The Practicalities After {THAT} Announcement

Okay, so after a bit of time spent digesting the news of my daughter’s pregnancy and the many discussions about options, I decided it was time to get practical. How I choose to handle things is based on what’s best for my daughter, her baby and our family; everyone is different and has specific needs and, therefore, must do whatever’s best {and necessary} for those involved. The information, resources and/or advice I share may not benefit everyone who reads these posts; they’re merely suggestions that may highlight agencies and services that people might not have thought of or know about. Dialogue and pooling information are useful tools in raising awareness and that’s why I created this blog ~ to share what we already know as well as what we learn along the way.

So…I got past the announcement and initial shock. What next?

  • I told my nearest and dearest. Initially, I planned to wait until the first prenatal appointment before telling anyone what was going on but quickly realized how necessary it was to rely on my friends for support. This situation is life-changing for me, too, and it made sense for me to tell those in my trusted circle. Asking for help is a necessary part of self-care and this was simply too big to go through alone.
  • I opened a dialogue with my daughter’s school as soon as I knew. As it happened, my daughter didn’t go to school the day we learned of her pregnancy. I had no awareness that she was worried enough to take a pregnancy test, so I really had no idea why she had an anxiety attack before it was time for her to get ready for school. The result of said pregnancy test was what caused the anxiety attack in the first place, but she would not tell me what was going on because she was too upset. Given our history of abuse, I had suspicions that she had remembered something she’d blocked out and emailed her guidance counselor, asking her to call me at her convenience. By the time the counselor got back to me, I was able to tell her that my daughter was pregnant. We were able to work out a plan of action, starting with discreet emails sent to all my daughter’s teachers so that everyone was aware of what was going on. We have always received a lot of support from the school, which I’m eternally grateful for.
  • Appointment with an OB-GYN for her first prenatal check-up. This is a given, of course. My daughter and I were eager to attend this appointment to confirm the due date and that everything was okay. Additionally, it gave me the opportunity to ask about delayed cord clamping, which is a practice I know about from my midwife in the U.K. {she’s a huge advocate and has written many articles on the subject}. Much to our relief, the OB is open to delayed clamping and the student nurse that was present during the appointment seemed intrigued by our conversation.
  • Appointment with WIC. Since my daughter is on Medicaid, she’s automatically qualified. Requires an I.D., Medicaid card and confirmation of due date from OB-GYN.
  • Appointment with a local agency called Pregnancy Help Center. This is an excellent resource that caters to women in difficult pregnancy situations by offering counseling, free pregnancy tests, referrals for {doctors, housing, and community resource/care}, {prenatal and parenting} classes and much more. We learned about something called the Nurse-Family Partnership, which is a free service to women who are pregnant with their first baby. The service offers ongoing weekly home visits by an R.N. during pregnancy and up until the baby is 2 years old. When I Googled “pregnancy help center”, I found that there are similar centers in cities around the country; they’re sometimes called “pregnancy centers”, “women’s care centers”, “pregnancy care centers”. During our first appointment at this center, they:
    Welcome pack image

    Welcome Pack

    • gave my daughter a pregnancy test.
    • offered to help apply for Medicaid.
    • offered to help find her an OB-GYN.
    • offered to help her apply for WIC.
    • helped her apply for the Nurse-Family Partnership.
    • arranged a call-back for regular counseling sessions.
    • gave my daughter a “Welcome Pack” {tissues, make-up samples, lip balm, moisturizer, chocolate, mints, religious pamphlet}.

Obviously, we didn’t need help with a doctor referral, Medicaid or WIC applications, but it was nice to know there was an option for help with applications if we needed it. It’s also useful to mention to those reading this that those who need help from this center do not need to already be on Medicaid to qualify for help from the help center, but eligibility for Medicaid is required for the Nurse-Family Partnership service.

That’s the story so far. I will add more resources as we learn about them in the coming months. There are a lot of resources and support for those facing an unexpected pregnancy.

Some food for thought before I end this post: I’ve found a great deal of understanding during the last couple of weeks and I’m convinced that it has a lot to do with our attitude. Unfortunately, there are always going to be judgmental people who react negatively, regardless. How do I handle these people? I don’t allow things to progress toward a negative dialogue, by preempting  the news with the following: “I have some news, but before I tell you, I want you to know that we have already been through the initial shock. We know it’s not an ideal situation, but we are moving forward in a positive direction and we would appreciate your support.” It seems to have the desired effect because it gives them no room for imposing their negativity. It’s not that I don’t allow them the right to air their opinions, but if I’m already in a place where I can accept what’s going on, I don’t want to go back to questioning or over thinking the situation. I have already thought about everything they could tell me and, frankly, I don’t need to go there again. The bottom line is, those who {do not agree or accept that we’re okay with our situation} aren’t the ones who have to deal with it.

If you experienced a similar situation, what sort of practical things did you do for your teen and family? How did you prepare everyone for what was to come? How did you overcome the challenges or obstacles?
Until next time…

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