Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Let's get to it!
I hope you and your readers can help me. I recently found out that I'm pregnant and I'm freaking out. Not because I can't take care of the baby on my own or don't want children. It's because I don't know who the father is. I don't have a boyfriend, just a couple "friends with benefits"...if you can even call them that. One is more of a "friend" while the other is more of a jumpoff. I know what you're going to say, I should have used protection with both of them, but I didn't. I must have miscalculated my cycle and I didn't think I could get pregnant. I hadn't planned on having sex with both of them in the same week, but it just happened. Now I don't know what to do.
I plan on keeping the baby, which I'm sure will upset them both when I tell them. But my question is, should I bother telling them at all? I'm 39 years old and make good money, so I may decide to just raise the baby on my own and no one will have to know. I'm embarrassed and afraid and my family is going to be so disappointed in me. Can you tell me where I should begin with no judgments? Any advice will help at this point. Thanks!
Well, I think you should begin by going to your gynecologist and getting a full exam - including one for STD's. If you've had unprotected sex with two men, there's no telling who else they may have had unprotected sex with - so I'd go get checked out to make sure no one has put anyone at risk.
Also, if you haven't had a doctor confirm your pregnancy, I'd do that as well. Make sure that you and your baby are healthy.
Now, as far as dealing with the two men involved, I'd tell them. I know it'll be uncomfortable, but they deserve to know. They both know that they had unprotected sex with you and that pregnancy, as well as contracting an STD, was a possible consequence of that action - and it was a risk they were willing to take. You may be surprised at their reaction. Either way, you have to tell them since the child will also belong to one of them and they should know of your decision. At 39 years old, this shouldn't even be a question for you.
You also may change your mind about seeking financial help from the father as well. While you may make a great salary, I find that no amount of money seems to be enough when it comes to raising children. Daycare, diapers, formula, soccer, ballet lessons, etc. - all of that costs money - and you may be underestimating the cost of raising a child alone. And you shouldn't have to raise a child alone. It takes two to make a baby, and both parents should be responsible for raising a child. Don't decide to raise the child alone simply because you're afraid to find out who the father is. It'll be worse if you change your mind and wind up on Maury later with two men on stage.
And it's not just about money. You shouldn't deny the father a chance to develop a meaningful relationship with his child. Not all men are deadbeats, and once you find out who the father is, you may find that he'll want to play an active role in his child's life. You won't know what you're dealing with until you talk to both of them. Be mature about it. Tell the one who is more of a friend that you want to be upfront and honest and tell him that you had sex with someone else around the same time you had sex with him. Let him know that you want to be sure who the father is in fairness to all involved.
If he's a friend and a mature adult, he'll want to do what's right and submit to a paternity test. I believe that there are pre-natal as well as post-natal DNA tests available now to determine paternity, and your doctor can discuss those options with you. If you can find out before the baby is born, then you can eliminate one possibility by testing your friend first. That way, if the other guy turns out to be the father, you still have time to tell him and prepare him to be a father before the baby arrives. And it may also give you a chance to tell your family and friends who the father is without them judging you for not knowing who the father of your child is. In any case, you're a grown woman and you don't owe your family and friends any detailed explanations. Your true friends will be there to support you, not judge you.
My mother always used to tell me when I was younger: "If you can't see a man as the father of your child, then don't lay down with him." I never understood that, and thought it was a bit drastic, but now it totally makes sense. I always tell my friends that just because you're only interested in a guy as a jumpoff or f*ck buddy, that doesn't mean that you should lay all of your standards down by the river. He shouldn't be a "bottom of the barrel" type dude simply because you don't want to marry him. Having sex is a risk every time you do it, so if you can't see the person you're laying down with as a possible co-parent - then either don't do it, or wrap it up twice. No one wants to get preggers by the thug dude, or the ex-con...and no man wants the "bird chick" for a baby mama. I'm not judging you, but using this as a teachable moment for those out there who think they don't always have to be selective about anyone they sleep with - jumpoff or otherwise.
I wish you the best of luck with everything, and I hope you and your baby are healthy...and ultimately happy.