So I’m at the end of Week Fourteen, and I’m still searching for that elusive glow. Morning sickness is gone, cravings are easing a tiny bit (hallelujah) and I’m no longer spotty and horrible, but the glow evades me. Worse than that, I feel like I need to just crawl under my covers and hide for a week, or more. I’m homesick and miserable and I want to go home.
I’m worried about so many things. I have no idea where I’ll be living next year. I have no idea how money will work out. I don’t know if I’m doing the right thing; I’ll be sticking this baby in a creche from when it’s five months old for goodness-knows-how-long a day, so I can go to uni and carry on like nothing’s happened. I feel like I’m trying to pretend nothing has changed, when I know everything’s already changed, and it’s going to keep on changing, and there’s nothing I can do to stop it.
I have so little control over my own life, and control has always been something that’s bothered me. Suddenly it’s all out of my hands – uni controls my life, appointments control my free time, this baby controls my body and I just want something that’s mine. Tonight I’ve had the most unstoppable urge to put the Christmas decorations up and take them down again – so strong that I feel like I might cry if I don’t do it – and that’s just so that I can have some control over my own room, at the very least.
I knew there were downsides to being a pregnant teenager, I just didn’t realise there were so many. I thought the symptoms were the worst thing; the morning sickness and the tiredness, but there’s just an overwhelming lack of control of everything happening. It’s really lonely, because you’re surrounded by people who try, and really try hard, to understand – but they don’t. Not through any failure on their part, but because you’re separated from them by one huge circumstance – you are pregnant, and they are not.
They listen to you, and they nod, and sometimes they say all the right things – and I am so, so grateful to my friends who are able to do this, because it makes me feel so much better – but then they can go out of an evening, or they at least have some control over some aspect of their life – they own their body, at the very least – and knowing that I don’t own mine any more and can’t go out and drink or do extreme sports or whatever I might have done in the past is so debilitating.
Those posters they did a few months ago, the ones that shamed pregnant teenagers in an attempt to reduce rates of teenage pregnancy? They’re not going to convince anyone. Maybe a few more people standing up and showing the ugly truth of teenage pregnancy, like this – the crippling loneliness I feel right now – would do a damn sight better.