Retrospective

I don't think I will ever be able to completely extricate the infertile viewpoint when considering situations concerning pregnancy and babies. The angle is a little different now, though. With most things, I feel a little cringe that I can shake usually shake away easily. However, I'm always left with the thought that back in the Days of the Empty Uterus, those situations would probably have screwed up a perfectly good weekend.  I often catch myself thinking things like, "That would have really fucked me over eight or nine years ago."

For example, there was this article I read yesterday about a gaggle of high school girls who thought it would be groovy if they all got pregnant at the same time so they could raise their babies together. Seventeen (!!!) girls at one high school, none over age 16, intentionally got knocked up and are expecting babies. Suspicions arose by October when an unusually high number of girls were requesting that the school nurse administer pregnancy tests. The nurse noticed that the same girls were coming back month after month and seemed disappointed when their tests were negative. Once pregnant, their fucked up little fertility gang would congratulate them with a high-five and preliminary baby shower plans. Are you shittin' me? Was that all I needed to do back then? I was the assistant band director/flag & dance choreographer at my high school alma mater back then and there were at least six girls who got pregnant through my five year stint there. If I'd known that all I had to do was slap 'em a high-five to get pregnant, I could have saved myself a lot of heartache. This article had my mind spinning yesterday; had I read this nine years ago, this would not have been a very good weekend for me.

Then there's the issue of my almost-practically-might-as-well-be sister in law. I wrote about this situation briefly in March when I wrote this brief post titled Hey Nineteen:

Hey Nineteen,
a laid back, liquid ditty of an older man being tempted by the
seductive ways of a younger girl with whom he has little in common,
given the age difference.

My brother in law, age 22 and four years removed from high school.

His girlfriend of two years, a junior in high school at age 19,
proof of the childlike personality that belies her womanly looks.

She's newly pregnant, so I've just learned.

No we got nothin' in common.
No we can't talk together.
No we can't dance at all.

Well, Miss Nineteen is now somewhere around 22 weeks pregnant (I think) and I truly feel for her. She's not the brightest kid obviously, and as a teacher I can see the tell-tale signs of a mild learning disability. I have no doubt that she will learn to care for her child, but she will definitely need the guidance and support of someone along the way. Guess who that someone is turning out to be? She and my brother-in-law (who I'll refer to as Juice) live in Louisiana where Frank's extended family is. This week she called and asked what she would need to do to be enrolled in school here, as she and Juice are likely going to be moving here by the end of summer. Long story short – her mother is an emotionally abusive drug addict who's recently kicked her out of the house. Nineteen is currently living with her older sister but will not be able to live there indefinitely. The loose plan is for Juice to bring her here to live with my MIL, then Juice will go back, put in his 2 week notice, then come back. They are planning to live with MIL until he can get another job and make enough money to support his wife (I see it coming) and child. I'm sure you're seeing as many holes in this as I am.

Juice makes decent money as a delivery driver for Budweiser and clearly wants to support Nineteen and his expectant child, but he is also not thinking logically about what this will entail financially. For the past week he's been calling Frank for advice about which variation of a $500 Playstation 3 to buy; Frank rightly told him that he has better things to worry about and that he needs to save his money for his child and for taking care of Nineteen. A couple of days ago Nineteen called to find out what she should do about her sore throat. Earlier that day she called her OB's office and a nurse gave her a list of OTC meds she could take, but she forgot what they were so she called me to see if I knew what was safe.

It's apparent that Frank and I are growing to be their guiding forces as they head into parenthood. Neither of us mind this; they need the support and my main concern is for my unborn niece or nephew. Still, there's a huge part of me that wonders why kids like this can "oops" their way into pregnancy while I and so many others had/have to go through so much. The Moxie of today and of a decade gone just doesn't get it.

 

16 Comments

  1. SAHW on June 20, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    I don’t get it either…I guess that’s how the world works, there are so many things like this that we can’t quite comprehend.
    Yesterday in the paper I read about a young woman who had a baby in the bathroom at a Walmart and left him/her there…how gladly I would have taken that baby that she dumped in a Walmart bathroom.



  2. Becky on June 20, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    I struggled with infertility for about two years. I never did one round of IVF or took any drugs. I admire all of you who had the courage to do it, I was WAY too much of a wimp. We made the decision to adopt. We are white, our kids are all African-American. We are mom and dad to three boys (ages 5, 4 and 2) and now a 9 week old girl. I thank God everyday for guiding us to our children, but I whenever we get those odd looks or we are reminded of our differences, I wonder the same thing you do. Why is it such an “easy” oops for some people? Your description of “nineteen” could have been any of our kid’s birthmothers. I hope nineteen steps up to the plate like they did and makes a good choice. Not necessarily adoption if that’s not right for her, but just a good choice.



