How I Became an Instant Mother

Posted: 12/16/2010 by clewis12 in News, OHCHS Life
Cover of "The Baby"

Cover of The Baby

by Crissy Lewis

I remember talking with my health teacher telling her I’m not ready to have a baby, and there is no way that I would have the time because I’m so busy as it is. In my Advanced Health class my teacher, Mrs. Cash, gave me a Real Care Baby for the weekend. This baby was something that would give us an idea of what it was like to be a teen parent and everything that we needed to do. We were given all the essentials, including: two diapers, a bottle, clothes, a diaper bag, and a key that you would need so the baby would know it was you before you can do anything to make the baby happy again.

My weekend with my “baby” was interesting to say the least. When I got my baby Thursday morning, I was very excited but anxious to see how my night would be later. The first thing I noticed was how difficult it was to walk around with a car seat. It was very uncomfortable holding it on my arm and carrying my backpack. I noticed that many people were looking at me funny, but I didn’t really care. In health class we went over everything we needed to know about then we were sent on our way to fend for ourselves.

At 4 o’clock Thursday afternoon my baby went off. I had basketball practice so I had to run off the court to tend to it. I didn’t know what I was doing and I was freaking out because the baby was crying louder and louder. Once it stopped I decided to leave it with my friend until my practice was done practice. That night when I got home there was no way I was going to be able to finish my homework. The baby went off numerous times and I could tell my mom was getting annoyed with it already. I didn’t end going to bed that night until 11:30 although I was forced to wake up again at 1:30am. I was exhausted and I didn’t want to take care of the baby already. Thankfully that night it only went off once, but I didn’t go back to bed till 2:40am.

All day Friday I was in trance. I just wanted to sleep but I knew that night would be the worst because I didn’t have school the next day. After school when I went to the boys basketball game I walked around with my friends because we had pizza party for basketball team. When I walked out near the gym, people looked and stared at me. It was kind of funny because when I made eye contact with them they smiled. I couldn’t tell if they thought it was real or if it was fake. It was kind of obvious that it was fake but you never knew what people thought.

Friday night was by far the worst night with my baby. I had pre-season basketball games the next morning and the bus left early. I thought I was going to die that night. My baby went off 4 times in the night/early morning. The first time it did I was OK with, but after the third and fourth time I was getting aggravated. I just wanted to sleep. Saturday morning I didn’t realize that the baby was going to be on, and thought it would be off at six again. I was wrong. I had so much to do to get ready for my games and to get to my bus on time. The baby made it very difficult getting dressed and having to feed it all at the same time. My mom was getting frustrated, knowing that if I didn’t hurry up we’d be late.

On the bus ride all my friends wanted to hold my baby but I felt this weird kind of protection towards that baby that I didn’t want anyone to hold it or touch it. I only let one of my friends hold it because she was going to be babysitting for me Sunday afternoon and I knew she would be careful with it. During our bus ride I was tired and luckily was able to sleep a little bit on the bus to Lincoln Academy. When we arrived there, I walked the bus struggling a little bit. I was worried about what people were going to think or say when they saw me carrying a baby in a car seat. When I walked into the lobby, I saw people turn and look at me. This one lady that was taking the admission money looked at me funny and said out loud, “oh that’s classy”. I kept on walking because I wasn’t really sure if that’s what she said, but my mom later told me that she actually did say that. That woman obviously didn’t look close enough to realize that the baby was indeed fake. That made me feel really self-conscious after that. It was silly though because why would someone bring their baby onto a bus? Why would I carry the baby in the car seat so unsafely around and not have the baby strapped in? You wouldn’t normally see someone do that and I most definitely wouldn’t do that.

As I played in my basketball games I gave my baby to my mom to take care of and to watch as I played. I was really worried about that because I didn’t want her to mess up and have it crying in the gym the whole time. As I was playing and sitting on the bench when I came out I could hear my baby crying. It really made me nervous and anxious because there was nothing I could go do to help make her stop crying. I was more focused on my baby than playing in my game. Throughout the day I felt like this. Although being nervous about it, it was also really funny to see all the moms trying to help my mom stop the baby from crying. At the end of the day when I was leaving the gym, girls from another basketball team were staring at me when I walked down the bleachers. I kept on walking but I could see them in the corner of my eye watching me, and I knew what was probably going through their heads. Again, it was funny but I wanted to get out of the gym as fast as I could.

Saturday night I was already exhausted from the two nights before, but it made it ten times worse that I had basketball games that day. I wanted to sleep and rest up from playing so much. I also noticed that I was getting sick, so that didn’t help anything. I was grumpy, over-tired, and getting sick. I was up all night and Sunday morning again. That morning though, I felt like I got a little more sleep than I did the three nights before. I was still tired but a little more rested. I planned on going to a play Sunday with my mom and grandmother, and I already had a babysitter set for that time for me. My babysitter was my friend and I had to make sure she knew everything that she needed to do. After I dropped off the baby at her house, I felt relieved to be free for a few hours.

Picking up may baby again made me a little upset because I did not want it back at all. But when I got home luckily it slept for a while so I could work on my homework. I finished everything it was 11:00pm, but I didn’t end up going to bed till 12:30am. I felt like the baby went off more than the other nights even though my teacher told us Thursday and Sunday they wouldn’t because they were school nights. Maybe I felt this way because I couldn’t wait to get rid of the thing the next day. In the night I was so tired that when I had to feed her, I just kept her in my bed. I ended up keeping my baby in my bed for the rest of the night because I was too tired to move it, and it was just easier to keep it there. Monday morning my mom came into my room and was laughing at me because I slept with the baby in my bed. I could not wait to pass in my baby to my health teach that afternoon.

In health class that afternoon, I was so relieved. I noticed that everyone else was too. I knew that they all went through the same thing I did and everyone looked tired. Even though I felt relieved, I didn’t really want to give my baby back because I kind of felt attached to it in a way oddly. I told my teacher that I couldn’t believe that she put us through all of that and it was awful. I also told her about Saturday and the what the lady said to me, but she just laughed and thought it was funny. I thought having this experience with this baby was a good way of birth control. It helps show kids how hard and difficult it really is to have a baby at this age. Before we got our babies, I remember telling my teacher that there was no way I would have time to have a baby now and I don’t intend to have one anytime soon because I’m so busy as it is. This experience just proved my point on what I said. I am way to busy and I need my own rest because I’m still young. It showed me how there is a stereotype for teen girls if you see them with kids. People automatically assume that they are theirs and there is no question about it. For all that woman knows, the baby could have been my little sister. I think that every girl should do this baby experience to get the idea of what it takes. Even though it’s not the real thing, you get the general idea of what it’s like to have a baby. Hopefully when go through this experience you see that you are not ready to have children and you decide to wait till you are older when you are ready. I know that I’m waiting till I’m financially ready and when I have time to go through all though sleepless nights for real.

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