Operation Unexpected Pregnancy

âÄúGuess what? YouâÄôre going to be an auntie!âÄù ThatâÄôs how my friend, Ginny, decided to break the news to me last week that she is pregnant. My immediate reaction was to retort, âÄúIf this is some sort of ploy to capitalize on the Bristol Palin fame, youâÄôre sick.âÄù Ginny was a repeat offender when it came to practical jokes, and I anxiously awaited her laugh. It didnâÄôt come. âÄúNo,âÄù she said softly. âÄúIâÄôm actually pregnant. IâÄôm going to have a baby and IâÄôm going to keep it.âÄù âÄúOh honey,âÄù I mustered, finally. âÄúWho was with you when you found out?âÄù âÄúKings of Leon,âÄù she whispered. She had been alone. Ginny doesnâÄôt attend the University, but her condition caused me to wonder about the resources available to students who might find themselves in a similar situation. I will be the first to admit that itâÄôs lame that it took a direct incident for the issue of unexpected pregnancy to garner my attention, but I hope to alert the rest of you, so that you donâÄôt fall victim to that same indifference. On Monday, I called the Boynton WomenâÄôs Clinic number listed on their website and pretended that I was pregnant. âÄúOh my, whatâÄôs your major?âÄù the nurse asked, as if a reply of âÄúelementary educationâÄù or âÄúearly childhood developmentâÄù would instantly make my predicament a blessing in disguise. I explained to her that I wanted to know what programs the University offered for student parents. She replied, âÄúThatâÄôs a very good question. IâÄôm sure they exist.âÄù This struck me as an acceptable argument for angels or fairies âÄî âÄújust because you canâÄôt see them doesnâÄôt mean theyâÄôre not thereâÄù âÄî but it would have been incredibly disheartening to hear, had I actually been pregnant. After a long hold and a few Onestop keyword searches, the nurse informed me of the Student Parent HELP Center (SPHC), located in the basement of Appleby Hall. Upon inquiry, the director of SPHC couldnâÄôt meet with me until the following day. Yet, still feeling emboldened by my 24-hour cameo as a pregnant student, I decided to check out a place called Choices on the third floor of the Dinkydome. At first glance, Choices advertises itself as a counseling and life center offering free pregnancy tests and other resources. Yet, as soon as I entered their office, I realized that I was in a church: Choices also moonlights as the Tri-North Campus Ministry. Immediately, I removed my hand from its maternal position on my stomach. Lying about being with child in a House of God was probably fair grounds for being sent to hell, even if it was for research. The volunteer counselor that received me at Choices was very sweet and understanding. When I told her that my friend was pregnant and I was looking for ways to assist her, she showed me an entire wall of brightly colored pamphlets from area organizations. âÄúMost of the people we see tend to be a little bit older than students, but if your friend is at the U of M, I know just the resource for her,âÄù she suggested, handing over a brochure for the Student Parent HELP Center. Satisfied that all signs were pointing to the same path, I waited for my interview with the SPHC director, which I will recount next week. In the meantime, I tried to console Ginny: âÄúI suppose being pregnant would kind-of be like having a third breast, only exponentially larger. A fair amount of guys would find that kinky.âÄù âÄúYou forget that IâÄôm not Angelina Jolie,âÄù she sighed. Ashley Dresser welcomes comments at [email protected]