Blue cross, blue line, blue cross.
That little plastic stick costs €9.95 and weighs nothing but the state of your future.
That small pregnancy test stands in the balance, in the public Tesco’s toilet sits impending doom. The light is flickering, the floor is sticky.
7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1; Blue Line.
You know those little tests they have in schools? The ones where they make the little kids look after the eggs? There has to be a serious metaphor in that but this moment propelled me forward to take that to another level.
16, 480 babies have been born in Ireland since January 1. Whether your pregnancy is planned or not, it’s scary. You’re bringing a human into the world and you are responsible for their happiness and health.
I wondered if their would be preconception around people my age having children regardless of whether if it was a surprise or not. So I created scenarios, I purchased masking tape, control tights and memory foam. I was pregnant with ambition. 7 months and 3 weeks if anyone asked.
Last year, over 3, 500 woman left Ireland to access abortion services abroad. Today, 67 percent are in favour of legalising abortion in Ireland, while 21 per cent define themselves as pro-life and 12 percent just don’t know.
I’m walking down Grafton Street, people are looking at bump. The elderly cast their eyes upon the bulge judgmentally. Men are not looking at me the same way they did yesterday. Someone gives up their seat for me on the bus. Someone bumps into me and apologises excessively. A lady selling flowers looks sad at the sight of me, another tuts.
I buy a nose ring and the man selling it jokes that I’ll have to stop caring about being trendy once the little ‘sprog’ comes along.
I feel lonely even though this isn’t real.
I go to the Well Woman centre thinking that it was a place of advice for those who are looking, It’s not. It is full blown counselling and I am in too deep to admit, I am in fact, not pregnant.
The counsellor has an open smiling face. She is a practical ray of sunshine who mixes compassion and love into a ball of energy that makes her words feel like a warm hug.
I feel I am evil for sitting there, but I can’t help believe this is my moral obligation to experience what girls my age go through first-hand. She tells me that what I do with this pregnancy, from the beginning should have been for me, not for my partner, parents or peers, just me.
Largely we discuss life and how stressful the whole thing can be. I feel fully supported and grateful. I can say, without doubt that there are services out there that are dedicated to looking after pregnant women.
My week is over and I have a pain in my thighs from doing the pregnant waddle which was totally unnecessary seeing as I was merely carrying an empty uterus with fluff on top. Yet I have never truly understood the weight of that little white stick as much as I do now.
Now, it’s time to turn over to Zoe O’ Brien, one of my oldest friends to discuss how she managed her pregnancy at this age.
What was your first thought when you saw the result on the pregnancy test?
I was in such shock. I didn’t even think of anything. My mind was blank and I felt dizzy. I had a lot of mixed reactions, some people said they weren’t that shocked they thought I was very maternal and mature others didn’t have such a great response.
What did you do and who was the first person you told?
You. I was like I better call you before it hits me and I’m stuck here in the bathroom having a meltdown on my own. Then when I met up with you, it hit me all I could think was I can’t do this.
Was this part of your plan? Were you scared?
No my plan was to get a degree, get a nice job, buy a house get married. Eventually I knew I would have kids! Even just getting the degree first would have made the whole situation a lot less stressful. I wasn’t scared, I was numb and in such shock. My head was all over the place.
How do you think people reacted to you becoming pregnant?
I received a lot of reactions! My parents couldn’t have taken it any better. They were so supportive and that’s what helped me through the initial shock of it first.
Do you think people have a preconception about girls our age being pregnant?
One person actually asked me whether or not knew how to protect myself and if I was going to get married now. I have only spoken to this individual a few times and was so shocked by what she said. I barely reacted to her but later thinking back on it I was furious.
What was your favourite thing about being pregnant?
My favourite thing about being pregnant was watching my bump grow, I took a picture everyday after 14 weeks. Of course feeling the baby kicking was amazing! But that’s pretty much the only things I liked about being pregnant.
What was your least favourite thing about being pregnant?
God, where do I start!
Maternity clothes are so expensive or really old fashioned. Trying to find clothes was a nightmare.
I hated going to the toilet five times a night. I was in so much pain by the end. I couldn’t lift my legs to put on pants or even get in and out of the car!
What’s the best part of being a mom now?
Best part of being a mom is when I wake up in the morning and Liam hasn’t seen me all night (because it’s dark in the room not because he isn’t awake) and he sees my face for the first time. He starts smiling loads and giggling. No matter how exhausted I am it always makes me so happy. Seeing Liam happy and learning new things makes it all worth it.