Pregnancy at any age can change someones life as easy as 1-2-3, but learning that you are expecting while still being a kid yourself can be breathtaking. Walking this particular journey alone can be very hard and overwhelming. It is very important to have a support system through your friends and family. Family is usually the best resource. From the moment that the pregnancy test reads positive, the effects touch everyone involved. I, myself have experienced adolescent pregnancy. Throughout this paper, I hope to inform you about the effects adolescent pregnancy has on the family of the mother and father, as well as the expecting mother herself.
Finding out that you are expecting can be a very hard time in your life. Many emotions and thoughts run through your head and everything seems to be discombobulated. You may think that you are tossing your dreams away as you toss the fourth positive pregnancy test into a waste basket (Schooler). It is hard to stop and think and put the pieces together while trying to deal with a crisis as serious as an unplanned pregnancy. There are so many different types of decisions that you have to make.
Your responsibilities and future can change in an instant. Most teenagers tend to think that it cannot happen to me or imagine they would never have to deal with it (Schooler). Dealing with an unplanned pregnancy at an unideal time can throw a young girls world into complete chaos. According to Reverend Curt Young, most women view their pregnancy as a threat (Schooler). Other feelings that young women may feel are a mixture between guilt, shame, foolishness, and failure. Many more emotions can arise with this issue depending on the person.
Remembrance back to when I was first found out I was pregnant helps me remember how nervous, scared, upset, and how hurt I was. I, like most teenagers, never in a million years thought that it would happen to me. I soon realized that it could and it did. It was my seventeenth birthday. My boyfriend and now the father of my child had taken me to see a movie. We left the movie early that night so that we had time to get a pregnancy test before my curfew. I took a total of ten pregnancy tests before I could come to the acceptance that it was real and that I had a baby, a real live human being growing inside of me. I had no idea what I could or would do. I was not even fully aware of my options. The first task is to deal with the reality of the pregnancy and to come to terms with it.
The biggest decision that comes with a pregnancy is the decision to keep the baby or not to keep the baby. It is very important for a young adult dealing with an unplanned pregnancy to inform herself with the different options she has for herself and the unborn baby in deep thought. This is a heavy responsibility for a teenager that will affect the rest of their lives (Simpson). The final decision is yours. You are the one that has to live with it in the end (Kuklin). Everyone can give their opinions and offers, but you are the one that has to make the choice and live with that choice for the rest of your life. Your main thought is probably the fact that your life is going to completely change, and it truly is, but it is not always for the worse. A pregnancy doesnt wipe away the character qualities that you have learned along your lifetime, they just require them to be used at a deeper level (Schooler).
The decision to either keep their baby, to place the baby for adoption, or to have an abortion may be the hardest and most important decision a young adult may ever experience (Kuklin). There are options, but these options should be closely analyzed. It is the mother of the unborn childs decision to either have the baby or not have the baby. There are two other options besides keeping the baby. Those options are adoption and abortion. A young girl may ask herself, what can I do to take care of this problem? This question is asked because a pregnancy at an unopportune time represents many threats (Schooler). The threats include the threat of the loss of a future college education, rejection by parents or boyfriend, finance insecurity, threat of the loss of a lifestyle she has known, or the loss of respect and reputation (Schooler).
Make sure you and your partner are aware of the long term consequences and emotions you will soon face no matter what your decision ends of being. The first option is abortion. Abortion is the termination of a pregnancy by the removal of the fetus from the uterus. Most parents push abortion on their pregnant children out of selfishness, shame, fear of rejection by peers, and desire to avoid loss (Schooler). Abortion can leave you with many devastating effects physically, emotionally, spiritually, and relationally.
It is very important that you make yourself aware before making a final decision to abort your unborn child and that it is your own personal decision. The second option is adoption. Adoption is legally giving your child to a family that can raise and provide for that child. A decision to put your child up for adoption says much about the character and maturity of the birth parents. It may be a very hard thing to do, but all in all you know that your child with be taken care of. Either one of these decisions is never easy. But if you do not believe you can raise and provide for the child, they are options to look into.
After two weeks of trying to convince myself that I was living in a nightmare, my boyfriend and I decided to tell our parents and deal with our consequences. We had educated ourselves about the risks and pros and cons of abortion. After educating myself with abortion, I came the realization that I could never do something like that. Adoption had never been an option I was willing to go through with. I knew that I would never be able to go through with it after giving birth to my own flesh and blood. While dealing with an unplanned pregnancy can be a difficult milestone in your lifetime, dealing with it with your family can and will make it easier.
You are not the only one that is affected by the pregnancy. Families that are dealing with an unplanned adolescent pregnancy need compassion, understanding, and direction (Schooler). Everyone needs to realize that everything happens for a reason. Daughters and sons are journeying to a place where she or he has never been. Family support is very critical (Schooler). I look at my daughters face and mischievous smile with such thanksgiving every day. I, as well as my family, have all been forever changed by her presence. The family may be very disappointed, but over time the feelings will fade and be replaced with anticipation and excitement for the arrival of the newestaddition to the family.
Once announced to both families that they had a new addition on the way to the family, everyones emotions were a total roller coaster. I remember my mom telling me that she had to move beyond her own feelings to be able to support us kids through this. And with time she was able to do just that. On March 21, 2008 I gave birth to the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life. Words cannot express the feelings and enjoyment my heart was filled with the day that I held my precious little girl in my arms. I have forever been changed and I do not know where I would be without her today. She has sculpted me into the person and adult that I am today.
Whenever people think about adolescent pregnancy, they think that it is a bad thing. It is not the best thing and I am not saying that every teen should get pregnant. But being pregnant as a teen is not always the worst case scenario. You have to be willing to put your child first and yourself last. You are no longer number one in your life. Everything that you do should be for that child. You have to be willing to give up some things and take up other things. You do not necessarily lose all your dreams; you just have to reprioritize them. It is not easy by all means, but it is possible to do.
I am now a single parent to my three year old daughter. I have been a single and young parent for about one year on my own. It has been difficult, but I have the best support from my loving family. Without my family it would not have been possible, but what is possible without the support from your family? Family should be your backbone because without one you dont have any support. My advice to any pregnant adolescent is to educate yourself and think about your options before making a final decision because that ONE decision WILL change your life in an instant. Make sure that your decision is the right decision for you and only you.
1. Bartle, Nathalie, and Susan Lieberman. Venus in Blue Jeans. Dell, June 1999. 2. Kuklin, Susan. What Do I Do Now? iUniverse, January 2001. 3.
Schooler, Jayne E. Mom, Dad¦Im Pregnant. NavPress, September 17, 2004. 4. Simpson, Carolyn. Unplanned Pregnancy. Rosen Publishing Group, January 1996.