Whether you're 20 years old or 40, married or unmarried, rich or poor, an unplanned pregnancy can turn your life upside down and throw all your carefully laid plans out of the window.
Discovering you are pregnant when you don't want to be can be one of the most terrifying moments in your life. 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.
What can you do? What are your options? What are the pros and cons of each choice and how can you decide what to do?
First of all have you confirmed your pregnancy?
If you haven’t then your first step is to get a pregnancy test. You can buy a home pregnancy kit from any medicine shop and do the test at home or can go to a lab and get one done.
If you have confirmed you are pregnant
If you are pregnant, then you have three choices:
Continue the pregnancy and keep the baby
Continue the pregnancy and place the baby for adoption
End the pregnancy by having an abortion if you are able to do so
So how do you feel about being pregnant?
You might have mixed feelings about being pregnant when you didn’t plan to be. Whatever your feelings, everyone will have different reactions. So if you find yourself pregnant and can’t decide what to do you
could ask yourself questions like…
• Are you both ready to have a child so soon?
• Are there any health issues that need to be addressed first?
• Are there any financial issues to consider?
• How will you handle your career and motherhood?
• Do you have a good support system or are you pretty much on your own?
• How will it affect your marriage?
• How you will handle your time together and cope with the demands of your new role?
It may seem as an urgent issue, but try not to panic. Give yourself a few days or even a couple of weeks to think things through. 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. You will not be the first mom to not be excited about the news of a new baby. Try not to beat yourself up. Yes your partner should probably be involved in the decision-making, 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.
Make the decision which seems right to you.
The most seeked after option for dealing with an unwanted pregnancy is abortion or termination of pregnancy. Terminating a pregnancy is a major decision and one that women should not take lightly. Women should not view abortion in a casual manner as another means of contraception. Many women are just not ready for the physical and emotional repercussions of being pregnant Abortion can be done medically or surgically depending on your condition. Make sure you discus with your gynaecologist about the options
Having an avalanche of fears, questions like whether anyone will find out, if future pregnancies will be affected, how much time you will have to spend in the hospital, cost etc ,while considering an abortion is perfectly normal.
You may feel it is best to terminate your pregnancy. Some women find it difficult to take this decision while some feel it is the only solution. You may feel a range of mixed feelings – relief, guilt, sorrow or depression. There may well be other triggers such as conflict of religious beliefs and judgemental or snide remarks from in-laws, family or friends. Try to stay strong and ignore mindsets you cannot change. If you find it hard to cope, be assured you are not the only one feeling this way. Share your feelings with your partner or someone you trust. If things don’t improve with time consider talking to a counsellor.
Remember no matter what anyone else says or thinks – the choice must be yours as you will be most affected by this.
One option for dealing with an unwanted pregnancy is to consider adoption. There are many benefits of adoption such as helping an infertile couple or the ability to be able to balance your desire to carry through your pregnancy and your worry that you are just not yet ready to become a mom.
Unplanned pregnancy is a stressful event in a woman's life and many couples have been known to break up over feelings of guilt, resentment and blame following an abortion. The emotional after-effects are far more severe than any physical aspect of undergoing an abortion It is important that the trauma be dealt with appropriately, else it could lead to long-term mental and psychological effects that might hamper future pregnancies and relationships.
As far as possible speak to each other first -- alone. Talk about your feelings – both positive and negative. Understand what you both want from life before you speak to other family members or friends.
Whatever the scenario, this new life is depending on you to make wise decisions. The next few months can be full of regret and remorse or they can be full of excitement and anticipation. Which will you choose?
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. Whatever your choice may be, in the end it is your decision.
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