So, you have found true love or a boyfriend for the night, and the heat of the moment meant the concern for contraception went out of the window, and now the pregnancy test is positive. What do you do? Is this the end of your life or simply a new chapter? There are many options available to you even though it may not seem like it, but whatever you decide, remember that your decisions will all have consequences good and bad.
Abortion may seem like the easier or rational option in some people’s eyes but remember that this is YOUR DECISION not anyone else’s, as you will have to live with the consequences. Abortions can be performed in two ways; the pill method, in which you will have to take a tablet orally and then have one inserted into your womb by a doctor. This is normally used for women in the early stages of pregnancy and will cause intense stomach cramps and heavy bleeding, similar to a painful period. The second method is normally used in the later stage of pregnancy, it involves a surgical procedure in which a tube is inserted to vacuum the embryo out of your womb, there may be some discomfort and pain afterwards. Both methods not only have physical effects, but also psychological, such as major trauma, guilt, regret and upset; and it will take a long time for you to come to terms with your loss. For some women coping with abortion may be easier, as they are confident in their decision and know it was the best they could do at the time, for others dealing with their loss may take a lot longer so be prepared for either reaction.
Adoption is a very responsible decision for some young mothers, but be aware that the fears and worries of parenthood do not end at the hospital. During your pregnancy you may develop a maternal bond with your unborn child, making it harder to let go when the day comes to give the baby to your chosen adoptive parents. The process of finding suitable people to raise your child will take time, you want the baby to have a good future, stability and love, and it will be hard to find people you trust to give the baby that. You will be on an emotional rollercoaster and you need to be prepared to handle your emotions and let go. There is also the decision of whether you want an open or closed adoption; an open adoption means that you remain in contact with the child and receive regular updates of the baby’s progress, how much contact and correspondence is debateable. A closed adoption means that your involvement and rights to the child end at the birth. Choosing adoption can give you a sense of relief, as you know you were the best parent you could have been at the time and you are giving your chosen couple their dream of being parents.
Keeping the baby can be scary, as your life will change drastically. During your pregnancy you will experience various cravings and you will feel the baby move which can feel really weird. You may get morning sickness (not just in the morning). You will have to attend various doctor appointments and scans where you will get regular blood tests to measure yours, and the baby’s progress. During the third trimester (the last three months of pregnancy) you will not be able to fly on an aeroplane as the baby can arrive at any time. You may experience looks and whispers from your peers and colleagues which you have to rise above to focus on your work, unless you decide to take a gap year, which is another sensible option available. You need to think about money and all the baby basics (e.g. nappies, clothes). You need to accept that you may not get as much support as you would like, and you are going to have to sacrifice your social life and sleep at times. But despite all these negative aspects of motherhood what people do not tell you is how much you will enjoy bonding with your new baby, the instant love and protectiveness you will feel and the comfort in knowing you are needed.
The moral of the story is to be prepared to live with the consequences whatever you decide if you do find yourself pregnant at a young age, but at the same time pregnancy does not have to be a negative experience. So try not to see it as the end of your world, but simply as a new chapter in the story of your life. Until you are ready to take responsibility for a child be safe, stay protected and just enjoy yourself with contraception.
Now if you do decide to keep the baby, congratulations! Here are some quirky things they don’t tell you about pregnancy:
There is also the obstacle of meeting each other’s parents, as you are all going to have to play happy families now after all. See how I handled the tense situation below: