I Am Pregnant
“I am pregnant.”
The three words in the English dictionary most men dread the most when we are just on the dating scene.
I like to call it the “we need to talk” or “the news” scare. A lot of unsettling thoughts rushes through the mind of a man when his woman declares that “we need to talk.” She could be getting ready to inform him that she just won the lottery but no, unwanted pregnancy thoughts jump to the forefront immediately. Even if we were heavily protected and fortified during sex, we still think the news may be about an unwanted pregnancy.
Most men don’t think about unwanted pregnancy when we get frisky and ready for action. There is, however, that brief moment after the fanfare where we go, “Oh crap! What if?
The “what if” you suppressed because you were too excited to think is now back to haunt you. You can’t believe how careless you have been. You start cursing at yourself. Your outlook on life and your future suddenly appear bleak and uncertain. You have just entered the zone I like to call, “The Wait.”
Allow me to guide you through the mind of a man when he enters the “Waiting” zone.
The First “Waiting Zone”
When I start to get curious about your menstrual cycle every month, I am scared and worried about the possibility that you may be pregnant. When I start casually asking what brand of tampons you use, I am really scared about getting “the news.” What do I care about what brand of tampons you use? I have zero interest in that aspect of your life. Actually, I lied. I am only interested in your menstrual cycle in order to determine when I have to hold off on our extracurricular activities. I am asking about the brand of tampons you use to satisfy a curiosity. My curiosity centers only on one thing; has your period arrived on time and without incident?
All I need to hear are these magical words while I am in the first waiting zone.
“I am on my period.”
Ah, music to my ears, my Love, sweet music to my ears!! Suddenly, I can see the sun shining again. Suddenly, my food tastes better. Life is good!
I was 25 when I first heard the dreaded words; “I missed my period.”
“Huh? You missed what?”
“I missed my period, you dummy!”
This is when I asked the stupid question. “So what does that mean?”
Of course, she snaps back with, “What the heck do you think that means?”
I got lucky the first time I got “the news.” She was just late for her period. Whew! Dodged a bullet on that one. Ever since then, I have received the “I missed my period” scare every now and then. All false alarms. I am very careful when making babies is not the end goal but you can never be too careful, can you? Accidents do happen.
The Second “Waiting Zone”
If you have to rush to the pharmacy at 3 am for a pregnancy test, something ain’t right. The worst aspect of an emergency pregnancy test is not the wait for the red lines to appear. It is waiting for your girlfriend to develop the urge to pee into a cup. I have been there. I felt like jumping out the window because she was taking forever to develop the urge. I hate that wait! The wait for the actual results takes a minute or two even though it feels like an eternity
Of course, you have to perform more than one test just to be certain. If the results are negative the first time, you are still not home free. You have to sit and wait for the second test to finish up. You don’t really talk to each other while you wait, do you? What is there to talk about? A baby shower? What should we name the child if it is a boy? You are in the dead silence zone; time just freezes for both of you.
The Third “Waiting Zone”
Let’s take a look at the last and most difficult wait in my opinion; the after breakup wait. Oh, this wait is excruciating! You just broke up but for you, the breakup is not over until a month or two later. You are not totally home free until you can be certain that you did not leave one of your bread crumbs behind.
You are not sure if her next period will arrive without incident. She can still call or text with the “we need to talk “scare. There is nothing worse than a call after a breakup with the news that she missed her period or she thinks she is pregnant. She hates your guts now. How will you navigate this situation with a possible pissed off ex-girlfriend?
The after break up wait will have you sitting on pins and needles. You start rehashing the last time you had sex in agonizing details.
Did I pull out in time?
Did the protection break?
Did I wear protection for round two?
Did she punch holes in the condom?
Was she on a pill like she said?
Did I release any strong swimmers by accident?
You have no insight. You have already broken up. You can’t have the “brand of tampons” conversation anymore. You are totally in the dark.
I actually know guys who will not break up with a girl until they are in their period or after it is over. If she does not call or text you with the “we need to talk” declaration in at least two months, you know you are in the clear.
It’s party time again!
I got my act together when an ex-girlfriend got pregnant with my daughter. I had the same reaction to the “news” and I was not ready to be a father. Our Ghanaian culture frowns heavily on conceiving a child before marriage. I went through all kinds of the emotions; anger, regret, pain, uncertainty. You name it, I felt it and experienced it. In hindsight, my daughter has been the best gift God has ever given me. I am forever grateful to her mother for bringing her into my life.
Experiencing an unwanted pregnancy is a very serious matter. Most times, men greet the news of an unwanted pregnancy with a mixture of fright and panic. I have learned a few lessons over the years on how to handle the “news” that I want to share with my fellow brothers.
Be mindful; she is more worried and scared than you are.
First of all, no matter how scared you are, she is one hundred times more scared. No matter how worried you are, she is one hundred times more worried. Her worries pale in comparison to yours. You do not have to carry an unwanted pregnancy around for nine months. You do not have to show up to family events, church and work with a baby bump. You will not have to deal with the morning sickness, the back pains, and the weight gain. You will not have to experience a painful childbirth.
Trust me, fellas, your worries are nothing compared to hers. You should start by asking her how she’s doing and what she is thinking. Allow her to express her thoughts before you share yours.
You have to take responsibility immediately.
Sex leads to babies. It is that simple. You had sex and a month or so later, here you are. It is not a mistake, it is not an immaculate conception. The swimmer you unleashed in her is your handiwork. Take responsibility immediately especially if you have no doubt that the baby is yours. She needs you to take responsibility to make the situation manageable for her. Say the three simple words she needs to hear. “I am responsible.” Follow that statement with, “We will get through this situation together.”
You have no right to blame her for the unwanted pregnancy.
Blaming your woman for an unwanted pregnancy is the worse move you can make in this situation. I understand that nothing in this life prepares you for this situation. However, you cannot react by pointing the finger at her immediately.
“I thought you were on the pill!” is a self-centered response.
“Are you sure it is mine?” is an inconsiderate response.
“I need a DNA test” is an ungracious response.
“You need to get an abortion” is an insensitive response.
Distrust and suspicion may creep into your mind. Even if you have strong reasons to doubt your part in the pregnancy, do not broach the issue right after she breaks the news.
Asking for a DNA test is tricky. I do not discourage anyone from asking for a DNA test to prove that the baby is yours. However, you must have very good reasons before you make that request. If you caught her cheating red-handed a month prior to the pregnancy, you are within your rights to ask for a DNA test. However, if you want a DNA test simply because you are scared to be a father or you are just panicking, you are backing up the wrong tree. If you have no reason to doubt her loyalty to you, asking for a DNA test will really hurt her at a time when she needs support.
If a DNA test has to be performed, find a way to get the test done together. Do not make the woman feel like she needs to prove something to you. You have to be civil throughout the whole process. It is an emotional time for her as well as you. You are not performing the tests for you, you are taking the test for the sake of the unborn child.
It is best not to try to seek answers or solve the problem at that moment. You do not get to cross-examine her immediately after she gives you the “news.” Stay with her and allow her to talk, let her cry, let her vent.
Make plans to talk again the next day or at a later time. You both need time to think and digest the unexpected news. Whatever scary thoughts are invading your brain, keep them there. When you leave her side, call your brother, your best friend, your therapist, your father, whoever you chose and unload your frustrations and fears on them.
Stay safe, my friends.
By Kwadjo Panyin…