– Unplanned Pregnancies Then vs. Now –
What was a typical day like for your average nineteen-year-old thirty years ago? When you woke up, you were glad there was nothing electronic close at hand to open up the world to you. You, alone, away from it all . . . perfect. Once awake, you’d turn on your favorite radio station or you’d rewind your cassette to hear your favorite Billy Joel, Whitney Houston, or Lionel Richie song again.
You were thrilled your parents got that extra-long phone cord so you could finally leave the kitchen and walk into the bathroom to talk to your friends.
“Well, then call me as soon as you get back home. I have to tell you something,” or “If no one answers, I’ll call later. Just make sure you are by a phone when home,” were statements often said.
“I’ll text you later” was nowhere to be found.
It was hard to decide which one of those six stations to watch on that big, boxy TV.
You loved grabbing the daily delivered newspaper your parents had on the kitchen counter to check movie times.
Later on, it was time to put eighty-nine-cents-per-gallon gas in your stick shift before picking up a few friends, grabbing ninety-nine-cent double cheeseburgers at McD’s before watching the movie called Star Trek lV, or The Voyage Home, that cost a whopping $2.75 to see. That’s what life was like for me when I was nineteen.
Until, that is, I found out I was pregnant. (1*) Life was so different back then, and I felt so alone. I’m certain many women feel like that even today, but because of the way we now have such easy access to helpful information, I think it’s safe to say that not quite so many feel as alone as I did.
There was no cell phone back in 1986 so, when sitting in my car, away from the world, I couldn’t secretly look up information on where to get a pregnancy test
No laptops, I-pads, or cell phones to tweet #unplannedpregnancies. No opening up your laptop to type in NoWayCanIBePregnant.com, either. No putting in ‘first trimester’ to get a long list of websites covering the subject. I would have loved to have found a Facebook group for Christians going through an unplanned pregnancy, or Twitter to find encouraging verses and quotes. But no. I felt like I was in my own little world, not able to connect with any Christians who had been, or were, going through what I was experiencing. I now know that if I did not have my church family during that time, I would have gone bonkers. But still, there was no one to Skype with who could look at me, face-to-face, and say, “Believe me, I know what it’s like and how you’re feeling.”
Unplanned pregnancies can be dealt with quite a bit differently now than thirty years ago. Now, you can get info on anything from anywhere. Heck, you can even get your best help or support from total strangers all around the world!
I’m sure I would have been getting information and insight from my I-phone, I-pad, or I-mac. (Yes, you can call me an I-fan!) There are also many organizations that have opened their doors for needed tests, information, and support.
For years, I put off writing my story being as so much had changed since I was pregnant. Then it hit me. Unplanned pregnancies are still that: un . . . planned . . . pregnancies. They were the same back then as they are now: an unexpected shock to women, followed by overwhelming emotions and stress for all involved. Once realizing this, I then decided—with encouragement from others—to write my book, showing what I went through. Yes, the means of getting helpful information about this type of pregnancy is now different. Also, the number of people you can connect with going through the same thing can sure help one feel less alone. But overall, we’re still the same. Our feelings and thoughts were stored in the same place back then as they are now: in our hearts and souls.
And God’s the same, as well! That’s the best fact. He has not changed how He carries those who follow Him. He sure carried me then and He sure carries His children now.
Hebrews 13:8: Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Sure, He might now use that perfect website to guide you in what help or information to get. I just know I’d never change what He used to guide me to what was best for me.
The good old yellow pages. (2*)
Marianne Petersen is a former volunteer at a local pregnancy help organization and is actively involved in her local pro-life community. She is also a member of Northwest Christian Writers Association and author of a forthcoming memoir, God and Your Pillow. You can follow Marianne on Twitter at @marimemoirs and read more at her blog marimemoirs.com