When one finds out they are pregnant, I don’t care who you are, and fear kicks in. For some reason, you think your life is over and you don’t have weekends filled with reckless drinking and “awesome” stories to tell. To tell the truth, your life is over but an amazing, crazy, confusing, fear-filled, and unknown is ahead. In March of 2013, I just turned 25 and I just found out I was pregnant. I was scared, pissed but most of all, embarrassed. I’ve never been a traditional kind of girl. 80% of my friends are guys, I swear like a sailor; I see nothing wrong with wearing pants to both funerals and weddings. Having a child out of wedlock was ok to me, as relationships can be stressful plus human beings can be annoying. With that being mentioned finding out that my 25th birthday present was a fetus, killed my soul. The dream had died. Bringing a guy home, explaining that we are JUST dating, and maybe 4 years later we can have an OPPS! Baby. The last thing your family needs to know is that you are having sex, being pregnant emphasis that, this was a once occasion.
The first thing I did was to check if there was a local fountain of alcohol, if it did exist, I would have dried it up. Second was quickly researching how far I was and thirdly was searching for adoption agencies. Selfish, I know. In my defense, I was hormonal, angry, scared, and too selfish. I knew I was not cut out on being a mother, I didn’t want to sacrifice MY ME TIME to changing nappies and watching Barney. That is less cool than drinking every weekend, going to every party posted on social networks, and crawling into your house like Malome does every Xmas at Koko’s house.
Having a child changes the ME (I) into US, I was not ready for that, so if you are expecting a child, feel free to panic it’s only natural. It doesn’t matter how to secure every aspect of your life is, those news can scare anyone. As the days passed by, I was very adamant that I will give away the child to either the highest bidder or use proper channels and sign her up for adoption. That way I can follow her life like a creepy pedophile until my selfish reasons have overpowered me to tell her the truth. The thought of having her take me to Khumbule’ Khaya was enough to make me drink or go sober. Once my family have accepted the shocking news they, in a mellow calming voice asked me to rethink my option of adoption and keep the bugger.
We talk about pregnancy as a tool for many and different reasons, e.g.; to scare, manipulate, bind, love but never to explain the true journey of creation. When expecting, there are millions of books on what to expect, deal with the emotions, hormones, what infants eat and you should eat, etc. but when your child is crying uncontrollably, no one thinks of looking into chapter 7. Instincts or your mother tells you to pace like a mall cop and sing Shhhhh, till the bugger is out and asleep. 70% of parenting is winging it, which is based on instinct. 20% is tradition and 10% is that book you received from the hospital or from your friends during your baby shower. The moment you hold your child for the first time, you automatically have unconditional love. For some, that will take some time. Some people say you find purpose, yes you do but it’s not your only purpose.
As purposeful as your child maybe, you also miss your old life. You too want to go to Pop Bottles. You want to drink silly and still wake up at 3 am to change their nappies and give them their bottle. You are not Superwoman, even with a great support system, you are lying to yourself. The best thing to do is to cut yourself some slack. Yes, your friends are buying cars, houses, shares, or even traveling, getting married or even graduating. It doesn’t mean this is it for you. That child will grow up. You’re my time will increase; your goals would be met. It’s not the end but the start to an adventurous journey. In the end, most people work to have a child too, you just beat them to it. Just because you are not ticking the same check box as them, doesn’t mean you never will. So gear up to a more adventurous part of your life, your child is only at the beginning.
Photography: Adrian McDonald