When we find ourselves unexpectedly pregnant, we often start to stress. We tend to find ourselves asking a lot of questions, such as: What should I do next? Who should I talk to? Where should I go? What are my options? The most important thing to remember is that you’re not alone and you have plenty of options. But what are those pregnancy options? Informed Choices Pregnancy & Parenting is here to help guide you through this process.
Confirming Your Pregnancy
The first step in understanding your pregnancy options is to confirm your pregnancy so that you can best understand your options. The best way to do this is with a medical-grade pregnancy test that we provide at no charge to you. If the results come back positive and you are considering your pregnancy options, then you may be offered a limited obstetrical ultrasound.
Why Do I Need An Ultrasound?
An ultrasound provides you with important information, such as the gestational age of your child, your estimated due date, and confirming that the pregnancy is viable. This also tells you what pregnancy options are available to you, as how far along you are dictates what options you have. Informed Choices offers limited obstetrical ultrasounds to clients who receive a positive pregnancy test at our center and medically qualify.
Pregnancy Option 1: Abortion
When someone discovers they’re pregnant, abortion may be the first pregnancy option thought of. It’s commonly thought of as the easiest solution, but there is much more to it than some may realize. One example being, how far along you are dictates which abortion procedures are available to you. We break down the details of each abortion procedure here.
Medical abortion, also known as the abortion pill, has become one of the most popular options for abortion. This abortion option is only available during the first ten weeks of pregnancy. What many people don’t know is that the abortion pill is actually two separate pills that will terminate the pregnancy and induce labor.
Let’s break down each of these medications.
- Mifepristone (Mifeprex) – This is the first pill typically taken within the first seven weeks after your first missed menstrual cycle. Mifepristone thins the uterine lining by blocking the body’s ability to create the hormone progesterone. This first pill will be administered in a medical professional’s office under close medical supervision.
- Misoprostol (Cytotec) – This is the second pill taken during a medical abortion. This pill is taken at home either a few hours after taking mifepristone in your doctor’s office or the following day, based on the instructions given to you by your medical professional. Misoprostol will begin to induce labor by causing your uterus to contract. Even though this pill is taken at home, a few visits with your medical professional will be required afterwards to ensure no complications arise.
The traditional image many conjure up when they think of abortion is of a surgical abortion. An ultrasound will be required before the procedure to check for the baby’s location and gestational age.
An early surgical abortion is commonly done in two ways.
- Aspiration abortions:
An abortion that is performed by the use of a suction hose to remove the embryo and clean out the uterus.
- Dilation and evacuation abortions:
In this process, a suction hose will be used to suction out as much of the embryo as possible. Then a small metal looped-shaped knife is used to gently cut out any remnants that still cling to the walls of the uterus
The legality of medical abortions varies state to state so that’s why it’s important to talk to your doctor or local pregnancy center for more information. Medical abortions have been legal in Illinois but only up until the tenth week of pregnancy. After the tenth week, success rates drop dramatically.
Each state has their own laws regulating the abortion process, so it’s encouraged to talk to a medical professional or your local pregnancy center. In the state of Illinois, as of March 1, 2020, an abortion can be performed up until viability (when the baby can live without support if born), after which abortion of a viable pregnancy can only be performed if the mother’s life or health is in danger.
Pregnancy Option 2: Adoption
Adoption, also known as alternative parenting, is thought to be a difficult and complicated process, but it’s quite the opposite. As the birth mother, there are a wide range of services available to help you with your adoption journey if you choose this pregnancy option. There are services available that can compensate you as the birth mother financially for medical services, and provide financial funds to cover your costs of living. At Informed Choices, our staff can provide referrals and help answer questions you may have.
When it comes to adoption you can choose two types.
Open adoption gives you the ability to keep a relationship with the prospective adoptive parents and your child. You can communicate back and forth, attend sports games, dance recitals, and important events in your child’s life. Open adoptions are perfect if you find yourself unable to parent at the moment, but you still want to maintain a relationship with your child.
If an open adoption doesn’t sound like the right option for you, then a closed adoption is the choice you will want to go with. This will allow you to give your child the life you want them to have and provide an amazing opportunity to a couple looking to add to their family. By choosing a closed adoption, you choose to give up all forms of contact, although contact may be possible in the future if the child is grown and wants to reach out to you.
Pregnancy Option 3: Parenting
Wanting to parent, but you’re worried about school, work or maybe you feel like there is no one to help you through your parenting journey? These are extremely important and common concerns. Many women feel worried that they will have to parent all alone, but there are many support systems in place to help along the way. You are never truly alone.
If becoming a parent is something that you want to do, but if you don’t feel prepared to parent, then we can help you in this aspect as well. Our center offers parenting education that can help you understand the process, from birthing training to parenting education.
Another way we are here to support you along your parenting journey is by providing material assistance. Whether it be clothes, diapers, formula, and even sometimes a car seat or crib.
Understanding Your Options
It’s important to understand all of your options. Your health comes first and it’s important that you know all of the facts. Whether it’s about adoption, abortion, or parenting, you should feel informed and empowered when you make your decision.
How We Can Help
Each of us are unique, which means that there is no cookie-cutter solution for any of us. We all have grown up in unique situations, have different beliefs, and come from completely different backgrounds and cultures. However, that doesn’t mean a solution can’t be found. By getting to know you and being there for you, we can help you create the perfect plan to help and support you. The first step in understanding your pregnancy options is by reaching out to Informed Choices Pregnancy & Parenting; we’d love to meet with you. Give us a call at (847) 650-5864 or text us (847) 650-5864 to learn more about our services.