what if we have it all wrong?

I dont have the answers, and it would be a politicaly incorrect thing to research, but watching Jay grow and flourish, despite her complications, has me thinking.

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