In December of 2014, finding out I was pregnant was next to the last thing I expected to happen. So you can imagine my surprise when not only was I pregnant—unplanned—but I was already 18 weeks along. It was a hard time in my life that would lead to the sweetest little boy I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing, but I had lots to learn along the way. So here are 4 pieces of unplanned pregnancy advice that I can give you.
- It’s okay to not know how to feel.
Last time I checked, there isn’t exactly an instruction manual that dictates how you are supposed to feel about an unplanned pregnancy. Perhaps it will be really upsetting to you because it isn’t part of the plan you have in life. Maybe you will be happy about this surprise child. You could be sad, scared, shocked, elated, or even feel nothing at all. No matter what anyone tells you, it really is okay to not be sure of your feelings. It is a lot to process.
- Explore all of your options.
Take some time to think and read and explore. You don’t have to make a decision immediately. If you consider adoption, learn about the differences between agency and private adoption, closed, semi-closed, and open adoption. Know what your rights are in your state, etc. If you want to parent but are concerned about finances or other things, look into community resources and programs, ask questions, or attend meetings. Make sure you can comfortably and confidently make the best choice you feel is right.
- Take care of yourself.
Along with stressing out, the one thing that was hard to do with not planning my pregnancy was taking care of myself, but I strived hard to do so. At this point, my body was not my own, and the inhabitant was far more important to me. I went to all my doctor’s appointments even when it was more tempting to take a nap. I tried to drink more water. I didn’t eat foods that were listed as unsafe. I tried to do things for self-care as well because my mental and physical health was still important. I won’t say that I was the best at doing so, but I feel that I got an A for effort.
- Enjoy the experience of being pregnant.
This is something I wish I had done more of. In choosing an adoption plan, I was scared to enjoy being pregnant because I was worried about bonding with the baby. But looking back, I wish I had stopped to appreciate his little ninja kicks. I wish that I had taken more belly pictures. I feel sad thinking that I took for granted the time I had to experience this. Being pregnant isn’t comfortable in the slightest, but I’d go back in an instant if it meant more time to experience him.
My unplanned pregnancy was one of the craziest and scariest times of my life. If I can share to help someone on their journey, I’m happy to do so. It might feel like the world is ending or you will never get past this time, but it’ll be gone before you know it. So take a breath (or five), and I wish you the best.
If you are thinking of placing your baby for adoption, visit Adoption.com/profiles to view hopeful adoptive parent profiles.