Pearls of Wisdom: Advice for Gennie
Emmerdale resident Pearl Ladderbanks plays agony aunt to the villagers. See what she has to say when she gets a letter from Gennie Walker who is panicking when she discovers she is pregnant by her boyfriend Nikhil Sharma.
Pearl gets a letter from 'Pregnant and Panicking'Dear Pearl,
I wrote to you a while ago about being in love with a man who barely even noticed me. You were so lovely and really helpful that I feel I can trust you on another problem.
Well the good news is that after some small misunderstandings and a bit of heartache we are together and really happy. This is my life though and I should have known it was going a bit too well, it doesn't work like that does it. I've just found out I'm pregnant.
I've done a million tests and it's definitely not a mistake.
I know my boyfriend doesn't want children. He's made that quite clear over the past few weeks. Even if he did, and with me, we've not been together that long. I'm so scared of telling him.
What am I going to do? This is a disaster! Help please Pearl.
Pregnant and Panicking.
Pearl offers some words of wisdomDear Pregnant and Panicking,
Oh love, firstly stop panicking, it won't do you or the baby any good to be so stressed. Just remember that whatever you decide to do you will have people around you to support you.
Now, it may seem like a disaster but it might not necessarily be. Ask any parent and they will probably tell you that nobody is ever really ready to have children. It's a massive life changing event and even planned babies are a shock.
It might be that your boyfriend just hasn't thought about it properly. Maybe he'll be over the moon once the news sinks in. You might both be.
You haven't said whether children are something you want, so it's difficult to give you one piece of advice to fit your predicament. I would say though this is a very important decision for both of you and you should tell your boyfriend so that you can decide what to do together.
I've had some letters from others in similar situations. Why not have a read of what they did and see if their stories help you?
It happens in real life...Marie's story*
I was 19 and had been with my boyfriend for about five months when I found out I was pregnant. We hadn't ever discussed children and I can't say it was something I spent a lot of time thinking about. I knew as soon as I found out though that I wanted this baby. Not that I was against termination but for me it was never in question.
I worried for weeks about telling Carl and it turned out I was right to worry. He went mad and gave me an ultimatum; get rid of the baby or break up. Again I knew straight away what to do and it was goodbye Carl.
I've never once, in the six years since my daughter was born, regretted my decision. I love her so much and can't imagine my life without her. Yes being a single parent is hard work, but it's worth it. Carl has never met his daughter, I tried to call him just after she was born but he told me he still wasn't interested. One day he might change his mind and I'll leave it to my daughter to decide if she wants a relationship with him.
I didn't tell my husband I was pregnant until I was five months gone because I was so scared of what he'd say. When we got married we had already decided that we didn't want children. It wasn't one or other of us who was against it but we both just didn't see ourselves as parents.
To say I was shocked when I found out I was expecting a baby is an understatement. I think I was in denial for the first few weeks and was nearly three months pregnant before I told anyone and that was a doctor.
I had no idea what to do. I was convinced that if I told my husband he would leave me. I told nobody, thankfully I was the kind of person who always wore baggy clothes and it was winter so nobody suspected as my bump started growing.
The day before my 20 week scan I broke down and told Mark everything. He was so supportive and after getting over the initial shock and the fact that I had been keeping such a massive secret from him, he agreed to come to the scan.
As soon as the baby's image came on the screen I knew it was going to be ok. Mark was grinning like an idiot. When I think about it now I can't believe I kept it a secret for so long. That was ten years ago and surprisingly to both of us, we now have two children and are even thinking of having a third.
When I was 25 I was adamant I didn't want children. My sister had a two year old and a baby, she looked knackered all the time and her house was a tip. That was not what I wanted from my life at all.
I had a girlfriend, we'd been together nearly a year and I thought everything was going so well. We never discussed children properly but then I never hid my feelings on the subject either.
I found out that my girlfriend had been pregnant six months after her termination. A friend of hers got drunk at a party we had and blurted out the truth.
There is no way I could forgive her. It's not the fact that she had a termination as in all honesty that probably would have been the outcome had we discussed it. But if she lied to me about something so important, how could I ever have trusted her again?
*names changed to protect the innocent.
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