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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Pregnancy and Parenting » wanting a baby..

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Author Topic: wanting a baby..
heatherr
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i will be 18 in less than a month. im on the shot now so i cant get pregnant but im planning on getting off of it and tell my mom im doing the nuvaring instead. me and my boyfriend have been together for 3 years and we've always wanted a baby. thankfully my mom found out and forced the shot on me, because as much as i wanted a baby, and i could have done it, it would have been wayy to hard. but now i feel the time is right. we will both be in college and have jobs and there is an apartment by our colleges thats really cheap. i dont know if we'll both be able to stay in college and/or keep our jobs with the baby because it will be hard but i feel its time. do you think this is bad? i've always wanted to be a mom, its my purpose in life...we're really excited.. i know itll take awhile too, for the shot to ware off so itll be awhile..ill be 19 when i have the baby
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coralee
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When you are 18, you are an adult and it's your choice if you want to have a baby. I think it's great that you want to be a mom, but that doesn't mean you have to be a mom right now. As you yourself pointed out, it is extremely hard to balance parenting, college, and a job. Maybe the time feels right now, but in a few years, chances are the time will still be right.

You say your mom didn't want you to get pregnant when she made you get the shot. Do you think she would be supportive of a pregnancy now? As an adult, you don't have to win your mom's approval. But, if she still doesn't approve, it will be so much harder to ask her for help, if you and your baby end up needing it. Honestly, I can't imagine a situation where you could balance school, work, and parenting without some kind of help. So if you can't count on your mom, I would suggest thinking about other people that you could go to for help and support.

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missLX
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There's nothing wrong with wanting to be a mom or have a baby. I think a lot of us (girls) go through yearning for a child. But, that doesn't necessarily mean you should have a baby right now. They change absolutely everything. Me and my ex wanted to be together and were starting to plan our lives, but as soon as I told him I was pregnant, he ran for the hills. I'm not saying this will happen to you, but wanting a baby and actually having are 2 very different things. It may seem like things will be "doable" but being a young mom is very, very difficult. Almost too difficult to imagine. Add work, school, and a relationship on top of that and it will be very hard.

I'm 19 now, and 2 months pregnant. I am so terrified to tell my family, even though I have a job and my own apartment. They will be supportive eventually, but I know they will be disappointed. Like coralee said, you don't need to win your mom's approval, but you will more than likely need her to support you.

Being young doesn't automatically mean you can't do it, but you should really think about your choice. A baby is a permanent life change, and things won't go back to "normal." Remember that babies are very, very expensive. Not only raising them, but having them. You will need insurance (or Medicaid) while pregnant and the baby will need it once he's born, clothing while you're pregnant, baby clothing, diapers diapers diapers, formula, a crib, baby bath & items, a highchair, a car seat, a stroller, toys, a babysitter, the list goes on and on. Add rent, food, and tuition on top of that.

I'm not trying to discourage you, just encourage you to make the best possible choice for you [Smile] Good luck!

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heatherr
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thanks. its hard to explain everything online about my situation or whatever. i mean i know i can do it, i dont know what i want to do. idk. but anyways, misslx, you can talk to me.. if you would like. i would like to hear your story. thanks
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KittenGoddess
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heatherr, have you looked at this article?
I Want It NOW!

As has already been stated, babies are expensive. For my delivery (only about 2 yrs ago), the prenatal care + c-section + hospital stay for me & my son + his first few doctor's appointments were easily over $10,000. That's not even counting the cost of gear and clothing for a baby. Babies grow really quickly, so you're changing clothing sizes every 3 months or so for about the first 2 years. Oh, and then there's diapers. You can easily go through $40-80+ a month in disposable diapers. Cloth diapers are cheaper in the long run, but can be a significant cost at the start. If you can't breastfeed, formula can easily run $25-35+ a week (can be MUCH more if your little one needs a special type of formula). Plus there's health care for the little one (In the first two years of life, kids generally go to the doctor about 10 times for well-baby checks & vaccinations, plus there will be times in between those where they are ill and need to be seen too. The bill for appointments (before taking the insurance into account) is usually more than $100 per appointment.). Childcare in my area runs around $150-200 a week...it's much more in some areas. And, as MissLX mentioned, you've got rent and food and insurance and whatnot for yourself there as well. Also, you want to consider what would happen if you have a child with special needs (because that can happen to anyone) or one who developed a serious illness. Is that something you are prepared to deal with both personally and financially? Are you personally (and as a couple) prepared to deal with it if you were to develop post-partum depression? Or what if your partner decided not to co-parent with you? Are you in a position to support a child by yourself? What about if one (or both of you) were to lose your jobs? If you rent, what if the landlord were to suddenly lose or sell the property? Would you be in a position to move to other housing immediately? Do you have enough in savings to cover at least 2+ months of rent, bills, food, and health care?

