Part of being a woman is acknowledging your sexual health. While it takes two to tango, it is 50% our responsibility to practice safe sex. Recently, I conducted an Instagram poll among my followers asking the question, “Have you ever experienced a pregnancy scare?”, and the results were astonishing! 50% of the women who answered the poll admitted that they’d had a pregnancy scare. As for me, I just came down from one– my period was a stressful 8 days late. Not being on birth control and having unprotected sex is basically asking for pregnancy. I have told myself, and my fiance is on the same page, that if we are pregnant life will go one and we will make it work; however, the timing of right now would be suboptimal.
Going through my second ever pregnancy scare brought a wave of emotions I have found hard to describe. The mere range of my mood had given me reason to believe there was something strange going on with my hormones– increasing my anxiety. Getting pregnant can happen casually, but it’s going to be a big deal no matter your situation. Whether you opt for adoption, abortion, or keeping the baby, your body is subject to waves and rushes of hormones that would mess with anyone’s psyche. The lead up to a period is just as emotional. No one warned me what a missed period can cause. I’ve seen women in movies experience happiness, fear, and anger, but never all three. My brain felt broken and my heart felt sunken. No two people share the same experience, but I wanted to share mine with you in hopes that if you ever find yourself in the hot seat, you will have a glimpse of what to expect.
After waitin for my period for a few days, the reality of the possible situation began to sink in. I have always wanted to be a mom, but now is not the time. Being at school while pregnant struck me as less than ideal, as I knew that between the stress of school and the stress of pregnancy either my education or the baby would suffer. Both are things I have always wanted, but my plan was never to do them simultaneously. If I was pregnant, I knew I wanted to have this baby, but I was hit with a wave of sadness upon the realization that I would be spending the first four months of my pregnancy away from my fiance. Pregnancy is a time of change, and it would be a time where I need his extra support. While I know he would be there in a heartbeat, that would be a decision that would cost a great amount of money– money that we have saved for this baby’s future. I don’t want to take that away from the child before they even arrive. All in all, I was filled with sadness. In the moment I felt my future was depleting before my eyes. I foresaw the loss of my education, my possible child’s future, and my sense of control.
Part of all the grief I felt was anxiety buried under a layer of sadness. I have always been one to expect the worst case scenario; however, I think that feelings of anxiety are real for anyone who experiences a pregnancy scare. Why else would they call it a “scare?” When unprotected sex takes place, the chance lays that procreation took place. For some, the “what if’s” take the shape of, “What should I do?”, “What should I tell my partner?”, “What will my parents think?”, or “What happens next?”, while for others it may look more like, “How will I afford this?”, “What will I do about school/work?”, or “Who is going to help me?”, as well as many others. Questions, no matter their shape and form, are normal under time of stress. Like I mentioned earlier, pregnancy is a big deal and no matter what you choose to do, there are going to be questions and uncertainty.
Maybe it is just me, but this last pregnancy scare left me feeling so guilty for my actions. I felt guilty for having unprotected sex, for causing my family and fiance extra stress, and for putting myself in a situation I am not ready to handle. Although it takes two to tango, I chose to opt out of birth control and I fully consented in the decision to not use a condom. At this point, I was just as responsible as my fiance. No matter what happened, I knew my wonderful fiance and my family would support me through it all, but I wasn’t blind to the worry on their faces. Primarily, their concerns were on my mental well-being and were from genuine places; however, I have a superpower of absorbing every emotion I come into contact with and when I saw how worried they are, I couldn’t help but feel bad in my implications in it. I am 20 years old, with a vast future ahead of me and big things I hope to accomplish. No matter the timeline the events take place in, I will achieve my dreams, but my plan consisted of a baby coming later. Mentally, I know I am struggling to take care of myself– to a point where when someone comes to me struggling it takes every ounce of strength to not go over the edge. This mindset is not one I want to have while I am responsible for taking care of a completely dependent human being.
At this point, I “know” I’m pregnant. Despite the multitude of tests that have come back negative, my period still has not come and therefore, I am pregnant. This is not how this works, but no one was there to tell me “you’re fine”. Within my notes app on my phone I’d typed out scripts of what I was going to say to my fiance, my parents, my brother, and my friends. I practiced in front of the mirror until the words felt natural, most of the time with tears running down my face. I should have been shopping for wedding dresses and creating a registry; instead I was looking at baby clothes and creating accounts on any and every baby themed website Google produced. Although the test read negative, I was positive.
Breath of Relief
In my deepest state of investment to this baby inside me, it happens. My period has come. Just as I’ve told my doctor, sworn to abstinence from anything alcoholic, and ordered the cutest outfit for this baby, Aunt Flo decided to pay a visit. Although I had come to accept this “pregnancy” for what it was, I could not have been more excited to see the arrival of my period.
Many forms of birth control are out there, and each body will respond differently to them. Whether you are on birth control or not, a preganancy scare can still hit you unexpectedly. Each person will react differently, but if you ever find yourself in a place of crisis, this article will hopefluly help rest your nerves.