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I Am NOT a Pregnant Teen!

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This "young girl" was actually a 30-year-old married woman, five months pregnant with her first child. I was shocked and a bit jealous of her youthful looks.

pregnant woman

Ashlee Holland: While on set for a project recently, I met a very sweet young girl. We chatted up a storm about life, family and our careers. In the middle of our conversation, she mentioned that she was scared about having a baby. I was a little confused: She didn't even appear to be pregnant. Because she looked so young, I assumed that she was talking about the future. Then, when she explained that she was actually in her second trimester, I concluded that she must be a pregnant teen. Her being scared about having a baby was due to her youth ... right? Stupid me.

Without saying anything about how young she was, I asked if the father was involved. She laughed and pulled her hands out of her pockets, showing off her gorgeous wedding rings. "Of course he is," she said. "I'm married!" Now I was REALLY perplexed.

The girl couldn't have been a day over 18, and by all appearances, even that was really pushing it. Seeing my dumbfounded gaze, she responded (without hesitation), "I know: I look 16, right?" I was relieved that she had said it first. This "young girl" was actually a 30-year-old married woman, five months pregnant with her first child. I was shocked and a bit jealous of her youthful looks.

"Sometimes I don't even feel pregnant, because I am not showing," she said.  "When I do tell people, I feel like I am sharing bad news." After receiving strange looks during a prenatal yoga class, she decided to keep the good news within a VERY small circle of family and friends. Because she is an actress and still takes roles on kid- and teen-based shows, sharing her pregnancy was not an option.

"They would think I just got knocked up," she says. "I don't want to be judged. I am NOT a pregnant teen!" With all of the scrutiny that Jamie Lynn Spears and Bristol Palin received after announcing their pregnancies at age 16, I don't blame her.

This young woman even insisted on seeing a specialist because she had no baby bump. (The doctor ensured her that the baby was perfectly healthy, and was even able to determine the baby's sex.) Personally, I can't imagine it: When I was three months along, I was showing a VERY big bump. I never looked like a pregnant teen -- even though I was only 21.

Adding insult to injury, one of the other ladies sharing our trailer asked the question, "And you are SURE you are pregnant?" OUCH. The look on this already-insecure young woman's face turned to sadness. I immediately tried to make her feel better by saying, "I bet you'll bounce right back after your pregnancy. At least you won't have a bunch of stretch marks!" I really did not know what to say. I could see from the look in her eyes that she gets reactions like this all of the time.

This was supposed to be the happiest time of her life, and she was not able to enjoy it -- for several reasons. I am positive she is not the only woman going through this struggle. The media obsesses about baby bumps, and many woman express that they don't feel pregnant until they have a prominent belly.

This woman is very pregnant and doesn't feel like she can TRULY share it with the world because of the stigma and stereotypes we place on pregnancy. I feel for her. After our long conversation, I wished her nothing but the best. She sweetly replied, "I'll be fine." I truly hope so.

Best Wishes and Happy Pregnancy.


next: Keep Your Kid Away from Thirdhand Smoke!
104 comments so far | Post a comment now
Cheri Moore February 16, 2010, 5:52 AM

I can totally relate to this story. I am currently pregnant with my 4th (yes 4th!) son and I get that all the time! I get the “Wow, are you sure your in your 30’s?? You look like your still in high school!” And “You sure that your 5 months along?? Your not showing much.” LOL Mind you I am a 34 yr old married woman of 3 children..I’m so used to it by now so it doesn’t phaze me. I truly would much rather look older than younger..I prefer to get carded all the time (like I do) then to look over 21??! LOL What can I say, its good for my ego in my growing older age..I’m gonna enjoy it while I can before my looks catch up to my age!

arisma February 16, 2010, 8:01 AM

Yet another example why passing blind judgment is never a good idea. Every situation and circumstance is unique and intricate. A little respect for that would go a long way.

