A hundred thoughts and emotions can threaten to overwhelm a woman when she finds out she’s pregnant. Multiply that by a thousand if the pregnancy is unplanned. When you’re not expecting to have a child yet, what should be a beautiful, joyous thing suddenly becomes terrifying. There are so many worries flying through your head that you can’t keep up. How can I raise a child? Will I have to do it on my own? Does this put my future on hold? Can I afford it? What will my friends and family think? What do I do?

First off, take a deep breath. 

It’s going to be okay. We know this is an overwhelming experience, so even though it might sound silly and obvious, it’s important to remember to breathe. Calming, deep breaths can center your mind and help you focus on one thing at a time. Because you do have options, and looking at each option with a clear head can help you understand which is the best path for your future, and the future of your unborn child. 

Second, look at your options. 

When dealing with an unplanned pregnancy, there’s nothing more important than fully understanding the positives and negatives of each of the following options. You can do so by asking yourself questions and then seeking the advice of a professional. 

  1. Parenting 
    • Am I ready to raise a child? 
    • Do I have the finances to support the child? 
    • Will my child have a father figure in his or her life?
    • Who can help me raise the child?
  2. Abortion
    • What are the health risks of an abortion? 
    • What will my friends and family think of this decision? 
    • Is it really the best solution? 
    • How much does it cost?
    • Will I regret this decision?
  3. Adoption
    • What’s the process of adoption? 
    • Will I get to see my child after they are adopted? Can I be involved in their life? 
    • Does it cost anything? 
    • What will my child think of me?
    • Do I want another family to raise my child? 

Some of these questions only you can answer. However, many of them can and should be answered by a healthcare or adoption professional. 

Third, talk to doctors, counselors, and professionals.

Go to your doctor, a clinic, a therapist–anyone who either has the knowledge to help you through this experience. They can properly walk you through each question and decision you have to make by providing you with information about each option. 

If you’re looking at adoption as a possible path, there are many adoption agencies out there, like St. Elizabeth Foundation, that will guide you through the process of adoption with a warm and welcoming hand. Our priority is to your unborn child, and to you. To find the best home they could possibly ask for, with the best chance for a bright future. Learn more about what to expect here. 

Finally, come to terms with your decision. 

It can be a struggle to come to terms with your decision. No matter what, you might always wish that things would’ve been different. But time heals many wounds, and knowing that you’ve done what’s best for you and your child is the comfort you need.