You see that positive pregnancy test and you panic. Thoughts go racing through your mind as you think of how the timing could not be worse and you wonder how you are going to tell your parents and the father. While it is scary at first, an unplanned pregnancy is not the end of your story – it is simply the beginning of a new chapter. Here are some things that people may not have told you about dealing with an unplanned pregnancy.
Being scared or angry is okay.
You are 100 percent allowed to feel any and all emotions, especially if you were not expecting a positive home pregnancy test. Take a minute to breathe and fully feel every emotion that you are experiencing. Emotions can cloud your thinking and it is important to work through them before you make any decisions. The motivation behind your choice should be made rationally and not out of fear or anger.
Many things throughout our lives start out with us feeling scared, like graduating from school, getting your first job, or moving to a new city. You may be scared and hesitant at first, but after you take that next step, that fear subsides and you accept and embrace your new normal. Many women can be less than excited when they find out they are pregnant. Know that you are not alone.
Learning how to cope with unplanned pregnancy is important, too. This helps you have a clear mind about whom you will tell and how to find the resources you need during this time.
You can afford to raise a baby if you choose.
One thought going through your mind may be that babies are expensive. While this may be true to a point and you may have to budget more, there are a lot of free resources to use during your pregnancy as well as after the baby is born. Many organizations can help you out financially when it comes to food, clothing, diapers, and other baby necessities. Your community will support you through this!
You can be a single parent.
It is your decision whether or not to tell the father that you are pregnant. Telling him about your pregnancy will allow you to open up a conversation about how much involvement and support he could provide. If the father of the baby is not a part of your life or you do not want him involved, that is okay! There are about 11.2 million single parents in the US and many more who co-parent with an ex. There are many options, including therapy, to help you and your ex co-parent effectively and in the best way for the child.
You can still finish school or get your dream job.
Being in college with a baby may not be how you always imagined your college experience. Taking care of a baby during college is possible. Having a flexible class schedule allows you to go to class at times that work for you. You also don’t have to take a full course load, which can allow you to finish school at your own pace. Professors may also be flexible with you as many understand what it means to have a child. You will also have breaks for holidays and summer, which means being able to have time off with your child or to work.
Starting your dream job with a baby on the way may not be how everyone starts their career, but it can be how you start yours! Do not let an unplanned pregnancy stop you from reaching your goals! Many employers are flexible with pregnancy. However, it is important to have a plan in place with your employer for when you go on maternity leave. Companies have people taking off all the time. While you may be nervous, your company will understand.
Before you take any next steps with your unplanned pregnancy, make sure you have your pregnancy verified with an ultrasound. It is important to make sure your pregnancy is viable and to learn how far along you are. Talking with a trusted medical provider about your options is an important step. Whatever you choose, the most important thing is to make an informed, confident decision that you can live with for the rest of your life.