What’s Your First Response to Your Unplanned Pregnancy?

Your period is late.
Your hands shake as you tear open the home pregnancy test and your heart pounds in your chest while you wait for the results.
Two lines appear.
To be sure, you take another test with the same results.

Just as your stomach takes a flying leap into your throat, your eyes refocus on the two blue lines. Blood rushes to your head, making you feel a little dizzy, as you try to grasp the reality that Yes, you are pregnant.

Is abortion your first response?

If you said yes, and abortion is your go to strategy because you are panic stricken about your pregnancy, you should probably take some time to calm down before you move on that abortion decision. It’s likely that you are not thinking clearly while you are in a state of emotional crisis.

Research shows that when we are under extreme stress or anxiety our “thinking power” is impaired because blood and oxygen flow to other parts of the brain instead of our problem solving center (the prefrontal cortex). http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2907136/

In short, when we experience overwhelming emotional stress our IQ goes down about 15 points and we can’t think straight. At this point disastrous thinking takes over and causes more pressure on our psyche, weakening our decision making power and our creativity. Our logic is clouded and we are vulnerable to making a choice we will most likely regret.

While the quick decision made under extreme stress may provide short term relief, it is usually not the decision that will bring us the best possible outcome, especially if that quick decision results in abortion. Many women experience intense emotional suffering long after a panic driven abortion decision and wish they had taken more time to consider their options.

So instead of heading to the abortion clinic as your first response to an unplanned pregnancy, retreat from crisis mode and cool down. The brain, like any machine, can’t function when it is overheated.

Here are some tips to follow when you feel overwhelmed with making a pregnancy decision:

Give yourself a time out to recharge.
Breathe deeply and take inventory of how and what you are feeling.

Stop overthinking and imagining the worst.

Get out of your environment and away from external pressures. Go to a quiet place that is peaceful and where you can relax.

Talk to someone who is objective and who doesn’t have a stake in your situation.

Don’t assume how you are feeling at the moment is how you will always feel in the future.

Stay open to new information. Get all the facts before acting on impulse.

Ask for help if you need it.

Believe in yourself and trust that you have the courage to do what is right.

Giving yourself time and distance from crisis thinking can make all the difference in your pregnancy decision.

Remember, just because abortion was your first response doesn’t mean it has to be your final one.


Why Options is Your Go-To Place for Unplanned Pregnancy

“Wow! I can’t believe the heartbeat sounds so strong!”

Hearing the first sounds of life during an ultrasound was a revelation to Stephanie, an Options client who was considering abortion.

Before her Options ultrasound, Stephanie* thought she would have an abortion but when she left, she wasn’t so sure. Hearing her baby’s heartbeat and learning that she had a viable pregnancy were new pieces of information that were potential game changers.

As vital as the ultrasound was to her decision making process, Stephanie almost didn’t have one because of the way she was treated at another pregnancy center.

A few days earlier, Stephanie scheduled an online appointment with another agency because their website promised free ultrasounds on the first visit. She figured she could have her scan even sooner than the one she scheduled with Options. Since she was in crisis, she was impatient for medical information and eager for guidance about the health concerns that pulled her towards abortion.

She received neither.

Instead, when Stephanie and her boyfriend Adam arrived at that center, they were ushered into a waiting area where the receptionist confiscated their cell phones as a precaution against them shooting video.

Next, Stephanie met with a counselor who asked her questions about her faith. When pressed, Stephanie responded that she didn’t want to talk about God and religion but had come there because their website advertised free ultrasounds and pregnancy guidance. The counselor ignored Stephanie’s request and insisted that she review a religious website written by pastors for skeptics or else she would be denied the ultrasound.

Feeling confused and somewhat disrespected, Stephanie asked to have her’s and Adam’s cell phones returned, and then she left, without ever having the ultrasound.

“Their website was misleading. We went there under false pretenses. No one talked to me about my pregnancy options or my health and they didn’t answer any of my medical questions.I didn’t feel like they cared about me.I felt very pressured when I was there because they kept pushing their beliefs on me.”

Stephanie’s unfortunate experience at this pregnancy center made her doubt the legitimacy of Options’ claims as being a safe haven where conflicted women can receive nonjudgmental pregnancy counseling and a free ultrasound. Stephanie feared that she would again be put into a situation where she would be forced to view a religious website or be be told how she should respond to her own pregnancy.

Yet something told her to return to Options. She remembered how kind everyone was when she came here for pregnancy verification, and she really needed to talk to someone about her crisis.

