I’m glad I’m 26

People watching is so much fun, isn’t it? Don’t act like you don’t do it. Because you know you do.

I was at the OB’s office this morning, where my doctor was running a little late. No big deal. I’m typically in and out in 15 minutes, but I sat in the waiting room for 30 minutes. Since it never, ever happens, I just let it slide and texted with my Mom and best friend Nicole.

As my Mom would say, at least I didn’t have to wait 30 minutes naked. That’s the worst.

There was a girl sitting next to her Mom waiting to be seen. She couldn’t have been more than 15 and she looked scared. Her Mom looked sad and that she was keeping herself together with tape and glue.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that one out – the young girl was pregnant.

When I was a teenager, I had a serious boyfriend. But we weren’t serious enough to do that. I didn’t want to be that girl. Regardless of how safe I could possibly be. Because let’s face it – a 16 year old’s knowledge of condoms aren’t the greatest. I’d be the one in sex-ed putting it on the banana inside out thus breaking the end.

Then I’d end up pregnant.

I made a promise to myself that I’d wait until I was 18. I owed my Mom that much, being as she raised me right. (And this is not to say that anyone who cashed in their V-card earlier weren’t raised right.) Not to mention, I was kind of prudish. I did stuff, don’t get me wrong. I just stayed away from the promised land.

This girl looked absolutely petrified. And at that age, what boy is responsible to help her out? Monetarily, emotionally, physically? Being pregnant isn’t just about having a baby. It’s a roller coaster ride. Support is needed. Kudos to her Mom for sitting with her and making sure she gets all the best care. But, that still has to be so hard. I can’t even imagine.

And while I sat there, I felt sorry. Not that they were wanting my sympathy, I just felt bad. I wasn’t being judgmental, I wasn’t being snarky. I was feeling genuine.

I was 22 when I had Claire. She was fully planned.

I was 24 when I had Luca. He was fully planned.

I am 26 now. And I’m fully capable of having this baby. Emotionally, monetarily, physically.

When I was 16, hell no.

I’m not saying, let’s all revert to the 1950’s where Dad worked, Mom stayed at home and the kids were all prim and proper. I’m saying, let’s be safe. I know that for myself, if I had been 16 and pregnant, I would have been devastated. I wouldn’t have been able to live the life I wanted to. I know my opportunities would have been more limited. While I know I would have had full support from my Mom and sister, it wouldn’t have been the same.

Matt gets up with the kids. He sleeps right next to me every night, ready and waiting for anything to happen. He rubs my back. He makes sure I see the doctor. He makes sure I drink enough water. He cleans up the dishes. He works full time so I don’t have to.

Who at 16 gets support like that?

I’d hope they would, but let’s be realistic.

I’m so glad I’m 26, married, and lame. I’m glad that I have a mortgage and car payments. I’m glad I have bills to pay. I’m glad that my life is boring and predictable.

I wish nothing but the best of luck to the girl in the waiting room. I hope she finds happiness and gets all the support she needs. Most of all, I hope that baby is loved so much that it doesn’t matter that its Mom is young.

Because that’s one thing I can promise you – while I’m boring and predictable, my baby will be over-loved if that’s possible.

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About Cassie

Two sisters from two misters. What could be more fun?

Posted on January 19, 2011, in Cassie and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. After our last visit to the OB, I witnessed the same thing. I turned to Mark and said, “I’m so glad we did this the right way.” I’m anxious about everything now and I’m 26 and married to a loving and very supportive husband. I can’t even fathom going through a pregnancy 16 and alone.

    • And doesn’t your heart just ache for them? I mean, at that age, you’re just yearning for independence and in your head you feel that you can handle such a responsibility….yet, clearly not.

  2. Amen, sister! The Guy and I talk about this all the time – we’re glad we got married later and we’re having kids later, because we bring a whole lot more stability, patience and confidence to the table than we would have when we were younger.

    • Not only that, but you have such a difference of perspective on life. I am a lot smarter than I was at 18 and 19, and a lot more reliable. While the military may have taught me structure and respect, I still thank the fact that I’m wiser with age.

  3. Although being 16 is not a ideal situation. She has every chance to be a great mom. Most “adults” are horrible parents, money, husband or not. That could NOT even be her situation she could be a prude herself, and just having really bad cramps, or a bad period and needs checked out. I was 25 with my first child. I look 17. My husband was deployed, my rings didn’t fit. My mom went to my appointments. People looked, I got stares, and it pissed me off. Little did they know, MY situation. So keep a open mind, things aren’t as they seem.

    • Oh trust me, I totally agree. My Mom went with me when my husband was out of town. I know I got looked at, too.

      But her Mom was asking me questions about the doctor and how she is during Labor and Delivery. She also was asking me where I did my prenatal ultra sounds. I made no judgments, just based it on fact. I also overheard she needed an excuse to get back to classes. I’m pretty sure when you’re in college, you don’t need those.

      I was raised by a single Mom. I get it. I’m just glad I’m not.

      • Ooh, actually in college, you do need a doctor’s release to return to classes. I got pregnant with my daughter at 19 and had her at 20, while in my junior year of college. I missed only one week of school because I had a c-sec and she was in the NICU. But, yeah, I needed an excuse to return to classes.

        Also, it *is* hard being young and having an unplanned pregnancy, but honestly, having been on both sides of this, it is hard no matter what. Parenting at any age has its own set of challenges.

        So while I feel bad for people in a hard situation, this sympathy doesn’t stop with young moms. It almost always extends to the kids of older parents, as well. Age really doesn’t determine what sort of parent you are…and if you’re deadset on being a good parent, you’ll accomplish that at any age.

      • Also – How in the heck did you mentally do it? That’s amazing that you only missed a week of classes with your baby in the hospital! Not only does that show dedication and determination, but damn, you’re tough.

        I never knew you needed a pass in college. I just knew that with nursing school, you could only miss 7 days total, after that you failed. Doctor’s excuse or not.

  4. @yourmom8: Super good point. I think that, while being 16 and pregnant isn’t an ideal situation, the parent can relate better to the child than someone who is 40 with a 3 year old. That said, any situation is tough.

    And I’m glad, in a way, that you’ve had both sides of the spectrum. I remember when you first had your kid and life wasn’t easy, but you were a fab Mom with good priorities. But – I think you’re an exception to the rule. I think it’s the hardest thing in the world to have kids and to raise them right and to hope they turn out OK. While age is nothing but a number, it does change things.

    I don’t mean to sound high and mighty being 26 and happy, I’m just happy I’m 26. I know, that for myself, I would never be a good Mom so young. I would have done what I had to do, but I wouldn’t have done a good job. I’m not the greatest Mom now, but I do try. And that’s a lot more than I can say about myself now vs. Cassie 10 years ago.

  5. And just think, even when your kids are teenagers, their friends are going to be talking about how their mom looks hot. Especially Luca’s friends…

    You going to let them call you “Mrs. C.” like on Happy Days? Oh wait… sorry… before your time…

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