Facing an unplanned pregnancy may be one of life’s most difficult situations. Many women, women who have dealt with the same dilemma that you do, experience conflicting emotions, feelings that can be hard to face fully. You may feel scared, confused, guilty, panicked, or sad.
Perhaps most common is feeling alone, feeling isolated, feeling that no one else will understand, or be able to deal with, your pregnancy. But you are not alone. Your situation is unique: you may be married, and apprehensive about telling your husband. You may be single, and scared by the prospect of being a single mother. You may be young, and wondering how you can possibly accept the responsibility of another life. But you are not alone.
How Common Is Unplanned Pregnancy?
Unplanned, or unintended pregnancies, are surprisingly common. In fact, more than half of all pregnancies are unintentional. For every 1,000 women, 54 will have unplanned pregnancies during their lifetime. And according to one research study, 1 out of every 3 Americans under the age of 31 was the result of an unplanned pregnancy. You can find more statistics at the Guttmacher Institute.
But statistics, numbers, will never be able to capture the way you feel. What they can tell us is that millions of women have felt the same way. No matter what emotions you are dealing with, there is a woman who understands, who knows how difficult life may seem.
How Will My Body Change?
Beside these difficult emotions are many physical worries. You may be asking how your body will change during pregnancy, and whether or not you are ready to adequately handle that change. To learn more about your changing body, visit our Week by Week guide to Pregnancy here.
How Do I Make A Decision?
It may seem hard now, but in the coming months you will have to make a choice. You’re probably already thinking about it, just beginning to weigh your options. This site was created to help you do that. On the following pages, you’ll find information about pregnancy: what it’s like, how you can expect to feel, and how to tell your loved ones about the situation. To learn more about pregnancy, start here.
You’ll also find resources describing your options. We want to help you answer questions like:
- Should I choose to parent my child? You can learn more here.
- Is an abortion the right choice for me? Find more information here.
- What will adoption be like? Visit this page.
Most importantly, you’ll find questions that you should ask yourself, ones that will help you evaluate your current emotions, and plan a path for the future. As scary as they may seem, understanding your feelings now can be the best way to decide what you should do about your pregnancy.
When you’re ready, visit our Making A Decision page here to find several exercises that we hope will guide you toward the best option for you and your baby.
Where Can I Find Help?
In difficult times, everyone needs a support group. Try to surround yourself with people who will listen to your thoughts and anxieties compassionately, rather than those who will try to direct your choices in a particular direction. This is your choice to make.
Ideally, friends and family would create a supportive, caring community to help you. But this isn’t always possible. There are many support groups designed specifically for women like you. Seek them out, or confide in your faith community if you think they will be understanding.
If you need someone to talk to, you can always call our free support line at 1-800-355-5500. Our counselors are available 24 /7 to help.