Student reflects on the stigma of pregnancy at UK



I used to see pregnant girls on campus and ponder to myself how they survived at UK. The juxtaposed image of a young woman expecting a baby in the college environment sparked an insatiable curiosity.

If you could have heard my thoughts, you might think I was observing a wild animal from a distance. These days, I am one of those wild animals.

I turned 21 in October of last year and delighted in my legality for three weeks before I discovered my pregnancy. I was knee-deep in my last year of college, and hardly a role model for healthy living.

My entire life turned on its head after two pregnancy tests. I had a lifestyle built on massive caffeine intake and cynicism to rival that of a surly politician. Since then, the changes in my everyday living have been tremendous, but one thing remains the same: I am a UK student.

I don’t go out on Friday nights. Instead, I spend the evening musing over my latest doctor’s appointment or checking out car seats on the Internet. Some of the people I thought were good friends halted communication with me, as if I had gone from bubbly, outspoken Kellie to knocked-up harpy overnight. The most noticeable change, however, is the staring.

When I walk to class on any given weekday, I can feel the persistent glances at my belly and the same internal monologues I used to recite when a pregnant student crossed my path. How on Earth can such a creature survive outside the comfortable, safe environment of the standard expecting mother? Shouldn’t she be floating on a cloud in a candy-colored nursery eating 10,000 calories a day and singing to herself?

On behalf of pregnant college students everywhere, I offer the sincere truth that “our kind” is not a puzzle to be figured out.

Just because I waddle between Whitehall and Funkhouser doesn’t mean I didn’t watch the most recent basketball game. I may be eating for two, but I’ll still share my many snacks if you ask. I’m pregnant, not diseased.

I wish I had never been the type to judge a young, pregnant girl because now the shoe is on the other swollen foot. It’s easy to gossip about that which we don’t understand, but I advise you to accept people for their differences.

I’m still a 21-year-old college student trying to get my hands on that diploma like everyone else. I know I may seem like a wild animal, but trust me when I say I don’t bite.