Yesterday was my first day back at work from Spring Break. I was dreading it, but shouldn’t have been because it was the beginning of my student teacher’s second round of “full responsibility”. She came in and we had our usual morning chat. We talked about what we did over the break, discussed plans for the week, and right before we left to go get the kids for the day…she told me she found out over the break that she was four months pregnant. Actually what she said was, “Please don’t hate me…I’m four months pregnant.” My eyes almost bugged out of my head. Not because she is pregnant, but because she’s FOUR months and didn’t know, and all in one day she found out she was preggo…and that she’s having a boy! And then there was the whole “Please don’t hate me” part. I couldn’t believe she was afraid to tell me, as if I have any room to judge. I let her know immediately that I was so proud of her accomplishments thus far and while I know she’s still trying to wrap her head around the whole pregnancy thing, I know she is going to be an amazing mom. I spent the rest of the day doing my best to make her laugh and calm her nerves and hopefully put her at ease, at least for a little while.
Last night as I was laying in bed, I started thinking about all of the things I wish I could tell her. Not necessarily “advice”, but things I wish I had known when I was young and pregnant and scared to death. I had tears streaming down my face as I recalled everything I had gone through. Hearing her worries and feeling how unsure she is about her future took me right back to sitting on the edge of my pretty bed in my ugly trailer house, with a pregnancy test in hand. Two little pink lines sealing my fate, forever changing the rest of my life. The weight of the world suddenly on my shoulders.
As those memories flooded me, I thought about all of the things I wish I could go back and tell 21 year old me. Maybe I’ll share this with B, maybe I won’t. But here’s what I at least wish I had known six years ago.
Dear 21 year old self,
· Yes, this is the second pregnancy test you have taken that is positive. Yes, the first one that was negative was probably a fluke. Stop buying pregnancy tests and just call the damn doctor.
· Don’t worry so much about what “he” will say or think, you are strong and independent and whether he stays or goes, you can handle anything.
· Your mom is going to lose her shit. She’s going to try and make you get married immediately. She’s going to make your life hell for a while. Be strong. Do what YOU think is right for you and your baby. She will eventually come around, and she will be your saving grace once he/she arrives. You will need her more than ever before, so don’t stay mad at her too long.
· Don’t hyperventilate and cry all the way to tell your dad the news. You will get worked up over nothing. He will hug you and hold you and tell you everything is going to be ok, and he will be right. The two of you will become closer than ever before, and he will be the best Papa to your child.
· Don’t have a heart attack on the doctor’s table while she has a dildo like instrument shoved up your vajayjay and jumps around telling you that you are not only having one baby, but TWO. Just breathe.
· Ignore the comments and unwanted advice from people about how you should take care of your babies once they are born. As well as their thoughts on you being pregnant and not married. Don’t allow them to force their beliefs and opinions on you.
· Enjoy every little flutter you feel. Don’t let every kick be a reminder that you are scared. Don’t let every flip make you panic and worry about how you will afford your bills, two babies, and finishing school. Don’t let every hiccup make you doubt who you are and whether or not you will be a good mom. Cherish every movement and every moment that they are inside of you, safe and sound.
· When they get here, your world will never be the same. You will fall in love with them the second you see each of their perfect little faces. You will immediately forget what your life was like without them. And you will never want to know what it will be like without them again.
· Hold them. Hug them. Kiss them.
· Don’t get stressed out when “he” doesn’t help, you don’t need him.
· You will be a single mom long before any papers are filed.
· You will work your ass off to finish school and raise your babies, it will be worth it, they will be worth it.
· You will graduate from college and get a great job. Your family will be proud of you and you will be proud of yourself.
· You will find strength that you never knew you had, and you will use it to walk away from something you worked extremely hard to build and make work, but couldn’t. It will be hard. It will be sad. But it will be worth it in the end.
· Don’t forget who you are, outside of being a mom. They need you to be happy and healthy, so don’t neglect YOU in an effort to try and be perfect for them.
· Six years later, you will have two precious little boys who adore you. They will crawl in your lap to be held and hugged, even though their legs now hang to the ground. They will kiss you and say they love you. Every. Single Day. They will drive you crazy, but that’s what little boys do. You will be putty in their hands when they say things like, “Mom, I love you the most because I know what your heart sounds like.”
· When one of your favorite songs, “God Gave Me You”, that you used to think was about a romantic relationship comes on and one of them says, “This song is about US mom!” it will become your favorite song for a whole new reason.
· Let them get dirty, and get dirty with them. Let them sing loudly, and sing loudly along with them. Always say, “I love you”. Cherish them, because they cherish you.
· You’ve got this.
And I do.