When there’s the possibility of more than one dad

It was hard enough finding out I was pregnant, and then to top it off, I wasn’t sure who the father was. Once I got over the shock of the news, I had to get busy trying to figure out who that was so I knew who to give that news to. I was afraid to go to my regular doctor out of shame and for fear my parents would find out. I didn’t want to go to a family planning clinic because I had worked at an office next door to one and just didn’t get a friendly vibe. So unfortunately, my only option was to run to my local library and see if I could find the information on my own. For hours my best friend and I poured over information. My friend was desperately hoping it wasn’t my abusive ex-boyfriend, that I had finally gotten free from. I was just really hoping this all was not real. Just some weird, crazy dream that I would eventually wake up from and life could go back to normal.

Needless to say, our time at the library wasn’t super helpful. I ended up having to tell both guys and just wait until my baby was born. But you have many more options available to you today! And while nothing is fool-proof, here are something you can do to help get through this time that often feels overwhelming:

  • Come to Abiding Care for an ultrasound for your most accurate dates. While it’s not a fool-proof science, ultrasounds are the most accurate way to date your pregnancy* – especially if it’s after 8 weeks and before 12 weeks. As babies, we all pretty much stay the same size per week until after 12 weeks – which is when DNA kicks in and changes things.  This information COULD help you know who the father is, but isn’t a guarantee.  But it is available to you without judgment, and at no cost to you!  Not sure if this would be helpful for you?  Feel free to give us a call to discuss further.
  • Get a DNA test. You have far more options now than ever before in determining paternity.  There are several things to consider, like whether you want a non-invasive test (less risk to the pregnancy, but more expensive) or are ok with a more invasive test that is more affordable.  We found a great article that lays it all out for you to consider: https://flo.health/pregnancy/pregnancy-health/prenatal-testing/paternity-testing-while-pregnant.  The other option is to wait until your baby is born. Your local county health department should be able to help you with that.  It’s pretty painless and reasonably priced. Usually just a swab of the cheek of baby and dad. Even if you think you figured out on your own who the dad is, if there was a possibility of another, get the DNA test done, for everyone’s peace of mind and the ability to move forward with confidence.
  • If you and the father aren’t moving forward together as a couple, learn how to co-parent well. We can help you with this. We have parenting mentors for both mom and dad. You can even earn items you need for the baby’s first few years. All of this is available to you free of charge.

There is no doubt that this can be a confusing and frightening time. But don’t let that keep you from getting the support and help you need. 100% of our patients would recommend us to a friend. When we say we get it, it’s because we do. We know how hard what you are facing is.  I would have given anything to have had a place like this to go when I faced this situation. And we continue to work to make sure you always will!

From Abiding Care’s Executive Director, Carrie