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“The Evidence Shows I’m Pregnant, But I Just Can’t Deal With That”

Have you noticed signs and symptoms of pregnancy, but feel unprepared to process this?  Perhaps you’ve recently taken a few pregnancy tests and can’t seem to wrap your head around the positive results.  Maybe your period is long overdue and you’re having frequent nausea, but pregnancy still feels out of the question.  We all have a difficult time coping with change, especially when it has the potential to impact our lives significantly.  This may be why many women struggle to recognize and accept an unexpected pregnancy.  If this describes your experience, know that it is possible to meet your fears head-on and move toward a hopeful future one step at a time.

At Avenue Women’s Center, we’ve been helping women navigate the ups and downs of unexpected pregnancy since 1981.  Our services include medical-grade pregnancy tests, limited medical ultrasounds, options consultations, and more- free and confidential for women in Chicagoland and beyond. 

Check us out to learn more about our goals and services!

We All Respond Differently, And That’s Okay

A major unpredictable event, like an unexpected pregnancy, can affect people in very different ways.  Many people experience a variety of heightened emotions, while others feel emotionally numb.  If you’re feeling numb in response to a positive pregnancy test or clear symptoms of pregnancy, this may be a sign that your mind is trying to protect you from severe stress.  When faced with evidence of pregnancy, there may also be a sense of denial.  Some psychiatric theories suggest that denial is one stage of the grieving process.  Grief is often associated with death, but it can be a reaction to any kind of loss.  As you grapple with your present reality, you may be grieving the loss of the future you’d envisioned, the support of your family, or a number of other things you value.  What a woman grieves for, and whether or not grief is a part of her pregnancy journey at all, depends on the unique person and situation.

Signs of Emotional Numbness and Denial

Have you noticed any of these signs?  If so, you may be experiencing some emotional numbness.

  • Feeling detached from yourself and the world around you
  • Struggling to connect with other people
  • Difficulty sensing, understanding, and responding to feelings

Symptoms of denial may look different.  Are any of these indicators of denial showing up in your thoughts or behaviors?

  • Feeling certain that there’s been a mistake or misunderstanding, even if the evidence doesn’t support this
  • Avoiding conversation about the subject which is causing denial
  • Avoiding feelings of loss by staying busy with other activities

If you’re wrestling with any signs of emotional detachment or denial, you have nothing to be ashamed of.  These are natural reactions to the news you’ve received.  However, chances are that you’ll need some help coping with your unexpected pregnancy.

Walking This Path Together, One Step at a Time

Reaching out for help is a sign of courage and emotional maturity.  Whether or not you feel ready and able to deal with an unexpected pregnancy, seeking support from someone trustworthy is always an excellent idea.  When you visit one of Avenue’s pregnancy centers, we’ll provide a lab-quality pregnancy test and offer the opportunity to process the results with one of our pregnancy consultants.  Confirming the pregnancy is a critical first step, allowing you to access the resources you need if the result is positive, and breathe a sigh of relief if it is negative.  Our compassionate team members will walk beside you on your journey, wherever it may lead.  Even if you’re feeling unprepared to share your story, a supportive presence can bring comfort.  Depending on your situation, additional assistance from a mental health counselor or another professional may be beneficial.  Our team members at Avenue can help connect you with these services as well.

Coping Strategies to Consider

Consider trying some of these coping strategies to manage your stress.  These techniques probably won’t eliminate the problem you’re facing, but they can help you feel calmer and more focused, equipping you to move forward with confidence and clarity.

  • Care for your physical health. Prioritize physical activity, healthy eating, and an appropriate amount of sleep.
  • Try a breathing exercise or relaxation activity. These are available in books, online, and in app stores.  Place yourself in a calming environment, or create one.  For example, you may consider going for a walk or taking a warm bath.
  • Again, seek support! A professional like a pregnancy consultant, therapist, or faith leader can help, and so can a trustworthy friend.  Surround yourself with good company, engage in activities that you enjoy, and laugh!

Coping with an unexpected pregnancy can feel impossible sometimes, but you can meet this challenge!  Our knowledgeable team at Avenue Women’s Center is here to empower you with the practical services, community resources, and caring support that you need to step into a bright future.

Schedule an appointment at one of our locations in Darien, Elmhurst, Glen Ellyn / Lombard, Naperville, West Chicago, or Wood Dale, Illinois today!

*If you’re experiencing severe or persistent emotional numbness, talk with a doctor.  These symptoms can sometimes be related to an underlying mental health condition.  If you’re experiencing suicidal thoughts, call 911 immediately.



MedicalNewsToday. (2020, September). Feeling numb: What you need to know. Retrieved from:


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.