Have you ever been in a situation where you sat in the bathroom with your heart pounding and waited for what feels like forever to see two pink lines? The pink lines appear, and now what? Your mind is racing as you think about a million things; your eyes begin to become blurry from the tears that have started.

Unplanned pregnancies are challenging. Once an unplanned pregnancy happens, the expectant parents are presented with a decision for their unborn baby that will impact not only them but everyone else around them. There are three choices that you have as an expectant parent when faced with an unplanned pregnancy: adoption, abortion, and parenting.

Below are the unplanned pregnancy stories of three different women who faced the same situation and chose differently. They share their unplanned pregnancy stores and the decision that impacted them for the rest of their life. The truth: good, bad, and ugly.

Chloe’s Adoption Story

Let’s meet a young 14-year-old who has just had those pink lines appear on her test, now she’s terrified. Chloe was a student at the local high school, she was a sophomore full of life. She had never been great at school, but she managed. Chloe had a great group of friends. She was even on the swim team. One day at her friend’s house she met the guy. He was amazing, had the best smile, was tall, and very handsome. Her friends loved him and so did she. Chad and Chloe were inseparable. He was her first and they were in love.

Chloe had wonderful parents. They were an upper-middle-class family and she never wanted for anything. Although her parents were great, they never talked about sex and how babies were made. As Chloe was looking at her test, tears were running down her cheek and she thought her whole life was now over.

“Will Chad still love me? What about college? My parents are going to hate me.“

Her family found out right away and they told her to turn to The Gladney Center for adoption. Scared and feeling in shock, she agreed. As time and reality set in, they told Chad and his family. Both families agreed that adoption was the best choice for Chloe and Chad. Chloe’s family brought her to The Gladney Center for Adoption where she talked to a sweet, young lady. They talked about Adoption.com as well as the housing options available to her.

Chloe moved in to a maternity form and was greeted by other ladies who were happy to meet her. Chloe joined in the classes and counseling that Gladney offered. Adoption.com and The Gladney Center for Adoption also paid for outings which were always Chloe’s favorite. Chloe often wondered if this was the right decision, but as time went along, she picked out the best family for her child and got to meet them. They were kind and wonderful. She knew then that adoption at The Gladney Center for Adoption was the best choice for her baby.

Chloe gave birth to a beautiful baby girl and she was wonderful. Chloe never thought she could feel so much love. Her baby girl had black, curly hair with olive skin and green eyes. She was perfect. Leaving the hospital was tough without the baby in Chloe’s arms, but it did not change her mind. Chloe was tough and strong-willed. She knew what she wanted for her new baby girl. Placement day arrived and everyone was nervous, Chloe picked out the cutest outfit and bow for her daughter and wrapped her in a pink baby blanket. She walked into the room and handed her baby girl to her new mommy. Everyone was in tears. Chloe still knew in her heart this was the right choice.

This decision was a hard decision, but she knew from that day forward that the family she chose for her baby girl would be the best choice. She would never have to wonder if her daughter’s adoptive mother loves her. The Gladney Center for Adoption was there for her every step of the way, even after she placed her child.

Chloe has since graduated from college and works as an ER nurse at the local hospital. Chloe’s baby girl is now 10 and they visit together three times a year, sometimes more.

Kim’s Abortion Story

At the time of her unplanned pregnancy, Kim had graduated high school and was in college just making it by. Kim had been struggling with her social life and school. She started to get comfortable with a guy she met in class. He was kind, sweet, and listened to her. They would talk on the phone for hours about everything under the moon. She was in love with this boy.

Three months into the relationship Kim started to feel nauseous and achy. She thought she was coming down with the flu, so she visited the doctor’s office. They gave her a pregnancy test; not thinking anything of it, she took the test and waited in the cool room for the doctor to come in. The doctor and a nurse came in a few minutes later to give her the results. “Positive? What do you mean? I am pregnant?” she was in shock. She then put her head in her hands and cried. She was broken, confused, and uncertain about what to do or what she was going to say to her newfound love. Kim left the office, got into her tiny car, and asked “Why me?” She called her boyfriend to break the news to him and he was not happy to hear he had a child on the way.

He asked her to come to him right away. They met at their favorite restaurant. He chose a table in the back away from people. She came in with her head down in shame. She sat down, and he began to tell her that this child would ruin his life and hers. He said that they were not ready to be parents. They had one more year in college and no money. They lived in dorms. What were they going to do with a child? Kim began to cry again. The next words that come out of her boyfriend’s mouth haunt her to this day. “We have to get rid of this problem. We will go tomorrow and get this taken care of.” Kim, not understanding her other options, felt obligated to make this decision.

