Coping with an Unplanned Pregnancy

sad woman holding pregnancy test

Perhaps you are secretly excited about this but scared to tell your husband. Maybe you are not married and scared about facing motherhood alone. Maybe you do not want any more children, and the prospect of having another baby is the worst thing you could imagine right now. There are many scenarios that lead up to unplanned pregnancies. Mistakes in judgment happen, condoms break, birth control pills fail, even tubal ligations and vasectomies fail.

Decisions, Decisions

Once you get over the initial shock of finding out that you are pregnant, you will have some tough decisions to face. Do you want to carry this pregnancy? How are you going to tell your friends and family? How are you going to handle the emotions and pressures that people will put on you?

The first thing you should do is try not to panic. Although this may seem like an extreme emergency, in reality, you have time to make a decision. Try to take some time to collect yourself and think about your options. You will not be the first mom to not be excited about the news of a new baby. Try not to beat yourself up. Take responsibility for your actions, but wallowing in guilt is not going to help the situation. Before you talk to anyone about your decision take some time to decide what you want to do.

couple fighting

If you want to keep this baby, have an abortion, or consider adoption, that is your decision, and talking to someone about the situation may cloud your judgment. Yes, your partner should probably be involved in the decision-making, but ultimately, you are the one that is going to have to live with your choices. Try to make some plans in your head for what you would like to do before you talk to anyone.

Using Support Systems

After you have had time to think about things and to collect yourself, you may want to get some counsel from friends, family, or maybe a minister. Find someone that you know will be supportive of your decision to confide in. You need to have support during this time. You don't want to be surrounded by people that are going to beat you down for your mistake or pressure you into doing what they want. Surround yourself with a support group.

couple on the couch not talking to each other

If you have no one to turn to, you can seek help from support groups geared for this situation. Eventually, you are going to have to tell some people. You don't have to tell everyone and you can tell people about this in your own time.

Your partner may not be the first person you want to tell, and that's okay. When you are ready, find a time to sit down and talk to him. The longer you go without telling him, the harder it will be. Sometimes it is easier to tell him earlier and let him adjust to the situation than it is to wait and have him angry for not telling him sooner. Either way, if you think that he will be unhappy, it is going to be hard to tell him the news. Prepare yourself for the reaction and when you are ready just tell him. There are no right words to say. Try to avoid blaming or taking the blame. This situation doesn't happen with only one person involved. It is not all your fault or all his fault. It is a shared responsibility that the two of you will have to deal with.

If your partner, friends, and family are not initially supportive, that's okay. It is not their life or their pregnancy. They are not the ones who have to live with your decision. You are. Try not to let unwanted comments get to you. You can use humor to lighten the mood. If you are excited about this and they are not, then share your excitement. You can use "I" statements to let them know how you feel. If others fail to respect your decision and do not have anything positive to offer, you might want to simply explain that the discussion is off limits and refuse to talk about it with them. Whatever your choice may be, in the end, it is your decision.