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A Day in the Life of a Teen Mom – The View
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A Day in the Life of a Teen Mom


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Picture taken by Megan Hughes

Back pains, frequent urination, strange looks from peers and muffled whispers were just the beginning of what I had to deal with while wearing the pregnant belly for my Child Growth and Development class. As the day progressed, I was simply thankful that I would eventually be able to take it off, unlike a real teen mother.

Child growth and development is an elective that any upperclassman can take to learn about pregnancy, birth and interacting with young children. As an extra credit project, students may wear the belly and/or take the real care baby for 24 hours. I did both.

I am aware that pregnancy comes before a child but I took home the baby before I wore the belly; I thought the belly would be much easier so I wanted to do it last. I was wrong; both were extremely challenging.

The baby, who I named Jaxon, cried all throughout my tutorial class and the minute I got home from school. Throughout the day I had to feed, burp, change and coddle it numerous times. The night was even worse. 2 a.m.I woke up to wails, forgetting I even had the baby, I stumbled around looking for its bottle and diaper.

After feeding and burping him, I dove back into bed. About 30 minutes later, right as I was falling asleep, he needed his diaper changed. I finished that chore grumpily and with my eyes still practically shut.  I finally thought I could go to bed now, but not to disappoint, Jaxon was hungry again; and so starts the feeding and burping process again. Needless to say, when I turned in the baby second block the next day I was ecstatic.

As happy as I was, sadness was somewhere deep down. I started to think about the real girls who had real babies to take care of. My bitterness about being tired started to diminish when I realized they can’t give their babies back, and on top of the parenting stress, they receive ridicule and judgment from adults and peers. So, I took on the belly with a new attitude about teen pregnancy.

Having the belly turned out, in my opinion, to be worse than having the baby. As I walked around the school I started to feel the way these girls must feel. People staring but not making eye contact, whispering and even giggles. All of my friends and classmates knew I hadn’t sprouted a 35-pound stomach overnight, but the people I didn’t know showed their judgment in their facial expressions.

Even the people I was closest to didn’t want to be seen in public with me. My boyfriend refused to go out to eat with me, and my younger sister passed on the park because I would “embarrass” her. My mom kept talking about how she hated seeing me like that and I got fed up with it all. My back hurt, it pressed on my bladder, making have to go to the bathroom all the time, and everyday activities became difficult to do.

Enough of my whining. The moral of the story was I was miserable after two days. Girls who get pregnant and are brave enough to have their baby, have nine months of pain and judgment, and then 18-plus years are being a parent. Before this 50-point extra credit project, I’ll admit I had judged pregnant teens before, but I will never again. It’s challenging to say the least, and it could happen to anyone who is sexually active.

So think about yourself and how you would like to be treated before you snicker at the girl with the round belly.

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