Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations. The best is yet to come.” — Zig Ziglar.

An unexpected pregnancy can happen to any woman, and there are different paths you could take when it comes to handling an unexpected pregnancy. An unexpected pregnancy can be anxiety-inducing, and it can set your mind racing on what to do next. It’s okay to feel anxious, but there are resources to teach you how to stay calm through an unexpected pregnancy. In this article, I had the pleasure of interviewing seven women from different backgrounds that faced an unexpected pregnancy and what they did about it. These inspiring stories can be heart-wrenching, but all end up with an optimistic outlook. 

The first woman I interviewed is Liza. Liza grew up in a solid Hispanic Catholic family and was terrified to tell her parents about her unexpected pregnancy. She was only 16 and a half years old. 

“My name is Liza, and I was only 16 and a half years old when I found out I was pregnant. I come from a solid Hispanic Catholic family, and I’m an only child. My boyfriend and I were on and off the relationship, and I was terrified to let both him and my parents know I was pregnant. After the first trimester, I decided to come clean to my parents. Sitting at my kitchen table at dinner, I whispered that I was pregnant. My mom was in disbelief at what she heard, and my dad didn’t know what to say. Things were eerily quiet the rest of the night, and I cried, knowing that I disappointed my parents. I didn’t know if I’d get kicked out of my Catholic school, or even worse if I would get kicked out of my home with nowhere to go.

The following day, my parents sat me down at the table and prayed on what to do about my unexpected pregnancy. I told them that I heard of a local crisis pregnancy center to learn about my options. I went to the crisis pregnancy center, and after hearing about my options, I decided I wanted to place my baby up for adoption. The staff at the crisis pregnancy center also helped me learn about my adoption options, and after some careful consideration, I decided to go through with a closed adoption.  There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about my son, but looking back, I know I made the right choice. I graduated high school, went to a great university, and moved into my own home in Texas. Adoption was one of the most important choices that I made to improve my life.” – Liza. 

The next woman I interviewed was Shondra. Shondra is a 23-year-old career woman who found herself unexpectedly pregnant after a one-night stand. After talking with her friends and colleagues about her pregnancy, most of them supported her placing her child for adoption. 

“My name’s Shondra, and I’m a 23-year-old, career-driven woman in Atlanta, Georgia. Being the first to graduate college in my three generational African American families, I was very proud of the woman that I was becoming. I knew an unexpected pregnancy could change the whole course of my life and could derail everything I worked hard to have. After researching my options, I didn’t think I could go through the emotional toll of going through an abortion, and I wasn’t going to take on the task of raising a child. So I looked online at good adoption agencies in Georgia and found one that had great reviews. I went to the adoption agency, spoke with a great unplanned pregnancy counselor, chose an open adoption, and even found a great adoptive family for my baby. Once my daughter was born, I held her and placed her in the adoptive mother’s arms. I knew that it wasn’t goodbye and that I was always welcome to see her. Two years later, I still get photos, letters, and visits with my daughter. I’m still doing great in my career, and I love that I know my daughter is doing well in her life too.” -Shondra. 

Another woman I interviewed is Emilee. Emilee is a 32-year-old woman who was working to make ends meet to support her other three children. Emilee found herself unexpectedly pregnant and realized that there was no possible way she could raise another baby at this time on her own. 

“I’m Emilee, and I’m a 32-yeat-old single mom of three boys. I found myself unexpectedly seven weeks pregnant by getting a blood test done at my doctor’s. I cried, knowing that I was in no place to raise another child amongst the three rambunctious boys I was already caring for on my own. After going over the unexpected pregnancy options,  I chose to have an abortion. I don’t regret my decision, but I wonder what could have been if I decided to raise the baby or place the baby for adoption. Now, I have a steady income, an apartment, and childcare assistance. I’m also married with another little blessing on the way.” -Emilee. 

In another interview, a mother named Maria shared her teenage daughter’s unexpected pregnancy story. Unfortunately, her daughter passed away from a drug overdose, and Maria wants to share her daughter’s story, both to shed light on the harmful effects of drugs and to share how her granddaughter is thriving after adopting her. 

