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Subject: Young, pregnant and considering adoption


Author:
Courtney
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Date Posted: 05/20/10 3:18pm

My ex-boyfriend and I recently found out that we are pregnant. At 19 and 20 years old, we're both in college and by no means financially independent. I'm very small, physically, and may be unable to support a pregnancy to term. And, of course, we're no longer together. Nothing about this situation lends itself to keeping the baby and we've been talking about abortion - something I morally object to and makes me sick to my stomach to think I'm actually entertaining the idea. But I don't know what else to do.

The worst part is that I've got a bit of an emotional attachment already.

Help.

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Replies:
[> Subject: Re: Young, pregnant and considering adoption


Author:
Pat
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Date Posted: 05/20/10 10:24pm

Hello, Courtney,

I'm sorry to hear you are in this situation. Adoption is a good choice, and I'll talk about that in a minute.

You would be a poor candidate for an abortion. You really don't want one, and you wouldn't accept it readily in the long run; it could have horrible repercussions for you emotionally if you managed to escape the considerable risk of medical complications and serious damage, if not death. The suicide rate after abortion is seven times greater than it would be if the woman carried her baby to term. Abortion will also cause a woman to become much more likely to get breast cancer while she is still young, possibly in her 30's or even earlier, and it is a particularly virulent form which kills 1/4 of its victims. This is regardless of what type of abortion a woman gets. Pill abortions can cause the death of the woman in several different ways, and sometimes it takes only hours. Surgical abortions can harm a woman's future children, and cause serious birth defects. It's not worth it, and you deserve better.

As for being able to carry a baby to term, try not to worry about that. Unless you have some kind of abnormality that makes you a dwarf, there's not much chance this is a serious problem. I had a midwife who told me he had helped 11 year olds give birth to 13 pound babies, at home! If your bone structure is too small, they can do a Caesarian, but when you realize that an 11 year old isn't going to have a fully developed bone structure, you would think she wouldn't be able to give birth. But as my midwife used to say, the physical measurements aren't the whole story. I learned that a woman's body develops a substance called Relaxin. It's in the blood, and it causes the ligaments and other things to soften toward the time of birth, and helps the cervix to open. You would want to find a doctor who is willing to work with you so that possibly you won't need a Caesarian. The best place to find such doctors is usually by talking to the members of your local La Leche League, although your local organization that helps pregnant women can also be a good source of a recommendation. You can find a local organization by going to this web site:

www.pregnancycenters.org

This organization will also help you plan to meet your financial needs, and to complete your education, and yes, that can be done. How do I know? I did it. I had four children, three of them preschoolers, when I got my degree.

And by the way, I have seen very tiny women on the street who have obviously given birth, because they have children. A good many of them come from countries where Caesarian sections are not readily available. So it is reasonable to assume that they were capable of giving birth normally.

As for adoption, it's a difficult choice (though not half as difficult as abortion by far). It is a decision you should make when you are close to giving birth. Give yourself time to think about it. We adopted and raised two children, and one of our daughters has also adopted two children. We have five other children, and nobody ever thinks in terms of who is adopted. We're all just family. Our children are incredibly close, so close that they often live together to share expenses, and that includes the married ones. The grandchildren all play together splendidly, and again, nobody cares who was adopted. These days, you can have an open adoption if you like. In an open adoption, you get to choose the parents, and you can be kept informed of how your child is doing.

Your boyfriend really has no right to encourage you to have an abortion. He doesn't even have a right to abandon you. I'm not saying you have to be together or anything, but quite often, women perceive an indifferent attitude as abandonment. Your boyfriend won't suffer the medical consequences of abortion; you will. He has no right to walk away from the responsibility he created. So I would recommend you NOT discuss it with him further. Seriously.

Your baby is depending on you for your protection. If you have an abortion, your baby will experience excruciating pain. Please protect your baby.

Allow yourself to experience the joy you deserve. A baby is a wonderful blessing, even though it may not seem like it right now.

