Thinking It Through

A COMMON ISSUE THINKING IT THROUGH
LIVING CIRCUMSTANCES  
My parents will "kick me out" If your parent(s) have threatened or are likely to threaten to kick you out, it  may actually occur, however in most cases such threats are just that - a threat. A threat may be easily made by a parent who is disappointed, or embarrassed and they are rarely actually carried through. Most parents care about their children and given time, they come to adjust and prepare positively for a grand-parent role. You should however prepare for all eventualities as you Think it Through.
My partner will "kick me out" While some men will do certainly this, do not always assume that someone who is threatening something in a tense situation will actually follow through with the threat. Men who have found that their sexual partner is unexpectedly pregnant also go through a wide range of responses to the unexpected pregnancy, from simple resignation to panic or aggression. Some men may actually follow through with their threat, although it is not uncommon for men who do this to later reconsider their position and seek reconciliation. Some men may reconsider their threat once they have had time to Face their own Feelings, do their own Fact Finding and Think it Through for themselves. You should also think through the possibility that a partner who is genuinely prepared to "kick you out," simply because you have become unexpectedly pregnant, is unlikley to be a long-term partner in any case.
My flatmates/landlord will "kick me out" Any change of living circumstances increases the stress in our lives. A forced change of accommodation is definitely a potential stress factor for a woman who is unexpectedly pregnant. However a change of living ciscumstances may be required for parenthood. Again, in Thinking it Through, all options should be considered . . . Is this just a threat or is it real and not negotiable? Is there alternative accommodation available - family, friends and so on?
RELATIONSHIPS  
My parents will kill me Generally False - Obviously the murder count recorded against angry or embarrassed parents who have killed their daughters before they gave birth is minimal! There are however issues to Think Through in regards to the relationship with parents. If you seriously have fears for your safety when you intend to inform your parents of your unexpected pregnancy, you should perhaps plan to tell them either
  • by phone, post, e-mail or another impersonal manner,
  • in the company of an adult who already knows about it
  • in a public place where your safety is likely to be more assured

As mentioned above, given time, most parents "calm down" and adjust to the new circumstances. Quite often parents who initially have negative thoughts about the activities of their children (for example a sport not approved, a career decision not supported, and of course an unexpected pregnancy), eventually come to appreciate, and in some cases boast about the same thing

My parents will disown me Cultural, religious and other factors may influence the way your parents or family may react to news of your unexpected pregnancy. People from countries with a stricter religious, cultural or moral code than New Zealand, (i.e. the Pacific Islands, the Middle East etc) may find that the New Zealand environment is less conducive to the stricter controls that they are or have been used to. Being disowned by a parent or family can be traumatic, but it can also present an opportunity for independence and for a person to make decisions for themselves. Sometimes a hard-line stance from a particular person or people can soften over time. Give yourself time to Think it Through carefully.
My partner may leave me A man who threatens to leave a relationship with a woman who has an unexpected pregnancy, is less likely to be a supportive partner in other life situations and may not be a suitable long-term partner at all. As mentioned above, men also  need time to adjust to new circumstances, and sometimes threats or anger may be their way of dealing with or reacting to an unexpected pregnancy. Once again, give yourself time to Think it Through.
The father is not the sort of guy I want to be the father of my children Even the best of people have faults. While the father of your child may not the man of your dreams, he still is the father of your child. Parenthood can be a maturing event, and often brings a sense of responsibility to men (and women) who previously avoided it. Some women hold off motherhood, while seeking "Mr Perfect" and realise too late that this may have been an unreal expectation.

