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UNPLANNED PREGNANCY - HOW TO HANDLE IT?

By Ankita Goel

So you've missed a period, and had been wondering about it, when this nauseating feeling also starts troubling you. Then, the urine test comes out positive. Here you are left with a big '?', feeling angry at yourself, your lover, confused, feel like crying, feel like rushing to the abortion clinic or just feeling like killing yourself.

Before you go in for any hasty decisions, try to follow some 6 bit of advice from Swami Gurupremananda, who herself had had a few unplanned pregnancies, and at the age of 17 had her first daughter whom she adopted out. She is now a renowned yoga master, and a birthing mother who specializes in woman's health. This is what she has to say about an unplanned pregnancy in her book "Mother As first Guru".

Step 1: DON'T PANIC

It is not a life-threatening emergency. You have plenty of time to consider things. Just for the moment, don't think about -what am I going to do, will I have it or not, what does he want, will I tell him anyway. You may be in shock right now, and that's no time to use your rational mind. You may be feeling that things are out of your control, just as they were when it happened. But you have to realize it that at that time didn't have control over your fertility, your contraceptive method, your partner's sexual urges, and now if you don't panic you can regain control.

Step 2: DON'T GIVE YOURSELF A HARD TIME

An unplanned pregnancy leads to the emotion of guilt, shame, fear and ignorance. Feelings like "I hate myself", "I am in deep trouble now, look what someone else has done to me" arise. Pregnancy occurred because of all the forces resident in the pelvic area, but resolving this issue can be done only using your head, when you may be feeling cheated by the circumstances.

It is easy to say that drop your guilt, your hurt, your anger, but that is what is required at this point of time, for you to think rationally. The feeling won't go way immediately, but you have to let go of the guilt, stop dwelling on it, loosen up the mindset, and be open to change. If you are open to change move on.

Step 3: TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR WHAT IS

When you have stopped feeling guilty about your so-called "wrong doing", you must acknowledge the responsibility for what exists now. You should not be a victim any longer, but be the master of the situation. What frequently drives a lot of people straight away to consider abortion is that urge to get rid of potential responsibility, and guilt. Stop dwelling over the past, think about right now. Take a deep abdominal breath of self-assurance, look upwards, and take a big confident step.

Step 4: ACCEPT YOURSELF AND FIND THE LOVE

It is important that you forgive yourself. It is not easy, but comes from a self-realised understanding that no real harm can ever come to our spiritual selves- even from sexual ignorance.

We are responsible to do something about something we now know about, and we are responsible for trying to increase our understandings of things we don't know about, we are not responsible for things, which we did not know about at that time. This is the key to go beyond guilt and awaken self-acceptance. More than forgiving yourself for getting pregnant, what you are actually doing is forgiving yourself for all your ignorance. This is a healthy start to becoming more wise.

Next it is important to find love in yourself and your partner. Just think for a moment, about that fateful day and how you felt about it? Whether your act was one of love or just 'for sex' or beautiful or dishonest. Finding love at that point of time of lovemaking has led many a women to change their decision from aborting it to keeping it.

Step 5: DECIDE TO LEARN SOMETHING FROM IT

Now is the time that you learn something from the whole event. Once you decide to learn something from a potential disaster means that you have accepted yourself, and plan to resolve the situation diligently. It is the time when you have realized the truth, and it is time for you to have a serious discussion with yourself.

Step 6: MEDITATE DEEP AND LONG BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT

The technique of meditation you can follow is "So Ham Mantra Japa". The purpose of meditation is to find out the answers and resolve conflicts.

Swami Gurupremnanda , recommends that one must go over these 6 steps time and over again till there are no feelings of guilt , or shame . Also some other factors to assist in the process are:

RESOLVE IT ALONE

It is important that you decide for your self first what you wish to do with this pregnancy without the consultation of the father (it is not that the father is not equally responsible), or some wise advisor. This should be done because here we are to resolve an existing pregnancy and not the cause. It is the woman who must take the responsibility (initially) alone. It is she who will be carrying the baby. A man has first hand experience of the baby only once it is born. He may have the right since it is his sperm, but it is only possible if the woman agrees to take on the pregnancy.

If he as well as you didn't want the pregnancy then the matter should end there. If you want the baby and he doesn't, then either ethically or morally he has no further responsibility or else you can hound him for paternal obligations.

Or else if you both decide to go on with the pregnancy - both of you should decide individually and independently. This is possible if you decide before asking him. This is very different from a compromise answer when a man may get influenced by you and later have regrets. The father may even then walk out on you later, when he realizes what he really wants, leaving you in a more difficult situation. Individual, unassisted answers enables one to reveal their deepest paternal and maternal compatibilities. This is important, as later when the child comes he should not feel unwanted by either parent. Any child can detect unwanted-ness from even 3 months of conception, and this can have its own implications in the future life of that child.

To handle an unplanned pregnancy, as we see yoga (meditation) can be of great help as it will enable you become a stronger person, who has overcome all the negative feelings, and taken a firm and rational decision about herself, her partner, and most important the child.
 

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