Anyone dealing with an unexpected baby is somebody in crisis, who deserves some kindness.
It’s easy for others to criticize females with surprise pregnancies. “How didn’t she know she was pregnant?” people ask. Yet the reality is that there are plenty of babies born each year to pregnant girls and women who didn’t know they were having a baby– for whatever reason.
In Plano, Texas, a young teen couple who’d delivered a baby unexpectedly and drove to a Hieline Mobility Solutions store to seek help, turning over a newborn wrapped in a towel with umbilical cord intact. The mother said she’d had no idea she was even pregnant. Just imagine how terrified anyone in the midst of a sudden medical emergency feels, then imagine there’s an unexpected baby, as well?
It’s easy to understand the dissociation and lack of rational thinking that often may follow– which is why it’s essential to treat females who deliver unexpected babies with extra care and compassion.
How Does Someone Not Know She Is Pregnant?
Not every pregnancy is alike. There’s actually a phenomenon called “cryptic pregnancy” or “stealth pregnancy” in which females are unaware they are pregnant, either into the second trimester or until they’re in labor. And get this– it can happen to any female, even women in perimenopause.
Some girls or women have inconsistent periods, leading them to be unaware when a pregnancy has occurred. Others may have had a false negative pregnancy test result, which leaves them to think any pregnancy-like symptoms are due to some other health condition. Mothers who recently delivered or who are still breastfeeding may be unaware that they’re already easily able to conceive again. Females on birth control (like those who thought they were infertile or had their tubes ties) may think they are the last person to need to worry about pregnancy, only to find themselves shocked to learn otherwise.
Not everyone gains lots of weight nor “shows” when they’re unexpectedly pregnant, and stomach pain can easily be mistaken for indigestion. Pregnancy cravings don’t happen to everyone. And those who have not been pregnant before (or even those who were) don’t always know what symptoms to expect. For other women who desperately want not to be pregnant, denial can mask symptoms, as well.
What Should Someone with a Cryptic Pregnancy Do?
For starters, anyone who thinks she may possibly be pregnant needs to get a reliable pregnancy test done, for her own well-being and peace of mind. If you need help finding a free pregnancy test in your area, you can call Abrazo for local referrals (1-800-454-5683), or check out the links here. (Any pregnant female who needs someone to talk to about her results and her options can get free and confidential counseling by calling Abrazo, as well, anytime of the day or night.) Whether or not she plans to parent, every pregnant female needs to get timely prenatal care, both for her own health and safety, and for the welfare of the fetus/future baby.
For the mother who finds herself in labor or having a baby she didn’t expect, childbirth is very often a traumatic experience, so please: call 911 for help. (Don’t try to do this all by yourself.) One teenager Abrazo once assisted called our agency in a panic after having delivered a full-term baby boy alone in the bathtub while her father and stepmom were sound asleep. She cleaned everything up as best she could, then hid in her closet until they left for work, at which time she called our adoption agency for help. (A mother of any age can make a confidential adoption plan for her baby without her parents’ knowledge or consent in Texas, just for the record.)
If the young couple in Plano had contacted Abrazo, we could have made immediate arrangements to assist them with a safe and private adoption plan that would provide the mother and baby with needed medical care, counseling, legal protection and placement services, if needed.
How Does Adoption Work, when Dealing with an Unexpected Baby?
As a licensed nonprofit adoption agency, Abrazo helps placing parents all across Texas, and our services are free and confidential, of course. We have adoptive families ready and waiting, and our immediate placement program ensures that babies don’t have to be dumped in safe haven baby boxes nor get lost in the foster care system.
Under the law in Texas, Abrazo can provide a mom who’s experienced a cryptic pregnancy or an unexpected birth with free medical care, with counseling, with legal consultation, housing, transportation and more. If she needs more time to recover emotionally and physically, Abrazo can provide cradle care for the baby. This gives her an opportunity to get strong and better consider all her alternatives before making any permanent decisions.
Best of all, we help newly-delivered mothers in crisis know that dealing with an unexpected baby can lead to some of life’s most unexpected miracles, so there’s no judgement here; just all the support she and her new baby needs, no matter what she may ultimately decide.