It’s something you joke with your friends about – until it actually happens to you.
You realize one day that your period is already a week late so you go to the store, pick up a home pregnancy test, and you shockingly see two lines indicating a positive result. So, what now? You might be experiencing a range of feelings, from excited to terrified, or even everything at once. You might not even know how you should feel. Either way, there are some immediate steps you should take before making any final decisions.
1. Medically confirm your possible pregnancy. Just because you have a positive home pregnancy test, doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a viable pregnancy. Going to a free medical clinic that can confirm your pregnancy through a laboratory-grade urine test and an ultrasound exam will help you to know the facts about the possible pregnancy. The ultrasound exam is very important because it can help confirm three things:
- how far along you are
- if there is a heartbeat
- location in the uterus
Sometimes our periods are irregular, so an ultrasound can measure how many weeks pregnant you are. If there is no heartbeat, you could possibly be having a miscarriage, even though you might still have a positive urine test due to the hCG (pregnancy) hormone still present in your system. Determining whether or not you have an ectopic (or location other than the uterus) pregnancy is also very important.
2. Talk to someone who will give you the facts. This can be a very emotional time, depending on the circumstances you might be facing, when you find out that you might be pregnant. It is important to talk to someone who will be able to tell you the facts about your pregnancy and who can help walk you through each option you have, along with their possible outcomes. Some women make a decision without exploring all of their options beforehand and end up wishing they had more information before making a final decision. Any decision you make is one that will be with you for the rest of your life. Make sure that you talk to someone who will help you to know as much as you can about each option. Take time to talk to someone at a place like Hope Women’s Centers: a safe, confidential, and non-judging environment, who can help you to make an informed decision. The decision to make is yours.
3. Talk to the people closest to you. Talking to the people who care the most about you is important and it is a good idea to have all the facts before you talk to them. Think about the people that you know will be there for you in the long term.
The first two steps can be accomplished by making an appointment with Hope Women’s Centers. Remember that as emotional as you might be feeling, you are not alone; there is always a way and there is always someone willing to help.
About the Author: Kristen is a twenty-something South Florida native that works as a client advocate for Hope Women’s Centers. She loves laughing, Salsa dancing, art and music shows, picking up random hobbies, and is always in pursuit of finding the best tacos.