For some women, discovering they are expecting a child is one of the happiest moments of their lives. For others — especially those who aren't married and aren't ready to become parents — it seems like the beginning of a nightmare. If you are pregnant with a child you didn't plan to have, how do you make decisions about what is best for you and your unborn baby?
Research. Pregnancy directly affects your life and the life of your newly conceived child. Though you can easily see and feel the changes in your body, your child's development is more of a mystery. Even as he grows inside your body, your baby is a tiny person with feelings, behaviors and a personality. He can hear, taste, smell, hiccup and even suck his thumb. Find out from a doctor what he 's really like before you make decisions about his life.
Get some wise advice. Often caring parents and friends are good resources. Sometimes it's easier to talk with your pastor or someone at a pregnancy resource center. Whomever you decide to speak with, make sure it's someone who will help you consider all the moral and emotional aspects of the road you will choose. The hormones and extreme emotions of pregnancy make reasonable decisions more difficult. Don 't make your choice without the advice of someone you can trust to lead you down the best possible path.
Consider your own life. Spending nine months pregnant with a child you don't think you are prepared to parent can be difficult, but taking your unborn child 's life is a decision you can never reverse. Should you choose to terminate your pregnancy, you will likely suffer from guilt, remorse and grief, possibly for many years to come. In addition, abortion can cause medical complications that may make it impossible for you to become pregnant when you think you are ready to be a parent. You may be making a decision affecting not only this child, but also your future children.
Consider the life of your child. Expected or unexpected, every child deserves to be loved. Just like you, your unborn baby deserves a chance at a happy life. As you make a decision about what to do next, listen to your heart, like your baby does; he hears it beating all the time.
Copyright © 2002 Lisa Brock. Used by permission.