I’m Pregnant? Now What?
“There is just no way! NO WAY! I can’t be pregnant. I’m not finished with school. I have my whole life ahead of me. How can I tell my parents? NO WAY!”
That’s how I felt when I found out. If you’re reading this, maybe you are facing the same thing I was. Or maybe you are reading this because you need to help a friend. If it’s you, I bet you’ve felt a thousand emotions since you found out. Scared, embarrassed, worried, excited, mad, happy, and who knows what else. Everybody who goes through this has those feelings. But what you probably want now are some answers!
I was lucky. I found someone to talk to right away. On a billboard in town, I found this place:
Option Line: 1-800-395-HELP (1-800-395-4357)
The operator hooked me up by phone to someone right in my neighborhood who could help. And they kept my secret. They helped me sort things out and come up with a plan that would work for me. You could call right now, or you can read the rest of my story:
There were three ways I could go. I could raise the baby, I could adopt the baby to a good family, or I could get an abortion. Each idea had its pros and cons. I had a BIG decision ahead of me. I wasn’t going to jump into anything without finding out more about it. I had to be sure.
First, I thought about parenting. One of my friends, Dianne, got pregnant and decided to raise her baby. I really miss the crazy things we used to do together before the baby came along. I’ve talked to her a lot. She didn’t get married, so it’s just her and Sibble, who is now three. She does enjoy her Sibble, who is really cute. What I don’t like is that Dianne has to work and put Sibble in day care every day. But there is just no other way. She sure can’t see living with her parents the rest of her life.
She has an apartment, a car, and all the bills that go with it. The father was ordered by the court to pay her child support, but he skipped town and they can’t find him. I remember we used to talk about how she wanted to become a nurse. You know, I don’t think that’s going to happen now. But, she’ll come out OK. She’s a strong person. I guess parenting was right for her, but I just don’t know if I’m ready for that. If I was older maybe…
Then there was the adoption option. This one is a big decision, too. I really did my research here. At first, it didn’t sound too good. But, I knew I needed to look at it. I found out that there are different kinds of adoptions – “open” and “closed”. In an open adoption, you get to pick who adopts your baby. First, the agency screens people who want to adopt your baby. That way, you are only picking from a group of good people to start with. But then you can look at what they do for work, where they live, what their interests are, and whether they go to church. You usually can find out how your child is doing as they grow up – pictures, reports, and that kind of thing.
The other kind of adoption is the “closed” kind. The agency picks the family and you don’t know who or where they are. It’s very final and does put things behind you, but I liked the open adoption idea the best.
What I liked about adoption was that I would know that my baby was in a good home, being raised by good parents. It would be kind of sad, because I wouldn’t be a part of that. But, it would be really good for Megan (that’s what I named her). Megan would grow up, maybe play on the school volleyball team, and probably go to college. I liked the idea that I would hear about these things from the parents that adopted her.
The final option was abortion. Some of my friends were pushing me to get an abortion – including the father. They said I should just go in and get an abortion – get it over with – it’s a “quick fix”. But, no one had to tell me that there was something not quite right with this choice. I didn’t have to see gory pictures or anything like that.
Actually, what I did see were amazing pictures of my baby growing inside of me. I had an “ultrasound”. They actually use sound waves to make a picture of your baby. And what pictures! I could see little Megan’s head, arms, legs, eyes, mouth – everything. And this was when she was only 13 weeks old. But, I did look into abortion like I had looked into adoption – I had to know what my options were. Here’s what I found out:
Megan’s heart started beating at, like, only 21 days! I didn’t even know I was pregnant then! A day later the eyes and ears first began to form. Her brain started ticking at 42 days, and at 52 days she started moving by herself. By eight weeks, all her organs were formed. By nine, she could curl her fingers around something placed in her hand. By 10 weeks, she could squint, swallow, pucker up her little brow and frown – and she would soon would be able to smile.
And this is the age when most abortions are done.
One thing I found out that really disturbed me was that the baby can feel pain during an abortion. You know, they can do life-saving operations now on babies still in the womb. And when they do, they use anesthesia to stop the pain, just like they would if you went in for an operation in the hospital. So why do people think it’s OK to make a baby suffer during an abortion? Maybe they just don’t care, since they are ending the baby’s life anyway…
I found some really cool pictures of babies in the womb. Here’s one of a baby’s feet at just 11 weeks. Just look at those little toes!
At 16 weeks, a baby can swim and turn somersaults. Now they can do movies of the baby moving around at this age – they look just like miniature people.
And here is another picture. This one is of a baby’s face at 16 weeks.
Another thing I learned about abortion is that it’s not the quick fix it’s made out to be. Many mothers who have abortions feel terrible about it for years and years and years.
Another place I learned that even twenty years later some women still hated themselves for what they had done. That scared me.
Well, after I learned all this, I just couldn’t think of going through with an abortion. Personally, I don’t understand how this would be a “choice” for anyone. I just knew in my heart that this was a baby. They called Megan a “fetus” at this stage, but anyone that cares to look knows that you are looking at a baby, just a really little one.
Well, you’re probably wondering what I chose. And did I get married? Here’s what happened. At first, I was set on adoption. But along about the 6th month I had second thoughts. I wanted to raise the baby myself. But, the more I thought about it, the harder it looked. I kept thinking of Dianne. She was happy enough, I guess, but mothering seemed like such a big responsibility for her. I realized that adoption was really best for Megan, and for me, too. But I wanted an “open adoption”. I wasn’t ready to completely lose track of my baby.
You know, I don’t know what you will choose. I do know that it’s not a decision to make lightly. And don’t try to do it by yourself. Hopefully, your parents will be supportive and help you through this hard time. Whether they do or not, call Option Line and get some help from people who have experience. You need a plan. If you’re going to be a parent, you need money, a place to live, a job, and good day care. If you are thinking about adoption, you need to start the process so your baby will go to the kind of home you want her to.
Oh, I almost forgot. I didn’t get married. And the father really wanted to. How come we didn’t? For the same reason I chose adoption. If it wasn’t the right time in my life to raise a child, it really wasn’t the right time to get married either. I need to get out in the world and figure out who I am and what I want to do. Then maybe marriage and parenting will look better to me.
- ^ Carlson, B., Human Embryology & Developmental Biology, Toronto: Mosby Publication; 3rd edition, 2004.
- ^ Moore, K. and Persaud, T., The Developing Human, Clinically Oriented Embryology, 6th Edition, Philadelphia: W.B. Sanders, 1998.
- ^ O’Rahilly, R. and Muller, F., Human Embryology and Teratology, 3rd Edition, New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 2001.
- ^ Tsiaras, A. and Werth, B., From Conception to Birth, a Life Unfolds, New York: Doubleday, 2002.