Hugs,
Pat

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[> [> Subject: Re: Young, pregnant and considering adoption


Author:
Courtney
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Date Posted: 05/21/10 1:36pm

Pat,

I was raised in a conservative home and as long as I can remember I have always thought that abortion should be a last resort for extreme cases - things like rape, incest, or the event that the pregnancy is dangerous to the mother's well being. It's very strange to have my views called into question and to be unable to, at once, say "No." I am certain I couldn't live with myself after the fact but there is a part of me that is scared and unwilling to own up to the responsibility.

Luckily, I think it's a small part and that I can overcome.

My ex is not a bad guy, really. I hope that his desire for an abortion is a knee-jerk reaction and that once he understands how huge of a deal it is for me and for our unborn baby he will come around. He's young and frightened and it's so much easier for him to try to run from this than it is for me. I'm not a huge subscriber to "My body, my choice" and believe he should have an opinion on what I do, though I do reserve the final say-so.

I'm unemployed and a full-time student and really have no idea how I would manage this. It's all very scary.

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[> [> [> Subject: Re: Young, pregnant and considering adoption


Author:
Pat
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Date Posted: 05/22/10 5:01am

Courtney,

Let me throw some further thoughts your way.

Think about rape and incest for a minute. Why should the baby pay with his life for the crime of his father? Most victims of rape and incest don't want abortions anyway, and we're doing them a disservice to let society push them into it, which is what is often happening.

You have time to grow into the responsibility. That's one reason we are pregnant for nine months, so we can prepare.

I think you have pretty well explained your ex, and I tend to agree with your analysis, even though there are some men out there who simply run away from responsibility, and that's it. But I trust your judgment. But let me ask you this. Why should either your opinion or his that it's OK to harm your baby be entertained?

In the usual debate, people ask the wrong question. People are asking, who gets to decide on whether a woman has an abortion or not. That's the wrong question. The right question is, should anyone ever decide to harm an unborn baby?

There are very rare situations where the baby cannot live. But even there, it is better not to do active harm, such as deliberately killing the baby. Even in the case of tubal pregnancy, the baby can be lifted out intact and put in warm water for comfort.

I think it helps to get some cobwebs cleaned out of the rhetoric, which is why I have gone into this detail.

If you go talk to the folks at your local organization, they'll help you figure out a way to manage. If you are going to university, you can also ask if they have a college outreach program. Some colleges do. And if yours doesn't, you may be able to get one started. It's worth a try. These programs offer housing assistance and other resources to students.

Please keep in touch and let us know how you both are doing.

Hugs,
Pat

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[> Subject: Re: Young, pregnant and considering adoption


Author:
Shellie
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Date Posted: 05/21/10 12:03pm

Hi Courtney,

Most unplanned pregnancy situations don't happen at the right time, under perfect circumstances. However, many unplanned people are in enjoying their lives, today. Circumstances seem bleak at first, but you will see that there can be a good outcome. You said you morally object to abortion and that you already feel an attachment to your baby. So I hope you won't entertain the thought of abortion any longer. Let yourself grow to love this baby and you will be willing to move mountains to make baby fit in your life.

When I discovered I was pregnant (unplanned--at 20), I was about 95 lbs (or less) and very small boned. I had no problem giving birth. Most small women have no problem giving birth, vaginally. Our bodies can do some amazing things. ; )

If you are approaching the end of your pregnancy and still feel that you can't make add a baby to your life, there is still the option of adoption to consider. However, I doubt you will feel that way towards the end of your pregnancy. But it's nice to know that option is available.

Please post as often as you like. I would love to talk with you further.

Take care,

Shellie

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[> [> Subject: Re: Young, pregnant and considering adoption


Author:
Courtney
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Date Posted: 05/21/10 1:40pm

It's funny how easy abortion sounds, in theory. It's like my life can go back to normal. But I know it won't. I know I'll be emotionally scarred, if not put in physical pain by the abortion.

I want to do what is best for all involved parties - me, my ex and our baby. But he seems so unwilling to bend and it's hard to compromise or seriously discuss the options. I really don't want to screw up his future: he's so smart and has the whole world at his feet.

But so am I. And I think I could rise to the challenge of keeping all that and being pregnant. I just don't know how to make this work in the least painful way possible.

