You didn’t plan to get pregnant, but here you are. Among dozens of other thoughts, you wonder how this life-changing event will affect your relationships with the people you care about most.
Often, the biggest contributor to the quality of relationships we have after becoming pregnant is the emotional security of the relationships we have before getting pregnant. Let’s look at a few of the most important relationships in your life.
Your Baby’s Father
Whether you’re in a long-term relationship, or something less committed, the two of you created this baby together. It’s time to evaluate whether you could safely and successfully parent together. If there’s any history of physical, emotional, sexual or substance abuse between you, it’s probably wise to create some distance before telling your boyfriend you’re pregnant. In these circumstances, an unexpected pregnancy can give rise to big emotions and trigger unhealthy responses. You two may need professional guidance to either resolve your issues or choose to part ways. If, however, you’re in a healthy, mature relationship, you may find the promise of a new life brings you closer together, allowing you to truly commit to each other for a lifetime.
From the time their children are little, many parents develop a picture in their minds of how their lives will play out. Few include unplanned pregnancy as part of that idealized vision. But that doesn’t mean they won’t still love you when they find out. In fact, in many situations, a pregnancy may strengthen your bond. If you’ve had a loving, honest relationship with your parents up to this point, and they are compassionate, caring people, you’ll likely find they’ll embrace and want to protect you, as they have from the start. While it may not be easy to tell your parents you’re pregnant, for fear of disappointing them, once the words are out, you’ll be in a position to start building the next phase of your relationship together. If, however, you’re worried your parents will react badly to the news, or simply won’t listen to or understand your point of view, you can always enlist assistance from a pregnancy counselor to help you share the information in safe space and guide a productive conversation.
No two friends are the same. Some we just have fun with, others we trust with our most sensitive thoughts and feelings. Sharing the news of your unplanned pregnancy should be reserved for that second group, at least in the beginning, especially if you’re very young or not in a committed relationship. Right now, you need someone who will listen to what you’re going through without judgment. You need friends you can honestly talk to about the hopes and fears this pregnancy represents for you. The best kind of friend in this moment will gladly spend hours just listening and will only give advice when asked for it. Relying on each other in these moments can truly make you closer than ever.
While most religious institutions believe strongly in the value of bringing children into the world through the love of a man and a woman in a committed relationship, they also recognize that we are all flawed. Things don’t always go according to our plans, but who’s to say it doesn’t align with God’s plan? Your church family can be a great source of love and support when you’re dealing with an unplanned pregnancy. Allow the congregation and church leaders to rally around you and help you find the peace, unity and resources you need in order to bring your baby into the world and raise her in a supportive community.
Your Unborn Baby
The most important relationship in any pregnancy is between the mother and unborn child. You are her shelter, her provider, her strength. Every time you speak, your baby feels those vibrations. Every time you rub your tummy, your baby feels your caress. It’s important for both of you to start bonding early. According to Marilee Hartling, RN, and prenatal program manager at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, “It’s also part of their personality development. When there’s a healthy attachment between baby and parent, the baby comes to believe that the world is a safe place. This is the beginning of the establishment of trust.”
If you believe you may be pregnant, and would like to know for sure, Sira in Gainesville offers free medical pregnancy testing and free pregnancy confirmation ultrasounds. Our pregnancy counselors can also help you explore your pregnancy options and figure out how to share the news with the people you care about most.
Contact Sira today for your free appointment. Call us at 352-377-4947.