As if having an unplanned pregnancy wasn’t stressful enough, others telling you what they think you should do, doesn’t make the situation easier. Although there was some pretty crazy and unsolicited advice that I was given, there is some that I received and found to be very helpful. I thought I would share a few of my favorites.
1. Take some time to adjust to the news.
This just simply means that you shouldn’t make any hasty decisions. You don’t want to do something that you will regret later. Thinking things through will make a world of difference in the long run.
2. Talk to someone that you can trust, will listen, and not judge you.
Most of us have that one person that you can tell all your deepest and darkest secrets. That’s who you should confide in. The last thing you need right now is someone who will look down on you and pass judgement. The person you confide in should be someone that you will be able to vent to, cry with, and just to talk to.
3. Weigh all your options.
For me personally, I only had two options. It was either raise my child myself or place her for adoption. I chose the latter of the two. Whatever you decide, make sure you’ve done your research. This goes back to making a hasty decision. You want to be well informed on all aspects of what you ultimately decide to do.
4. Don’t let someone persuade you into what they want you to do.
My child’s biological father wanted me to have an abortion. Even after I told him that I wasn’t ever going to do that, he still tried to persuade me towards that direction. Mainly because it was easier for him. Never do what is easier or best for someone else, unless that person is your child.
5. If you choose adoption, “interview” multiple adoption agencies.
Don’t go with the very first adoption agency, unless you’ve had experience with the agency. You want to choose one that not only thinks about the baby’s best interest, but yours as well. After all, you are the one carrying the child. You aren’t just a business transaction. Don’t let them treat you like one. Once you have “interviewed” them, make a pro and con list for each one. You will be able to compare them more accurately instead of trying to do it from memory. Your mind will already be filled with so much concern about this choice, writing it out will help.
6. If you choose to raise your child, figure out how you’re going to provide for him/her.
Raising a child is a huge expense. I don’t think you are truly ever aware of how expensive it is until you are already doing it, and then there are still surprise costs. List out your expenses prior to being pregnant. Now add in diapers, formula, crib, stroller, car seat, daycare, doctor visits, medicines, clothes, shoes, toys, sports activities, etc. Will you be able to afford raising a child? Of course, the answer to that will depend greatly on what (if any) help you have, whether it’s from the biological father, family, or government assistance. Personally, I knew I was not financially stable enough to raise a child. My mom raised me on welfare for a while, and I knew I didn’t want that for my child. I wanted her to have every opportunity to do and have the things that I couldn’t provide her. In no way am I saying that’s bad, it just wasn’t what I wanted.
The first four months of my unplanned pregnancy, I had no doubt that I was going to raise her myself. During those four months though, I also knew how hard it was going to be on my child if I did keep her. Following the advice above, helped me tremendously! I have never had and regrets about my decision to place her for adoption. I also think that if you asked her today, she would agree it was the right choice.
Written by Jill Wong