Being pregnant is traumatic enough all by itself. Throw in a fuming African mother, *presently" absent sperm donor and homelessness and it turns into something else entirely. I've always had a knack for getting myself into the most awkwardly difficult situations, and falling pregnant with my daughter was no exception.
I was 20, and had just wrapped up a successful second year at uni when I found out I was expecting. Even almost 5 years later no words can describe the emotional hurricane I went through sitting in my car with one of my best friends looking at a positive pregnancy test. My focus immediately shifted towards my parents and what the hell I was going to do about uni.
After much soul searching, I decided that I would finish my law degree. How? I had no idea, I just knew that I would not allow becoming a mother to stop me from pursuing what was at the time my career ( I was an aspiring barrister).
After finding out about my pregnancy my mum lost it and put me out. I had to move out of the uni house I shared with former friends and was living away from home. I was three and a half months gone when I went into my third year, and driving almost 2 hours from North London to Kent. Oh and I failed to mention I also continued to work right up until I was 6/7 months gone.
I had somehow managed to convince the School of Law at my uni that I would be able to continue on with my third year, and ignored the plea's they made for me to defer the year. I knew that if I did this I wouldn't go back, and realise my mother's fears of a pregnant drop out, No way! They were amazing, and helped to ensure all my seminars where spread over one or two days. So this meant I'd only have to travel in once or maybe twice a week and caught up on my lectures online.
I remember being six months pregnant and staying up all night to complete assignments. Then driving to Kent in the snow to meet me deadlines! Then having to rush back in time for a midwife appointment, then having an early night for work the next day! My baby girl came in February, mum had allowed me back home and I was back at uni two weeks after giving birth for seminars and completing assignments in the library. I was breastfeeding, and it was the first time I had away for my daughter since I'd had her, I remember being in so much pain from the milk in my boobs I had to sit in the toilets and squeeze out the milk !!
Making my April deadlines was a tad trickier. My daughter was a couple months old and I vividly recall breastfeeding her using my left arm and having my banking law text book balanced in my right. Again thanks to the amazing Law school at UKC, they allowed me to post in the physical copies of my assignments and submit via Turnitin (Moodle for some).
April also doubled up as exam season. So you can imagine the state of our room! I was already barely sleeping due to a colicky baby, but also had to squeeze in as much revision as I possibly could! I'd make spider diagrams, flashcards and just ensured that I gave myself the best chance I could of passing my final year. I had to resit two exams, which I was actually proud of as I had expected to have to do more given the circumstances, and graduated in November 2012 with my daughter by my side.
It was one of the most challenging periods I've experienced to date for reasons I have and haven't mentioned. However, I was determined not to allow pregnancy, and becoming a mother to take me off the path to reaching my goals, dreams and plans that I had put in place before falling pregnant. Of course a lot of things had to change and I have since chosen a different career path, this was unavoidable by virtue of becoming a mother, it's a kind of life changing thing.
To conclude, what I really want to highlight and drive home to those reading is that YOU are the definer of your capabilities, and your human experience in this lifetime. Female or male, young or old, black or white. When you have a goal or purpose coupled with the passion and determination to reach, and or achieve them do not let anyone tell you can't. Don't allow another person's inability to see your full optional or capabilities due to their own hang ups, insecurities and short-sightedness define you, or affect your choices!
Article by Nai.Xo
Head of PR & Associate Editor @Nahla.online