If you find out that you are pregnant and you did not intend to be, that news can be joyous or devastating. Much of that decision rests on your shoulders. Should you be in a less than desirable situation and pregnant, you still have the opportunity to make the best life you can for you and your new baby.
Planning is the most important step you can take right now. Your first decisions will be medical. Do you have insurance? If not, find out if you can qualify for public assistance. Though you may not be able to get Medicaid per se, there are other programs available for people who do not have health insurance. Many states have programs specifically for pregnant women, so start making those phone calls today. Getting in to see a doctor or midwife immediately is important to be sure the pregnancy progresses as smoothly as possible.
Next, you should look at your finances. Babies are expensive as any parents will tell you. With a little ingenuity, though, you can begin to work your budget around the cost of having a baby. First make sure that you know how much you make every month. If you have unstable employment, such as serving, then use the figure you know that you make each week or month. Then determine how much your bills are. Include everything with high estimates for utility bills.
Once you know how much you make and owe right now, you can begin planning for the added cost of having a baby. Begin calling daycares to see how much you can expect to need for childcare. Begin pricing the necessities for the baby. Remember that most of the information out there is intended to get you to purchase the best and most expensive of everything, but it is not necessary! Your baby will need a bassinet or crib unless you will be co-sleeping 100 percent of the time, and you can find good quality secondhand cribs at baby consignment shops.
Also start to look around for places you can go to get help from friends and family. If you know of someone who just had a baby, you may be able to get some of the baby items from her. You should not feel badly about asking; most moms are happy to share what they have because babies are so expensive.
You also should begin preparing for the baby a little each week. Although you may not be that excited right now, and you probably do not feel a bond with the baby yet (despite what books and movies will say), you should begin to do some things for the baby. If you will have a room for a nursery, begin picking out what you will need, even if you cannot buy it yet.
Also begin working on smaller things, such as washing and hanging the baby clothes when you get them. It is tempting to toss everything into the room and move about your day, but you will need to begin preparing now for the changes that the baby will bring to your life. You should think about when you will get the crib and how you will manage to paint when you are not supposed to inhale the fumes. Even if you only spend an hour every Saturday on decorating or getting something ready, it is important that you do not wait until the last minute.
Read up on everything you can right now. You may be overwhelmed with the information, but get a couple of good books on prenatal care and baby development. What to Expect When You’re Expecting is considered the bible of baby books, and it will answer most of your questions. You can find it at most used book sales or new for only about $12. Also get a journal so that you can record how you feel. Although you may be sad now, you will be excited to meet your new little guy or girl in the future. These moments are fleeting so you should capture them.
Try to find a support system as soon as possible so that you can begin to share the good news of your baby with others.