When they arrived at the abortion clinic, she felt even more ashamed than before. Kim walked in and felt chills going down her back and a cold breeze; she was not ready. She looked at her boyfriend, and he told her, “It is okay. It will be over soon.” She signed in and they took her back to show her a sonogram and tell her about the little life she was growing. She cried and wondered whether the little baby would be a boy or a girl.

Then, Kim quickly came to reality and remembered what her boyfriend said. She did not want to upset him. The clinic made her wait 48 hours to make her final decision. For the next two days all she could think about was her baby and how she saw signs for Adoption.com and happy families. She just did not see how it would be possible or if her boyfriend that she loved would still be around if she changed her mind.

She googled The Gladney Center for Adoption and Adoption.com and imagined her baby’s life with a family as she browsed through all the parent profiles. She dreamed of what the baby would look like. Would the baby have green eyes like her or blue like her daddy? Would it be a girl or a brown-eyed little boy? Kim came back to reality when her boyfriend interrupted her daydreaming. He started talking about how great it would be once it was all over with and how they could get on with their lives. He said that he was so proud of what she was doing.

The dreadful day came when Kim checked in to the clinic with her boyfriend by her side. They called her back and gave her a pill. They told her she would feel uncomfortable, but the process would not take long, and she would be done within the hour. Kim doesn’t remember the rest. She tries every single day to forget that moment. Her boyfriend met her in the waiting room and said, “It is finally over. You made a good choice.” She battled depression over the next few weeks wondering how she was going to move on with her life knowing what she did.

Kim’s boyfriend left her two weeks after the abortion. She was alone. She failed out of school and had to find someone to talk to for help. It took her a while to get back to where she felt a little normal, but she still couldn’t stop thinking about her unborn baby. She now works with agencies to help women who feel they are pressured into choosing an abortion. She also teaches about adoption. Kim has come a long way and wishes every day she would have chosen adoption. She often refers expectant parents facing an unplanned pregnancy to adoption.com or The Gladney Center for Adoption hotline. Kim shows girls what parent profiles are and photos of families who would love to take a new child into their home.

As you can see from these unplanned pregnancy stories, it not an easy situation. However, the next decision you make after discovering an unplanned pregnancy will affect everyone around you. This includes the unborn child, your family, the father of the child, and his family. They are all now involved with your decision, but most importantly you are affected by your decision. At the end of the day, it is yours and yours alone.

Stephanie’s Parenting Story

When Stephanie turned 21, she was in love with a boy named Ethan. They had been together through high school and now college. Stephanie was looking forward to becoming a teacher and was close to finishing her degree. Ethan was going to school to become an engineer. They were happy and loved each other dearly. Stephanie and Ethan had many friends, they even joined a pool league that played every week on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

One day Stephanie was feeling under the weather and she thought it was something she ate. She also missed her period which was always on time. She, like most young women, called her mother and told her how she was feeling and that she was late on her period. Her mother brought her some soup and sprite as well as a pregnancy test.

Stephanie was nervous and thinking about how she was going to finish school on time with a child. What would Ethan think or do? What about Ethan and his degree? She panicked and her mother calmly told her it was okay and that no matter what there were people in place to offer help and support. Stephanie’s mother also knew Ethan and his family well. She knew they would help out with the new baby.

The two pink lines showed up and tears ran down Stephanie’s face. Her mother embraced her and said it looks like we are going to have a baby. Stephanie looked up at her mom and smiled, but deep down she was upset about the situation. Ethan came home that night and Stephanie had a gift box set up to surprise him with the news. He was excited but also scared. They knew they had a lot of family support and love to get through though.

They both went to all the appointments and soon found out that their baby was going to be a little girl. Stephanie was stoked. She bought bows, dresses, and everything pink while waiting for her daughter’s arrival. Ethan’s family surprised them with a huge baby shower where they gifted the couple with more than enough to get them started. Without both of their families’ support, the decision to parent would have been much harder.

It can be challenging to juggle your options when faced with an unplanned pregnancy. As you consider your life and those around you who will be affected by your choice, you may feel pressure to choose one route over another. Any decision you make will take a toll on you mentally, physically, and emotionally in different ways, but it cannot be avoided. It is a decision that will impact you for the rest of your life but it will not define the rest of your life.