Okay. So if you’re reading this, by now you’re pretty aware of the fact that I had a surprise pregnancy.
I confess: I really, really, really HATE typing those words. There’s so much shame and humiliation associated with them. I’ve come pretty clean about it on here, but in real life I cringe when people bring up the abrupt manner with which my son came into being. When I talk about it in person, I’m always on the defensive: looking for the moment someone’s eyes flash that Aha! I’m better than you! moment.
If you’re reading this and thinking I’m being dramatic… You’re right.
Contrary to my selfish depression for months after I conceived, my life was not over. In fact, my life journey had only just begun. If I stayed what I thought was a self-actualized human in college, I would have lived life in horrible ignorance about the nature and meaning of love and life. That sounds sugar-coated, but with the support of my family, friends, and now-husband, I became a stronger, more real person than I had ever been. And I got to snuggle a baby for a while, which was awesome.
If I’m being honest, though, part of the reason my pregnancy seemed so crushing (forgive me, because this is a totally selfish thought) was because I had no idea of who I would become in the following months. Did women with career goals, high college GPAs, and a passion for narrowing the achievement gap become mothers at my age? I had no family nearby and no looming full-time job. Was having a baby at 22 even, like, a thing?
Turns out, it is.
There is now a book, Tiny Blue Lines, that focuses on college-aged unplanned pregnancy. Written by my fabulous relative Chaunie, TBL interviews moms who experienced the same agonizing confusion that I did- but who refused to lose focus of their goals as empowered women. Chaunie, a Christian, doesn’t spew intolerance and impatience about young motherhood, but instead talks through the very real emotional battles women face when discovering their pregnancy. You won’t find any condemnation or hypocrisy in here; she’s been there. She knows what it’s like when your life and the future you’ve planned seem to be at odds. And it’s not just Chaunie’s perspective: she’s interviewed many other moms, each with a unique circumstance, who’ve been there and made it through- dreams intact.
Tiny Blue Lines is not just informational, and I’m not just writing this because I happen to be related to the author. It’s real. It’s inspirational. It will give the reader the confidence she needs to get up and get on with her life if she’s struggling. It’s the book I could have used in those early hours of hiding out in my room unable to look at anyone. If you haven’t faced an unplanned pregnancy, Chaunie gives insight about what women might be feeling and offers advice on how to talk to them patiently and lovingly. If you know someone or are someone who experiences a unexpected pregnancy, read this book.
It’s time we stop cutting down young moms and start empowering them. Tiny Blue Lines gives the reader the first step in doing so now.