How to Tell Your Family

Few things feel more isolating than being a young woman with an unplanned pregnancy, and feeling you have no one to turn to. How to tell your family you are pregnant can be intimidating. Often, the sense of shame and social stigma leads girls to make unsafe decisions when they are at their most vulnerable. But there is hope!

If you find yourself in this position, know there are people and resources to guide you—judgement free— through your situation. It takes courage to reach out and ask for help, but as Stephanie’s story shows, there are people who care and want to help. You’re not alone.

Below is one teenager’s story, and how she told her parents.

I found out I was pregnant at age 15. The boy I was dating told me I was on my own, and his parents said it couldn’t be their son’s because he was a “good boy.” I knew I had to tell my parents right away because I was afraid that his mom would call my parents.
My parents were business owners in a tiny town and constantly lectured me about my actions. I was terrified. I knew how to protect myself from getting pregnant, but I didn’t. Here I was, about two months along, and I decided to write a letter to my parents. I packed a book bag with some clothes and money from birthdays and doing side jobs, and dropped the letter off on my mom’s desk while she was at lunch.

‍It was summertime, so I called a friend who lived in the next town and asked for a ride. I ended up running away for a few days and finally called my mom, Janet, to let her know I was alive and to see how she reacted to me being pregnant. She was more upset with the fact that I ran away than anything. I was out of money and places to stay, so I let my mom come pick me up.
There was silence in my house. My dad, Jim, wasn’t speaking to me because he didn’t know what to say. My mother was crying and researching my options. They didn’t even ground me because they said the “damage” was already done, which hurt more. After all, it felt as though they didn’t care anymore.

‍Looking back, I regret running away. You can’t run away from being pregnant. My parents ended up forgiving me and loving me even though I had a miscarriage a month later. I often wonder if my baby would have gone full-term if I would have gotten the proper medical support and taken vitamins. I didn’t eat hardly anything while I was on the run. A lot of pain, fear, and emotions that were not even necessary if I would have just talked to my parents in the first place. Our fear drives us as teens, and logical decisions are hard to make in the heat of the moment.”

Story shared by, Stephanie R.

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