On the other hand, if you are unexpectedly pregnant to a man with serious behavioural issues, and you have genuine concerns as to your, or your child's safety, you have a right to protection in law. New Zealand laws afford a mother (which includes expectant mothers) good legal protection. When you are Thinking it Through remember that the mother of a child has enormous influence on the upbringing of her children.
MEDICAL  
I fear that my baby may be affected by drugs or alcohol Although it is possible that some babies will be adversely affected by drugs or alcohol during early pregnancy, this is not always the case. You are not able to "undo" your past, but you can do "the right thing" from the time that you are aware that you are pregnant, and avoid taking alcohol, drugs, or anything that may affect the baby.
I have a medical concern that could make pregnancy a problem - STDs, heart trouble, diabetes etc With advances in modern medicine, there are now virtually no medical conditions that are life-threatening for pregnant women. For women who have a sexually transmitted disease, such as HPV or HIV/Aids, there are treatments and solutions that can assist in preventing the transmission of disease to the baby. In Thinking it Through, you should discuss your medical issues with medical specialists who have experience in dealing with such matters.
I do not want to suffer from morning sickness or nausea Equally as no one enjoys any health problem, no mother actually enjoys morning sickness, or nausea. Not all women suffer morning sickness badly and for most it is experienced for a short time in early pregnancy. When it comes to Thinking it Through, it is best to discuss health concerns with your medical advisor.
SOCIAL  
I do not know where to go for help, or I do not have anyone to support me As with anything in life, there are always many situations as a parent (or an unexpectedly pregnant mother) that will challenge you. Quite often it is only when we seek help (or friendship) that we find out what is available to us. Many people have been amazed at how many people are willing to provide help and support when it is sought.
My church (or my religion) has a problem with unmarried mothers While the major world religions vary somewhat in their detailed teaching, a common component to most religious teaching is that love and forgiveness are commendable.You may feel under pressure from a church, a religious leader, or because of a particular religious teaching or belief. It can often help to apply the principles of love and forgiveness into your situation as you Think it Through. This can often lead to you living your life, making your decisions independently of external pressures.
My peers will reject or shun me Peer pressure, rejection or negative reactions from friends or colleagues can influence us, just  as religious or cultural pressure can. Good friends will stick with us, through the good times and the bad. While the reactions of our friends may distress or hurt us, it is widely accepted that each one of us should make our own decisions, especially with important ones that are life-related.
FINANCIAL  
I may lose my job Employers in New Zealand are not permitted to discriminate or to exert pressure on a woman who is pregnant. Many employers have maternity arrangements for women who wish to give birth and then return to the workforce. You should seek legal assistance if you have concerns in this regard.
I may not be eligible for a benefit/maternity leave (I may not be able to cope without my income) Employers can "bend their own rules" to accommodate the maternity needs of workers that they value and with a general shortage of skilled labour, many chose to make such allowances. If you are not living with your partner or parents and are concerned about finaincial matters, you may have to make adjustments to your lifestyle. While the Benefit paid to solo parents may be less than a full time job, many solo parents learn how to manage financially.
We can't afford another child Many couples are initially fearful of how another child will affect their finances. Once the baby arrives however most parents adjust readily to the new circumstances. Parents of larger families learn to economise, and adjust their expectations  (i.e. of material possessions, housing costs, lifestyles etc) to suit their circumstances. Parenting of more children can be especially rewarding (albiet challenging), however certainly there are costs in raising "another child". When Thinking it Through it helps to remember that thousands of other familes before you have found ways to manage, many times in pressured financial circumstances, that seemed overwhelming. There are many stories from wartime and during The Depression where children have thrived despite desperate times, and many recall that there were valuable and enjoyable experiences with larger families that those with modern comfortable lifestyles missed out on
PERSONAL  
I am scared of the thought of childbirth While of course giving birth is a mixed bag of pain and joy, the earlier one gives birth, the easier it usually is for a woman. Quite often our fears of something unknown can be alleviated by finding out information, and talking to others. It is unfortuante that when a women is pregnant for the first time, many mothers delight in recounting the difficulties and dangers, however this is human nature. Child-birth is a natural life experience and most women agree that after having given birth, that it was definitely worth it all.
I am not ready to be a mother - I'm too young It doesn't matter how young or how old you are, most women's reactions are exactly the same - "I'm not ready for this!" Such a normal reaction is generally followed by a gradual adjustment to the idea of pregnancy and being a mother, especially as the hormones settle down.
I (or my partner) do not want to be a mother/father/parent You are not alone. There are many women who conceive against their personal wishes. Feelings of regret, anger, pain and grief are normal in such a situation. Dealing with situations we would prefer not to be in is a natural part of life and can be  acharacter building experience. Many people who have faced adversity and who have dealt with the challenges it has presented them, find that the experience was actually one of the turning points in their lives. Untold mothers who have had an unwanted pregnancy now regard their child as a blessing. Again, give yourself time to Think it Through carefully.