You were in a good place with your boyfriend and all was good. Then a few months ago, you forgot your birth control pill a couple of days, missed a depo shot or maybe your boyfriend didn’t have a condom like he said he did. Now you feel exhausted and your body is beginning to change physically. Deep down, you know these are likely pregnancy symptoms, but you have put off taking a pregnancy test because you don’t feel ready to come to terms with the situation that you are likely Pregnant.
First of all, there is no reason to feel ashamed. Unwanted or unplanned pregnancies happen way more than you might think and not all contraceptive methods are foolproof and sometimes we make mistakes. You are not alone- half of all pregnancies are unplanned! Please do your best to take care of yourself and try not blame yourself for this situation.
You are likely feeling many different strong emotions right now. You may be feeling emotional, sad, confused, regretful and nervous, perhaps you are even battling depression worrying that you are actually pregnant. Once you tell the father of the baby about the pregnancy, you will likely feel less alone, and it will be so helpful to have that support when you wish to tell your family and close friends about the pregnancy.
Do You Need to Tell Them?
You might be wondering now whether you actually need to tell your family and friends about this pregnancy. That really depends on you and what your plan is. If you are feeling that you would like to keep this baby, you likely would want the support of your family and friends to make sure that you can do this. If you are feeling confident that you are able to raise this new baby without the assistance of others in your life, then telling them the news will be much easier- as you can share your plan with them.
If you are not sure about whether you want to parent this baby or not, and are not sure if this is the best time to have a baby, you may be considering terminating the pregnancy or the option of adoption, and you might not feel like you want to tell them about the pregnancy at all, especially right now. This is totally your choice. However, you should know, that very often these secrets tend to somehow come out anyway. It might be beneficial for you to talk through some of your options with your family and friends as they might give you a perspective or idea that you haven’t thought about yet. Maybe your mother or aunt or grandmother will offer for you to move in for a while and help with the baby. Perhaps some family members will offer to help you with some of the expenses that you will be facing. Or, maybe, your friends will talk to you about adoption as perhaps one of them made an adoption plan a while ago. Between everyone that you are close with, you likely can gain support or advice in making this very big decision. No matter what you are thinking you would like to do, ideally, it would be best if you can open up to those close to you and tell them about the pregnancy and get their support. Even just being honest with one person can make a big difference for you and your well-being.
How Should You Tell them?
If you decide that you are ready to tell your family or friends about the pregnancy, you may be wondering the best way to do it. First, try to make sure that you can sit down with your closest family members to tell them the news. That might be a parent, a sibling, a friend or someone else that you have a close relationship with, but those should be the first people you decide to share the news of an unplanned pregnancy with. This is a conversation that you should have in person, not over text or facetime. Once you are with them, make sure you have their complete attention, and explain that you have some news to share, and that you are looking for their support. Worrying about judgement or negative reactions from them is not something that you should have to focus on, so only tell those that you know that you can count on.
Input from Family
It’s possible that after telling your family your news of this pregnancy, they may try to push their opinions on you. They might encourage you to keep the pregnancy and keep the baby, but that doesn’t mean that is the right choice for you. Some family members might even make comments that are hurtful or offensive. Know that it might just take them a while to come to terms with your news, and their immediate reactions might not be how they truly feel. If you feel like they are not being supportive and only causing your further stress or pain, you might decide that you want some space from them while you consider your options.
It’s not uncommon for family members to offer to help with the baby in these situations. Sometimes, though, women say that they don’t believe that their family members will actually prove to be helpful when the time comes for childcare assistance or financial assistance. They feel that these offers may be genuine but perhaps these family members offered to help with their first child and even though they promised to help, their own busy or complicated lives kept them from being able to really give them the help you need.
You may even have a family member who says they will raise the baby. It’s possible that this person is, in fact truly interested in parenting this new baby. This is an option for you, one that you should consider if you don’t feel ready to parent. It might be nice for the baby to be raised by a family member, or, it might make it all the more difficult. Only you can decide that.
Talking about Adoption
If you are feeling serious about the option of adoption, this is something you should speak to your family and friends about. During the adoption process, Open Arms Adoption Network will offer you the option to meet with a counselor throughout your pregnancy—and they are happy to meet with your close family members who might have questions as well. Your counselor can offer you free information on your other options as well. Sometimes, Grandparents are even interested in being involved in the process, and we will support that completely. We recognize that this can be a difficult, emotional time, and so it’s important to have all the love and support that you need from those close to you.
After the Talk
After you speak with your friends and family about this unexpected pregnancy, you might want to start thinking about your next steps. If you are planning on keeping the pregnancy, it’s time to get Prenatal Care lined up so that you can stay healthy and make sure the baby is growing well. If you are considering terminating, reach out to a local abortion clinic, such as Planned Parenthood or The Women’s Centers, depending on where you are located. If adoption is the option that you are feeling most confident about, feel free to reach out to us at 1-888-OPENARMS or send us an email. Open Arms is a non-judgemental adoption agency and we are available to help you. Our adoption counselors can help get your questions answered and support you through this process, honoring your wishes the entire time. We are here for you 24/7 and are happy to support you, no matter what decision you ultimately make.