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pregnant at 20 and don't know what to expect!

(18 Posts)
nervousyoungmum Fri 14-Jan-11 21:05:32

I have just found out I'm pregnant and it is a complete surprise! I live with my boyfriend in a nice two bed flat that my parents bought for me. I am in my second year of uni. I have lived with my bf for 14 months. He only started his new job this week, I only work weekends and we don't have any savings.

I know having a baby is a massive change but i don't want to get rid of it, my mum had two still births making me an only child and for that reason I could not find it in my heart to abort.

I really don't want to disappoint my parents, they paid for my eduction and uni and I am about to throw it all away. On top of that they have moved to Australia for 9 months so I would have to do the whol pregnancy on my own in the UK!!!

Please let me know what i need to consider and if any of you were in a similar situation. I am quite a mature 20 year old but I still have only ever had a puppy to look after!!!

bluefootedpenguin Fri 14-Jan-11 21:26:09

Well I think you have made your mind up so I would suggest you think about the following.
Money doesn't have to be a big issue. If you are surviving on what you earn now then you can probably cope with a baby too. Lots of baby items can be bought very cheaply second hand, especially prams, and lots of bits can be picked up for free from freecycle sites. You will be eligible for Child benefit, which for your first child is around £20 a week. If you breast feed you will feed your baby for free for 4-6 months so your biggest baby expense will be nappies and childcare. If you are happy to continue to work weekends, your boyfriend can look after the baby. There may be financial support available from your uni, often there are hardship funds or monies available to help with childcare or they may provide some creche facilities. You may want to defer your final year, although if your parents will be back home and can support you, you may manage just fine. Pregnancy may be a complete doddle for you but you may want to join some antenatal groups and meet other mums to be so you can discuss anxieties and make friends.

Having a baby at anytime in your life, even when planned, is daunting, but you will cope. Common sense goes a long way.

Hope this has helped a little.

onadietcokebreak Fri 14-Jan-11 22:10:50

Why would you be throwing your education and Uni away?

You are half way through your degree- nearly there! Maybe defer a year or could you complete third year with baby? My best friend did- Baby born in Nov and she was 19 and worked part time. Yes it was difficult but hopefully you will find it okay if your partner is supportive.

Financially as a student parent you will be okay. There is help with Childcare and you wll probably get child tax credits.

jazz412 Fri 14-Jan-11 22:31:34

Congratulations!!!

I'm also 20 and at uni, I'm 6 weeks pregnant! we're not throwing away our education, I'm taking the next year off (due in sept so can't really go back to uni) and then completing any subsequent years with my baby I cannot wait - so excited and I know that it's doable because several of the people on my course have children (it is primary education so a lot of people love kids on my course!)

It sounds like your parents are very supportive financially which is something we're unfortunately lacking! I'm sure you will be given lots of things before the baby is born such as aunties with three bags full of baby clothes etc. Charity shops are suprisingly full of new/new looking things for babies as they grow out of them so quickly. I'm having so much fun finding bargains!

I'm looking forward to finding the big things, I think you'll be much more proud of a shiny nice pram if you've paid less than half the value for it (and you don't have to tell anyone if you don't want to!)

I'm going to talk to my student advisors on Monday to see what is available etc so perhaps if you do the same (it's confidential) we could compare notes of what they've said and help each other out?

When are you due? If you want to keep in touch message me we can moan about uni work and feeling sick/knackered together if you like?
Hope this was of some help

xx

nowonthepill Fri 14-Jan-11 22:37:24

I found out I was pregnant in my second year at uni. If anything it helped me focus more on my work as oppose to going out and getting drunk! I managed to finish it, but did loads of prep whilst I was pregnant, luckily he was a good newborn and I was able to get work done. Would you have much help of his parents if yours are away?

LisamumtoJake Fri 14-Jan-11 23:21:33

hi!! I had my son at 24, the very first nappy i ever changed was my son's, i was a complete newbie to babies!!! i was also at uni, only in my 1st year and managed to go back last year when my son was 14 month, so it's not the end of the world for your education, and you may just find that having a child makes you much better at it and you seem to be a lot more focussed on your work!! you'll get through it fine, i can only say it will be your best time of your life!

Firawla Sat 15-Jan-11 00:28:01

congrats!
i agree with the suggestion defer a year, you would only have one left to complete your degree so should be manageable. I had mine at 21 so had just finished uni but one of my friends had hers in the middle and deferred it for a year, she gets financial help for her dd to be in nursery and it seems to work out okay. she had 3 more years to do as it quite a long course, if you have only one it hopefully shouldnt be too bad. although even if you did decide to just leave uni wouldn't be the end of the world but weigh it up as it may not be too unrealistic to just be able to finish and get your qualification now that you have started
generally sounds like you will be okay if your parents have bought you a flat? that's the main thing you need! if yours and your partner's income is not enough then dont forget you will be entitled to tax credit, child benefit etc which helps to get the basics
im sure the practicalities will all work themselves out, so try not to worry too much and good luck with your pregnancy.

onadietcokebreak Sat 15-Jan-11 00:44:21

I think it all depends on the degree to be honest.

Nursing, Social work, teaching or anything that has a large element of placements then yes defer a year.

Otherwise do consider carefully if you want to defer a year. Newborn babies IMO are easier to study with than a 1 year old who will be more cunning in their demands for attention. It will still be tough though!

nervousyoungmum Sat 15-Jan-11 10:32:04

thanks for all your quick responses. My course is not very demanding so I guess I could carry on with it. The uni has a crèche which is good as I am only at lectures six hours a week.

It is still terrible timing, me and my partner are meant to be going out to Oz for the whole month of April, we have spent a lot of money on that holiday that we won't get back! Has anyone had any experience of long hall flying at 4 months pregnant? Its a once in a lifetime opportunity so really want to go!

