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.
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.
|Ashlee Holland, single mom of one and a former actress on "Days of Our Lives," brings money-saving and timesaving advice to momlogic.com. Ashlee's range of frugal and fabulous expertise helps moms find efficient and affordable ways to cut costs and stretch a buck. Her resourceful and innovative tips, combined with her infectious enthusiasm and tenacity, can motivate anyone to survive and thrive.|