Steph: Before I congratulate you, have you decided if you wanted to have the baby? Before I get yelled at by our readers, it’s a legitimate question and there are options out there.
Assuming you are, congratulations! You’re right, you’re old enough for it to not be scandalous - you’re in your late 20’s, stable, and have a career. If you had a bf or a husband, would people judge you? Nope. And don’t let them - you have control over your life and this decision is yours and the guy you’re seeing. Just because things didn’t work out according to society’s plan doesn’t mean you can’t make it work.
You should also decide when you are going to tell the baby daddy that you’re pregnant. Even if you don’t really expect anything from him (support, time, money, etc.) he does have the right to know that you’re pregnant with his child. You two can discuss options, such as if you two want to make it work as a couple or if you want to just be amicable friends that raise a child together. I find that couples who make it work try not to expect that a baby will “fix” their relationship or make the guy propose. Often times parents-to-be realize that they’re much better off as co-parents and friends than ex-lovers. Hopefully he’s as mature as you are and will be excited for your baby. You two can then discuss the game plan - will he go to your doctor’s appointments? Will you allow him partial custody? Will he be there at the birth? Are you two going to be friends or will you try to make it work? Will there be child support? How much can he afford? Does this need to be court-ordered or can it be mutually agreed upon before getting the legal system involved? Talk all these issues out early - get a sense of how he feels and what he thinks is expected from him and what you expect from him. Get on the same page.
As for your friends and family, you may think that they won’t be excited for you, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised. They may be caught off-guard, but don’t confuse their surprised reactions with lack of support. Like you said, they had no idea you were seeing anyone, and for you to have a baby is a big deal. But ultimately, they will be excited for you and your baby. Take your family and friends out (separately) and let them know the big news. Be honest - tell them you were casually seeing someone and things happen, but you’re going to move forward and raise the baby to the best of your ability. Of course, this goes without saying - but you should tell your baby daddy before telling your friends.
Lastly, be strong. You are mature enough to handle this situation gracefully. Do not let any judgment sway you into thinking that you won’t be a great mother. Maybe your baby is unexpected, but it’s those types of things that really turn out to be a blessing, if you choose to look at it that way. It really is about perspective. You can do this. You got it.
Dru- From just reading the question, it’s hard to tell if you want a baby right now. Realistically, if you aren’t ready, there are two options- neither of which should be taken lightly. One is (if this is still VERY early on) visiting a local Planned Parenthood to explore options or another would be to give up the child for adoption. Both have very different implications which can leave lasting impacts on your life.
If you are planning on keeping the baby, then congrats! You will definitely need to tell the father of your situation (and don’t be offended if he wants a paternity test as he has to protect himself as well). Does this mean that the two of you will have to be together? No. In all cases I’ve heard, staying together for the sake of the child (if the relationship is rocky) does not always turn out great for the child in the end.
Optimistically, could this strengthen the relationship between the two of you? Definitely. Going through something this life altering together could cement the relationship together. But this does not mean it will or has to. If so, things that need to be discussed would be where the both of you see the father in terms of parenting- would it be more of a custody thing, or will you both be together to raise the child, or whatnot. Legal issues such as custody and child support will also need to be discussed.
If it’s both agreed that he would not be involved, you must also prepare yourself with life as a (mostly) single mom, which can be very difficult without a support network. This includes family and friends, as working and being a a single parent (guy or girl) can be very difficult, much less attempting to have a relationship with another person at the same time.
As for how your friends would react, I would say you’d be surprised- people will still be excited for you if you’re expecting, even if it’s not in the most traditional sense, and the ones that are still there to support you are the true friends anyway. And who doesn’t love babies?!
I know it would probably be the most difficult to tell your family (if they’re anything like a super traditional asian family) and there will most likely be some difficult conversations to have if they are. I’ve heard both bad outcomes and good ones for both, and at the end of the day, your parents must know that this is going to be their grandchild regardless, and it’s up to them how they want to welcome one of their own into the world.
In all, it’s okay to think the worst case scenario happening, but I think that you’ve had enough years in your life and the maturity to make this work great. You’ll do fine, and if you ever want to bounce more questions off us, we’ll be here to answer.