18, Wanting a Baby and Thinking I Knew it All by Amy Ward
I found out I was pregnant with my first son when I was 18 years old, I was so excited. It was definitely not a mistake in my eyes. I was naive and young but I knew I wanted to be a mother more than anything else and rather than wait and experience the world or have some fun , I wanted it immediately.
I would cry every month when my period would come. I still lived with my mother, I had only been with my boyfriend six months but I was adamant. My boyfriend wanted it to although I don't think he knew exactly how hard it would be. I thought I was an expert because my friend had a baby and I felt like I understood exactly how hard it would be just from spending time with her and her baby. Boy, was I wrong!
After a few months of trying, I finally fell pregnant. I was over the moon and could not wait to meet my baby. Fast forward to my 20 week anomaly scan , the radiographer looked confused at the sonogram and excused herself from the room. I went into full blown panic and assumed the worst until a doctor came in and explained our baby had an abnormality that they weren't quite sure of. The right abdomen was much larger and filled with fluid and they were unsure of why or what would happen with the baby. They told us too come back a week later but before we left informed us we were having a boy! I felt happy at the thought of having a son but terrified of the unknown , I started realising I wasn't such an expert at all.
The next few months were filled with worry , tears and long trips to a hospital 2 and a half hours away so that I could be examined more thoroughly. Finally 2 weeks before my due date I was told I would have to have a caesarean because they weren't sure if I could naturally deliver the baby due to the size of his abdomen and also because they didn't know how the baby would be health wise when he was born.
All of a sudden I was a kid again, and I just wanted my mom. She told me everything would be ok but I was beyond scared.
It was time for the baby to come: my c section was a lot smoother than I thought , the baby was born and he was pink and wrinkly and beautiful. He let out a huge cry which made me so happy that I burst into tears, I wasn't allowed to hold him because they wanted to rush him off for tests, I felt so worried.. this wasn't how it was in my imagination, I wanted a natural birth, to have skin to skin with my son and for him to latch on. I didn't get that and I was devastated.
A day later my beautiful son, Riley , was brought to me and I was told the tests have proven he had a lymphatic malformation and it wouldn't harm him health wise but he would have a larger right abdomen and would need to be seen by doctors every few months.
Riley receives schlerotherapy and will one day get surgery but he is a perfect, healthy and beautiful boy and has no real understanding that his stomach is any different to others.
Fast forward five years later , I am still with my partner , we have 2 more sons, Mason and Arlo and we love our chaotic life. I wouldn't change anything but I do wish I could have experienced more and done more for myself before having my babies. I also know I did not know what I was getting myself into. Being a mother is the most exhausting , stressful yet beautiful and rewarding thing I have ever done. My 18 year old self had no clue! Thankfully it's everything I wanted and more.
Amy Ward, is a 24 year old full time stay at home mother of 3 beautiful boys, Riley, Mason and Arlo. She lives with her partner ray in Derry , Ireland. She hopes to be a full time writer/ blogger one day.