My Girlfriend's Pregnant!
MY GIRLFRIEND'S PREGNANT!!!
WHAT DO I DO NOW???!!!
Are your feelings:
Shock? Disbelief? Denial? Fear? Anger? My future is ruined? I'm too young? I just want to escape?
Or maybe you and your girlfriend planned this, and your feelings are:
Happy? Excited? A little scared? Concerned about telling your parents?
Whatever your initial feelings are, hearing the news that you have created your first child is bound to result in some powerful emotions. But if you think your emotions are going crazy, just stop for a minute and think about what your girlfriend is feeling - the very same things!
So, before either of you panics, gets angry, or lays blame, just remember that it took both of you to create this pregnancy, and now you both need to stop and think clearly about what happens next.
Here are some dos and don'ts to help you get started:
1. Stay calm.
2. Start to talk about and research all of your options together.
3. Support your girlfriend emotionally.
4. Pull together; don't pull apart.
5. Let her know you'll work this out together.
1. Get angry.
2. Shout at your girlfriend.
3. Say things like: "It's not mine!" "You've ruined my life!" "My parents will kill me!" "You'll have to get an abortion!" "It's your decision, not mine."
4. Pressure her to have an abortion.
Abortion - Isn't that the easy way out? Won't it just make it all go away?
Get the facts before you act. Abortion is serious and permanent, so get the facts first. Check out the abortion section of teenbreaks.com - know what abortion really is and understand the potential complications for both of you.
OMG - MY PARENTS!... AND HERS!!
They'll be furious!
I have to finish school!
They have such high hopes for me!
They'll be so disappointed!
Her parents will kill me!
Soooo, before you think about your parents, think for yourselves. Get the facts and have a plan. They will feel the same emotions you did when they first hear, but no parents ever killed their teenagers because of a pregnancy. And if you get your act together and present a united rational picture, it will be much less traumatic for them and for you. Bear in mind that many parents have a very negative first reaction which does a big 180 degrees after it settles in that this is their grandchild you've created!
OK. So what's next? Well, you're not the first guy this has happened to. One in every seven sexually active teen males has made a partner pregnant, and there's really lots of help available. So here are some starters:
1. You can check out "What Happens From Conception to Birth" in this section to see what this pregnancy means physically and genetically.
4. Finally, now it's time to talk to people who can help you evaluate your own personal situation. There's an organization called Optionline which has helped thousands of pregnant girls and their boyfriends. Their help is always free and confidential, they are available 24/7, and they have local centers all over the country. You can call them at 1-800-712-HELP or click on the Optionline link on this page. They can even help with your parents!
And since situations differ, they can help you look specifically at your own.
1. Maybe you and your girlfriend have been together for a long time and talked about marriage in the future.
2. Maybe you've been together only a short time and are really young.
3. Maybe you had broken up with your girlfriend before you found out she is pregnant.
4. Or maybe you barely know each other, and this was just a one-time thing.
There are different solutions for different situations, and it's important to talk them through before you come to any decision because ANY decision you make from this point on will be life altering.
So let Optionline be your safety net when you're ready to talk about your own options and get the help you need.
SO I'M GOING TO BE A DAD!
1. You're not ready!
2. You're too young!
3. You need to finish school!
4. You're scared!
5. Your girlfriend's parents will hate you!
6. You have no money/job!
7. You and your girlfriend aren't "together" any more!
In spite of all this, you're girlfriend (or ex-girlfriend) is going to have a baby, so you're still going to be a father.
Now let's look at the answers to these problems:
1. No new father is really "ready." It's a whole new experience and one that can't really be learned in a book.
2. Yes, you're young, but that doesn't mean you can't learn and "grow up" to be a good dad.
3. Absolutely!!! You need to finish school. Staying in school is critical to being able to provide for your child in the future.
4. Being scared goes away as you get used to the idea of being a father and get to know your son or daughter.
5. Sometimes young dads are "blamed" for the pregnancy by the girl's parents. However, if you talk to them rationally and prove to your girlfriend that you want to support her and be a part of your child's life, they will likely come around.
6. You're not expected to have money and a job when you're young and trying to get your education. Although you can't provide financial support now, by staying in school you'll be able to in the future.
7. Whether you're "together" with your girlfriend any more or not, she is still the mother of your son or daughter and always will be; so you still need to have a friendly relationship with her for the sake of your child.
So what are your parenting options?
1. You could marry the mother and raise your child together. If you love each other, have been together for awhile, and are old enough, this can be a very viable option.
2. You could help to parent the child as single parents. If you love each other (or not), are young, and are still in school, there are ways to make this work to everyone's advantage. But it's important that you maintain your support of the mother and are a regular presence in your son or daughter's life. And remember, you have a legal right to know your child and participate in his/her life.
3. You could place the baby for adoption. You can read all about the advantages of "open" adoptions in the Adoption section of teenbreaks.com. It's a way for both you and the mother to finish growing up yourselves while still knowing your child as birth parents and also knowing that he/she is being loved and cared for.
4. You could abandon your child and the mother. This is generally called a "deadbeat dad." It's not an honorable title or choice, but it is how some dads have chosen to "father" their children. It's harmful to both mother and child and certainly isn't something to be proud of later in life.
So, what are the best steps to take immediately to be a good dad?
1. Get involved with your child before birth. That's right. Begin to learn about your child throughout the pregnancy. If you go to the "What Happens From Conception to Birth" pages in this section, you'll see that he/she can hear your voice while still in the womb! And studies have shown that a baby can even recognize the parents' voices, if heard frequently enough, after birth! You can also learn about the genetic traits he/she has already received from you and then recognize them after birth. This is not just physical features (like he's got your eyes). It's also personality traits (like he acts just like his father when he...). Also, go to parenting classes together so you can learn the basics in baby care and talk with other young soon-to-be fathers.
2. After birth, don't be afraid to touch, hold, talk to, feed, dress, and - yes - change your child from the beginning. In no time at all it will become second nature, and his mom will so appreciate your involvement.
3. Talk to your own mom and dad, or some other parent you admire, about parenthood.
4. Be very, very patient, both with the baby and the mother. Those early months are very demanding and can be stressful. A good dad can relieve some of that stress.
5. Read some of the "Girls Who Parented" stories in this section and see how becoming a mom inspired them to go to college and pursue their career goals. Being a parent can be highly motivating!
6. As your child gets older you can begin to enjoy all the benefits of parenthood - the smiles, the fun, and the unconditional love. And studies have shown that a dad's presence in a child's life results in children who are more likely to achieve academically, have fewer behavior problems, and relate well with their peers and in social situations.