Let me ask you this...I see that you've said you know you can do it. But have you truly sat down and plotted it all out on paper? It can be really easy to think the money (and everything else) will work out, but when you crunch the numbers on paper it may look very different. It took a great deal of planning and saving (several YEARS worth) before my partner and I were in a position where we felt comfortably actively trying to bring a child into our situation. We worked on our finances and our relationship to try to be as ready as we possibly thought we could be.

And I'll tell you completely honestly, there were times when I was pregnant where I thought, "OMG, can we really do this?" And there were times after my son was born when I thought, "I'm not ready for this, what was I thinking?" I love him dearly and wouldn't give him up for anything...but life is very different now.

I do not mean to imply that my choices are the "best" or only good ones or that they'll work well for everybody. But being pregnant and having a child are not easy...it's stressful. It's scary. I worry everyday about what would happen if one of us lost our jobs or became sick or disabled. I worry about what would happen if one of us was suddenly not around anymore. I worry even more about what would happen if something bad happened and both of us were no longer around. When it's just you, it's easy to pack up and move or to change your situation...when you have someone who is 100% dependent on you for the next 18+ years, it becomes different.

I absolutely believe that young people can be fabulous parents. But it can be easy (for anyone of any age) to get caught up in the idea of "I want" when thinking about a child. Once a kid is there, it's not about what you want anymore...it's about what that child NEEDS. When you're honest with yourself, are you in a position where you can give that child what it will want and need in every way?

[ 03-28-2010, 01:28 PM: Message edited by: KittenGoddess ]

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Sarah Liz

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heatherr
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my mom had me at 18. and she got married like 7 years ago and has 2 kids. 2 babies. so i fully understand. im not saying im not scared or that all im thinking about is me. thats not it at all. i know it'll be hard and a lot of money and work. thats why i havent made up my mind. but im very smart. i got a 28 on my ACT. I get everything that all of you are saying but instead of telling me the things i already know, i was looking for something else. i dont know what i was looking for. maybe actual stories or feelings or pain. im not sure. i dont know how i stand with my decision and im not saying that anyone is calling me dumb but besides the fact that my mom would support me, we're very well with money, and i always have somewhere to go, i understand everything everyone has said...
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KittenGoddess
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I don't think anybody was trying to call you dumb, but understand that we don't "know" you. All we can base responses on is what you've written here. We don't know what you do or don't know about pregnancy or delivery or raising a child.

I'm not sure exactly what you are looking for here...

I'm happy to talk about my experience. Though admittedly, I had my son in my mid-20s, so I can't speak for the experiences of a teen parent.

For us, it was a hard decision to have a child. I had a relatively easy pregnancy and a difficult birth. I ended up with a c-section after many hours of labor. It was not pleasant at all. I then got a UTI that went untreated (everything hurt and I was on pain meds, so couldn't even tell that I had symptoms until it had become more serious) until it nearly put me back in the hospital and nasty bouts with mastitis. We had some breastfeeding problems and sleep issues. I had postpartum depression. I felt like I lived in a fog for the first 6 months of my son's life. It was a successful day if I made it 24 hours without crying, and that hardly ever happened. I enjoyed being pregnant, and I love my son dearly...but I won't lie and say that it was all easy or beautiful.

