The Ordeal Of Teenage Pregnancy
Sitting on the toilet seat, my roommate shivered as se waited for her pregnancy test results. I anxiously paced about outside the toilet door and kept calling out to her. “What is it”, “what does it show”?
We were 17, back then. We did not know what exactly entailed a pregnancy exactly. We did not even know what life entailed in general. We were young and very ignorant. Our days started at 1pm and nights stretched till dawn.
I remember the night my roommate came up to me and told that she had missed her periods by a week. It took me a while to realise what she meant, and I froze. I was just as young, and more naïve. I did not know what to do.
Hell! I did not even understand the world of sex and pregnancy just yet. But I loved my roomie to bits. So I had to do something.
After a lot of google, we ascertained that the first step to be taken should be buying a pregnancy test.
Buying a pregnancy test is like standing naked in the busiest square of your town, on the coldest night. I have never done THAT, but I’ve bought a test from a medical store for my friend.
So I am pretty sure it is the closest experience to being naked in public. We bought the test. She took it. She was pregnant. My feet were cold, and her face was colder, as we looked at the test result.
We then went to the boy she was dating back then. He told us he will call us back, he had to go because his parents were in the house and they might suspect something wrong was going on. But something wrong WAS going on. Nevertheless, we returned. After googling for hours, we decided to consult a doctor.
Even google did not give us enough information. The doctor we went to, was a regular doctor that prescribed cough medicines. But luckily, he was a good man. He guided us to the correct doctor.
Unfortunately, SHE was not as good. We were judged at the clinic, and then both our characters were brutally assassinated by the burly bespectacled woman sitting in the doctor’s chair.
We were then told to get a form signed by the girl’s father. That is when I saw my roommate’s face go so pale that it looked like death itself.
Long story short, we had to bribe our way to some form of abortion. It was a 50–50 success chance. We had no option but to take it.
Oh, and that guy she was dating? The one that worried his parents might be on to us? Yeah, HE never called. We never saw him.
Teenage pregnancies are the worst. Specially if you live in India. Pregnancy itself is a social stigma.
One must not speak about pregnancy directly. One must say that she is ‘in the family way’. It is okay for parents to put pressure on newlyweds for children.
It is not okay to openly flaunt a bump. A pregnant woman is considered pariah and disabled. Pregnancy comes to women like a flu. They must stay indoors and not appear among other humans.
If this is the situation of married women, one can only imagine what teenage pregnancy would mean! Teenage pregnancy is perhaps the biggest social stigma.
Indian teenagers are not even supposed to date. The character of girls who have sex as teenagers, is openly and guiltlessly assassinated, pan-india. The boys, of course, are overlooked in the blame.
However, there is more downsides of teenage pregnancies than social ostracism. Teenage pregnancy means premature hormonal imbalance.
Teenage sex and pregnancy is one of the major reasons for banning child-marriages. It takes a toll on the girl. The older a woman is, the more equipped she is for carrying a child.
Teenagers go through changes, and their bodies need time to adjust to all the new hormones. Pregnancy at such a juvenile age can even prove fatal. Or it can cause permanent damage.
At such a tender age, our hips are not wide enough for child birth. Besides, bearing a child takes a lot more than just physical trauma.
Teenage pregnancy result in babies that grow up to be deeply disturbed individuals. Their mother-child attachment remains only partially fulfilled, and they suffer major Freudian issues.
At such an early age, when the mother herself is not fully matured as a well rounded adult, the child feels neglected and lost. Entire psychiatry institutions are built around this trauma.
But what stings the most is the fact that there is zero sex education, and no safe space for girls who fall prey to it. My roommate was lucky enough to get away with it, as her abortion went as successfully as could be.
The foetus got aborted, although she bled for 7 days straight and was too weak to even talk for weeks. She developed PCOS later.
But she was saved from carrying on a teenage pregnancy. That is as much of a miracle as could have happened in such a case.
But then, not all girls are lucky enough. Nor do all of then have the resources to bribe the blackmailing-judging-and-hypocritical unsympathetic women sitting in rotating leather chairs, and calling themselves doctors.