me and my first baby bump at 21

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It has been 3weeks and I have not seen a drop of blood. I never thought I’d say this but I actually miss my periods. What could be wrong. Maybe the cycle changed, I can hold on, I can wait for a few more days and maybe just maybe, my period will show up. A change in diet might trigger my system, maybe jogging, could Google have answers for me!? Am tired of the wait, it’s been four weeks. Pregnancy signs normally show up after 6weeks, I should monitor my weights but there hasn’t been anything unusual. It’s week 5 and I am having abnormal cravings, maybe i should visit a clinic and find out what’s going on. While i wait at the reception, my mind keeps drifting, what if a classmate finds me here, or a friend, what do I say? So i rise up from the small white chair in the waiting room and i ask the lady if they sell pregnancy tests? She smiles at me, she probably noticed my pale worried face. And she offers me one for free.

I forgot to say thank you, I immediately rushed out and stuffed the test in my purse and held it tight. I rushed to my hostel room, locked the door and sunk to the floor and cried, looking at the heavens and hoping that God makes a way. I calm myself down and walk to the bathroom. I squart on the toilet seat as i rip the test open and take the pee sample. And now I wait.

I have pictured this moment so many times. Basing on the stories I have heard, the movies I have watched, the stupid mistakes that brought me close to this moment. And nothing, nothing has proved to be more scary than being pregnant at this age. My education, my image, meanwhile I am broke, like literally broke. So whose going to take care of this baby, who!? My life doesn’t go back to normal, never. Cause now my thoughts are all about me and my baby. And as we celebrate “sexual freedom”, don’t forget about the other parties that are involved in this. For my part, my big brothers that are trying to give me the world, my mother whose already going through so much and my baby sister who adores my ass. There is so much on the line.

But then again, do young mothers deserve the shaming that’s done by their family, friends and the society. Why do we cast them out!? I am not trying to protect them neither am I trying to crucify them but now that it has happened, what is next for them and their children!? Why are we quick to judge a 21 year old who has a baby but then come up with excuses to protect the ones that have aborted or rather act aloof like we don’t know about this. Both are choices, each with a different reason and story. So then why shame them.

You know I thought that since I am turning 21, some things would be “easy”. I mean it would be easy telling my mom about my relationships, about my first times, about my visit to the gynaecologist, and definitely a mess up that has led to a baby bump. Society will see me as stupid, a girl going to university, a girl with brains, how were you this impatient, what went wrong!? And then comes the friends, then the boy that got you pregnant, the neighbours, my family. there is so much that’s unknown. And the unknown is always scary and blurry and painful.

And funnily, a girl faces the most hardships during this time. I mean the worry that you missed your period, you asking your friends indirectly about such scenarios. It’s you that takes the test, it’s you that sees that double line or you listen to the doctor breaking it to you. The fear and anger cause you realise that you were reckless. The sleepless nights cause you are worried sick. The burden of telling the boy that got you pregnant is on you not forgetting, telling your parents. Then the dawn of the 9months and then you don’t know. The thought of all of this gets you to think about abortion. I cannot exhaust it all!

“Sex before marriage is a sin”, hold that thought. I just want us to stop passing on these issues as mere trespasses, as tragedies, as life ending situations. These things are real and we need to face them amidst our fears and doubts, let’s stop passing them on as the worst betrayals. They are worthy, she is worthy, she’s not unclean, she’s human.

Small confession; I didn’t know how to address this, I couldn’t say early pregnancy, or childhood pregnancy or young motherhood.

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