How should I deal with my unexpected pregnancy?

How should I deal with my unexpected pregnancy?

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        You've come to the right place for this question! I experienced an unexpected pregnancy, and it was definitely life changing. It was a very stressful, scary time. But looking back at it, I wouldn't change what I went through for the world. My birth daughter is my sunshine, and I'm so glad I had the privilege to carry her. I chose to place my baby into an open adoption. This was definitely the right choice for me, but it's not for everyone. Regardless of whether you decide to parent or place for adoption, it's important that you deal with your pregnancy in a healthy way. Here are some things that were really important for me when I was going through my pregnancy. 
         First off, you can do exactly what you're doing- search for support. You don't have to do this alone. Build yourself a support system. A lot of the time girls get scared that their family or friends will judge them when they find out- I certainly was. But most of the time, people are a lot more supportive than you'd expect. Most people really do want to help. If you don't have friends or family that you can count on, that's okay. This site is a great place to ask questions and look for support, as is adoption.com/questions and adoption.com/community. I would also strongly recommend seeing a counselor to help you through this difficult time. Some counselors work on a sliding scale based on your income, so it can be affordable. There also may be crisis pregnancy centers in your area, and almost certainly an adoption agency if you choose to go that route. 
         Another important thing that you need to do is stay healthy. Take your prenatal vitamins and eat right. Your pregnancy may be unexpected, but that baby still needs proper medical care. See an obstetrician as soon as possible, and continue to do so throughout your pregnancy. Most OBGYNs take medicare, so you should be able to get medical care at minimal or no cost if you can get on that. Exercise regularly, even if it's just light walks. This was something that was really important for me- it really helped my mood to be active rather than just sitting around being stressed out all day. It also reduced my weight gain and made for a faster, easier delivery. 
         Those are all broad topics that apply to any unexpected pregnancy. From there, you have some choices. When you're deciding between parenting and placing, take your time- you have months to make this decision. You don't want to make any rash decisions here. Whatever your choice is, it will be permanent, and affect the life course of both you and your child. 
         There is no one size fits all answer to what the best thing for your unborn baby is. The most important thing to remember, though, is that it's not about what's best for you- it's what's best for your baby. Obviously you matter too, but now you are a mother, and your child's needs come first. 
         Think ahead- what will both of your lives look like 5,10, and 20 years down the road? What is your relationship with your child's father? Will he be involved in a positive way throughout the child's life? What is your financial situation? Where are you at emotionally? It's important to take a long hard look at your life and be honest with yourself. For me that meant adoption, but for many other women it means parenting. One is not better than the other, it just depends on the situation. 
         In the end, your mother's intuition will tell you what to do. You've got this!
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