Pregnant Pause

12 Dec

Dear LetterBalm: My problem is terrifying. I’m 16, a junior in high school, five weeks’ pregnant and really scared. How do I tell my ultra-conservative parents? They’re extremely strict, and I’ve had to sneak around to have a minimum social life, with friends covering for me. If they even knew I had a boyfriend, they’d freak out. I know I messed up bad. My boyfriend and I used protection but the condom broke. He says he’ll stand by me, but I need to make this right myself. Please give me the words I need to talk to them.

–Screwed in Every Way

You need to enlist allies and formulate a plan right away, and it’s probably wise to keep things to yourself now, so don’t stir the gossip pot endlessly with friends. Can you talk privately and devise a strategy with your guidance counselor or a trusted teacher? (Ms. L.B. suggests you don’t tell your parents you’ve done this because they may get angry that you confided in someone outside the family.) You need to decide whether you want to keep the baby, give the child over for adoption or terminate your pregnancy. You must approach your parents with assurance, ready to accept full responsibility. Plan what you’ll say, pick your moment when they are not distracted, steel yourself for their disapproval, and keep the discussion focused on the child and the future. Try to maintain your composure. You may have to be the adult in the room:

Mom and Dad, I have bad news. You need to brace yourself and listen. I’m five weeks’ pregnant. The boy I’ve been secretly seeing is a classmate who says he will stand by me on this. We used protection, but the condom broke. I know this all comes as a shock, and you have many questions, but right now we have to consider what to do. I’ve given it a lot of thought, and I know what I want to do. My school allows pregnant students to complete their studies and give birth during the school year. I want to have the baby and give it over for adoption. I think that is the best thing for everyone, especially the child. Believe me, I know I really messed up. I take full responsibility – for the pregnancy and for abusing your trust in me. But know that I love you both very much and want to make things right. 

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