  3. Becky on June 20, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    I don’t get it either. I just don’t get it.



  4. Carrie27 on June 20, 2008 at 4:30 pm

    I watched this today on the Today Show. The school even has a daycare at the school, but cannot give the students contraceptives. It’s almost as if they are saying it is ok to be a teen mom we’ll help you. What about afterwards?



  5. Io on June 20, 2008 at 5:10 pm

    Oh lord – those teenagers made me want to rip my hair out. I mean, sure kids screw up, but doing it on PURPOSE? ACK!
    Good post about Nineteen.



  6. Wishing4One on June 20, 2008 at 7:46 pm

    I’m with you I just don’t get it!
    Your post brought me back to my own high school days. I think of how many girls in my school were pregnant and we would be like “damn, she’s having a baby!” It was weird then, and we were no angels, don’t get me wrong, but we were NOT thinking about havin babies then NO WAY!
    Man how times have changed, for these girls to even ponder the idea of this is unfreakenbelievable to me.
    And about ninteen and her mom and juice I knew alot of them growing up. It’s so sad to see this happening so many times and it doesn’t seem to ever stop.
    Those of us who truly want a baby and can handle it (we hope anyway) in all ways, stability, maturity, etc. and we can seem to have one….
    Man oh man, life is a beyotch sometimes…. thank God for you and Frank. Hey she’s 22 weeks you said, you have some time to teach her some things…maybe she’ll get it.



  7. Wishing4One on June 20, 2008 at 7:48 pm

    )I meant to say above “we CAN’T seem to have one…a baby)
    And yes pigeons on a plate here very common and they are stuffed too with rice or a wheat like rice too. Yum…no waaaay for me.



  8. Kelly D on June 20, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    I cannot believe that teenagers would think this was a good idea – I knew better when I was 15/16, how come they don’t. I’m a little appalled at the media coverage on this – time could be better spent…like educating the general public about infertility and adoption.



  9. DC on June 20, 2008 at 10:12 pm

    It is so frustrating to watch all these kids get pregnant. (And, on purpose? Sheesh.)
    You’re very sweet for helping Juice and 19. 🙂



  10. C on June 20, 2008 at 11:15 pm

    That story breaks my heart for so many reasons. My dad told me growing up that life isn’t always fair, and he was dead right. Great post, adorable kiddos!
    Via NaComLeavMo



  11. Trish on June 21, 2008 at 10:10 am

    I’m here from NaComLeavCom
    wow on those girls -incredible they thought it would be fun.
    I agree with you on 19 too … It isn’t fair.
    You are incredible to be so calm about being their support people and a guiding influence.
    warm regards
    Trish



  12. susan on June 21, 2008 at 10:18 am

    Hey! Nineteen and Juice are in a tight situation. It would be great if you could hope for a great family relationship, not just one that works. Learning by example would probably work best. I learned all that I know by watching others because my own childhood was so lacking. But then again, I had 36 years to watch and learn. Putting some easy to understand facts in front of Juice may be a good start. Such as, “It costs about $8000 for the first year alone to raise a child” (cost calc. from Baby Center). Dang! Shouldn’t have looked at that!



  13. tash on June 21, 2008 at 10:41 am

    I’m debating a post on this myself, because I don’t know what to do with this information. personally, or for the masses — sometimes I think CNN needs to ignore the tree falling in the woods for the benefit of public health. Sometimes I think Hollywood needs a check on what the fuck is really funny and heartwarming.
    Because then we get to real life people like Juice and Nineteen and my heart breaks. And I’m so glad they’ve got people like you, and so wickedly depressed that people like you need to deal with them.



  14. Amanda on June 21, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    You and Frank are wonderful and caring to be “mentors” for your BIL and SIL apparent.
    I don’t get the high school pregnancies on purpose! I remember being that age and thinking “bad idea.”



  15. luna on June 21, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    crazy, isn’t it?
    I have no doubt you and FFF will continue to be terrific guides.
    and thanks for your sweet comment before, as always!



  16. Miss W on June 21, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    It doesn’t compute. It just doesn’t. And, you know, maybe those girls and your BIL/FSIL will all be wonderful parents. But…WHY does it get to be easy for those kids who, by and large, probably ARE making a really big mistake — at least in terms of maturity and financial stability? But, as a previous commentor said — life *isn’t* fair.