Have you recently discovered that you are facing an unexpected pregnancy? Let this truth be a comfort to your heart: while this unexpected pregnancy may have caught you off-guard, it hasn’t surprised the Lord. He already has a plan for you and for your unborn baby.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” – Jeremiah 29:11
What is an “Unplanned Pregnancy”?
There are a few things that may be helpful for you to keep in mind:
- “Unplanned,” “accidental,” or “unexpected” do not necessarily mean “unwanted.”
- “Unplanned Pregnancy” simply describes an unintentional conception of a child.
- Nearly half of all pregnancies in the State of Florida are unplanned.
- Accidental Conception can happen to women from all economic and ethnic backgrounds.
- Second/Third Pregnancies can also be unplanned/unwanted. First-time moms are not the only ones who need help and support when facing an unexpected pregnancy.
Sometimes a woman has a “mistimed pregnancy.” This means she had a desire to be pregnant in the future, but pregnancy occurred earlier than she had planned.
If you are facing an unexpected pregnancy (unplanned, unwanted, or mistimed), know that you have options, you have help, and you are not alone.
There are a lot of emotions that come with pregnancy in general, and those can be amplified if the pregnancy is unanticipated. It is important for you to allow yourself to feel all of them, and to begin processing and working through each emotion. Anger, depression, fear, and negative emotions in general, are not abnormal—especially when facing the arrival of an unplanned baby. Feeling any of these, with or without a mixture of happiness and excitement, does not mean that there is anything wrong with you. It does not make you a bad person either.
What Kinds of Fetal Development Have Already Taken Place?
Women typically receive confirmation of pregnancy between 4–8 weeks. However, sometimes circumstances such as mental distress, disbelief, economic hardships, etc., can cause confirmation to happen a few weeks later. From the moment of conception, a brand-new and unique DNA code forms. This also means that gender, hair color, eye color, and other traits have been determined. Cells rapidly and immediately begin to split and take the shape of a totally new human being!
- At Week 4, your baby has established their place in their new home by implanting into the lining of your uterus. Your body has also begun creating a brand-new organ, the placenta, that will give your baby all of the nutrition and oxygen they need to grow and thrive!
- Weeks 5–6 have allowed your unborn child to develop their nervous systems, eyes, inner ears, and outmost layer of skin. Baby’s brain, spinal cord, heart, and other essential organs have already begun to form during this rapid growth period as well.
- From Weeks 7–9, your baby’s unique face and facial features, along with their arms, legs, fingers, and toes have formed!
- By Week 12, your baby has developed their genitals, internal organs, and even fingernails! Your baby can touch their face, sigh, stretch, swallow, and suck their tiny thumb (this can happen as early as 10 weeks).
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” – Jeremiah 1:5
Can I Afford to Raise a Child Right Now?
The overall estimated cost of raising a child can feel overwhelming, especially if you were not financially preparing for a child prior to conception; however, it is NOT impossible! The State of Florida offers resources to single mothers and their children, and we are happy to assist you in finding the programs that will best help you. We also offer Residential Services to equip young mothers with the skills and tools necessary to live healthy, flourishing, self-sufficient lives. Our Residential Services do not function as a shelter or room-for-rent. Rather, they are a safe place to call home where you are surrounded by a supportive, encouraging community. We desire to see you “more than just survive,” we want to help you THRIVE!
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. – Romans 15:13
Do I Want to be a Parent Right Now?
Only you are able to decide whether or not you feel ready to raise a child. Putting another human being’s needs before your own can feel daunting, overwhelming, and scary. If you feel even a little excited at the idea of meeting and caring for your baby, then we encourage you to look at this new life path with expectation and hope. You CAN do it, and you are NOT alone in it. If you’re unsure, we have counselors who would love to pray with and for you as you consider your options.
Adoption is another choice that can feel overwhelming and scary. However, it can also be a beautiful gift to your baby if you truly do not feel ready to be a parent. There is no shame in this option. And as the birth parent, you would be in control of how the process would proceed.
If you would like to speak with one of our counselors, and/or find out more information about our Residential Services, contact us today!