Falling preggas in your 20s has copped a lot of bad PR. First, then there’s the guilt, anxiety and friendlessness that comes from being nature’s early-adopter. Then there’s the constipation, rashes and gut-rot that culminates with a 72-hour labour plus SERPENTS AND TENTACLES AND A PLAGUE ON BOTH YOUR HOUSES!!! Jokes. The tentacles come later. But truly, there are there are a lot of great things about accessorising with an alien belly. Yes, better than scoring a seat on the bus and having random strangers sporadically stroke your middle parts. Really.
1. Your skin looks freaking amazeballs
If SK-II and Lucas’ Papaw ointment had a lovechild, the resulting Photoshop Balm 3000 would somewhat resemble the complexion-perfecting effect of pregnancy. Apparently it has something to do with more blood in the body and better moisture retention, yada, yada, but all you need to know is that somewhere between the first and second trimester (read: somewhere in the early middle) you take on the kind of lustre usually reserved for diamonds, anime characters and Miranda Kerr. When I told my girlfriend at work that I was pregnant at 15 weeks she replied, “I knew it! Your face looks totally backlit!”. Win.
2. Things taste/smell/feel intensely wonderful
The combined effect of a) random hormones playing Knightmare Tower in your blood and b) the most epic detox of your life, turns your senses up to 11. For me, the kitchen transformed into some kind of Guillermo Del Toro backlot packed with euphoria-inducing hits of Pine O Clean, Mr Sheen, Sugar Soap. Mmmm, Sugar Soap… Um, where was I? Oh, yeah. Everything I’d previously forked out good money for (clubs, music, actual amphetamines) paled in comparison to the intoxicating high I’d get from wiping down the tables. And hell, a world where a single whiff of Glen 20 takes on the buzz of mainlining grandma’s moonshine is some kind of excellent, right?
3. It brings families together
Safe to say having a baby in your twenties is going to make you somewhat of a trailblazer amongst your peers. But you know who else nearby has had a baby? Jennifer Aniston Your mum and dad. No matter what your relationship is like right now, the fact is they’ve lived through the fear/joy/self-loathing/new-mom-superiority-complex/circle appropriate you’re living through now and they’ve got the scars to prove it. One of my favourite things about being pregnant was the wisdom my mum doled out and the unflappable mellow she displayed in the midst of my hysteria. Every non-parent in the modern world has pretty much lived a life based on ridiculous consumerism and insufferable self-obsession. Now’s the time we start paying it back.
4. Biology is on your side
It’s not like you really care about stats, but if they underscore how genetically superior you are right here and now, why not give them a whirl! Consider: only seven per cent of 20-year-old women struggle with infertility, whereas two thirds of women over 40 have fertility problems. A 20-year-old woman has only a six per cent chance of remaining childless, while a 40-year-old’s chance of never having children is 64 per cent. A woman in her early 40s is three times as likely to have a miscarriage as a woman in her early 20s. Under the age of 25 one woman in 1,500 will have a baby with Down’s syndrome, while the rate climbs to one in 65 for women aged 42. Suckerzzzzz.
5. Giving birth is out of control
Forget extreme sports. Forget marathons and Oxfam walks and extreme feats of endurance. Forget getting completely, utterly, bat-shit wasted and showing a willful disregard for your personal safety. Giving birth is the single most hardcore thing you will ever do in your life. And it’s beautiful. Think car crash-intense, peyote puffing-spiritual and landing on the moon-history making. People pay good money for rides this and you’re getting it for free.
The truth is, being pregnant can kick off a nuclear reaction of fear. There’s the loss of control and the uncertainty around your relationship and your job and your family and your life. But shit, my lady friends, doesn’t get any more real than this. You can do this. In fact, you can do ANYTHING.