I stood awkwardly, looking at the test in my hand facing the toilet door where my boyfriend sat, there were two lines right there on that little wand, that’s pretty much a baby right there in my hand. I was in the cramped laundry that connects to the toilet of the small home that I shared with my then boyfriend’s sister and her 2 year old daughter.
That was the day that my whole world changed and I was due at work in less than an hour and a half.
“It’s got two lines” I sigh….
My boyfriend of 4 months was on the toilet, he said “No it’s not”… he opened the door and I handed it to him, he looked at it and said “Oh”.
I took the test from his hands and I walked into my room, a room filled with my whole life, every small thing I owned was in this tiny bedroom, I can’t fit a baby in here.
I sat in shock, terrified of the fact that this was the first time I have ever been pregnant and I was a teenager, of course I fucking was, this was the biggest and shittest thing I had ever done to myself. I was on the pill. Could I have missed one? Probably, maybe? But I didn’t think so. How the hell did this happen? It didn’t matter now. I was absolutely and utterly up the fucking duff.
I dressed for work like a proper zombie, I put on my black and pink striped jumper which would become a pregnancy essential for me in months to come, growing with me till the end. I walked sombrely to the bus stop like I had been smashed in the face with a shovel. A pretty shovel, but a shovel none the less. The bus came, I climbed on alone, I sat alone with my headphones in trying to hide my face from the other passengers, I was confused and on the brink of a bazillion awkward ugly crying tears. I put my sunglasses on and bowed my head and cried, I cried a lot, I cried all the way to work that day.
I went to the toilet and in a desperate attempt tried to make myself look like I was just suffering from an outrageous hay-fever attack, one like no one had ever seen. I am almost sure it worked.
I gathered myself up somehow and held back the tears so well at work that day. I worked in a private hospital, I spent my time delivering the meals to the patients and doing dishes. It was only typical that I was placed on the birthing ward that day. I walked through the dimly lit birth suite where a very pregnant woman was pacing the hall in a nightie, I must have looked like I had died a little because she looked up and smiled at me through a contraction and pointed for me to place her meal of jelly, fruit and water down in her room. I sped out of that room like I had never sped from a room before. Strolling back to my food cart a nurse walks directly past me carrying a placenta in one of those kidney shaped surgical bowls. ‘Kill me now’ I thought. Kill me now.
Even at this point though, I knew, I knew I was having this baby. I was keeping his baby and the idea of abortion had not once entered my mind and I think that was what scared me the most. I was about to be a mother. I was already a mother.
I went home after that, ‘Van’ picked me up in his 1990’s white Magna with a terrible steering problem caused by really bald tires (teen life). I called Birdy on the way back home and she could tell I was upset, she said “You’re pregnant, aren’t you?” She’s like a magic fairy, how could she know? Magical fucking fairies and all their knowings things. So Van took me to Birdy’s house where I sat in my old bedroom, on an old couch with Van on one side and Birdy on the other and my little brother Chops somewhere around the room. Birdy asked Van what he thought and he told her and I that ‘he would support me no matter what I decided to do’ even though I already knew my decision. Birdy agreed and seemed almost thrilled at the prospect of her 19 year old daughter and her 18 year boyfriend having a baby. I was sitting alone for a moment when my littlest brother Chops (who was only 12) came to me and told me “I’ll support you no matter what” , but my other brother called me a slut and said I was ruining my life, but he had no idea how wrong he was.
Little did I know then that this actually saved my life.
My belly grew, my love for this child grew and even though my love for his father slowly faded, this unknown life with this unknown accidental child excited me. The first ultra sound blew my mind and I was in love and I stared at those films for weeks and months afterwards in awe that, that was inside me. Being a teenager though, I hated what this pregnancy did to my young body, pregnancy smashed it all up like an avocado in a mexican restaurant. Those stretch marks did incredibly itchy scary things to my wonderful perky teenage breasts, they had sure earned their stripes, the stretch marks ripped and scared my seamless 19 year old body like I had barely made it out of the Scream movies. Being pregnant made me doubt myself and my mind in more ways than I ever knew I could. But somehow, somewhere in there I knew that what I was doing was for the best, for the better of myself and I knew my reasons for having this child were almost selfish. I needed to be saved by this child because I still had a world of pain and heartbreak to unravel in years to come and without him I would never be strong enough to cope with that alone. I think somehow I knew without him I would sink into the depths and my soul would die.
The Birth of a mother
Time passed and not long after I graduated into my 20’s I went into labour. I was incredibly unprepared for what it would be like, no one warns anyone enough but I don’t think it’s even possible. I had no idea what to expect so once it happened I couldn’t even comprehend what this pain was, it was like birthing a full sized 7 foot man wearing a really big helmet.
My Labour started on a Thursday night just after 11pm during some back to back episodes of Law and order : SVU. By then I had moved back in with Birdy since I was no longer working, since I was now a moderately large sized 20 year old mammoth with a raging addiction to vacuum cleaning smells and ice ( ice-cubes guys…not.. you know, Ice). It was the one night Van had decided to stay at his parents house, a 20 minute drive away and by 1 am I decided I couldn’t suffer alone and woke Birdy who sat with me all night long, we then called Van who was asleep and said “I’ll be there soon”. We waited and he never came till I called him again at 7am and he told me “Oh shit, I thought it was a dream“… He plodded on over an hour or so later and we spent the day wandering the streets, to get things moving, you know, didn’t work. Fucking baby.
It was friday night, I was walking all around the house taking up all the space in hallways, bathrooms and baths. Sulking and complaining about mucous plugs and my inability to eat the KFC I was bought because there wasn’t any room. Fucking baby.
At last it was time. it was time to go the the fucking hospital. Once there I had tried a bath, I had tried panadol and gas and it was still horrendous.
Somewhere there in-between Birdy and Van taking turns to get baked in the carpark, my Dad rocks up a little drink.drank.drunk with my step Mum and best friend. There’s a billion people in this room and I am going insane with pain because resisting birth pains only make them worse apparently and I am going into the stage of labour where I vomit. Because labour is already so pretty and elegant.
In the end everyone that’s been drinking is kicked out, my step mum has a mini argument with a midwife and then I pop a baby out after 28 hours of agonising labour and a couple stitches that will irritate my poor vagina for weeks and weeks to come.
Holding this warm naked bundle on my bare chest, I look over to my 19 year old (in shock and still stoned) boyfriend and I then look down at this bloody smoosh-faced child that is now ours, and think
“Oh fuck, what have I done?” and then “Oh fuck, I love this little bloody mess of a thing.”
And that was the day I became a mum.