I've always wanted to have children, but I won't tell you that it made me immediately feel fulfilled or loved or whatever. Sure, there are tons of wonderful moments, but there are also some that aren't so great. Being a mom is now part of who I am, but it is not everything that defines me. I find that in my professional life, I'm routinely judged for taking the "mommy track" and sometimes am not taken seriously because of it. There are also those who act like I'm not a good mom because I work outside the home. It's a no-win situation for women...we have to (and often want to) work outside the home to provide for our children, but are also punished for not giving 100% of our time to our kids. There are stresses on my relationship with my partner that were not there before. And, as I mentioned earlier, there are always the "what if"s to worry about when I think about my son's future. My husband works full-time, I teach part-time. We have 3 degrees between the two of us (he has 1, I have 2 and am completing my PhD). We make ends meet each month, but are not getting rich by any means and still worry about money in this uncertain economy where things can change in an instant. Sometimes plans that we had need to change (for instance, I'd scrimped and saved to go to a friend's wedding in Jamaica last month, but couldn't go because we didn't have anyone to watch our son).

I'm not sure exactly what you are looking for here. When I talk about my experiences with parenting, I don't do so as a "scare tactic" or anything else. But rather, I think that as women, we are pressured by society to present a view of pregnancy and parenting being beautiful and wonderful and completely fulfilling regardless of whether that is true for us or not. If we point out the bad parts, we're trying to scare people or discourage families or are being "bad moms". But the truth is that it's not all sunny happy moments. So I try to be honest about my experience...both the good parts and the bad.

If this is something that you want to do right now, then obviously that is your decision based on what YOU know about your situation. I cannot speak about what your situation is. All I can do is offer honest thoughts based on my own experience. Your mileage may vary.

[ 03-28-2010, 03:51 PM: Message edited by: KittenGoddess ]

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Sarah Liz

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KittenGoddess
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Let me ask this question as well, as another way to maybe help you think about how you feel...

What do you feel you get out of having a child right now? (In other words, why does now feel like the right time to you?)

Along with that, what do you feel like you have to offer a child right now?

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Sarah Liz

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AGF
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since i was 17 months old i have been surrounded by kids. by the time i was 12 i was babysitting. and yes, kids are fun, but they can also be very tiring and frustrating. pregnancy is painful. your feet hurt, your back hurts, some people even get headaches. also with pregnancy, there are health problems. for the mom and the child. high blood pressure, low pressure, birth defects, miscarriages.... and it goes on. hospital bills are insane, baby supplies are expensive. breast feeding is great but not everyone chooses it. formula is so expensive. baby food is expensive. and plan on buying diapers for atleast three years. kids with special needs are a whole other thing. they learna at a slower pace, and for their parents it can be frustrating. believe me, i know this from personal experience, although i am not the childs mother but older sister. having a baby young is not what its like to have a baby on reality tv. the show The Secret Life of the American Teenager is not true. Not only is its title offensive(that is not the life of american teenagers, just some) but it also shows the mother looking great like she should be modeling. Then otehr girls are getting pregnant(or so i hear because i dont watch it.) even 16 and pregnant, highly informative but for young girls wanting children it sends a whole other message) Macy is great, everyone loves her. And who can honestly not love bently, but bentleys dad, that could be the real thing. Some guys are great with kids and its fun to think of that guy as your "baby daddy". Still, like its been said, they tend to run for the hills because they have to give up their lives. THe show Dad Camp is so great when the right message is put across to the audience. Its not about you now, grow up and take responsibility. Im just writing all this because I live with one of the best kinds of birth control=lots of younger siblings! its not easy, its frustrating and it can be fun but its only fun when you are absolutely sure that this is the life you want and your sure you want that life now. think everything through for yourself and then talk about it with your significant other. you might even want to find an adult that you can trust to help you with your decision and know that they will be there for you when you need them.
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AGF
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a good way to know what parenting is like, get a job in a day care and work as much as you possibly can. then you can see every kind of kid there is and all of thier different personalities. babysit outiside of work, or maybe baby sit for some parents at the daycare. then you can learn dinner and bedtime routines and behavior. and if your still not sure, sign up for a child care program at your school. there are lots of different kinds of kids and lots of different kinds of behavior. its like my bio teacher said, kids are not like going to mcdonalds. yes, kids love mcdonalds but you as a parent cannot go pick your kid out at a mcdonalds. you cant go look at a kid menu and say , i want brown hair, green eyes, dimples, rosy cheeks, a cute giggle, 10 fingers, 10 toes and the behavior of an angel. all you can be pretty much guarenteed out of that is the 10 fingers and 10 toes. unless of course you want an alien, in which case who knows how many fingers or if they even have toes. (he tries to be funny)
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