parents

"I had a baby at 24 and it didn't ruin my life."

 

Ami and her daughte

By AMI-LEIGH O’DONNELL

In June of last year me and my significantly awesome other were embarking on a five-week European adventure. This June here we are with a nearly three-month-old daughter. And they have been equally brilliant Junes.

So we went to Europe and came home with a million photos of Croatia, Turkey and the lovely Greek Islands, superb suntans, fake Ray Bans and a baby child. Now that’s a souvenir (the baby child, that is, though the fake Ray Bans are tops).

At 24 years young and with big dreams and a penchant for a vino or two, it’s only natural to assume that the revelation of pregnancy would be horrifying.

Correct.

However, once the shock horror wore off, it was exciting. Then horrifying again, with the realisation that soft cheeses and cured meats were off the menu for a while. But then exciting again.

The excitement, however, was often tainted by comments from others that not-so-subtly implied that, in essence, my life was fucked. Sleep while you can, they warned. Be spontaneous while you can, they insisted. Take a final holiday while you can, they suggested. Babies, it seemed, will suck the life from you and replace it with nappies, vomit and constant screaming.

Fast-forward to April and hey presto, my tiny daughter made her grand entrance. Fast-forward again to right now and my life couldn’t be better. And sleeping happens a bit, and it’s enough but it’s getting to be more and more. And yeah there’s a, shall we say, generous amount of nappies, vomit, milk and crying in my life at the moment. But there’s also a miniature human in the world that I get to dress up and play with and feel incredibly proud of every single day.

The advice-givers really offered the gift of ‘expect the worst’ and then reality came in at super, way better. So yeah, I brought home a surprise baby from my travels in Europe, but my life is far from over. Maybe I don’t go out for dinner and dancing all night, but I certainly go out for lunch and a wine with my friends.

It might take me a bit longer to write back to a text. My handbag has nappies and baby wipes in it. So, next time someone tells me they’re pregnant and maybe it wasn’t planned (or maybe it was, the end result is the same), I’ll be sure to let them know just how fun life as a mum is because people seem to forget to mention that bit. 

Ami-Leigh is a long time writer of things and a not so long time mother of one. She completed a journalism degree in 2009 and since then has worked around Melbourne as an advertising copywriter, a social media manager and a freelance writer. She spends most of her time mumming, googling and dreaming big about one day writing a book about something, but she’s just not sure what.

Did you get pregnant first amongst your group of friends? How did your friends react when you got pregnant? What do you think the ideal age is to have a baby?

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