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[> [> [> Subject: Re: Young, pregnant and considering adoption


Author:
Pat
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Date Posted: 05/22/10 4:53am

Hi, Courtney,

I'd just like to offer a couple of observations about what you have said.

Your ex has acted, and is partly to "blame" for screwing up his future. The choice is between screwing up his, or screwing up your baby's. Well, not exactly. If he is willing to take responsibility, it need not screw up his future. Why would it? Nobody dragged your ex kicking and screaming to get you pregnant. I have two sons who fathered babies out of wedlock. Sure, it makes life difficult. But they are making it, and it has been so very good for both of them that they now have a child.

What's best for "me, my ex and our baby" isn't to harm your baby. It would brutalize both of you to harm your baby, and you may well be in a position where you won't feel you can forgive yourself. Either one of you. Fathers come to regret abortions, too. You're the wise one here.

If you get some help from an organization in your area, this will help you make it. I have given you the link.

Give your ex some space. If you tell him that you have made your decision and you are not going to have an abortion, chances are he will accept it. If not, you've taken a stance, and now you give him space. Most guys don't come around until they can observe evidence of the pregnancy for themselves, and this rarely happens before the second trimester. So give him a chance.

Hugs,
Pat

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[> [> [> Subject: Re: Young, pregnant and considering adoption


Author:
Heather
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Date Posted: 05/22/10 2:39pm

Hi Courtney,

I'm glad you found this forum! The women here are great. I was impressed reading your posts - you seem to be able to hold on to the important things while being real about the fear in the 'logistics.'

First of all, for what it's worth I'd love to encourage you in holding fast to your conviction about honoring the life of the new human being inside of you. Your son or daughter will be a miracle beyond words. God has an interesting way of weaving tapestries - so 'unlike' how we would have planned things. I can relate!

I really respect your 'not really being into the 'my body my choice' bitter sounding chip on the shoulder. There is so much life and wisdom, and honor towards our Creator in realizing it isn't all about us, and we aren't gods unto ourselves.

However, there is also wisdom and truth in realizing that it's okay to decline and totally put out of your mind pressure from anyone (in this case, your ex) to kill another human being you don't wish to kill. Ultimately, it IS your choice, and no one but you will understand or have to live with the results (in either direction!) It is neither selfish nor bitter to rule out immoral options that you alone will have to bear the scarring (physical and emotional) for.

If you decide to try to raise this little one yourself (many women have gone on before you in this regard, trembling but finding it works out!) I do hope you'll take advantage of the countless ways your local Pregnancy Resource Center can help you. All their services are free and they can help A LOT!

If you decide to lovingly place this little one for adoption, this can also be a win/win situation. Imagine the inexpressible gift given. My husband, one of the most awesome men ever, and a fantastic father, was adopted from birth - his birthmother was 15 years old and pregnant from a one night stand. She was seriously pressured to abort this 'mistake' but by God's grace she managed to take the path of life, and I am, of course, so, so glad she did.

Feel free to keep posting here to decompress as much as you can! Heaven knows this is a huge crossroads for you. Please know there's a woman out here in California that is praying for you. :)

Don't forget to take good care of yourself in the midst of all this turbulence - lots of rest, good food, etc. So many other women have expressed that this, what you're going through right now, is the very hardest part of an unplanned pregnancy. The processing the news and being ambivalent about what to do. Once the decision is made to embrace the unexpected and work with it, the stress levels
decrease dramatically. We all know the path isn't 'easy' in any case, but the foundation is set positively and this helps tremendously.

With Kindness,

Heather

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[> Subject: Re: Young, pregnant and considering adoption


Author:
Sharon
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Date Posted: 05/21/10 1:18pm

Courtney,

My step-mother gave me the best advice of anyone when I was pregnant years ago and considering abortion. She said, "I know you, Sharon, and I know you could never live with yourself if you had an abortion." She was completely right.

Some of us are more senstive to the emotional effects of abortion. It sounds like your heart and mind are warning you against having an abortion. You want to listen to that advice because if you go against the advice your own body is giving you, you will likely feel tremendous remorse and grief later. You can't undo an abortion.

