Our elder counsels a letter writer in a difficult situation. Summon your courage and tell your parents, she says.
I am 13 years old. One day I spent the day at my boyfriend’s house. His parents were not home. We got high (on sugar, I promise you that) and ended up having sex. The next day I woke up feeling like crap. I went home and did know I had had sex. Anyways, that day was Sunday. The next day, Monday I threw up a lot. My parents were away. I stayed home from school. The next day I threw up again. This time I stayed home but I went to the dollar store and bought a pregnancy test. I knew to buy one because my friend was pregnant and she said that was what happened to her before she found out. Anyways, I took it and it came out positive. Two weeks later, my mom and dad decided to go to Paris and leave at my aunt’s. I had taken four more pregnancy tests and they had all come out positive. I asked my aunt to take me to the doctor. I had still not stopped puking. My aunt wanted to go to a movie so I asked her to drop me off and leave. I went into the doctor’s office alone, feeling scared. I went up to the desk and asked for an ultrasound appointment. Ten minutes later my fears were confirmed and turned out to be worse. I was pregnant but with twins. I am now a month pregnant. My parents have not noticed I have gotten rounder. How do I explain to my parents (when they are around) that I am pregnant with twins and that I do not want to abort or put them up for adoption?
Oh, my goodness, this situation must not be taken lightly. It is very important that you tell your parents of your condition as soon as possible. Any pregnancy involving more than one fetus comes at a higher degree of risk. It is imperative that you have ongoing medical care and monitoring throughout your pregnancy. The longer you wait to tell your parents the longer you delay having adequate medical attention.
In re-reading your letter I find myself a bit confused. Most pregnancies don’t present themselves with immediate symptoms such as vomiting. Those types of symptoms generally appear a few weeks into the pregnancy. Did you tell your aunt what you feared to be true, that you were pregnant? I find it odd that your aunt didn’t accompany you on the doctor visit even if she had no clue the genesis of your illness.
When I was a few years older than you are right now I too found myself pregnant and alone. I was raised during an era when a teenage pregnancy was considered shameful and embarrassing. I came from a relatively strict home and my mother warned me against being sexually active prior to marriage. Although I would hear her words reverberating loudly in my head, I succumbed to my teenage hormones and the love I felt for the boy I was dating. Being pregnant at a very young age was considered taboo and unacceptable, and so I chose to hide my condition for six long months. By the time I found the courage to tell my mother of my plight, I was really starting to show. How she missed it remains a mystery to me to this very day. By waiting that many months I forfeited any other options I may have had available to me. Moreover, I did not receive any medical attention and was extremely fortunate there had been no complications. Again, the risk of complications increases with multiple births.
In the end I knew with a moral certainty that I was ill prepared to raise a baby on my own. I believed my child deserved two parents and to be raised by adults who could handle the awesome responsibility of parenthood. Although giving up my child for adoption was undoubtedly the most difficult decision of my life, in the end it was the exact right decision for both of us. I am not suggesting you do this, but only saying it bears consideration. I am giving you my perspective now that I have the luxury of hindsight.
You are only 13 years old. You have so many years ahead of you to be married and have a family. You are barely a teen and can’t begin to conceive what raising two babies on your own would require of you emotionally and financially. Raising twins in the best of circumstances would be daunting. You have no idea how much more difficult and challenging this would be for someone of your age. Your parents would have to step up to the plate and essentially raise your children while also finishing raising you. They would also assume financial responsibility for them from now until the foreseeable future. More importantly it would be unfair to them to have to start over. From what little you’ve said in your letter your parents seem to live a very busy life. This would bring that lifestyle to a screeching halt.
It is so critical that you tell your parents as soon as possible, for all the aforementioned reasons. Keep your options open and allow the adults in this situation to help you sort through everything that lies ahead. Much like me you were careless and disregarded the consequences that come from having unprotected sex. When you choose the behavior, unfortunately you also choose the consequences. Don’t make a bad situation worse by hiding your condition from your parents. This is not going to go away. The sooner you face up to telling them the better for all concerned.
What I have learned during my long life is that most of what happens to us is the result of the choices we make. Some choices have the capability of literally changing our destiny. This is one of those critical moments for you. Sadly, it comes when you are still a child yourself. You must choose what’s in yours and your unborn babies’ best interest. You need to sit down with your parents tonight if at all possible and get the telling of this behind you. It doesn’t matter how you tell them or what you say. What matters is that you come from a place of regret for having let them down and using poor judgment. Don’t hit them with wanting to keep these babies until after they’ve had an opportunity to absorb the shock of what you will be telling them. Your parents may become upset and even angry but they come from a place of unconditional love. That won’t change even if your news comes as a devastating blow to them. That’s to be expected. They are still your parents, and they will always love you no matter what and have your best interest at heart.
Summon all of your courage and tell your parents this news.
Article #: 435209