How to accept an unplanned pregnancy

Yulia Shubina works as an editor in a large company, writes a blog about freelancing and receives 100-150 thousand a month. She was preparing a business plan for her new project when she found out that she was expecting a child. We asked Yulia to tell how she decided to accept her pregnancy, not be ashamed of the wedding “on the fly” and completely rebuild her plans for life. 

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I am not the heroine who is usually invited to write articles about her life. My story is as ordinary as possible. And that is probably why it can be useful. I am writing it to remind you: any feelings of a pregnant girl are the norm. As well as any balanced decision about the fate of this pregnancy.

Circumstances

What is happening in my life at the moment when I became pregnant can hardly be called the ideal introductory for giving birth.

  • I just started working with a psychologist who told me: “It’s good that you don’t have a husband and children yet. So your problems will be solved much faster and easier. “
  • The relationship with the child’s father was at an impasse. This was one of the reasons why I went to a psychologist.
  • I came back from a start-up program for young Jews and was preparing a business plan for implementation in Israel. The idea was grandiose: to go to the Promised Land, to save all the repatriates (so called emigrants who return to their historical homeland – editor’s note) from unemployment … Of course, doing this with a small man in your arms would not be easy at all.
  • A year before that, my body had a serious malfunction. During the day I was covered with bruises from head to toe, and blood began to flow from my gums, cheeks and tongue. It turned out that my platelet count dropped sharply. I was diagnosed with Werlhof’s disease. Then, in August 2018, I was strongly advised not to become pregnant for at least a year. And it happened just in August 2019. Wait!
  • At work, she was registered as an individual entrepreneur. This means that I was not entitled to a decree in the usual sense. 
  • My boyfriend and I were not officially married. Although they called their relationship “civil marriage”.

Two stripes

With women’s health, I have always been in order. Therefore, I am not one of those who find out about my pregnancy only in the fourth month. Yes, it turned out that there are such girls. Therefore, if you find yourself pregnant before 12 weeks and register with the antenatal clinic, then the state will even pay you for such conscientiousness.

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I made an unexpected discovery already in the fifth week. As soon as the delay was three days, I started to panic. Having bought the test, I called my best friend. So on the air we were waiting for the result of a chemical reaction. Thoughts in my head were in a bunch. And then, finally, one strip appeared on the test. I laughed, apologized to my friend and began to say goodbye to her, when suddenly the second strip emerged. And then I burst into tears.

There was sadness, confusion and horror in these tears. But most importantly, there were also tears of joy. Joy from the fact that “a little man lives in you”, that “now one mother was born in the world” … In general, everything that is written on women’s forums. This joy was really in me. But it was mixed with a million other emotions, and for some reason no one ever warns about this. 

This is what a baby looks like at the beginning of the second month. I plan to sell this image on REN-TV and say that it is a UFO.

Adequacy checklist

Realizing in myself delight and other necessary, as it seemed to me, emotions, I decided to turn to my rational part, until I was flooded with hormones. And I didn’t think of anything better than making a checklist. He was needed to understand that I am really 100% ready to have a baby now.

The checklist looked like this:

  • I discuss with the child’s father everything that worries me, and even the most unpleasant. Our relationship ended up at an impasse precisely because I didn’t.
  • I hypothetically put myself in circumstances where no one will help me. Yes, now my parents are young and they have the financial ability to help me. And the father of my child is next to me and is ready to help 24/7. But what if everything changes? Am I hypothetically ready to become a single mother? 
  • I go to a psychologist and ask her to objectively judge whether my roof has gone. My request to a specialist was to help me understand how adequate I am in making decisions in general. And can I trust myself.

“Tell me, why do people give birth to children at all?”

In the course of our consultations with a psychologist, I managed to return the strangest questions to her. This time, to better understand myself, I asked her why people want to have children at all. It was, of course, only about adequate and “healthy” reasons.

Here’s what the psychologist replied: 

  • You are pleased with the feeling of nepotism. You love spending time with your family and are energized by those close to you. Or maybe you lack this feeling, because the relationship with relatives is not very good.
  • You need a loved one. You want to give birth to a creature that will be like you and will be connected with you. Not to be confused with “creating a personal slave who will solve your problems for life.”
  • You want to leave a mark on history.
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These answers worked well for me. I calmed down and realized that the decision was balanced, as far as possible. More material questions remained.

