When you think about unintended pregnancies you probably picture the 17 year old girl, just out of high school with a promising future before her who accidentally, unintentionally gets pregnant. Few people imagine a couple married for a decade with three kids running around in the yard as people who are the subject of unintended pregnancies. Yet, this is perhaps a more common scenario than the teenage girl and one that rarely gets discussed openly leaving the parents to feel an array of emotions in silence. After all, they are married, have the house and the minivan and a few kids already; what is wrong with just one more?
The fact is that around 50% of all pregnancies are unintended and many of these people are married with or without kids. When a husband and wife team are proud of their children and accepting (and pleased) that they are past the diapers and bottle stages of raising children become pregnant it can cause a lot of stress on the marriage and the family. The truth is for every couple that cannot wait to have kids, there is another couple who is either glad they don’t have any or who is looking forward to the time when the kids are grown. The latter couple, receiving congratulations and pats on the back when news of the pregnancy breaks can be overloaded with tremendous guilt over their feelings for not really wanting any more children. This doesn’t mean that they won’t love their unborn child or that they want something bad to happen, it just means that they were fine with life as they knew it and aren’t thrilled about starting over again.
These unintended pregnancies can be difficult for an entire family. Imagine tween aged kids having to welcome a baby. They are old enough to feel embarrassment from their friends and to realize that a whining toddler in their house will change things. Then there are the other situational circumstances that mom and dad have already worked out such as becoming a dual working household again. Now what? Just as they have started padding the college fund, they realize that they will have one starting kindergarten the year their oldest goes away to college.
Another thought that an unintended pregnancy can thwart into the open is the feeling of relief that parents feel when their kids begin to have some sort of autonomy in life. Now, suddenly, the me or the couple time will once again be interrupted. Certainly, this can weigh heavy on the couple who didn’t intend to conceive. There are also plenty of single couples in this world who are absolutely content with not having any children. When they get pregnant, unintentionally, it too can cause a wrinkle in the map of life.
While news of becoming pregnant is usually cause for celebration, it doesn’t mean that it is always the most welcome news. Perhaps this is why Mother Nature gives humans 9 months to adjust to the idea before throwing the newborn into our arms. It is difficult if you are the one who is pregnant to play the part of the thrilled expectant mother and it is common to be the butt of jokes that range from fertility to old age. All this joking, kidding and well wishing aside, the unintended pregnancy can take its toll.
The obvious solutions are to get either husband or wife, man or women fixed! That too is an act of permanence that only each person individually can decide for sure. Many people with unintended pregnancies have taken as many precautions as necessary to avoid pregnancy already and didn’t feel it was necessary to go the surgical measure. Still, if you are certain that you don’t want anymore children, taking the step to take care of things medically can reduce a weight off of your shoulders and reignite your sex life. It also can help you to avoid being on the receiving end of an unintended pregnancy.
When a pregnancy is accidental, it is vital for the mom and the dad to take time to work through their feelings. Obviously, there is nothing that they can do it about now, but they also should not feel ashamed of being upset about the circumstance. It is normal to feel slightly resentful during the moment and to have looming thoughts of regret. This is true especially in the beginning. However, as time goes by things get better and you will adjust to the new member of your family. By the time labor and delivery are imminent you will have grown fond of the idea and realize with an epiphany that although your life will be different, it will be forever enriched. It is hopeful and important to think of this life changing event, this unintended pregnancy, as something that was completely meant to be. A few years down the road, you will wonder how you lived without this little person in your life and will be forever grateful for the pregnancy and the child that has graced your life.