Waking up at three in the morning with the tv glowing and attending to a crying baby could be the reason many teenagers in Osage High are falling asleep in class. Wait, what?

Over the past month Mrs. Jennifer Kuehn and her Child Development class have been discussing pregnancy stages, different types of birth defects, and, of course, babies. All of the students in Kuehn’s class were excited for the babies to get to Osage from Central Rivers A.E.A. We were ready to crack open the suitcases and release the Real Care Babies from their plastic casings when they arrived.

Before we can get to the babies though, we have to experience being pregnant. Of course, wearing the belly and actually having one is completely different. As a baby grows in the uterus a woman’s hips expands, making it easier to carry the weight.

“The belly was super heavy and hard to lug around,” said Madison Johnson, senior. “Standing with it in chorus was difficult.”

“When I took off the Empathy Belly I felt so much lighter,” said Katelyn Halbach, junior.

Everyone was required to have the baby for at least two nights. When I had my turn with a baby, I got pretty lucky. My baby only woke up crying once in the middle of the night the first night, then two times the second night at about one and five in the morning.

“The Real Care Baby experiment is the most tiring out of the two experiences,” said Kuehn.

Taking care of the Real Care Babies made me realize that teen parents are doing their best even though we don’t always think they are. Taking care of kids isn’t always easy, and it shouldn’t be— otherwise teen pregnancy would be more common. This experience hasn’t wavered my look on having children when I’m older.

Walking down the hallways these past few weeks and seeing what people would potentially look like when pregnant has been entertaining to say the least. It’s cool to have this kind of experiential learning.