To The Pregnant Teen Wondering: Should I Keep My Baby

Should I keep my baby
I’ve been wanting to write to pregnant teens and teen moms for quite some time. But I haven’t known where to start. There are so many overlapping challenges to being a teen mom, it’s difficult to compartmentalize and address each issue one at a time.

But I think this is a conversation we need to have. I want to let you know you’re not alone. I want to let you know people care about you. You are loved. Your child is loved. And you don’t have to do it alone.

We may come from different backgrounds. I may not understand every challenge you face. It’s a different world for you, being a teen mom now, than it was for me in 1996. But we share the common bond of being pregnant as teens.

We speak the same heart language. Because, in the end, all that separates our experiences is the passing of time. So let’s start at the beginning shall we?  Today, I want to talk to the teen who recently found out she is pregnant and is wondering…

Should I Keep My Baby?

*Deep Breath*

Okay, breathe.

That’s a mighty question. And a question I’d like to break down because, really, this question can have two meanings. First, one might interpret this question as Should I give birth to this baby?  And, second Should I raise this baby? I’m going to start with the easy question.

Should I give birth to this baby?

Yes. Without question. Without hesitation. Unequivocally. YES.

Accidents surprises happen. This pregnancy may not be what you planned, but it is what has happened. I’m going to give you some tough love here and tell you, you don’t get a do over. The moment that baby was conceived all your plans and hopes got thrown into the back seat, at least temporarily.

Now, society might tell you there’s another option. That in a matter of hours, with one simple medical procedure, you can get your life back on track. That things can very easily go back to the way they were, for a small fee of course.

Please don’t swallow this lie. Abortion is not simple. It is taxing physically, and emotionally. For every “abortion was the best decision for me” story, there are countless others suffering in the shadows with regret. You just may not hear about them because fear and shame have kept them silenced.

Like Sarah Mae

And Cheri

Even so, let’s step away from the abortion argument. Let’s ignore the fact that your baby’s heart was likely beating before you even knew you were pregnant. Let’s side-step that rabbit hole altogether and talk about hope.

Do you have hope? Can you see a glimmer of your future or are you consumed in today’s confusion and fear? Let me help set you free.

Whether you know it or not, believe it or not, I can tell you, your unborn child has purpose. That baby has a destiny. Who are we to snuff it out?

Whether or not you believe in God, I do. And I know something you might not. That baby is His. Whatever pain, or trauma or darkness may have brought that baby to be, God still loves it. God still has a plan for it.

That doesn’t necessarily mean your baby will cure cancer, or be the next big movie star, or president. Maybe, maybe not. But it does mean that baby has the power to love, and be loved. To bring joy to this world. To bring a new start and new purpose, and you can be part of bringing that to fruition.

So please, don’t snuff out that ember of hope. Hold on to hope and trust that even though you can’t see the future, your baby has purpose and is worthy of the opportunity to live out their purpose.

I know you may be scared. I know you may be overwhelmed. But I promise you, you’re stronger than you think. Whether you have a great support system, or you’re surrounded by people who douse you with negativity, I want you to know – you’re strong enough.

Will it be hard? Yes.

Will it hurt? Oh yes.

Can it also be exciting? Yes!

And rewarding? Oh yes!

Don’t discount yourself. You may be young, but since when does age determine worth? When does age determine tenacity? And ability? And spirit? And strength?

The beautiful thing about pregnancy is none of us are ever truly ready for what it brings into our lives. We can read every book and article available, but until pregnancy is real, we simply don’t get it. We are all learning as we go. Whether we’re 16 or 36.

So you, teen mom, you’ve got this. You may waver and doubt, you may at times feel overwhelmed and defeated. But I don’t doubt for one second your ability to do this. You. Are. Strong. Enough.

Pregnancy and birth isn’t instant, you have nine months to think, pray, and make decisions. There are solutions to questions about relationships, school, work and whatever else may be worrying you. There is time.

So, breathe. Take one decision at a time. For now, decide that yes, you will give birth to this beautiful beating heart within you. Decide to give this precious child life.

You have time to decide all the rest.

…Which leads us to the second part of the “should I keep my baby” question…Should I Raise This Baby?  (Part 2 coming soon)