Unexpectedly expecting a baby? You can take care of yourself and process your feelings using these strategies for coping with a surprise pregnancy.
I don’t know about you, but I am not really a happy pregnant person. When I found out in early December that I was unexpectedly expecting our fourth child I wasn’t super thrilled about it, because me and pregnancy just don’t mix very well.
And while sometimes I just want to curl up on the couch and have a nine month long pity party, I know that’s not actually the best thing for me, my hubs, my kids, my home, or my baby. Self-care is so important during this time, and so I found some strategies that helped me to deal with both the emotional and physical challenges of a surprise pregnancy.
5 Strategies for Handling a Surprise Pregnancy
1. Take your time before telling everyone.
If you find yourself unexpectedly pregnant, it may take you some time to come to terms with the reality of your new situation. And that’s totally fine. In the past, we have been very quick to tell both family and close friends that we were expecting. And we’d also share the news with the world (Facebook) pretty early on too. It was hard for us to keep it a secret.
But this time around, we waited a little while before we told family and close friends, and even longer before sharing our news with everyone else. I needed time and space to process my own feelings and emotions first. I also wasn’t ready to deal with the onslaught of questions from well meaning friends and acquaintances once everyone around us knew. It’s definitely okay to take your time sharing your surprise news with people in your life.
2. Tell people you can trust with your tears.
Once I felt ready to tell a few people close to us, I knew I would need to be honest about the fact that I was not exactly thrilled about being pregnant. We told close family and a very few close friends who we knew wouldn’t judge us either for getting pregnant unexpectedly, or for not feeling excited about it right away. I knew I could trust them with all of my feelings and ask for their support, encouragement, and prayers.
As a follower of Jesus, prayer is an important part of my daily life. Some days though, prayer was admittedly hard for me. Other times, prayer was the only thing that got me through the day. What I had to remind myself was that God already knew and understood how I was feeling, and could be trusted with those feelings. God can handle my fear, my worry, my anxiety. And I did feel so much better when I cast it all up to Him instead holding it all in.
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16
4. Binge on Netflix
Then there was the necessary escape. Something to take my mind off both the emotions and the physical exhaustion and sickness I was experiencing. I chose Friends for it’s lighthearted humor and for the good memories it brings of watching with my sisters and cousins when I was growing up and with my friends in college. I started all the way back with the very first episode on Netflix and watched through the first season during my first trimester. And I don’t regret one minute of it.
5. Ask for help.
I am not very good at this one, but I knew there was no way I was going to get through my first trimester without it this time. I asked my mom to come and help me make some freezer meals, and in response, she and my sister (who was pregnant with twins at the time) decided to make freezer meals and double them – one for me, one for her for after her babies were born.
Also best friends can be life saving. I knew I could text my friend Meghan at 4 o’clock and tell her that everything was out of control and she’d come over and tell me to go take a shower while she, along with my kids and her girls, would whip my house back into shape and make sure we had something to eat for dinner that night. She was, and continues to be, a God-send. I know it can be hard, but use the help the support available to you from those close to you.
If you find yourself unexpectedly pregnant, it’s important to take time to care for yourself, and process your emotions and feelings, as you cope with this new phase of your life. Turn to close family and friends you can trust, and a little chocolate and Netflix won’t hurt either! You will get through it as you and your family get excited about your new arrival. And things will get easier when move into your 2nd trimester and start to feel better. For more encouragement, check out the rest of my posts on Green and Natural Pregnancy.