I know you and your boyfriend aren't together, but you can raise your baby without him if necessary. It's not easy, but it's worth it. I raised my son by myself the first couple of years. Then, I met a man who became my son's father. So, it's not like you would be raising your child alone for the long haul necessarily.

Sharon

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[> Subject: UPDATE


Author:
Courtney (hopeless)
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Date Posted: 05/23/10 10:00am

Despite promises to be there for me, the baby's father is ridiculously uninvolved. I didn't expect him to act like he was happy about it, but when he said he wouldn't leave me alone and would go with me to appointments that he actually, you know, would.

I've made numerous attempts to find a day that works for him so we can get consultation and counseling to aid our situation but he is conveniently unavailable.

However, he had time last night to make the forty-five minute drive to our college town (we're off for the summer) to drink at his frat house.

I live less than ten minutes away.

I feel abandoned and let down.

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[> [> Subject: Re: UPDATE


Author:
Heather
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Date Posted: 05/23/10 4:44pm

I'm so sorry, Courtney. I can well understand why you WOULD feel abandoned and let down. I know this must be an incredibly difficult time for you right now. Wish I could give you a hug!

Unfortunately, no human being on this earth is infallible, and all will eventually let us down in small, if not large ways. I don't say that bitterly at all - it's just a gentle truth. We let down others ourselves, in small and large ways, because we all share the same sin natures.

But - there is ONE who will never leave us or forsake us, break promises, or fail to love unconditionally. Our Creator knows us even better than we know ourselves. If you're inclined - you can always call out to Him. When you're ready - He's listening.

I'll continue in prayer for you, friend. I hope you can get some good rest; that will at least mitigate some of the physical stress. As painful as it is to let go, it would be in your best interest, it seems (and your baby's) to try to let go of the baby's father. At least emotionally. We can't make people be, feel, or behave any differently than they are inclined to. :(

There is hope, just hold on. This season WILL pass and change into another.

With Kindness,

Heather

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[> [> Subject: Re: UPDATE


Author:
Sharon
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Date Posted: 05/25/10 12:15pm

Courtney,

It can be very hard to face the fact that the guy doesn't always feel the same way about a pregnancy as the woman does. With women, we FEEL something deep inside us - emotionallty, intuitively, instinctively - that makes us be VERY protective of our young one growing inside us. We KNOW it's our baby. But the guy doesn't have the benefit of that physical, immediate perception. He's able to make it an abstract thing. "It"'s not an abstract concept. He or she is very REAL and is our offspring. True they're at a very early stage of their lives, but they are most definitely there...and the mother knows it. That's why so often on this board we hear from women who really don't want to have an abortion. They simply want their boyfriend to support them in their pregnancy. But, their boyfriends are emotionally absent. They basically desert the women when they need them the most - and they desert them even by sometimes saying "it's your choice". The woman, feeling no support for the pregnancy, succumbs to what appears to be the "easy" way out at the time. But, since they didn't really want to have an abortion, they now have to deal with the life-long reality of having aborted their child against what they knew they really wanted in their hearts. There is emotional pain and grief for a loss that can never be recovered. It's so tragic.

True, it doesn't appear that your boyfriend is ready to step up to the plate and be a father. But, that doesn't mean you're not ready to be a mother. You already are, and I hear it in your concern for your baby in your posts...

Be strong and know that we're all here for you.

Sharon

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[> Subject: Re: Young, pregnant and considering adoption


Author:
Rachel
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Date Posted: 06/11/10 8:18pm

Courtney,
After reading this post I feel as if you are having the same exact dilemma as I am. I'm over a month late to reply so maybe you have already made your decision. But I am also pregnant right now, about six or seven weeks. I'm in college and am very financially unstable. My boyfriend and I are together but he doesn't have a job and goes to school out of town. Our parents are very unsupportive and feel that we will ruin our lives and the life of this baby if we keep it. They say accidents happen and we're not ready. Of course we're not but I have never liked the idea of abortion and I still don't. In a way I'm almost excited knowing I have a little person in me. I don't know if I could live with the fact that I took part in its death but I do realize that I might not be able to balance everything at this point in my life. I just am torn and can't help but cry thinking about it.

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