When surprises happen, those of us who are sensitive will begin swimming through the emotional waves that begin churning inside of us: pain, fear, grief, and guilt. While it is natural to beat ourselves up, it is never necessary, and the last thing we may realize is that others care about our plight. When you are facing an unexpected pregnancy, it is critical to understand that your life is not over, your child is not doomed, and your goals and dreams can still be the focal point of your future. Here are some safe places to turn and people to trust when you are faced with an unexpected pregnancy:
- Your Doctor
You are not much of a minority if your pregnancy was not planned for this particular time. According to Camille Pagan of WebMd, “almost half of all the pregnancies in the U.S. are surprises.” Your OB/GYN can tell you how far along you are, which will help you plan your next steps in a more informed way. They can also help you begin regulating your medications, adjusting your diet, and taking vitamins so you are not causing harm to your child or your body.
- A Counselor
It is natural to be anxiety-ridden when you are at a crossroads in life, but you do not have to let those feelings win. A good counselor can help with depression and stress reduction through yoga and meditation. They can also help you honestly and nonjudgmentally consider the pros and cons of each of your options. For example, while making an adoption plan may be financially and emotionally advantageous in the long run, there will be feelings of loss and confusion that accompany pregnancies that do not end in parenting. A competent counselor will help you process feelings that are unique to your journey and help you focus on potential positive outcomes.
- A Pregnancy Center
Many pregnancy centers offer comprehensive services like medical referrals, ultrasounds, and counseling confidentiality, free of charge. Centers such as Soundview Pregnancy Center in New York and Avenues Crisis Pregnancy Clinic of Southern California also offer pregnancy tests, education, and financial support to expectant mothers. Their goal is to provide emotional help and strength so women do not have to journey alone.
- Trusted Friends and Family
There may only be a few people you can trust to maintain your confidence when you share the news of your current struggle, but if you have one or two friends or extended family members who will keep your secret, you have a lot more than most people do. Talking it out will help you to organize your overwhelming feelings and escape from the isolation that makes our problems seem worse than they are. Your friends can offer humor, encouragement, and hope that will help you view your situation will newfound optimism and resolve. You may be surprised to learn that your ally is also acquainted with others who have been in the same position and now consider it all a part of a grander plan to make them stronger and more purposeful. As you grow through your journey, don’t buy the lie that you are alone. Press on until you find the support you need to travel on with compassion and courage.
If you are unexpectedly pregnant, please consider adoption. Visit Adoption.com to view adoption profiles from hopeful adoptive parents. Visit Adoption.com/unplanned-pregnancy to find guidance with your unplanned pregnancy.