“My name’s Maria, and the day I found out my 17-year-old daughter was unexpectedly pregnant, I was in disbelief. My daughter was a heavy partier and had a substance abuse problem throughout the pregnancy. I prayed to God about what to do, and I tried to get my daughter the help she needed. I even looked into placing the baby with another family. My daughter didn’t care much about the baby, kept using heroin whenever she could, and I knew I had to do something to help save my granddaughter’s life. I looked into kinship care and found out that I could raise my granddaughter if my daughter were proven unfit to raise her. When my daughter gave birth, my granddaughter was born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome. At the hospital, social services had asked if I’d be willing to raise my granddaughter. Without hesitation, I said yes. I went through all the background checks and made sure I was prepared for the home study. When the adoption day came, I found out that my daughter passed away from a heroin overdose. What was supposed to be a happy day turned into one of my worst. I still have my beautiful granddaughter here with me, and I see my daughter in her eyes, smile, and laughter. She has special needs because of the drugs in her system at birth, and it goes to show the harmful effects of drugs are damaging to yourself and the lives around you.” -Maria. 

The next woman I interviewed is Trina. Trina is from Trinidad, and when she was 21 years old, she faced an unexpected pregnancy. Trina went through an international adoption process and found an American family to raise her baby. 

“I’m Trina, and when I was 21 years old, I decided to handle my unexpected pregnancy by placing my baby for adoption. I didn’t want my baby to be raised in Trinidad because I live in a poor neighborhood, so I went to talk to a caseworker at The Children’s Authority to start the adoption placing process. I knew I wanted the adoptive family to be a married couple with a good income, so I let that be known to the caseworker before giving birth to my son. I had the approval of the baby’s father and made sure he was involved in the adoption. I had to wait a total of six weeks after my son was born, and it was tough to care for him. He had cerebral palsy, and I wanted to make sure the parents know special needs adoption.  Once it was time to place my son for adoption, the baby’s father or I wanted to have an open adoption. Even though we chose a closed adoption, I know our son’s safe and placed in a beautiful home with a fantastic family. -Trina.

The woman that I interviewed next chose to remain anonymous. She is a Chinese American 40-year-old woman who became unexpectedly pregnant when she had an affair with a married man. She knew the father wasn’t supportive, so she had to look into her options. 

“I’m a 40-year-old Chinese American woman living in New York City. I’m ashamed to admit this, but I became unexpectedly pregnant by a married man. I told him about the pregnancy, and he gave me money to get an abortion. I believed at the early stage of my pregnancy I could go through with it, but when I went up to the abortion clinic, an older woman pulled me aside and told me that there were other options and that I could give my baby a good life. She showed me pamphlets of local adoption centers, and I told her I’d look into them. I told her thanks, and I went home to research all of the local adoption centers. I went to the closest adoption center near me. The adoption specialist taught me how to make an adoption plan for my child, taught me about my abortion alternatives, and even helped me look at adoptive family profiles

In the second half of my pregnancy, I found out that I was expecting twin girls. While I was overjoyed, I was somewhat sad to place them with a new family. Not wanting to lose touch with them completely, I chose to have a semi-open adoption. Now that my twins are born and with a fantastic adoptive family, I receive letters and cute photos. I can say that now I’m thankful for that kind woman who stopped me from having an abortion, and I can rest easy knowing I made the best decision for all three of us.” -Anonymous.

The last woman I interviewed, Grace, chose to raise her baby but realized that raising a baby was no easy process, even with the father’s support. 

“I’m Grace, and when I knew that I was unexpectedly pregnant, I was overwhelmed by worry and doubt. When I told the baby’s father, he was supportive and told me he’d raise the baby with me. We got married, and my husband worked long hours to ensure both me and the baby would be okay. We bought baby supplies, and when we found out we were having a boy, we bought a lot of blue items. When the day came to deliver our son, my husband and I were second-guessing our choice to parent our baby. When we brought our son home, we were facing sleepless nights, a lot of crying, and my doctor told me that I had postpartum depression. When our son turned three months old, I talked to my husband about putting our son up for adoption. We read about the pros and cons of open adoption and decided that open adoption was the best choice for us. My husband and I are doing okay now, and we’re happy to bond with a great and supportive adoptive family.” -Grace.

I hope you enjoyed reading about these courageous women’s unexpected pregnancy stories. I thank each of them for sharing their stories, and if you’re facing an unexpected pregnancy, you can feel encouraged to choose the best choice for you. You can always call a crisis pregnancy hotline, speak with a pregnancy counselor, talk with someone you trust, and listen to birth mothers’ amplified podcast and youtube videos for more help.