COLUMN: I'm pregnant — how will this change my life as a college student?
I certainly have not had the traditional college career. I started college, dropped out and went back. I have finished two study abroad programs and want to do more.
Technically, I am a senior. Realistically, I still have two or three more semesters ahead of me. For the last three semesters, I commuted from home, which averaged more than 1,000 miles per week. You can only imagine the hell that was.
This coming semester will be the most challenging of them all.
At the end of last semester, I married my boyfriend, whom I happened to meet while studying abroad. In the middle of moving back to Norman and taking summer classes, I find out that I am pregnant.
I have no idea how I really feel right now. I am equally confused as to how to make it through college and excited about starting a family.
My husband is working toward his doctorate in some smarty-pants engineering. I am trying to finish my two degrees. How will a baby fit into the mix?
I am not that far into my pregnancy, but I already feel overwhelmed. I feel miserable with fatigue, morning sickness, mood swings, etc. Lately, my mind is racing with tons of ridiculous thoughts on top of trying to figure how to be a parent.
What will it be like going to class and worrying if I will fit into the desk? Will everyone stare at the pregnant girl? What if I vomit in class? What if I start crying or start one of my weird giggle fits?
I wonder how many classes I realistically can take. I will have regular doctor appointments and mobility issues. Homework, exams and preparing for a baby, I imagine, will be very time consuming.
What if I can’t keep up with it all?
My mother was telling me about when she was pregnant with my brother. She was at the grocery store and paying with a check when she forgot her name for five minutes. She said she was so scared and didn’t know what to do.
Memory is a common problem for pregnant women, and I have faced a good bout of it myself. Taking tests will be a challenge, especially since I am studying two foreign languages. Walking around with heavy books will be a challenge. Trying to avoid people who want to rub my stomach will be entertaining for my husband, at least. (No touching, please.)
My husband and I do not make much money, and I am worried about caring for a child. I mean, no offense, but college students are not necessarily the best people to have small children around all the time.
At the same time, I already have a huge list of baby names picked out. I have boy names, girl names, twin boys names, twin girls names and boy-and-girl twin names. I love picking out names.
Lately, I have been debating about how to decorate my baby’s little room in our university apartment. Baby elephants, Snoopy or duckies?
There are some fun things I am looking forward to as well. It can’t all be bad. Millions of people do it every single day.
I am comforted that I am not alone. I have a loving, caring husband and a supportive family.
No one knows what the future holds. But as I am learning as a future parent, concern and joy expand as quickly as my belly.
Mary Rogers is a French and German senior.