Career and bureaucratic subtleties

To understand how much I am generally a person “about work”, you need to know me personally. One of my main clients is hh.ru. For them, I write articles almost daily about work, correct resumes, job search. After a year of such bombing, this topic could have gotten a little tired, and I also started a blog on Instagram. Also about work. And she began to write more and there every day.

In short, life without work is simply unrealistic for me. But I already said that I was framed as an individual entrepreneur. 

This means that I am not protected by the Labor Code. I can be fired “in one day”, without two weeks of working off and payments. Also, I am not officially entitled to sick leave and maternity leave. 

So I had to not only think about how I would work on maternity leave, but also how I would notify my clients about pregnancy and what they would tell me about it.

It turned out to be not as dramatic as I expected. My supervisor at hh.ru congratulated me and we agreed that I would stay. I’ll just take my usual vacation for a month right before the birth, and then I’ll go to work and combine it with raising a baby. Fortunately, I’m at a distance. And in early January, the boss announced that she would give me one more paid month: she and other colleagues would replace me if possible. It was very human of her, and I am incredibly grateful and moved by her.

This is me giving a lecture about telecommuting in the Business Space of the Moscow Government

In addition, I learned that there is actually a decree for entrepreneurs. But you only get the minimum wage, so it’s not profitable at all. 

Am I sad that I am not expected to have three years of maternity leave at home, like all “normal people” with an employment contract? Little. But, on the other hand, as a career expert, I myself always advise my subscribers to maintain their qualifications while on parental leave. 

Wedding “on the fly”

We’ve been together for four years now, and the question of marriage came up periodically, but we always brushed it off. It was not up to that, there was no money for the wedding, and it seemed to us that it was foolish to marry without our living space. When I got pregnant, this issue was resolved automatically. We decided that it would be more convenient to get married, and we can protect ourselves from unnecessary bureaucratic hemorrhoids. Of course, one could just sign, but I really love the holidays. So we arranged a small wedding for 25 people.

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In principle, I did not hide from the guests that I was pregnant, and did not try to hide my belly. It was even important for me that everyone knew that we were going to have a child. 

I was fed up with the historical burden of “flying marriage.” The wedding, following pregnancy, is still associated by most with a broken fate and a bad combination of circumstances. In this case, the bride seems to everyone to be a loser, who could not otherwise “hook the man”. And the groom is a sucker who has been cheated. 

I chose the wedding dress in two tries. And this is very fast, given the limited belly, which could grow at any moment and on an unknown scale.

The only person to whom I decided not to speak a little is my 85-year-old grandmother. I know that all the stereotypes in us are not because we are bad or limited. And from the fact that it happened historically. Stereotypes and traditions, in fact, hold up society and culture. And the older we get, the more difficult it is for us to accept new orders and the increasing degree of freedom with which people open to each other. I didn’t want to test how hard it would be for my grandmother.

This was not the end of my coming-out. I wrote a post on Instagram, where I honestly talked about my ambiguous reaction to the two stripes and that we decided to get married after we learned about pregnancy. I have a very small blog, and there is almost no negative. But it was scary. At the same time, I understood that it was necessary to do it. I want the girls to be ready for the fact that two stripes are not always an unambiguous wow. 

At first I had doubts whether it was worth doing at all. But then I received a few thanks from the readers. They wrote that I helped them a lot. And some honestly admitted that they had once been in the same situation and would like to read something similar.

They say that our brain is designed in such a way that any change is stressful for it. This is why news editors are so nervous. So it is not surprising that the news of pregnancy sometimes confuses a woman. Sometimes even those girls who have been treated for infertility for a long time experience negativity. Therefore, it seems important to me to tell each other the truth. At least within the framework of the female community. Since we are lucky enough to live in an era of feminism, it’s time to legalize all our feelings. Accept: whatever you feel is the norm. The only question is what conclusions you will draw from these feelings and what you will undertake.

I would like to devote the last paragraph of this dryish text to the child in my belly. Indeed, in the five months that he has been with me, he has changed me more than any other person I have ever met. And we haven’t even met yet!

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