How Can I Tell My Parents?

Cynthia Flynn's picture
Experts: 

QUESTION

Dear Midwife,
This might be a little long but I need your help. I am 15 years old and I am in a 1 year relationship with a guy I love. My family likes him, too! We have been having sex for a few months. But about a month or 2 ago we stopped using a condom (neither of us have had any other partners) and I am now about a week late for my period. I'm not sure which time it was that I may have got pregnant so I don't know if I can take a pregnancy test yet will it work if i take it now?

And I am sooo scared to tell my parents and family about this. How do I tell them? Write them a letter? Tell them to their face? Have a doctor tell them? My mom and most of her family is very religious. And my dad...well he is one of those dads that are like no dating until your 30 but after a bunch of begging and crying, he actually gave my boyfriend a chance and liked him and trusted me! I don't know if he is going to try to keep me and the person I love apart.

What month do you usually start to show? And around what month do you have miscarriages? I don't want to go ahead and tell them, then lose the baby and I don't want to tell them until I am about to show.

If your breasts are not through growing and you get pregnant, after you have the baby (and stop breastfeeding: if you do) will your breast go back to the size they were and not grow anymore? If you get pregnant a few days before your suppose to have your period but you miss it, do you still have a few period symptoms like back ache or some pains around or near the ovaries.

Please help! Thank you so much! (Abortion and probably adoption are not options. My family and I are against abortion.)

ANSWER

A faint line usually means that you have an early pregnancy. Not all of these are viable (estimates are that 25% are not), so the next test you take might be negative. If the pregnancy got a good start, the second line should be clear in a week. When you start to show depends a lot on your body type and shape, so I couldn't really say in your case. If you make it 13 weeks after your last period, the chances of a miscarriage go way down.

There is no easy way for a 15-year-old to tell her parents that she is finished being a teenager and is ready to become an adult, with adult responsibilities, to assume full responsibility for the care and financial challenges of raising another human being, to put her own education on hold, and to ask the same of her boyfriend especially when your parents have trusted you, and you chose not to use contraception.

In most states, you are too young to marry and form a real household for this child. But you do need prenatal care right away if you are pregnant, and in most communities, there are clinics you can go to for free without your parents knowing. But I think if you are old enough to become the parent, then you are old enough to tell the truth to your parents' face.

Do consider giving your child the gift of parents who choose to and are ready to care for your child. I know you are young, and it takes a lot of maturity to put the needs of the child before your own needs and that of your family. Nothing would be harder for you to do than to let your child be adopted. But it may be better for your child if you wait to become a parent. It is something to consider seriously. You have some big decisions to make, and hopefully your parents will help you make them.

  -- Cynthia, CNM