I Think My Girlfriend’s Pregnant
Dear Collage, I think my girlfriend is pregnant. I’m kind of freaking out. I mean, I’m not sure I’m ready for all that. She’s talking like maybe we have to get married. I’m like — Woah. Hold up! This is a lot. I wasn’t thinking about having a baby right now. What should I do?
Finding out about an unexpected pregnancy can be pretty scary and overwhelming. You’re right – it is a lot. It’s a lot of information to process — and a lot of emotions to sort through. “Woah. Hold up,” is exactly right — it’s good to pause, take a breath, and process through some thoughts and feelings before making any decisions.
First, are you sure she’s pregnant? The first thing to do is to confirm the pregnancy. While a pregnancy test is pretty accurate, it’s only an indication of pregnancy. She can go to her medical provider or she can come to our office to confirm that she’s really pregnant. We’ll have her take a lab-quality pregnancy test and if that comes back positive, we can also discuss if an ultrasound is appropriate. The ultrasound is the way we confirm there’s actually a pregnancy. If you want to, and if she wants you there, you can join her for that appointment.
If the test is negative and your girlfriend’s not pregnant, that’s a good time to talk with a healthcare provider about preventing pregnancies. Any time you’re sexually active in a heterosexual relationship, a pregnancy could occur. Our staff or a medical provider can talk with you about ways to reduce or eliminate that risk.
If the test is positive and your girlfriend’s pregnant, then you have some choices to make.
The main options are —
Have the baby and raise him or her
Place the baby into temporary foster care until you get things in order so you can raise the baby
Place the baby for adoption
Have an abortion
Here’s a link that goes into more detail about some of these options.
Ultimately, the decision about whether to continue with the pregnancy and have the baby is your girlfriend’s choice. That’s just the way the law is. But you can calmly talk with her and share your opinion. If you aren’t on the same page, you may want to talk through this with a third person who can be a mediator — maybe a counselor or a pastor or a trusted adult friend. Our staff is also willing to sit down with both of you as you discuss your options.
If you decide to have the baby, then you can decide together how you want to co-parent. Will your parents help? Do you have a support system? Are you really ready to get married? How will you financially contribute? Make a written list of all the things you need to consider or decide.
The good thing about a pregnancy is that it lasts 9 months, so you have some time to figure out the logistics before the baby is born. Take your time, seek wise advice from adults you trust, and try to calmly make decisions together. Don’t rush into any secondary permanent decisions that might compound your stress. Breathe. Take a minute and get through all those initial overwhelming feelings before you make any big decisions.
It’s a lot, but you don’t have to figure it all out right away. And you don’t have to figure it all out by yourselves. Ask for help and take things one step at a time. If you don’t know who else to ask for help, our staff is ready to walk with you through this step-by-step. You can call today to talk to someone on the phone or to schedule an appointment. You don’t have to handle this alone.