Fighting the urge to pee every ten minutes. Fighting the urge to puke every time you smell something you used to crave. Craving the same foods that used to give you the urge to puke if you even thought about them. Gaining weight at the rate a mid-size town experiences population growth. Feeling, literally feeling, the stretchmarks as they spread across your abdomen, thighs, butt and breasts. Losing sight of your feet. Forgetting what a button is used for. Discovering that the hair on your legs is quite possibly thicker and darker than any man you've ever seen. And realizing that yes, you CAN get heartburn from ANYTHING.
That's just being pregnant.
Waking up every two hours for the first twelve months. Feeling like there is always going to be something permanently latched onto your nipple. Changing shirts eight times a day because those damn nursing pads are not NEAR as absorbent as simply stuffing your bra full of Brawny paper towels would be. Learning to calmly accept even the most horrendous smell imaginable, holding onto the hope that it will eventually manifest as a solid form. Counting down the days until this creature can walk its own self around so you don't have to break your back carrying it everywhere, then learning creative ways to curse when you discover yourself constantly chasing after it. Finding out the hard way that sleep deprivation creates more hallucinations than any controlled substance ever could.
And that's just the first year of being a parent.
Those nine months of being pregnant and that first year of parenthood are some of the most difficult months we will ever face as mothers. If we are fortunate, we have partners that live with us and support us, to help with some of the overwhelming responsibilities. It helps that we're adults, and that there are other resources out there to help us to not feel like we are drowning. If we're really blessed, we've got friends that have gone through similar experiences and can offer us advice and hope for coming out unscathed.
But what if you were only 14? A freshman in high school? And your "parenting partner" was only a 13 year old 8th grader? There is no network of support, because most of your friends can't even imagine a pregnancy, let alone what having a baby will do to your life. That parenting partner that I mentioned? Well, its kind of hard to share responsibilities when he's got a 9 o'clock curfew and neither of you can drive.
No, before the thought even fully forms in your heads, let me assure you that I am NOT talking about Jock. However, one of his friends has confided in him that she is pregnant. I'm not sure how she's reacting to the situation, but I suspect she's not fully prepared for everything it entails. Jock and talked about how her life will never be the same. Guys will always look at her differently, because there will always be that thought that maybe they could get a shot at seeing her naked. Girls will look at her differently, because she's already gone farther than most of them will have gone, and they just can't imagine a baby as a result. Her parents will look at her differently, because she's crossed an absolutely irrevocable line and shattered their illusions of her innocence. And none of those situations are even contingent on this girl actually having and keeping the baby. At 14, you are just beginning to plan your social life. If you've got to arrange it around babysitters and feeding times, its a lot harder.
If anything, this has reinforced Jock's determination NOT to have kids until BUG is an adult. At the moment, he is still firm in his resolve to not even have sex for a long time. I know, "a long time" to a teenager is a very different definition from how a mother would define it; but if I can get a couple more years of innocence out of him, I'll take it. I took a lot of flak when I posted this, but having this happen to one of his friends just reinforces my belief that we are taking the right path, for our family at least, with our boys.
Some day, I will make the most awesome grandma on the planet. I'll spoil my grandbabies, and love them unconditionally. Grandma's house will be their favorite place to go, and their refuge when they need one.
But someday does NOT need to happen anytime soon.