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Balancing Your Bucket List During an Unexpected Pregnancy

Autumn is finally here, and that means festive fall activities are kicking off!  What items are you excited to check off your “fall bucket list” this season?  (I’m hoping to shoot a pumpkin out of a cannon and eat an apple cider donut sundae before Thanksgiving rolls around.)  Most people have “life bucket lists” in addition to seasonal ones.  Maybe you’re eager to accomplish an educational goal, travel to a dream destination, or snag a coveted promotion at work sooner rather than later.  It’s natural and healthy to strive towards ambitions like these.  But what if an unexpected pregnancy seems to be threatening your best-laid plans?  Perhaps you’re afraid that some of your available pregnancy options would disrupt your ability to achieve your aspirations.

In the 40+ years that have passed since we first opened our doors, Avenue Women’s Center has come alongside countless women who’ve wrestled with concerns like yours.  We want you to know that it’s possible to embrace your bucket list goals and pursue them, no matter which pregnancy option (abortion, adoption, or parenting) you choose. The journey may look different than expected.  It may be a long and sometimes challenging process.  But you have what it takes to discover your own best outcome- for this pregnancy and every other component of your life.

Learn more about Avenue Women’s Center! We’re a limited medical clinic that provides practical and emotional early pregnancy support.

Adjusting to Shifting Plans

Let’s be real.  It can feel very scary and frustrating when difficult, unexpected situations interrupt our plans.  It’s important to remember, though, that when the stakes are high and the potential outcomes are significant, it’s vital to proceed with a healthy frame of mind.  That means taking a calm, careful, well-informed approach to your upcoming pregnancy decision.  Learning strategies to cope with stress surrounding your bucket list may help you in this process.  Here are a few ideas that may be useful!

  1. Break some of your larger bucket list goals into smaller, more manageable steps. This approach can be really beneficial, whether or not you’re facing an important decision with time limitations, like a pregnancy choice.  For example, if parenting is an option you feel drawn to, you may not be able to graduate college before giving birth.  But you may be able to complete your second or third year, and adjust your timeline from there to achieve your goal of graduating.  There will always be goals within your goals.  Perhaps passing your upcoming test could be a goal within your goal to complete this current semester.  Succeeding in smaller objectives may give you momentum and confidence to succeed in the bigger ones.
  2. Focus on your most attainable bucket list items, which may be accomplished before committing to a particular pregnancy outcome. For example, it may or may not be feasible to plan a trip to Paris or go after your dream job during this particular season of life. But perhaps you can seek out responsibilities at work that interest you, and ask for a raise.  Perhaps you can take an apple-picking day trip or a relaxing weekend getaway with your partner or girlfriends.
  3. Practice acceptance of your circumstances. This tends to be much easier said than done, but it’s okay for acceptance to be a gradual process.  Consider letting your pregnancy news sink in before deciding on abortion, adoption, or parenting.  A more laid-back approach may help you view your situation with a clearer perspective.

Plans are Adaptable, and That’s Okay!

An unexpected pregnancy may impact your bucket list plans.  But remember that all kinds of plans we make in life are fluid (even if, in our minds, they seem set in stone).  Your plans are subject to change, and yet, adaptable- like water shaping itself to the container it’s poured into.  Sometimes, it’s good for goals (or at least, the processes we take to achieve them) to be flexible, because life is unpredictable.  You’re resilient and brave enough to cope with this uncertainty.  So, keep an open mind and don’t let your predictions or assumptions about the future become the driving force behind your pregnancy decision.  Instead, take the time that you need to process your situation, gather information, seek support, and learn about all the options and resources available to you.  At Avenue Women’s Center, it’s our aim to help you accomplish all of these goals.

Are you looking for compassionate, confidential care?  Avenue Women’s Center offers free medical-grade pregnancy tests, options consultations, limited medical ultrasounds, and more!  We’re a safe and judgment-free space.  When you contact us, we promise you’ll be met with empathy and respect by our amazing team of professional pregnancy consultants and nurses.

Reach out to ask us your questions and schedule an appointment!  We’re located in Darien, Elmhurst, Glen Ellyn / Lombard, Naperville, West Chicago, and Wood Dale, Illinois.

The information provided here is general in nature.  It is not a substitute for a consultation with a medical professional. Before any medical procedure, it is imperative that you discuss your personal medical history, risks, and concerns with your doctor. If you have questions during or after a procedure, your doctor should be immediately contacted. Avenue Women’s Center is not an emergency center.  If you are experiencing severe symptoms, such as bleeding and/or pain, seek immediate medical attention.  Contact your physician, go to an emergency room, or call 911.