Dealing with unplanned pregnancies.

We have all heard the stories of the various incidences of how people we know have gotten pregnant without planning for it. I will of course refresh your memory with a few. Oh I got drunk and the rest of the night is a blur but woke up in your bed. I was proving i loved him so slept with him and he insisted no condoms. And there is the condom developed issues when we were in action…and so on. So of course for the wise the morning after is a first resort.

Then the waiting starts; first you feel tired and a bit nauseated but you have answers you are worried and anxious, then your  sleeping pattern changes you are going 10hours instead of  8hours and you still have an explanation workload is killing you. Then your periods are late by a week and you dig up that once in forever time when your periods came late and you cling to that ray of hope like its the only thing you have left. So finally reality sinks in when you wait another two weeks and nothing comes and finally you gather the guts and buy a pregnancy test and test is positive. Of course seeing as you are in denial you buy two more and the result is the same, you are not convinced so you go to a clinic and the lab guy writes something like HCG positive and below the confirmation of the news you have been avoiding!

So how does a pregnancy turn from unplanned to unwanted? Usually, after the news has sunk in its both exciting and frightening……..First your much beloved boyfriend bails on you and says he is not ready to be a parent. Then there is the stigma from your mates, most times you are not married and you don’t want to be answering questions. Finally the parent issue how do you even dare to break their hearts. Putting all this into consideration turns unplanned into unwanted in a matter of seconds. Then of course the tempting thought of abortion comes in. And there is always a dubious friend with all the answers to your problem.

So, how do we keep the pregnancy from going from unplanned to unwanted? I came up with what we call the support system in four parts.  First we address the pregnant girl. From the moment you realise you are pregnant, you should know there is no turning back the clock and wishing things had happened differently. Live in the reality of the situation and start to realise that you are responsible for a life growing in you. Doing this alone is always hard so confide in a trustworthy friend; find a way of telling the man responsible for the pregnancy. Bear in mind that it goes two ways he could accept responsibility or could deny the pregnancy. Either way its best to prepare yourself for both circumstances.

The difficult part for the girl is telling the parents, it’s not easy breaking the hearts of the two people that love and trust you the most. Most girls have the impression they will be rejected or thrown out by their parents which is possible but again our parents are human, they understand that no one is perfect. So, the earlier you tell your parents the better, this way they can express their anger and disappointment and get past the anger and then start to plan on how best to help you. You have to understand when they don’t treat you like their little girl anymore…. it’s because at that point you are no longer a young girl in their eyes. It’s also possible for your parents to reject and deny you. If that happens it’s good to have a reliable aunt or friend to go to.

Then comes the part of the man responsible for the pregnancy. Someone told me we usually dismiss how the pregnancy news affects the men. First they have to deal with the fact that they are going to be fathers this is psychologically hard on them as they have to grow up and wisen up in a matter of months. Most times when a boy gets a girl pregnant it’s taken as if he can do that, then he is man enough to look after the unborn child and its mother which is not always true. The financial factor even makes it worse. Men like to be providers and to know that you are unable to contribute to the upbringing of your child makes it’s strenuous on them as it lowers their ego. Ofcourse telling your parents is a brilliant thing to do as in the case of the girl they can wrap their heads around the news and find a way to contribute to the welfare of the unborn child and its mother. Going to the girl’s parents is also a sign of respect, maturity and shows you are taking your  responsibility seriously. Denying the pregnancy and suggesting abortion makes you look immature and shows how little regard you have for the life of your child and its mother

Finally, the parents. As parents you all have dreams of your children growing up, finishing school getting jobs, marriage and finally have children. So your dear son or daughter comes home and breaks the news and poof! Your dreams for your little girl or boy goes out the window. No one is going to blame you for being disappointed and heartbroken it’s a natural reaction towards this sort of news. But you have to realise it  took guts for your child to bring herself or himself to tell you the news and watch how disappointed you are in them…. so I urge you to be calm and  realise your child needs you. They are taking this new scary journey and they need someone they can  run to.  I know there shame that comes with explaining to friends and relatives why your child is expectant before marriage but  remember that child is dealing with it every day of her life.  I know in the past generations it was looked down upon to be pregnant before marriage in our generation its courage to kip a pregnancy when places of abortion are springing up every day.

Friends usually make you or break you in such situations. Having good and supportive friends is key when you are expectant. These are people who will go with to ante-natal, hold your hand when the rest of the world is asking questions with their eyes and whispering as they walk past you. So having friends with positive views in a time like this makes the pregnancy stigma a lot lighter.

It goes without saying that in a basket of good fruit there is always a rotten one trying to poison the rest. Some friends will approach you with the idea of abortion. It’s appealing in theory. The problem solved without people finding out, you wouldn’t face rejection, humiliation and stigmatisation and finally your parents wouldn’t find out and they will still be very proud of you. But in reality, you are going to live with the fact that you took a life. It will traumatise for a very long time if not for the rest of your life. People who have aborted are known to suffer from a mental condition called “post abortion syndrome.”  Then there are numerous physical risks like infections, damage to the cervix, scarring of the uterine walls, perforation of the uterus, damage to organs and very possibly death. That’s how serious abortion gets. So  in short anyone who encourages you to risk your life and take a life of another being is not worth keeping as a friend.


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