Her boyfriend was being deployed with the military in a few weeks and he didn’t want a baby right now. To complicate matters, Stephanie had a preexisting condition that could endanger her life and impact this and future pregnancies. The ultrasound would help determine if she had an ectopic pregnancy.

Stephanie never expected to feel the way she did after she heard her baby’s heartbeat. When she met with her Options counselor she poured out her emotions. Stephanie admitted that she was leaning towards abortion because she felt it’s what Adam wanted.

Her counselor listened quietly and then asked Stephanie a pivotal question:

Did you ever tell Adam that you might feel differently?

This one gentle question jump started a frank conversation about abortion and opened the door for Stephanie and Adam to explore their options together.

As Stephanie left she admitted she had a lot to think about and thanked her counselor and nurse manager for the ultrasound and the time they both spent with her.

“You gave me the freedom to talk about all of my options. I knew Options was a Christian organization when I first came here, but you didn’t push me or preach at me. I feel like you really cared about me and you listened to how I felt. You do exactly what it says on the Options website. I’m so glad we came back.”

The promise of free pregnancy verification and ultrasound invites women like Stephanie to our center for the first time. Helping women to make an informed decision based on the facts is what we’re all about. But it’s the care and respect women find at Options that draws them back again and again.

As it was for Stephanie, ultrasound can be a powerful tool for learning about pregnancy and what’s happening to your body inside the womb. Some women see this opportunity as vital to their decision making process before ending a pregnancy or choosing to carry.

We’re are thankful Stephanie reconsidered and chose to have an ultrasound at Options despite her difficulties at another center. What’s more, we are encouraged that Stephanie returned to Options not because we gave her all the answers, but because she felt safe enough to ask all her questions.

Talking it Over is Better than Suffering in Silence

You know that moment.

When you find out you are pregnant and you don’t want to be. Your first impulse is to google abortion and to make an appointment at a clinic that pops up on your cell phone or tablet.


But then doubt sets in. This isn’t me, you think. I would never do this. How can I have an abortion?

You spend your days in a daze, suffering alone with your decision.

Baby’s dad, if you told him, either lobbies for abortion or says he is cool with whatever choice you make, because it’s on you. And that’s the part that gets you –it’s all on you.

Next you go into seclusion, protecting yourself from others and hiding from your true feelings because it seems the safest thing to do. But did you know that according to Psychology Today agonizing alone over a problem only prolongs suffering and intensifies negative thoughts? Hiding from yourself now will only cause you more misery later.

Don’t isolate yourself from others who can help you. Find the courage to talk to someone you can trust.

Now is the time to get in touch with you. Speaking up for yourself in the presence of another person by telling your own personal story can help.

Instead of going into robo mode, ask yourself what matters to you. Share your story with someone who will listen carefully without interruption, who will look into your eyes and will try to understand so you can clarify your feelings. Reaching out for help is the very best thing you can do when you feel upset, overwhelmed or depressed.

Too many women suffer alone because of the stigma associated with a pregnancy decision. It’s remarkable to consider that even in the 21st century, women still feel they have to hide their true feelings from themselves and others, including the reasons why they want an abortion.

Talking about your reasons frees you from the burden of carrying their weight all by yourself. Sharing the challenges about your pregnancy lessens anxiety and fear.

Being heard is so close to being loved that to the average person they are almost indistinguishable. – David Augsburger

Break the cycle of loneliness and self – doubt. Come out of hiding and ask yourself the questions you’ve been avoiding with someone who will listen to you and not speak over you or tell you what to do.

Whether before or after an abortion decision, try to assess:

What do you need?

What do you want?

What are you feeling?

What would help?


Know what is going on inside you. Find your voice and you will find your power.

Yes, it’s on you.

And you have a right to be heard.

What a relief it is to know, that at Options, we will hear you out.

No matter what you decide.

Cruising Past the Curves of Accidental Pregnancy

Wouldn’t it be great if something like a Pavement Ends sign magically appeared at crucial moments in your life to warn you when things were about to get rough?

A sign would give you some time to brace yourself for what’s coming just before you hit the gravelly road and the bumps. You might even turn around and go back where you came from, slow down or choose a smoother path. The point is, a sign would help you to proceed with caution before you went any further.

Finding out that you’re accidentally pregnant can feel like you’re speeding out of control down a winding road with sharp twists and turns, headed for a crash. Whether it’s from hormones or the shock of finding out you’re pregnant, your emotions may be all over the place. If only you had known ahead of time that this would happen, you wouldn’t be in such a mess right now.

