Have you ever received an unexpected present? Sometimes we get packages that we open up and think, “Wow, I can’t believe I got this!” Other times, a different kind of package takes 9 months to be delivered and we still think, “Wow, I can’t believe I got this!” A baby can be planned and anticipated for a long time, but in many cases, babies can come as a surprise! If you are expecting an unexpected gift to be arriving in approximately 9 months, there are plenty of steps that you can take to get ready for the big day!
Step 1: Gather moral support.
Regardless of age, relationship status, or lifestyle, an unplanned pregnancy can shock even the most prepared woman! It’s important to know that you are not alone through this life experience, and that there are people who love you. Make sure to surround yourself with individuals who will support you through pregnancy and not criticize you for it. If you have difficulty finding encouragement, try searching for a local pregnancy support group!
Step 2: Search for an obstetrician.
Finding the right obstetrician should be priority on your list of things to do because proper healthcare is vital for a safe and happy pregnancy. At your doctor appointment you’ll be able to determine how far along your pregnancy is, view the ultrasound, and receive vitamins and important information about how to take care of yourself.
Step 3: Plan the birth.
After your obstetrician appointment, you’ll have more information regarding different birthing options. Your doctor may recommend a cesarean section depending on your medical history or body type, but if not you can ask yourself a few questions. Do you want to have an all-natural birth, or an epidural? Have you ever considered having a water-birth? Perhaps you want to use a mid-wife at home instead of a hospital. If you do choose do give birth at a hospital, which one will you select? You do not need to make a final decision right away, but these are important questions to keep in mind.
Step 4: Inform work of your pregnancy.
Once you know when your due date is, it’s important to notify your workplace about your pregnancy. This step may seem scary if you’re afraid of how your pregnancy will affect your career, however the law is on your side! The Pregnancy Discrimination Act, or PDA, is a law that enforces equal treatment of women who are pregnant or on maternity leave! According to the PDA, it’s illegal for your workplace to treat you differently because you are pregnant. This includes all aspects such as hiring, promotions, raises, and termination. More information about your rights can be found on www.eeoc.gov.
Step 5: Register for the baby and go shopping.
If your baby’s a surprise, it’s very likely that you’re lacking supplies and maternity clothes. Shopping for your pregnancy can be a fun experience, but it might also be stressful for women who are not financially prepared for it. If you’re tight on money, you can do a few things that will help out with the cost. Registering for baby supplies, for example, is a great way to ensure that you won’t have to buy everything yourself. Family and friends will probably love to see your wish list and help out in anyway they can. Another option is to shop at secondhand thrift or baby stores. You will be able to find stylish clothes and items for a fraction of the price!
Step 6: Plan for babysitters or mother’s helpers.
Before long it will be almost time to have your baby, and your third trimester is the perfect time to make post-birth plans. If you have a job, how soon after the birth do you plan to go back to work? Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to interview potential babysitters or nannies to ensure you’ll find one that you trust. If you choose to be a stay-at-home mom, you may want to consider hiring a mother’s helper. This will help you adjust to your new life as a mother while still keeping up your house.
Step 7: Pack your bags
A few weeks before the due-date pack your hospital bag. Bring everything that you’ll need to make sure the delivery is as comfortable as possible, and don’t forget to bring baby supplies and clothes. You will want to pack at least a few weeks ahead of time in case the baby is determined to come early.
Step 10: Enjoy your new best friend!
It will be a busy 9 months for sure, but once you see your baby, it will all be worth it. The stork will deliver your package and you’ll think, “Wow, I can’t believe I got this!” As your baby grows up, you will grow along side of her and share many experiences together that wouldn’t be possible without her life. Everything will come together at the end, and take comfort in knowing that “A baby is God’s opinion that life should go on.” -Carl Sandburg
Have you experienced an unplanned pregnancy? How did you prepare for the arrival of your baby? Share your experience in the comments below and tell us about the moment that made everything worthwhile!