Here’s another extract from my book, “The Speed Bump”. This is all about who I was before I got pregnant… and let’s just say, I wasn’t the nicest of people…
There are certain types of people who you don’t expect to do certain things. Take becoming a young parent, for example. If you live in the UK and are over a certain age, you’ve probably seen the programme ‘Little Britain’, which parodies a young parent in the form of Vicky Pollard; a tracksuit-clad chav with several children, no father on the scene, smoking and drinking and speaking unintelligibly. It’s an extreme parody, but it is representative of how many people feel about young parents.
A few years ago, I felt the same. I was quite vocal about my feelings on young mums – I subscribed to the whole “they’re doing it for a free council house” belief, and was adamant that the sort of people who get pregnant at a young were a different ‘sort’ of teenager. They were the no-hopers – they lacked drive and ambition. They didn’t have the skills to do things like go to university and get good jobs; they just weren’t intelligent enough. They had babies so that they could stay at home and claim benefits and child maintenance, and use their kids as accessories.
I, on the other hand, was a different sort of person. I’ll go ahead and admit it – I thought I was a better person. I thought I was better than the girls who get pregnant in their teens and early twenties. I was ambitious and smart – I’d just finished the first year of a degree, with an overall 2:1. I had a great group of friends, a happy social life, and I was succeeding. I had ambition; I knew what I wanted to do with my life, and I didn’t have time for obstacles like a baby. I’d been with my boyfriend for two and a half years, and although we knew we wanted children one day, that ‘one day’ was years and years and years away. We had a lot to achieve first.
Obviously, I was also a bit of a twat. Cocky and self-assured, with a definite air of undeserved superiority, I definitely thought I was better than young parents, and I wasn’t quiet about it. I’d get involved in twitter debates, I’d post on forums – I even wrote blog posts on previous opinion blogs which, thankfully, no-one ever read condemning young parents, blasting them as stupid and irresponsible and congratulating myself on obviously being a more superior human being.
I look back on all of that now, and I cringe. I wish someone had come along, slapped me in the chops and told me that I’m no different to the girls who became young mothers – just like them, I was only one mistake away from being a young mum too.
I’d probably have laughed in their face though, the smug little shit that I was. After all, I was clued up on contraception. I knew what all the different types were, and I was going through different Pill types, trying to work out which one would be best for us. I’d originally been on Microgynon, but it had killed my sex drive and made me severely depressed, so I’d changed to the mini-Pill, Cerazette. It had started fine, but I’d begun noticing a few issues – it was making me feel quite sick, my sex drive was starting to wane, and my normally-clear skin was coming out in spots. So, I stopped taking Cerazette, started using condoms, and planned to head back to the GPs to see what other options were available.
So it might seem pretty hard to see how I, this smart, ambitious girl with good knowledge of contraception and no desire to have a baby any time soon, could possibly have become pregnant at the age of nineteen. In fact, it’s quite simple. You see, for an intelligent, ambitious young woman, I have frequent moments where I am a complete and utter plank. My boyfriend, Daf, is very similar – he is clever and mature and responsible, but sometimes, his common sense flies out of the window.
Normally, this isn’t too big an issue – if one of us is having a Plank Day, the other will keep them on the straight and narrow, and remind them to be sensible.
Unfortunately, on one particular day in early August, the stars collided, and we were both as reckless and stupid as each other. Just once wouldn’t hurt, we figured. People try for years to get pregnant. What are the chances that if we just do it without a condom, just this once, that anything will happen? Practically zero, right?
From accidental conceptions to bum injections; you can read all about what to really expect when you’re unexpectedly expecting in my book; The Speed Bump, available here.