Updated: Jun 13, 2018
I thought I'd start off by setting the scene a little......imagine a 20-year-old girl, who goes out most Thursday's, Friday's and Saturday's, runs out of petrol on her way to work at least once a month, probably because she only puts £5 of fuel in at a time. She has a boyfriend she's been with for 2 years they drink too much, smoke too much and love a dramatic argument! Busy socialites oblivious to the real world or anyone around them.
Such a pretty picture hey? I won't say I'm embarrassed because at the time I was loving life, who wouldn't if all you were worrying about was what's new in Top Shop and whether going out on Friday was more important than eating that week?!?!
Funnily enough this girl wasn't exactly that hot on taking her contraception......like "I missed yesterday's but if I take two today that'll work, right?!?!" NOOO 20-year-old Martha that doesn't work!!!!!!!
Moving on a month or so, we'd booked ourselves a holiday to Greece at the Sani Beach Hotel, I don't even understand how we managed this as I looked the other day and that place is pricey! Oh, for holidaying as a twosome again......
Each evening we'd go into the restaurant and I'd sit in front of my meal with a churning stomach and waxy skin trying not to vomit. Obviously, it didn't even occur to me that I might be pregnant as that was surely impossible?!?!
As we now know myself and Josh are quite fertile stock and this was the beginning of our now family of six! In between holidaying and being superbly vague on dates. by the time I put two and two together and picked up a pregnancy test while grabbing my meal deal on a lunch break, I was already three months pregnant, not that I knew this until we had a scan.
I promised this would be honest so here it goes.... This was not in our plan in any way we both worked though Josh was still an apprentice and we rented a flat above an Indian takeaway! When we found out I was pregnant the word termination was thrown around. I booked a doctor’s appointment to discuss options, and not knowing any dates they immediately got me booked in for an emergency scan! I know this sounds clique but nothing makes your heart stop, makes you grow up more or makes you love that person holding your hand more than seeing that first bambino wriggling around on a screen in front of you!
Because the scan had to be done so quickly we went to a private clinic, which meant we came away knowing I was 14 weeks pregnant and having a boy! From that moment on there was no question about what was happening, we were having a baby and needed to sort our lives out sharpish!!!
We are very lucky that both sides of our family were hugely supportive.... Though I will never forget walking down mum and dads drive on the day I told them, I don't think I have ever felt so nervous in my life. Or felt relief like it once I’d done it, they were amazing as they always are!! Both my mum and Josh's mum became parents at a young age so they were, and still are a huge help! My dad practically leapt off his chair and said he'd start building the annexe (they lived on a farm) but from the word go I had a huge head strong urge to do this ourselves and our own way! Though if I could go back now I’d take the bloody annexe and stuff paying rent like we did for three years!! Little life lesson there.... when people are trying to help you, it doesn't make you a failure!
We moved out of the flat into a tiny little barn conversion which was lovely just very small. We both have big families that are no strangers to babies so there were hand me downs coming at us from all directions, Josh's auntie even gave us her old bugaboo (that's one good hand me down).
Felix arrived three weeks early making it feel like the shortest pregnancy ever... Part of my determination to do this properly was that me and Josh were the only two at the birth. I don't know why this was so important to me I completely understand why people have their mums with them for extra support. But I just felt I really wanted to prove we were strong enough and grown up enough to do it ourselves.
Because he was early we went into hospital that night and nobody knew or even suspected he would arrive yet! he was born within a couple of hours in the pool! Don't hate me but it really was a text book labour and I can remember it like it was yesterday!
The midwife was amazing and made me feel like Wonder Woman, I guess this is one of the perks of being a young mum that despite my previous years of boozing and partying I was in tip top shape for pushing out a baby!! Felix was born at 7 am and those hours before we rang our families when it was just the three of us were when everything changed and we became or own little team!
I have so much to share about being a young mum but I wanted to start with a bit about how it all began. Everyone's story is very different and I thought it would be nice to hear from some other young parents! I can't think of a better place to start than with not only a young mum but a midwife......
So, I hope you enjoy my Q and A with Clemmie Hooper aka Mother of Daughters
Mother of Daughters...
What were you first thoughts when you found out you were becoming a parent at a young age?
Terrified! Really worried how Simon would take the news and then dreaded telling friends and family. I didn't tell some friends until I was almost 5 months
What has been your biggest perk of being a young mum?
I would like to say energy but I'm not entirely sure now I have 4 children. I guess when Anya is 20 I'll be 42 which is still young.
What has been your biggest low of being a young mum?
Constantly being asked if she's/they're mine. It's so boring. Also 'God you're young or brave' etc etc
Were you worried about telling your parents?
Really worried, they were supportive but there was a lot of encouraging of 'not' having a baby and talk about a termination. My Dad was surprisingly pretty relaxed apparently, he said to my mum 'well she's hardly 16 and living in a council flat'!
How did it effect you and Simon as a couple?
We had only been together a year when I got pregnant so we didn't really know each other (like we do now) we were still completely head over heels in love with each other. It was that stage so I guess we were a little naive 'oh a baby is going to be amazing' obviously we're wiser now. We were really skint like had no money left after we'd paid the rent and bills.
There were no luxuries we relied heavily on hand me downs and parents offering to buy things. But none of things bothered me because we were such a little team. We did most of our growing up during our twenties and having had not much to start with didn't feel like we had given much up. We were fresh out of Uni after all.
Do you feel like you've missed out on anything?
Not really although I would have liked to have gone travelling but there's always later in life. Because we were so young there wasn't this missing out feeling we just thought ok let's get on with this, we made the decision then had a baby so we never really complained.
Did it effect your friendships?
Our friends were and are amazing. The novelty for them was great as they could come over and play with the baby, they included us in so many social events and we never felt left out.
Did it change your career choices?
Not for me! I went back to work full time when Anya was 1 and I guess now I can say my children have helped carve my career as an author and midwife even more. Simon is still working as a management consultant for the same company he joined 10 years ago!