7 Things You Don't Have To Do When Announcing An Unplanned Pregnancy
When it comes to pregnancy, books and online forums and other women who have been pregnant are pretty quick to tell you what you should or shouldn't do. That list only grows, it seems, if your pregnancy wasn't planned. When I found out I was pregnant with twins -- a pregnancy I hadn't planned or prepared for -- I was inundated with things I "should" or "shouldn't" do. I ignored almost all of it, of course, and made decisions that benefited me (and my partner). Those decisions included the things you don't have to do when announcing an unplanned pregnancy; things people think you should take into account just because you didn't chart ovulation cycles and have sex on specific days and forgo birth control on purpose; things that really don't have any business being part of a pregnancy announcement.
My partner and I weren't trying to have a baby when we found out I was pregnant with twins. After weighing options, looking inward, making something as simple as a pro and con list and looking over future plans and finances, we decided we wanted to and were able to become parents. Time passed and, well, we were eager to announce to friend and family that we were going to be parents. We knew that it would be a shock; we knew that people would raise their eyebrows because we weren't married; we knew that we were going to be supported by most people, but some were going to question our decisions, this pregnancy, and our abilities as future parents. We didn't care. We posted that beautiful ultrasound picture anyway, and we let everyone know that in six or so months, we were going to be parents. Whoa.
After we made our announcement, I realized that planning for a pregnancy isn't a necessary step to being excited for a pregnancy. You don't have to follow a list of life choices in some prescribed order. I didn't have to be married; I didn't have to "plan" for a baby; I didn't have to do much of anything, in order to still be excited about the fact that I was going to be a mom. So, with that in mind, here are just a few things you don't have to do when you announce an unplanned pregnancy. "Planned" or not, this pregnancy is yours to be excited about. So, go on. Be excited.
Say Your Pregnancy Wasn't Planned...
You really don't need to share intimate details of your sex life with people while simultaneously announcing your pregnancy. It's not like anyone is at all entitled to knowing why you were having sex with your partner. Nope. Not how pregnancy announcements work, folks.
...Or Pretend That Your Pregnancy Was Planned
I was pretty upfront and honest about my unplanned pregnancy, however. I didn't think that not planning to have a baby, becoming pregnant, weighing my options and deciding I wanted to and could be a mother, was something worth hiding.
So, I let people know that yep, I was pregnant but it definitely wasn't something I had planned. I didn't feel like it was shameful or "less of a pregnancy" just because I didn't chart my ovulation cycle and wish for my pregnancy to happen. I didn't think I needed to hide the fact that I was pretty bad at taking my birth control and, well, a fetus happened. I thought it was actually worthwhile to say, "We weren't planning this but we weighed our options and this is what we decided," because it paints pregnancy in a more realistic light; a life decision that requires some thought, whether it was planned or not.
Keep Yourself From Enjoying A Big Announcement
Even though my pregnancy wasn't planned, I still wanted and deserved a pretty big announcement. You don't have to follow the "first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in a baby carriage" prescription of life in order to enjoy a pregnancy. My partner and I weren't married (we're still not), and we didn't plan our pregnancy, but we still posted that surprising ultrasound picture and announced to our friends and family members that we were expecting.
Just because your pregnancy wasn't planned, doesn't mean that you have to forgo a big pregnancy announcement. You do whatever it is you want to do when it comes to letting others know that your life is about to change.
Honestly, there's no reason to say "sorry" to anyone. Even if someone thinks this unplanned pregnancy is the worst thing to ever happen to you, you don't need to apologize. Ever.
When I announced my pregnancy to the social media masses, a few people thought it was a "bad" thing. Certain people thought my life was over and others said that, because I wasn't married, I was destined to end up a single mother, full of regret and remorse and whatever outdated stereotype is still floating around these days. I didn't apologize to those people. Hell, I didn't even apologize to my partner (who was just as responsible for our unplanned pregnancy, and very excited, by the way). I didn't apologize to anyone, because things happen.
Make A Bunch Of Unnecessary Jokes (Or Deal With Them)
I'm the joking kind so, personally, I didn't mind a few jokes made at my expense. I'm notoriously not that great at taking birth control, and I can laugh at myself and my partner and how we ended up pregnant. However, that's us.
You don't have to be the subject of any joke, just because your pregnancy was a "surprise." If people are laughing or making fun of you, kick them out of your life. You don't need, or deserve, that kind of negativity. You don't have time for it, as a matter of fact. After all, you're about to be a mom.
Answer Questions About Your Relationship Status
When I announced that I was going to have a baby, people seemed more concerned about my relationship status than they were about the growing fetus. "Is he going to make an honest woman out of you?" is a question I actually received, and I was floored.
If you're not married, or not romantically involved with anyone, that's no one's business. If you don't plan on getting married, or you do, that's no one's business. Whatever is going on in your romantic life is no one's business, and people aren't automatically entitled to the inter-workings of your past, present or future relationships, just because you're pregnant. Nope.
Explain How You Ended Up Pregnant
I mean, do you really need to? We've all sat through middle school sex ed, right? We all understand basic human anatomy, right?
Honestly, you don't need to let anyone know how great you may or may not have been at taking birth control. You don't have to talk condoms or diaphragms or anything else that you may or may not have been using. It's nobody's business.