Here are a few things to prepare for when you are pregnant at a young age.
Everyone Will Have an Opinion
When you are young and pregnant, you may feel like you stand out and even if you try to hide your growing belly, once it pops out everyone will have an opinion. Opinions about your situation will come from strangers, friends and loved ones. Some will be positive and supportive and some will not.
The most important thing to remind yourself is that YOU are the one who is pregnant and gets to make decisions for you and your baby. Whether you plan to be a parent or are considering adoption or other options, do your research and explore all your options before making a decision. Everyone you know will tell you what they think you should do and while it’s good to gather feedback and listen to those you love, especially if they were in a similar situation, it’s also important to know that this is your decision and your decision alone if the baby’s father is not in the picture.
Sometimes it can be helpful to have a phrase on hand for when you don’t really want to talk about it – “I appreciate your opinion however I’m not really not up for talking about it right now.” Or you can share with them what WOULD be helpful. “Hey, I don’t really want to talk about my pregnancy but would you be up for joining my late night craving runs for Dairy Queen?”
Oh, the Questions!
As soon as you begin showing, I mean really showing not just the “I ate way too many treats around the holidays” look, strangers will automatically use your pregnancy as a topic of conversation. “You look so young to be pregnant.” “Was it planned?” It would be nice if people could think about what they are saying before they say it but more often than not, the filter is missing. Some people might not say anything but might just stare or give disapproving looks. You know what, they don’t matter! You are focused on your and your baby right now and don’t have to let other people’s negativity affect you.
Again, having a comment ready to go might be handy. You can use the sarcastic approach – “pregnant, I’m not pregnant. I just ate a whole watermelon for lunch.” Another go to is “why do you ask?” It often stops people who are asking rude questions in their tracks.
Friends May Come and Go
Now that you are pregnant, be prepared for a shift in your friendships. Many of your friends won’t really understand what you are going through and they may fade into the background as your habits and behaviors adjust to your pregnancy.
Whether you choose to parent, to place your baby for adoption or to abort, you might find that you need to distance yourself from the friends who disagree with your decision if they are not able to be supportive. If you do parent, your whole life will change and no matter what age a person becomes a parent, more often than not there becomes a natural gap in friendships with people who do not yet have children.
It Forces You to Grow Up
From the very first moment you discover you are pregnant, your world will change. You are now thinking about more than just yourself and your needs. This experience will stretch and grow you in ways that you cannot even imagine.