By Kristi Burton Brown
On March 10, Julie Revelant wrote an article that appeared in the Fox News health section: “How to plan for an unplanned pregnancy.” Ms. Revelant’s writings often center around health, women’s issues, and being a parent. Her advice for women who find themselves pregnant – perhaps in spite of their own plans – is both timely and excellent. Kudos to Fox for printing it. These are the kind of articles women need more of.
Right away, Ms. Revelant starts off by bluntly reassuring women:
First of all, don’t freak out. Stop staring at the blue plus sign and wipe the shocked look off your face. Whether you’re a first time mom or you’re adding more to your brood, you’ll get through this.
And it’s true. Women throughout all of time have gotten through unplanned pregnancies where both they and their children come out – literally for the child – on the other side. Life is new and different and sometimes more difficult, but life with a new child is beautiful. Whether or not a child is “planned” has no effect on the beauty or worth of her life.
Julie Revelant goes on to quickly detail some important medical recommendations that any pregnant woman would do well to heed. Her tone is reassuring and upbeat. Yes, you can do this. In fact, you’re probably already doing a good job. Folic acid and scheduling a doctor’s appointment are the two medical aspects the article focuses on.
One very important step Ms. Revelant takes in her article is to acknowledge the real feelings of women. Women all feel, but each of us feels differently. And that’s ok. Feelings, no matter what they are – wrong, right, or neither – must be dealt with:
You might be elated, but it’s normal to also feel shocked, scared, anxious—even angry. ’Make sure that you feel your emotions,’ said Diane Lang, a psychotherapist, author and positive living expert. Take some time to deal with your feelings and accept your new reality – and don’t share your news with anyone else
Ms. Revelant’s final three pieces of advice are practical – something women in unplanned situations can grab onto and act upon. She shares powerful tidbits that once again make this seemingly insurmountable circumstance actually seem doable. Women before you have done this. Women after you will do it again. And today, you can do it, too.
The article recommends that women “take action,” “be positive,” and “take it in stride.” To explain, Ms. Revelant highlights the importance of building a support community, choosing to be pro-active, seeing a new child as a gift, and adopting a non-stressful attitude. Without a doubt, these choices take work and determination, but a tiny new life is more than worth it. As Diane Lang states:
Instead of thinking of it as an unplanned pregnancy or an accident, think of it as a gift. … Be open to what’s coming, because it is the unexpected – but the unexpected a lot of times brings a lot of greatness with it.
There are plenty of available true stories in today’s information age that detail the experiences of mothers who gave life to their “unplanned” children. The “Embrace Grace” blog is one example. Taylor shares how her child turned her life around for the better and how she became a stronger woman because of an unplanned pregnancy. Hailey writes a poem about turning anxious questions and worries surrounding an unplanned pregnancy into hope. Amber shares how her unexpected son taught her to focus on her future and that she doesn’t have to handle everything alone. Jamie, who tells her own difficult story, is now a leader who helps other women with their unplanned pregnancies. Kathy writes down advice, learned from her own journey years earlier.
After reading theirs – and many other stories – it’s clear that there is a reason and a purpose for every child.
Editor’s note. This appeared at liveactionnews.org and is reprinted with permission.