An unplanned pregnancy is a crossroads of change in a woman’s life. That “fork in the road” requires her to make a decision that affects her future.
Below are four things you need to know if you’re a experiencing an unplanned pregnancy:
- Is the pregnancy viable? Getting a positive result on a home pregnancy test only means that you have a hormone called Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) in your urine, but that may not mean that you have a viable pregnancy. A viable pregnancy means you have an embryo or fetus in your uterus with a heartbeat. (Embryo is the correct term for a human life from conception to 10 weeks. Fetus is the term used from 11 weeks to birth.) Did you know that up to 31% of pregnancies can end in a miscarriage, often before a woman even knows she’s pregnant? Also, sometimes the embryo implants somewhere different than the uterus (a potentially life-threatening situation known as an ectopic pregnancy). A few other very rare reasons for a positive pregnancy test are tumors or a molar pregnancy.
- How far along am I? This is important information because it can help you know what abortion procedures you qualify for, and therefore, how much it will cost; know when the due date is; and maybe even help determine who the dad of your child is. A limited obstetrical ultrasound can answer the question of how far along you are. True Care provides free ultrasounds for our patients who test positive for pregnancy.
- What are my options? Once you know for certain you are pregnant and how far along you are, you need to know about all of your pregnancy options so you can make an informed decision about what to do next. Your two options are (1) to carry the pregnancy to term (parenting or adoption) or (2) to terminate/end the pregnancy (abortion). This can be a scary and confusing time for you, and you may have friends and family giving you their opinions as to what you should do. True Care provides an advocate who will sit with you and discuss all of your options in a caring, non-judgmental, confidential setting. We offer up-to-date and factual education about each pregnancy option.
- What resources are available to help me? Many of our patients don’t know if they qualify for insurance, job training, and other resources. WIC, food stamps, online school, food banks, parenting classes, and counseling are all resources available in our community that you might not know about, but that you may benefit from. Often women don’t realize that they can still go to school, including college, while they are pregnant. True Care provides a list of community resources; our Resource Coordinator will sit down with you and discuss your needs and provide you with resources and referrals to help you.
When making a major decision in life, including whether to continue or terminate a pregnancy, it’s important to slow down and take some deep breaths. An unplanned pregnancy can be shocking and overwhelming. Our first response when we feel that way is to sometimes deny the experience and/or to want to make it go away as fast as possible. Shock and denial are part of the grief and crisis cycle, and therefore, this is not really the best time to make a major decision. In fact, rushed decisions are often poor decisions that we later come to regret. Take some time to process how you feel about being pregnant and having a baby. Here is an article that offers some great tips on decision making.
The choice you make will affect your future. You are the woman who must live with the decision you make on whether to abort or carry your pregnancy to term. Don’t rush into a hasty decision on such a life-altering event. Take the time to explore your feelings, your hopes and dreams, your moral values, your resources, and your options. Visit us at True Care for your free appointment to provide the answers to your questions so that you can make an informed decision.
To schedule an appointment, contact our Scheduling Line at 307-215-9684.