An Unexpected Pregnancy: Making Truly Responsible Choices

The responsibility that comes with bringing a child into the world is no small thing. It affects every aspect of life – socially, physically, emotionally, psychologically and financially. For many women the experience of falling pregnant is welcomed, planned and embraced as a joyful life event, but when pregnancy is ‘unexpected’, as 50% of them are1, it comes with a mixture of emotions from shock, dread, surprise, fear and feelings of ‘what do I do now’?

I was pregnant ‘unexpectedly’ at 24 years old. I was well aware of how to, and how not to get pregnant, so no blame of insufficient sex education rests here. For me at the time life was ticking along; I was newly in a relationship with a man I was besotted with and although his feelings for me were not fully reciprocated, you could say we, ‘enjoyed ourselves’. The result being a night of passion where caution was thrown to the wind with us knowing I was likely to be ovulating. At the time I was not taking any oral contraception and that night having no other means of contraception available the choice was made to ‘carry on regardless’ throwing caution and implications to the wind in the moment…only to have them blow right back again after the moment had gone.

In many cases falling pregnant is an ‘accident’ that comes from a lack of regard.

At no point did I consider all of this at the time. Yes, these concerns were there but the end result of being pregnant, and the new found excitement of having my own child, enabled me to push all this aside and emerge with a smile on my face at my achievement – I was pregnant and somehow it proved something about me to the world.

I was not alone in my situation – many around me were in unstable relationships and falling pregnant. Looking back, the unspoken around us all and in the heads of others was a sadness as they saw young women slipping into motherhood without care or consideration for the consequences of being pregnant and without any true support or a true relationship.

The only person that did not hold back his concerns was my father. In no uncertain terms he told me I was being a complete fool, and wasting my life as I could have a career instead. But later I understood his reaction was coming from the fact that he was still reeling from the hurt of already having seen one daughter leave home at 16 years old and head off into the world with a young baby and in an unstable relationship.

In my case the news I was pregnant was often met with smiles and congratulations, but all the time the congratulations being offered, were laced with a feeling of sadness and a judgment of ‘what are you doing?’ At the time I found out I was pregnant I was no longer in a relationship with the father, but over an Indian meal out, we decided to ‘give it a go’ as we realised we were pretty much bound together through the fact that I was choosing to have his child.

Nobody around me said they were concerned or offered any steady advice and I don’t remember anybody asking me how I thought I would manage, where I would live, how I would cope financially or even pose the question of how I would cope if I found myself alone. The Doctor offered practical support for the pregnancy but of course was not allowed (probably for fear of being biased or sued) to lay out all the pros and cons on the table.

I was still living at home and my parents were in so much reaction that there was no steady support or advice there either, just disapproval and reaction from their own hurts and broken pictures of me and my life ahead. My older grandmother loved babies and was pleased for me, along with the assumption that a marriage would follow, as would be the case for her generation, while my other older grandmother reminded me that I was about to ‘bring another bastard into the world’.

The choice to continue with pregnancy was easy for me as I had chosen to have an abortion three years previously and having another was not a desired option. Then came all the concerns about the relationship. Will I have to go it alone? This was a big concern and I even did a crash-training course whilst pregnant in a trade, which I felt could earn me enough money should I need to support myself alone. Although I pretended I was prepared; I was actually far from ready for what came along. I’m now able to see that this had an impact, not only on myself but on all those around me, but it was so easy then to put on the ‘rose-coloured glasses’ when I found myself in a tricky situation, and choose not to see it all, in the avoidance of taking true responsibility – that is caring deeply for myself and others, by honestly being able to see the full impact of such a choice.

The decision to ‘do the right thing’ by living with the long term consequences of a short term choice made in a brief moment, came with the father and myself buying a house and ticking all the boxes, including getting married two weeks before the birth. All complete and made ‘right’? I think not. The foundation of the marriage was not a loving choice and behind all the smiles the real underlying feeling was that of, ‘we are making the best of what we have.’ We managed to keep this up for ten years but eventually it all fell apart.

Not all choices have as dramatic and permanent an outcome as following through with an unplanned pregnancy, but any decision that does not come with care, love and appreciation for ourselves has the strong potential to bring complication and harm.