According to my uni I can not defer a year as my course teaches year two and three at the same time and so the modules occur on alternate years. So have to stick at it! I guess at least it will be summer holidays for my last trimester and my course doesn't restart until October.

Firawla Sat 15-Jan-11 11:03:34

oh i would just go if you will lose the money, 4 months is fine for flying you can go long hall til about 28 weeks i think, and short hall apparently til 36 weeks! its nice to do something like that before you have the baby anyway because its like your last chance for a long time for a holiday just you and your partner
when are you due then? august/sept kind of time? hopefully only 6 hours lectures and having a creche will mean you will be just about able to get your last year finished atleast it seems to be good timing with your holidays

StickThemWithThePointyEnd Sat 15-Jan-11 12:47:57

hey, I couldn't read and run.
I had my DS while I was still at uni, and with a little preparation, it's really not too bad, and I was on a 30h+pw fairly demanding course.

about the flying, you'll be fine. remember to contact your airline before you go, though, to find out if you need a letter from your GP or midwife to say you are fit to fly, and to find out how long those are valid for if you do need one.
I flew regularly during my first pregnancy up to 35 weeks and it was never an issue. discuss it with your midwife, she might be able to give you some good advice re: keeping mobile during the flight, pressure stockings etc.

congratulations

jazz412 Sat 15-Jan-11 13:24:37

6 hours? you lucky thing! I bet you'll be fine - mine's 30 hours + placements so I'm going to have to take a year out

Crystylline Sat 15-Jan-11 14:00:28

congrats!

just one thing about the flying... check you have good health and travel insurance that covers you in pregnancy before you go.

it should be fine and as others have said - a wonderful holiday that you'll really remember.

beckie90 Sat 15-Jan-11 14:42:27

first of all congratulations

im 20yrs old and 27 weeks with my 2nd child, it is scary at 1st, but it gets easier. you own your own place too which is brill, im sure things will work out fine, you dont have to throw uni away either, you just work round things. when i got pregnant with my 1st id only been with my partner 5 months my 1st ever boyfriend, i lived at home with my parents, but everything worked out fine. been a mum is a wondeful thing. good luck

Mahraih Sat 15-Jan-11 15:56:01

Congratulations! I know how you feel - sort of - I'm 22 and fell pregnant at 21 (now 38 weeks). Just graduated, first job, lived in a dive of a flat etc! It all feels very scary, but you will be absolutely fine - your age won't make a difference to how much you love your baby.

If you have your own flat, to be honest, that really helps - very envious actually!

As for university, I know a couple of people from uni who got pregnant half-way through, and they took a year out before returning, with their babies. But since you can't take the time off due to modules - don't worry. It sounds like your course is low-contact, and I have been working 9am - 6pm, 5 days a week, until literally yesterday. There's no reason you have to miss huge amounts of lectures.

cloggs142 Sat 15-Jan-11 17:10:35

Congratulations! I know exactly how you feel. I fell pregnant at 20, having left my job and was planning to start uni in september 2010. I didnt find out until i was nearly 5 months!! so was a big surprise, especially as i was on the pill, and had only been with my bf for around 6 months. I know it feels absolutley terrifying at first, and to be completely honest, its quite scary the whole way through, but i really think youll surprise yourself with how you cope and deal with it all.

I think the thing thats really gunna help you is having your own place. My boyfriend and i are living with his mum at the moment, and will be until we can save up enough to move out.......and honestly, having your own space is going to be such a blessing for you both.

As for the job/money situation....as quite a few people have already said, theres so many places to get good quality second hand baby stuff now. I was very lucky to have some hand me downs from my mum whos had a little girl in the last year.....but everything else we have managed to do on just the one wage, aswell as paying rent to my bfs mum.

Putting your education on hold can feel like the end of the world at the time, but its not as bad as it seems. I know so many people who have taken a year out to have a baby in the middle of uni. I was really gutted that id have to hold off on my education for a while.... but its so worth it. This is gunna be the most terrifying, exciting and wonderful time of your life so enjoy it! Im now 21 and am 31 weeks pregnant and cant wait to meet my little boy. i hope everything goes well for you and your partner.

Bubandbump Sat 15-Jan-11 17:23:56

Congratulations! Just to add a different perspective, I am 31 and currently 24 weeks pregnant with my first baby. Even though it was planned, it was still a massive shock and adjustment - it's life changing no matter when in your life you decide to have children, there will always be considerations about money and child care, the more money you have, the more you get used to so the financial adjustment never gets any easier.

You will have so much energy to share things with your baby, so many experiences that you will get to share with them - I am not denying that it will be difficult but there will be lots of positives to having a baby at your age and situation.

SycamoretreeIsVile Sat 15-Jan-11 17:29:17

I just wanted to says congrats, and share another perspective.

I have two wonderful DC's 3, and 5 and am now 36.

I wouldn't swap anything for the world, BUT, I am now at the height of my career, with two small children to look after.

Sometimes I do wonder what it might be like if by now, my kids were 16 or 17 and I didn't have to feel so guilty if I didn't make it home by 7pm each night to put the to bed etc. Also, how much better I might be doing if I still wasn't feel so sleep deprived!

So, ok, it's not going to be EASY, but an education is an education - it doesn't just fall down the drain because you had a baby.

You're obviously smart enough to make a plan, so make one. Early years are tough, but you have all that youthful energy on your side! Also, your parents will still (presumably) have plenty of spring in their step, so when they finally get back from Aus, they will hopefully be able to lend a hand.

You'll be fine. And you've found MN, so they'll never be an issue that someone on here hasn't been through and can offer you some advice and perspective on smile

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