The pregnancy pact. It’s easily the most ludicrous thing I’ve ever heard of in my life. It actually made me sick. When I was in high school, I barely cared if my Nano Baby survived one of my soccer games, and I damn sure couldn’t take care of a real one. I probably still can’t.
Even worse, and possibly more annoying than a pact, is the Gestation Race. From what I’ve seen, it looks like the age at which this is most prevalent is with girls in their very early twenties. Note, specifically that I said girls, not women, because there is a huge difference (but that’s an article for another day) and I’m not talking about women in this situation.
The Gestation Race is a competition, usually inside one group of friends, to see who gets pregnant first. The rules to this game are tricky, because technically the first girl to get pregnant isn’t the winner. That honor is actually bestowed upon the first girl to get knocked up after that (hereby referred to as Girl 2). You’ve seen this in action, not knowing what it was, but now that I’ve enlightened you, you’ll never be able to unsee it.
In general, the point to this game is about proving that they’re in an amazing relationship, where there’s so much love that it has to manifest itself physically (because that’s what a baby should be).
Look how well that usually works out for everyone.
Story: at the age of 19, “Amanda” found out she was pregnant. Two months later, one of her other friends, also 19, became pregnant. Several months later, two more girls within that circle announced they were also expecting, and over the course of the next few months, the number seemed to double. Inside of one year, nine girls, all in the same little group, were all in the family way or taking care of a newborn.
What is going on? Well, when “Amanda” first got over the shock, she became excited, and happy, and her bad-boy boyfriend was all “Yay!” Girl 2 saw this “success” and told herself that she had to have it too. At this point I’d like to indicated that of the girls in this circle that I actually know personally, none of them is in any was a bad mother, however they all have families to support them, and most of them are still at home to rely on those families. Some of them would not make it if they were actually doing it on their own. They all had other plans, going to school, finding a better or “real” job, and all of them were utilizing birth control and taking preventative measures to avoid pregnancy, thus indicating that a baby was not a part of the immediate plan… right up until they saw someone else having a baby. So, while I use “success” in quotes, it’s not to imply that “Amanda” has not succeeded in life; she has since dropped the loser sperm donor and gone on to the career that she originally set out for, all with the assistance of family; but that not every story turns out like hers. Some of the girls are miserable because they don’t have a support system to help them out. I digress…
Girl 2, and 3, and all the rest, looked at what “Amanda” had at the time (the doting boyfriend, the cute baby-bump), and said, “I have to have that, because my self-worth and my relationship with this idiot is completely shot, but I don’t want anyone to know that I’m failing, so having a baby will validate everything. It will prove that we’re actually in love, and that I’m awesome because people will fawn all over me wherever I go.”
How’s that single parenting working out for you?
What’s that, you’re too hungover to deal with her today? Well, no one told you that you had to have a kid. You chose to miss a few pills. Oh, you want me to watch your son so you can attend the party? No, sorry, I’m going to that party too, and since I have no outstanding obligations, I can stay all night. Awww, so sorry to hear that you ‘can never do anything’. Didn’t you get the memo? Your kid comes first. This is why your parents joke that they “used to have a life before we had you.” You put yourself in this position when you opted to create life with someone that you’ve known all of four months.
And let’s not forget about the guys in this situation. The girls all feigned surprise when there were two lines, or a plus, or a yes, or however the positive result came up on whatever test they took, but the guy were genuinely taken by surprise. On one hand, yes, if they ended up bailing, I think they suck, but on the other, if they were completely blindsided by something that they’d been led to believe was not going to happen, well… I feel bad for them.
Now, I’m by no means a full traditionalist. I’ve never believed you have to be married to have children. In fact, I shocked my grandmother into silence once when she cornered me at Thanksgiving and told me I needed to hurry up and get married and have kids because she “expect[ed] to be a great-grandmother by the time [she] die[s].” I told her that the marriage part was something I couldn’t rush, I had no control over that, but I could, if she really wanted me to, go out the following weekend when I was ovulating, and copulate with every guy that wanted to, and produce a great-grandchild for her the following fall. The look of pure appall that she gave me was beautiful, and she’s never mentioned it since. I fully plan on procreating by the time I turn 32, married or not (this used to be 30, but when I turned 27 I realized how soon that really was, pushed it back two years. Every year I get older, I’ll probably push it back another year). Granted, I would prefer to be married, or at least in a very committed relationship (like engaged), because I’m a big fan of sharing the responsibility. But, if I’m not, and I will make a withdrawal from a sperm bank, or explain to my boyfriend or whoever I’m sleeping with that I’m looking to have a baby, and I’m completely prepared to go solo, so it’s up to him whether he wants to participate. The reason I have no qualms about doing it alone is because I am already planning for it. I am a fully grown adult, and at that point everything else in my life will be in order, ready to dedicate all necessary time to my child. Also, in the interest of being honest, the reason I keep pushing to the year back is because I’m allowing time for a committed relationship to form.
Please note, that I am not, in any way, trying to demean or in any way insult anyone who is in their early twenties, and a mature woman (not girl), who did actively try to conceive with their spouse (although I think you’re crazy for being married so young, but again, another article for another day).
That being said, I do fully advise against having a child with someone you’re not living with, or with someone you’re not even considering living with. If you’re not living with them, there’s probably a reason (and if it’s because you can’t afford to move out of your parents house… exactly how much do you think a child costs?). If you can’t even imagine sharing the remote with this person, how are you going to share a child? If you’ve been dating someone for a few months and you want to see how they really fell about you, come down with a cold and evaluate how they treat you, don’t get inseminated by them. Start small girl; baby steps. Pun very much intended.