Confession: I’m Embarrassed About My 4th Pregnancy
Recently, I was at work, caring for a patient in labor who was having her first baby, when I told her that I was also newly expecting.
“Oh, that's so nice,” the patient's mother interrupted. “Is this your first?”
I smiled. “Nope!” I said brightly. “It's actually my fourth.”
I waited for the reaction that I knew was coming. Her mouth dropped to the floor. “Your fourth?” she asked incredulously. “You don't even look like you're 20 years old!”
It's a common reaction for me, and although I am definitely not 20 years old with four children, I am a young mother—by choice, I should add. In almost every aspect of my life, becoming a young mother at the age of 21 has been a greater blessing than I could have ever imagined.
But it still doesn't always stop me from sometimes feeling a little embarrassed about having so many children at a young age.
I'm not exactly sure why, but there's just something about being a young mother with many young children that doesn't strike society as an “intelligent” move. It's as if we feel women who simply have nothing better to do go and reproduce out of a lack of other meaningful activities.
I will admit that even though my husband and I are happy with our family, and honestly don't really feel that our family of five soon-to-be-six is “large,” even for a couple in their 20s, it's hard to face judgement from other people. Walking through the grocery store, picking my daughter up from school – I face comments and judgement from people who seem to think they know what is best for my family better than I do.
If there is anything I have learned from the experience of my fourth pregnancy, however, it's that I have nothing to be ashamed about. I may have felt some embarrassment in announcing my fourth pregnancy, but the truth is—I'm starting to get excited about the new addition to our family. And I'm finally learning the lesson of what it means to do what is best for our family …
And ours alone.
What about you? How many children do you and your partner plan to have?