Information On Unexpected Pregnancies

Since none of us know the future, it's no wonder that sometimes things happen that we didn't exactly plan for. We all know that each of the actions we take have some consequence to them, even if the only consequence is having to live with regret. Most of the time though, we aren't forced to make an immediate decision as the consequence for a not-so-good choice. What happens when we become pregnant, though? Then what? The majority of us have only heard, "Do not get pregnant," but no one ever tells us what our options would be should we happen to become pregnant. I mean, sure we know about the options, but we don't know enough about the options young girls who are pregnant have. If we did, if we were taught the complete truth about each of the options, then maybe it wouldn't seem such a terrifying experience for those of us who do become pregnant while we're still young ourselves.

When dealing with an unexpected pregnancy, there are really three different options for us to choose from.

  1. Keeping the Baby

    The first option is to keep the baby. Now, for those girls who have financially stable homes and who can financially care for a baby, this may seem like the natural option, however, it's not necessarily a win-win situation. It, like the other two choices, has disadvantages to it as well as advantages.

    Advantages to Keeping A Child

    The number one advantage, of course, is that you have the unconditional love of a child. Another advantage comes when the child is a little older and you realize you helped shape that child's future into something good: this can give your life great meaning and purpose. For some girls, this one advantage can sometimes even overshadow the disadvantages.

    Disadvantages to Keeping A Child

    However much unconditional love children naturally give, they are not dolls and because of this, it does take a great deal to keep and raise one. The first disadvantage to this option comes with the basics of caring for the child. When I was high school, I took a Child Psychology class and in that class, we had to pretend that we were pregnant and we had to prepare for the coming of the birth. We had to cut out pictures from department store magazines of everything that we would need and want, for our child. We had to furnish a nursery, we had to buy diapers, and bottles, and everything. We were then told to keep going for the next eighteen years. Soon, we were looking into colleges and posting tuition costs, we were buying a car, we were buying books, CDs, clothes, food, new furniture every so many years, as the child grew and needed new things. We had to record accurate prices for everything we did and at the end of the project, we had to total up the amount of money needed to raise a child for eighteen years. Do you know how much my total, using a very modest income, amounted to? Thirty three thousand, four hundred and nineteen dollars. $33,419 for one child. That is a lot of money, and even if you break it down into the years, it's about $2784 a year. So, merely having the money to provide for a child is staggering and needs to be thought about. After all, if you're on your own and having trouble supporting yourself, providing for a child, though possible, could be very difficult.

    Another disadvantage to keeping a child at a young age is your social and academic life. Many boys, because they don't want the responsibility of a child at a young age, will not consider having a serious relationship with someone who has a child. I know this from experience. This means that your dating will go down, you'll have to cut back on the number of places you can go because your money will have to be budgeted, in order to provide adequately for the both of you. Although you could hire a babysitter and go out, you're going to have to pay that sitter something. You could leave the child with a relative who wouldn't charge you, but as my teacher pointed out, it wouldn't really be fair to constantly leave your child with your parents. After all, they didn't ask to raise another child. This would mean that your activity time would go down. Some girls find that going to school, working and then taking care of a little one is too hard, so they drop out of school: this isn't good for either the baby, nor yourself, seeing that if you leave high school, chances are you won't bother with college.

    These are the main two disadvantages to deciding to keep a child. However, I, for one, think that the advantage far outweighs the difficulties. Others don't, though and have found out that keeping a baby isn't only difficult at times, it can be exhausting, and so they look for other options.

  2. Adoption

    The second option to those of us who find ourselves pregnant and confused is adoption. Adoption has more advantages than disadvantages, but as with all options, some may find that the disadvantage is too great: just as some may decide the advantage is worth the disadvantage.

    There are two forms of adoption: open and closed adoption.

    • Open adoption means that the birth mother and the adoptive parents form a friendship and know all about each other. With this form, it is much easier for the birth mother to maintain contact with the child. Some families even opt to tell the child that the family friend is in reality the birth mother.
    • Closed adoption means that the birth mother has no idea who, if anyone, adopted her child, and the adoptive parents know next to nothing about the birth mother. In closed adoptions, the records containing all the information that would be needed to locate a birth mother, or a child, are kept sealed until the child is of legal age.

    There is also a site at http://www.adoption.com/ where families wanting to adopt, buy a package, put a picture of their families online, and most write a letter to the birth mother. Through this site, and the adoption agency, some birth mothers are actually allowed to choose which family the child goes to. If you are young, however, odds are that when you find out you want to give your baby for adoption, you'll tell this to your doctor and once you go into delivery, a social worker will be on hand. You'll give birth to the child and the social worker will take the child away, and have you sign papers, legalizing the adoption. Chances are that if it is done this way, the adoption will be closed.