Where was that sign when you needed it?

Even though the road ahead seems impassable with a pregnancy that you never expected or wanted, you will get through this. Options can help you navigate the winding road, especially during the early weeks of your pregnancy.

If you’re pregnant and freaked out about your future, it might be time for you to get off the road and park at a rest stop. Many women like yourself have pulled over at Options where they were able to rest and reprogram their internal GPS until they felt ready to continue their journey with confidence and a better sense of direction.

Schedule an appointment to come in to talk with someone who will listen and care about what you are going through. You can learn how pregnant you are, discuss all the options that are open to you, and receive medical attention. We can help you plan your route and prepare you for what lies ahead at a pace that you set for yourself until you hit your cruising speed.

You don’t have to go through this alone.

Right now you may be feeling anything but peaceful but we promise you will find a calm oasis at our center where you can be yourself and feel refreshed.

Take a break from panic and fear, from speeding out of control.

Our staff will do everything within our power to help you feel comfortable and safe as you figure out what to do next.

Remember, when the pavement ends and the road gets rough, Options is here to help you safely navigate the twists and turns of your accidental pregnancy.

The Moody Blues and Unplanned Pregnancy

Finding out you’re pregnant when you don’t want to be can be a real buzz kill and give you a case of the blues, otherwise known as a bad mood. A bad mood has the potential to spill over into all areas of your life, trapping you in a cycle of negativity.

Moods can cause your imagination to run wild with thoughts like:

  • My life is ruined.
  • My boyfriend/partner will be angry.
  • My parents won’t get over it.
  • No one will help me.
  • I’ll never laugh or be happy again.
  • I have to have an abortion now.

The bad news is that you really do feel miserable and scared.

The good news is that your bad mood will pass.

That’s why it is reckless to make a pregnancy decision under the influence of a bad mood.

Human experience shows us time and again that: “Our moods are not permanent and are seldom unmingled with their opposites.”(Derek Kidner )

To complicate matters, early pregnancy hormones like estrogen and progesterone change the chemicals in your brain that regulate your moods.


On the one hand you may feel crushed to know you are pregnant and then suddenly you may feel elated about having a baby of your own.

How is it possible to be feeling both things at the same time? That’s the way moods work.

Because of their fleeting nature, moods and feelings alone should never be the backbone of a decision to continue or to end a pregnancy. Acting out solely in response to a mood usually ends up in self destructive behavior.

Here are five things you can do to stop your moods from getting the best of you when an unplanned pregnancy disrupts your life. Try one or all of them to see what works!

Accept your mood and take some time to ride it out. Don’t act on your pregnancy decision until your mood evens out and becomes less extreme. Caution: If a bad mood lasts more than a week and you find it difficult to function, you may be dealing with depression. Call your doctor or contact a mental health agency if you feel you are depressed.

Rather than imagining the worst, get informed about your pregnancy. Find out how pregnant you are by contacting your doctor or your local pregnancy center. An ultrasound will determine the stage of your pregnancy. Once you have the facts you will be better equipped to make a decision.

Don’t suffer alone with your bad mood. Talk to a friend or someone you can trust with your pregnancy news and discuss how you are feeling. Sometimes just knowing that you are not alone is enough to make you feel better and return you to common sense and clear thinking.

Make up a list of things you can do to help yourself feel better. Stay grounded and go back to basics by citing the simple things that usually cheer you up, like walking your dog, doing some yoga, or calling a friend. Make sure you are getting enough sleep. As your list grows, you can add more items that directly relate to your pregnancy, like checking out health insurance or consulting a doctor. You may not be able to figure everything out right now, but you can take practical steps to feel better. Start small, then you can tackle the bigger stuff when you start to feel better.


Be proactive with your plan by taking the first step. Whatever is first on your list, do it. Taking one positive action will spur on others. Whether it is making that phone call, catching up on some sleep, going on that walk, take your first step in a positive direction to set your plan in motion. Others will follow. You’ll be amazed.

Moods are fickle and can confuse your thinking, as often happens in pregnancy. Only you can say if your surprise pregnancy is stressing you out and making you moody. If so, then pay attention to your moods. While they aren’t the most reliable indicators of your true feelings, they can serve as remiders that you need to take care of yourself during a stressful time in your life.

Take heart in knowing that your bad mood will pass, and when it does you will be in a better place to make a wise pregnancy decision.