A pregnancy is a life-changing experience at the best of times but when a couple does not feel the same way about the arrival of a baby, it can bring unhappy complications. Sometimes being unprepared for such a major change can lead one to think of in extremes - like an abortion. If this is the case with your partner, while you would like to consider other alternatives, here are a few ways to go about it.
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Don’t fall for any agenda
There are as many reasons why a person or a couple maybe unprepared for a baby, so avoid articulating your or your partner’s position on abortion in terms of an agenda. Either or both of you may be unable to devote financial or emotional resources to the coming baby or perhaps the pressures of work or study simply leave you no time for bringing up a child. Or both of you may be too young and just not ready to be parents yet. At the other end, you may have already completed your family and your spouse isn’t willing to go back to the routine of midnight feeds and changing diapers. In some cases when pregnancy and childbirth can pose a threat to the health of the mother-to-be or doctors predict that the unborn child will be born with severe medical problems, abortion is an option to prevent future complications. Since there are so many reasons why a person may want an abortion, avoid being judgmental on the issue. It is likely that you are pregnant and wish to keep the baby while your less-than-committed partner prefers to wash his hands off the matter. But then it is also possible that he is the one wishing to keep the baby while you do not feel up to going through a pregnancy and childbirth and thus wish to put an end to the matter as soon as possible. Try not to fall into popular constructions of a woman’s heart and a man’s callousness – if an unplanned pregnancy has come about, you were both party to it and now like responsible adults need to find a common ground to deal with the issue.
Consider your health
If you are pregnant and wish to keep the child but are reluctant to tell your partner, already being aware of his partiality for abortion, bear in mind that keeping your pregnancy a secret is just not the way to deal with it. Apart from the fact that it is not something that can be hidden for long, you must understand that the longer you hide it, the more you put yourself – and your baby – in danger. A study conducted by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in United States found that babies of teen mothers are more likely to die than others within the first year of their lives. Researchers believe that at least one of the reasons may have to do with the fact such young mothers are more likely to hide the pregnancy and birth of the child.
Talk to someone
If you are still in school and have got pregnant, your partner is more likely to pressurize you to go for an abortion than if you were both adults and financially empowered. The only way really to avoid being pressured into an abortion is to confide in someone you know and trust. So talk to your parents. You may be afraid that if your parents came to know about it, they would disown you or if your friends got wind of it, they would begin to avoid you. However you should never forget that your parents would be the first people to see that you are physically and emotionally healthy and happy, come what may. Therefore put your trust in them and you may be surprised to find out that they are the best place to turn to when you have a major problem like a pregnancy to deal with. However if you are completely on your own or if it is impossible for you to confide in your parents, look for some other adult whom you can trust. See if there is someone in the family to whom you can talk about your pregnancy – perhaps an aunt, an older cousin, a grandparent or any other relative. If you are close to a neighbor, a friend’s parent, or friends of your own parents, consider revealing your dilemma to them. Or how about a teacher, your school nurse or guidance counselor? Anyone will do as long as he or she is trustworthy and has your best interests at heart.
Look for community resources
Whether you are dealing with a teen pregnancy or simply an unplanned pregnancy, don’t take a major decision as abortion without first gathering information. Take the help of a reliable community organization which is, in most of cases, or charge only a nominal fee. In the United States, Planned Parenthood is such an organization which has its own clinics in most towns. The clinics are reputed to be teen-friendly and take care to maintain the privacy of their patients. Moreover they charge only what the patient can afford to pay. Other than this, you can also take the help of your school clinic or counseling center. Or look through your phone book for local or community counseling centers under “Pregnancy Counseling” or “Crisis Pregnancy Counseling”.
Know your options
The purpose of going to a counseling center is not only to safeguard your health but to know your options on how to deal with the pregnancy. Apart from abortion, there are usually two other ways of going about it adoption or parenting. Persuade your partner to accompany you to such counseling centers and then with the information received, thoroughly go over the pros and cons of each option and see what best suits your physical, emotional, financial and family conditions. Be open and honest with each other – discuss your present financial and relationship status as well as go over your goals and dreams for the future – see if you can convince your partner that a baby can fit in here. A child need not be a hindrance and can bring joy and meaning to a couple’s life together. However if you are pregnant and your partner has completely washed his hands of the matter, involve your parents or guardians while you make your decision. In fact there are some counseling centers which have a specific anti-abortion stance and would offer you help in considering adoption or parenting as ways to deal with the pregnancy. Such centers usually use the words “abortion education information” or “abortion alternatives”. Go to these centers only if you are sure that you don’t want an abortion.
Where does your relationship go from here
Ideally you and your partner should be able to find a common way of dealing with the pregnancy. Whatever your reasons for avoiding abortion – like the notion of killing a living being – or your partner’s reasons for going for it – like inability to afford bringing up a child – see if you can meet somewhere in the middle. For instance like giving up the baby for adoption in which case there is neither any necessity for putting an end to pregnancy not any financial obligation towards the baby.
However other reasons both for and against the abortion may be harder to reconcile and in such a situation you may need to take a call on your relationship too. If your partner wants to be no part of the baby while you are determined to keep it, consider if you have the financial and emotional resources, not to mention a support network like friends and family, to go ahead alone. If you have been married or living together a long while with your partner, talk to a lawyer to find out your options on asking for child support. Finally if you may need to break up with your boyfriend or take some time away from the relationship. Whatever decision you take in the end is sure to impact not only your own future and that of that of the unborn child but your relationship with your partner too.