An Unwanted Surprise
Everything was great. You and your boyfriend were in a good place, talking about moving in together and meeting each other’s families. And then you made that mistake of missing your birth control pill, or maybe another form of contraception did not work. Now, you have 2 missed periods, your body is starting to change and you are exhausted. You know these are pregnancy symptoms but you have been avoiding taking a home pregnancy test because you are trying the “if I ignore it, maybe it will go away” approach and don’t feel ready to see those 2 pink lines indicating a positive test result.
First of all, please know that you are not alone. This type of situation happens to women all the time, sometimes a condom breaks during intercourse, or there is some other issue and a woman ends up pregnant, unintentionally. Not all contraceptive methods are foolproof, and people are human and make mistakes. There is a reason why unintended pregnancy rates are so common– half of all pregnancies are unplanned! Try to take care of yourself and do not blame yourself for this situation.
Admitting to yourself that you are pregnant when it is an unplanned pregnancy is incredibly difficult. Your initial reactions might include feeling emotional, sad, confused, regretful and nervous, maybe you are even battling depression. And now, you have to start thinking about how to tell your boyfriend or the father of the baby about the surprise pregnancy. Below are some tips and recommendations to help you talk with the father about the the big news, and some information about options if you are not sure what you would like to do.
How You Feel is Important
Before you talk to your partner or your family about the pregnancy, it might be good to do some thinking to try to decide how you feel about it. Are you upset? Does the idea of a new baby sound totally crazy and not realistic right now? Do you have any interest in being a mom? It would be a new reality, but perhaps if you are in a committed relationship then maybe this isn’t actually the worst timing. Do you have a solid support system in place to help you with the baby? These are all questions to think about while you settle in with the news.
Take Care of Yourself
It’s important that you begin to take care of yourself right away, even if you are not sure what you would like to do. Set up an appointment with your OB/GYN or health care provider to confirm the pregnancy, so they can do an ultrasound and see how for along you are. Start taking folic acid and any recommended prenatal vitamins. Avoid drinking ANY alcohol, as alcohol is incredibly harmful to a fetus, no matter how much or when. The first trimester is incredibly important for growth, and health outcomes for infants whose mothers received folic acid are much better, research have shown.
You Have Options
If you know in your heart and mind that under no circumstances do you want to keep this baby, you have options. One option that you might be thinking about already is termination. Terminating, also known as getting an abortion, is an option for you if you not only do not want to be a mom, but if you don’t want to be pregnant. Depending on how far along you are in your pregnancy, and what trimester you are in, you are likely able to get an abortion in your state. The process or procedure will look different depending on whether you are in the first or second trimester of pregnancy, but there are several organizations that can help you with this. One great place to call is Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood has centers located across the United States. Another place to call, depending on where you are located, is the Women’s Centers. There are many abortion clinics that provide great medical care, and will help you determine whether your pregnancy can be terminated. This option will vary in price depending on which process you need, your health insurance, and other factors too.
Another option if you know that you do not want to take care of the baby is adoption. Adoption is a good option if you are interested in keeping the pregnancy, but you know that you are not in a position to be a mom right now. With adoption, you can choose a family for your baby- a family that may not be able to have a child biologically. You may be wondering where you can learn more about adoption- how it works, the laws, and more. A great place to start is by contacting a local adoption agency, such as Open Arms Adoption Network. An adoption counselor will meet with you, either in person or virtually, to learn more about your situation and answer all your questions about adoption. Reaching out to an Adoption Agency does not require you to move forward by any means, and an Open Arms Counselor will NEVER pressure you into moving forward with Adoption. They will simply educate you about the option and make sure you have the information you need in order to make a decision about what you would like to do.
Telling the Dad that You Are Pregnant
Once you have done a bit more research about your pregnancy options, you might feel more ready to have a conversation with your baby’s father about the pregnancy. You hopefully will feel more confident, as by now you probably have a better sense of what YOU want, which will make breaking the news much easier. Remember, the father of the baby will likely experience a range of emotions just like you did, and his first reaction might not be the one that he ultimately lands on in the end.
First, it’s a good idea to speak with your boyfriend alone when you are ready to have the conversation. Set aside cell phones and any other distractions that might interrupt you so that you can focus on what you would like to say. Make sure he is sitting down! If you have been spending a lot of time together, he likely has noticed a difference in your behavior and is wondering what is going on. Break the news gently, and let him know that you have done some research and have spent some time thinking about this. He will likely have many questions about how this happened, especially if he thought that you guys were using some sort of pregnancy prevention method. Try to keep the conversation calm, and once he is able to process the news for a few minutes, let him know about your options, and what you are feeling that you might be interested in doing.
Making a Decision Together
Hopefully, the two of you will be on the same page regarding what you would like to do and make the best decision possible for the two of you. And it might take you some time to figure out how to move forward, as this is a big decision and not one that you should rush through. If in your talks you decide that adoption might be an option that you would like to consider or learn more about, feel free to call Open Arms at 1-888-OPENARMS to speak with a counselor. We are so happy to meet with the two of you and talk to you more about adoption and what this might look like. There are different types of adoption- Open, Semi-Open and Confidential (or Closed) Adoption, so you might decide that one of these is what you would like to do. Should you decide to terminate, we can direct you to one of our trustworthy partners who we know will provide good care. And, of course, if parenting is what the two of you decide one, we are so happy to point you in the direction of resources that would be helpful.
If you are experiencing an unwanted pregnancy, and you would like support and assistance in talking to the baby’s father and telling him the news, Open Arms Adoption can help. Contact us at any time for free, unbiased pregnancy support and options counseling.