    Advantages to Choosing Adoption

    The main advantage is that it takes care of the child for you. Odds are, if you give your child away at birth, that he or she will be adopted, which will mean that she or he will be loved and provided for. This can give the birth mother (you) a great sense of relief and comfort. Another advantage is that the birth mother wouldn't feel pressured to leave school, thereby keeping her dream of finding a fulfilling career open. Yet another advantage would be the birth mother would be without the financial difficulties of having to raise a child.

    Two of my cousins, and my aunt, were all adopted and each of them has had a normal, happy life. My aunt is now grown and has three children of her own, is married, and has a good relationship with her birth mother. My cousins are still young, but they are headed down the same path. From the child's prospective then, adoption can be a good thing.

    Disadvantages to Choosing Adoption

    When we are pregnant something is growing inside of us and when we separate ourselves from that something (that child) we will feel a great loss, no matter how much we think otherwise. This is true for adoption. Sometimes the pain of not having that child by your side can be agonizing and since, about at least half the time, the birth mother knows nothing about the adoptive parents, you may find yourself worried sick about the welfare of a child you couldn't keep yourself. This disadvantage pertains to the third option as well, and can be very hard to live with. Regret is something that we don't recover from and living with regret can be terror. Most birth mothers find other ways of fulfilling their lives with having other children (when they are ready to keep them) and moving on with their lives, but some find that the thought of that lost child lingers with them throughout their lives. This was the case with my aunt's adoptive mother.

    This is actually the only disadvantage to adoption, from the birth mother's prospective, but I would like to stress that being away from your child is serious business and even though numerically the advantages outnumber the disadvantages, to very seriously think about what it would be like to be away, forever, from.your baby, before you make this decision.

  3. Abortion

    Some girls feel that their families cannot find out that they are pregnant and so can't see taking the adoption route because, in order to do that, they would have to give birth to the child. Girls in these circumstances, sometimes look to the third alternative: abortion. Now, though it is again your own choice, I strongly disagree with abortion as I believe that it hurts not only the unborn child, but the mother (you) as well. However, I also strongly believe that the choice cannot be made, or even strongly influenced, by anyone other than you, because you are ultimately the one that will have to live with the decision.

    Advantages to Choosing Abortion

    The absolute only advantage to this option is that you're without the responsibility of raising a child that you feel you are not ready for.

    Disadvantages to Choosing Abortion

    Abortion is a medical procedure and as with all medical procedures, the chances for harm is quite common. As a matter of fact, every day, unsafe abortions claim the lives of 213 women. In addition to this, when you are pregnant and choose to carry a child full-term, you are offered a certain amount of protection against breast cancer. However, with abortion, although it doesn't make it more likely, it doesn't offer the same protection against breast cancer either. In addition to this, once an abortion is preformed, there may be hemorrhaging, and intense pain. The physical disadvantages to abortion do go away, and most of the time, the mother is left without any permanent damage, meaning that if it was a safe and legal abortion then she will probably be able to bear children in the future, and it shouldn't affect future pregnancies. Another disadvantage to abortion, is called "post abortion syndrome" which is extremely similar to "Post Traumatic Stress Disorder." Many girls who go through with an abortion come out feeling guilt, regret and anger. Just as with adoption, when you have an abortion, you've given away a part of yourself, and this is going to hurt. At least with adoption, there will come a day when you can legally get help finding the child. With abortion, there is not that option.

    Many girls choose abortion because:

    1. Abortion seems like the simplest choice. There is a problem, the unexpected pregnancy, and girls can find doctors who will perform abortions without having to notify a parent. This means that abortions can erase the immediate problem.
    2. They listen to their boyfriends, or their parents and do what the others want them to do, even though it's not what they 100% want to do themselves. In other words, the parents may say, "Have an abortion" and, because the girl is afraid of being kicked out of the home, or disappointing her parents, she agrees, even though she's not sure that an abortion is what she really wants to do.

Regardless of what choose you, make sure that you get support from other people. Also make sure that you also honestly think about what you want to do, and that you actually do whatever it is that you want to do, and not give in to someone else's opinion. After all, ultimately, it will be you who lives with the decision.

Also remember to pray about it and talk to God. It is my belief that no child is ever conceived without a reason and without a plan. Since I'm not God, and since sometimes there are natural miscarriages, I can't say that every child is supposed to live, but I can say that we don't know what God's plan is without talking to, and honestly listening to Him. Because of this, I suggest that if you find out your pregnant, you first pray, talk to God, read the Bible and decide what you want to do. This won't happen overnight, but you do have some time to decide what to do. Once you have decided what you want to do, tell your boyfriend and your parents, and let them give you support. If they don't agree with your decision, then listen to them and think about what they say, but in the end make sure that you're not giving in to them, but still doing what it is that you want to do.

No matter what you decide to do, God will be with you and never forget that He loves you, just as you are.