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Learn as You Grow

I became a mother at a very young age. I was only sixteen and not ready to be a mom yet, but life had other plans for me. Becoming a Teen Mom made me have to grow up pretty quickly, but also left me pretty naive. I was too young to really appreciate the gift that I had been given. I took care of him, fed him, changed him, bathed him, played with him; everything a good mom should but I never really took it all in. I didn’t watch him grow from infant to toddler like I should have because I was so young.

I loved him with all my heart and thought being a mom was neat but nobody at such a young age can really appreciate the full circle of what being a mom is. I was always extremely adamant on the fact that I didn’t want any more children. One was enough for me. I didn’t see having another child as something that I wanted for my future. I myself was an only child so I figured he could be too. I was scared to go thru the whole labor process again because at sixteen I somehow found the strength to have him with just some medicine to calm me. I refused an epidural and ultimately ended up having a full episiotomy done. That’s pretty scary to go thru when you are young. I was in a steady relationship for almost 9 years and succeeded in not getting pregnant the whole time.

Then I met the love of my life. It was perfect: he already had three kids of his own and had been fixed. I told him right off the bat that I myself didn’t want any more children, and that is when he assured me he couldn’t have any.

However, much to our surprise, fate intervened and I found out I was pregnant with my second child nine years after I had given birth to my first one. Now finding out I was pregnant was an experience in itself, considering the father had been fixed. We had some issues over it but ultimately he ended up at the hospital one night over severe testicular pain and after a little investigating by the doctor and an ultrasound later, he found out that one side had come undone thus giving leeway for our son to be conceived. Now I was a wreck when I first found out because I was scared to death to go thru labor again. My first pregnancy had been a breeze, no sickness, swelling, nothing. I was high risk with my first one, but that was standard because of my age. My second pregnancy seemed like it too was going to be a breeze, but I was wrong. In my second trimester I ended up at the hospital only to find out that what I thought was the baby balling himself up inside me was actually contractions, and they had been going on for quite sometime unbeknownst to me. So I was put on medication and told to take it easy for the duration of my pregnancy. The medication didn’t help much my contractions were still fairly frequent, not painful, but extremely annoying. I ended up having high blood pressure and showing signs of preclampsyia which scared me because I knew he was gonna be a little baby anyways because the Doctor had already informed me that he was measuring three weeks behind his gestational age but that it was because I just have small babies.

Three weeks before he was due the Doctor argued with me over being induced. I refused for a week until the Doctor gave me an ultimatum and told me on a Monday I had to pick my day to be induced and it had to be by that Thursday. So I agreed and told him I had to speak with the baby’s father and see what day he wanted to do it on. I left the hospital dreading the fact that I was going to end up in labor for hours because it was going to be a drug-induced labor instead of natural. What I didn’t know was when the Doctor had checked me in, he had ruptured the membranes in my cervix to throw me into labor that day. So I drove unknowingly and hour back home just feeling horrible and crampy from what I assumed was just being checked. So a short time later when I started questioning whether I was just crampy or in labor, I decided I should go back to the hospital and just make sure. My water hadn’t broke but better safe than sorry. I knew something was going on but the contractions weren’t what I remembered or expected. Once at the hospital after being checked I was told I was in fact in labor and was taken directly into the delivery room where they were prepping the room to deliver me, registering me, and trying to get my IV in as quick as possible because time was an issue.

The doctor came in almost as soon as they got me into the bed and broke my water, and I was informed I was to far along to have any kind of medication at all that the baby was coming and coming quickly. It was quite possibly the worst thing I have ever felt. It was almost like I could feel my bones spreading to give way to the baby inside me making his abnormally quick entrance into the world. Less than an hour after I walked into the hospital my son was born and much to my surprise I had made it thru a second delivery, and a delivery free of any medication at all. He was almost a car baby. Had my water broken on the way to the hospital, we would have been delivering a baby on the side of the road.

Now being twenty-seven and having this baby in my life has made me realize just how different motherhood is as you get older. You think you were a good mom at sixteen but you realize even though you were a good mom you really didn’t appreciate the miracle of this little life that has been given to you. It amazes me now to sit and look at this tiny little baby that is a part of me to see the things he does now that he is born and know that his little foot that kicks around frantically now when he gets excited is the same little foot that he insisted on constantly shoving into my ribs for months and months. The hiccups that annoy him so badly now are the same hiccups that he frequently decided to get at 2 a.m. and keep for what seemed like hours when all I wanted to do was rest. I felt those little hands poking and prodding in my stomach, felt him rolling and flipping around. It all just amazes me. Your tolerance, your patience, your instinct is so different when you are older.

I always said I didn’t want anymore, but somehow having him now feels right, like it was how it was always meant to be. I feel complete in my life now. I might not at nineteen, twenty-two, or twenty-four been ready to have another child by choice, but at twenty-seven having no control over it and finding out I was gonna be a mom again has been an amazing experience as a whole. When it comes to parenting and life in general you learn as you grow. Sometimes things you miss the first time around you get a second chance at later in life. Motherhood is a miracle no matter what age you are take the time to soak it all in, every bit of it from those nifty little feet in your ribs to the unwanted early morning hiccups that keep you awake to the cute little noises he makes in his sleep or the way he wrinkles his nose when hes mad. Don’t let those memories pass you by; cherish them forever.

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