Building a loving, honest and caring relationship with ourselves is of paramount importance for making choices that truly support us all. From an unexpected pregnancy to the choice of whether to eat that chocolate or not, every decision has consequences that we, and those around us live with for a moment and sometimes for a lifetime. Being deeply aware, respectful and embracing of this power is a great gift we give (or withhold) to ourselves and each other.

by BB, UK

You may also Enjoy:

What is self care? Is it really selfish to care for yourself?

If we are responsible for all the choices that we make, shouldn’t we therefore be questioning our choices?

Love the body, and the mind will follow.. read Vanessa’s inspiring story of simple changes to making self-loving choices, and how these affected her self-esteem


1 Finer,LB and Joiner, MR; Shifts in intended and unintended pregnancies in the United States, 2001-2008; American Journal of Public Health; Feb 2014;

386 thoughts on “An Unexpected Pregnancy: Making Truly Responsible Choices

  1. It is interesting to read how sensitive you were to clocking other’s reactions and responses – the silent judgements and the way that people make a decision about how things are for you, when in fact we have no right to do so. It is like all these things are coming at you to stop you from having the space to feel truly supported in the approach that you take in such a situation.

  2. This is GOLD and the foundation of all our relationships – “Building a loving, honest and caring relationship with ourselves is of paramount importance for making choices that truly support us all.”

  3. BB, thank you for your sharing – there is wealth of experience and learning that we have had in life no matter what our age and this is something that can be shared in a way that allows others to be inspired by how differently things can be done. True wisdom comes from life’s lessons that we embrace fully with no regrets and have learned to live in the present moment.

  4. Yes, and when necessary allowing ourselves time to really feel into what is going to be a loving choice for ourselves, talk to others, and consider the different outcomes.

  5. Thank you BB for sharing your life so openly. Making decisions comes with a certain amount of understanding and awareness and this impacts our choices. I know as I’ve grown in awareness and wisdom from life experiences I can look back and see that I did the best I could when making decisions, but there was a limitation at the time from where I was, as I can see I now know a lot more from all the learning I’ve experienced. Thankfully, the learning never stops!

    1. So beautifully said Melinda – and this wipes out the whole judegment and approach on making ‘mistakes’ for in reality there are no mistakes but they are all ‘learnings’ offered by life.

  6. Falling pregnant when not planned is simply a big reflection of the disregard we live within our life. Learn to regard ourselves in our day, the smaller details in life then we are equipped to deal with the bigger events that come our way in life.

  7. Amazing blog BB, I didn’t realise that 50% of pregnancies are unexpected. This makes sense because in general, our world is full of consequences related to the high volumes of irresponsibility. This part ‘In many cases falling pregnant is an ‘accident’ that comes from a lack of regard.’ makes a lot of sense to me too.

  8. I ended up with poisoning yesterday. My body did tell me something was not right as I walked to the checkout with my food but I dismissed it. My body knew in advance but it took the more serious consequences for me to listen.

    1. How interesting that if we are open to it and listen to the deeper wisdom we are offered we needn’t have to make the choices that have those negative repercussions. I know in my own case I have often ignored my better judgment, but with each consequence my learning grows.

  9. I welcome the day we all naturally make choices that are caring, honouring, loving and appreciative.

  10. Thank you for bringing in the responsibility aspect to our choices. We can easily justify any choice we make as being the ‘right’ one, but if it isn’t based on being completely honest and truthful with where we’re at and what we’ve already committed to, is it really worth it? There are consequences to every choice we make, so in effect, every time we make a choice (which is a lot, each day), there is learning to be had, potentially. Every choice is either a confirmation of what we feel, or a straying away from that, and dealing with and learning from the consequences.

  11. There is an unspoken rule that we have to be nice to each other but sometimes this is not supportive as it makes us not ask the questions that are needed. It can be loving to ask the questions of reality and if it is really possible to have a child in that situation and to be honest about how it would be to have the baby in this situation. However much we want it there is a huge responsibility in raising a child and it is not just a case of wanting but also one of being ready ourselves in all possible ways.

  12. Building a foundation of love for ourselves is so important in many ways, ‘Building a loving, honest and caring relationship with ourselves is of paramount importance for making choices that truly support us all.’

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.