Janine February 16, 2010, 8:10 AM

I’ve been there. I had my first when I was 30 and had the nurses filing in to my room one by one because news had spread about my age and how young I looked. Later, I had two more children and I had to deal with the odd looks and whispers from complete strangers. People can judge fast and hard.

Erin February 16, 2010, 8:55 AM

I also identify with this story. I had my first child almost 2 months ago. My little baby bump was so small, I didn’t have to buy maternity clothes until the end of the 2nd Trimester. I never got HUGE and after delivering, I went back to my pre-pregnancy weight. My baby is healthy and very strong! My voice is kind of high pitched and I don’t look 22. (Though I know some people think that is still young to be having a child, I think it depends on the person(s) involved.) I did end up with stretch marks, however I feel like they’re my badges of honor and do not mind them at all.

Tara Perry February 16, 2010, 9:05 AM

I had this very same experience when I was pregnant with my daughter. I have always looked young and I naturally have a very small body frame. I didn’t have much of a baby bump until I was well over 7 months pregnant, I pretty much just looked a little bloated for 7 months then one day I popped, but even after “popping” I was still very small. I was also married and 28 years old but got comments on being “too young” to be a mommy with the sad sideways glance from women who felt for me. After my daughter was born, I was in a grocery store and someone asked me if she was my little sister…I just smiled and said, “No. She is my daughter and for the record, I graduated High School over 10 years ago.”

Kris  February 16, 2010, 9:34 AM

In labor with my third child when the attending nurse asked me point blank what age I was she thought I was a 19/20 year kid pregnant it was totally embarrasing that she thought that.

tennmom February 16, 2010, 10:59 AM

This is funny! I could buy beer without showing I.D. when I was 17.
I was 28 when I had my first daughter, 30 when I had my second.
My husband (father of my daughters) died 7 years ago. I remarried almost 3 years ago.
The girls and I had prof. photos taken for my “now” husband’s birthday 2 years ago. Countless people have told The Husband that he has 3 beautiful daughters. He is only 8 years older than I. It’s so funny that I once passed for older and now pass for younger. :)

nikki February 16, 2010, 3:24 PM

what an interesting story. but there is absolutly no reason to be fearful of your aging looks, its natural and beautiful.im not saying NO to botox or anything of the nature but just embrace yourself you have noone to impress but your lover :) he loves you why cant you? also i was a teen mom at 16 once again nothing to be ashamed of. i played house and it wasnt all fun and games but it happens. i chose the high road graduating being a single mom and still going to college. it can be done as long as you stay strong. im proud of my children and im actually glad i had both young. i enjoy still being able to have fun with my kids. just be who you are and dont let anyone say otherwise :)

Cynthia February 16, 2010, 3:27 PM

I was a few months shy of 23 when I had my 1st child, a few months shy of 26 when I had my 2nd and a few months past 28 when I had my 3rd. I understand how everyone feels about the “looks” they get. I got them with all 3 of my pregnancies. First because I shouldn’t be having a baby “so young” and then i got the “poor you” looks with my other 2. When I delivered my 1st, it was just before my birthday and just before my 3rd anniversary! Each one was planned and I found all the “looks” and little comments beyond annoying. All I can say is at least, “this too shall pass!” Good luck to everyone dealing with it now though……

Me February 18, 2010, 7:07 AM

I did have my first young at the age of 17 so during that pregnancy went through all the looks and whispering (I expected it then considering I was way too young). Much later when I was 26 years old and happily married I was pregnant and so excited to finally have a pregnancy I could be excited about and enjoy. I got told over and over how I look like a teenager and was repeatedly mistaken for a teen mom. I spent that whole pregnancy dealing with the looks and whispering that I did when I was 17 and a teen mom but this time was much older and married but apparently don’t look my age!!!

A few weeks ago at a new church we were visiting the pastor thought I was a teenager and offered to show me the confirmation class so I could see my potential confirmation classmates if we joined that church!!!! I nearly fainted. Not sure who was more embarrassed by the comment as I introduced my husband, tween and preschooler, him or me!!!!

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