Monday, March 17, 2014

"...but you're so young."

In honor of my 24th birthday just passing, I figured I would address the infamous saying that makes me cringe.  I've been hearing this statement since I first began my journey through motherhood, nearly five years ago.

I was in my second semester of my freshman year in college when I found out I was pregnant with Christian.  I had just returned to campus from attending a conference over spring break, when I decided I needed to go to Health Services.  I had experienced a good deal of nausea and headaches the week prior, attributing the symptoms to the stomach bug.  The nurse advised me that they were going to run a pregnancy test, "just as a precaution".  Then she sat down to tell me how I could overcome the nausea. 

Minutes later, she stood up and walked over to the test.  As she turned around, the words slipped out of her mouth.. "Honey, It's looking positive."  It was a surprise to say the least.  Immediately, she started rambling off my options, "You could look into adoption. Or there's always termination, the University can assist you with that." Never in a million years would I consider that an option, and I was appalled that it was said so easily.  I stormed out of the office, and began walking back to my dorm. I knew my life had changed forever, but I never thought of it as a negative change.

I called Mike. He wasn't answering, and then I called my mom.  I didn't have to say a word.  She knew I was going to the doctor that morning and when I was silent she simply said, "I know. But it's okay. You'll finish school. We will do whatever we have to do to be sure of that. I love you. I support you."  The words never had to be said and yet my mom knew exactly what to say to calm me. She has and always will be my rock, and my number one supporter.

Over the next nine months, I would be faced with a lot of judgment and looks of disappointment.  Luckily, I had the love and support of so many around me, and the backbone to stand up for what I believe in.

I was only two months pregnant when I spoke on my pregnancy in one of my classes.  We were studying the 1950s versus today.  The topic of discussion was family. The class was filled with mostly female students.  Most of them with the belief that they would never put their career "on hold" for a family.  As words spewed throughout the room, I felt my blood boil.  "It's not acceptable to have a child before you're thirty." And that one statement put me over the edge.

I stood up and made my proclamation.  I disagreed and I wanted everyone to know why.  I know that this child wasn't planned. But this baby was my child and I would do anything for my unborn child, but I would also fulfill my dreams.  I knew that it wasn't what everyone around me envisioned as ideal, but I would make it my ideal. And five years later, I can tell you, I wouldn't have it any other way.  The negativity and doubt only pushed me harder.  I would finish college.  I would find a job that I was passionate about. I would have this baby and care for him in the best possible way.  And I would do all of this despite of what people thought of me.  Despite of the people believing I was too young.  I through around scientific statements regarding the "biologically appropriate age for childrearing".  I claimed that maturity, not age is what defines a person.  That a 19 year old could take care of a child, just as there are 30 year old women who cannot.

Five years later, I still hear it. "You're so young." The difference now? I look back at them and smile. Yes, I am young, but I have made a very happy life for my young family. I, we, have succeeded. All the while, I still have my whole, young life, ahead of me.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

And I'm back!

In case you haven't guessed it, a lot has happened over the past three years, since I've last posted.  Life has been a whirlwind (as always) and this blog has gone to the back of my to-do list.  Honestly, I had forgotten about it entirely, until I recently decided I wanted to journal again.  So here I am, world. Once again, but I'm not making any promises this time.  I'll post to reflect on my chaotic, but blessed, life when I can. :)

So for those of you whom I have not befriended on social media, or to the newcomers of the blog, here's a recap of the past three years. I'll try to make it short.

Since my last post, I have graduated RWU with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and begun my Masters degree in Education (leading to BCBA licensure, but more about that later).  It continues to be a challenge, but as always, it's possible.  I have married my best friend, Michael.  June 28, 2012 was one of the happiest days of my life. In September, we welcomed our second child, Jacob.  He's such a mellow little guy, whose eyes smile and speak to your heart.  And most recently (in December) we purchased our first home. 

Christian has continued to grow and become an amazing little boy.  He is a spirited child (once a fussy baby, always a fussy baby) whose smile melts my heart.  His raspy voice expresses such passion.  He has a wild side that drives me crazy, yet his kind heart makes it all worthwhile.  I have learned so much from him and he continues to help me slow down and cherish all of the beauty in life.

I'll post glimpses of all of the "missed" events that have so drastically changed our lives (and for the better) as time goes on.  But for now, welcome back to my unconventional journey!