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PLEASE HELP cant afford this baby :((59 Posts)
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This is going to be very long winded (sorry) but i really need some help,
im 21 single and pregnant,
I spent the last three - four years having unprotected sex with my ex and because i never fell pregnant i assumed and so did he, that i struggled in that department. He doesnt, he has four children aging from 5 years all the way to 16.
However that relationship ended and i had a few flings nothing majour then my last fling happened, and to my suprise i found out i was pregnant
we only slept together twice really good friends and known eachother for years so the sexual side of it wasnt the biggest thing we just really got along.
my first initial thought was, im keeping the baby, i had an early scan due to come spotting and baby measured small but was too early to tell if the pregnancy was viable or not so 2 weeks later had to go for a follow up scan, it was a scary two weeks but was happy to see baby was fine.
however i then decide to tell my family the news, and it all became so real to me, im a student and havent got a penny to my name, i would receive 1200 a month in bennefits and a flat in my area is about 750 minimum unfurnished and before bills, then plus car food baby supplies etc, id be scraping by at best i would really struggle, iv never imagined bringing a baby into this world not being able to support him/her. and not in a relationship. I'm also only 21 i dont want to feel like im giving up my youth too early there so much i want to do, get a job finish college, travel etc..
all this sounds so selfish and foolish i know but im completely heartbroken. i know having an abortion will kill me inside and i will be so depressed for a long time, im not sure i'll ever get over it
i know the best thing for me would be to have an abortion, but im so scared that what if i cant concieve in the future what if there is actaully something wrong with me and i do struggle in that department, Im scared this may be my only chance.. im also scared that it would be foolish to attempt to raise a child when i know i cant give him/her the comfortable life they deserve..
i know i've been stupid and should have use contraception so please refrain from posting judgemental comments or anti abortion comments.
i myself never imagained i would EVER concider abortion, i'v always been against the idea but I suppose you never know what you would do until your in the situation and you feel how i feel right now.
Once baby comes you will be entitled to more benefits. It won't just be £1200 you're left with. Are you currently working? If so you'll qualify for maternity pay. You'll also get child benefit. Do you have family that could watch baby if you get a part find job?
in my area, single parent to one child, housing benefits child tax credits income support etc etc i would be entitled to £1,200 pounds a month xx
I don't have experience of this, but surely if the rent is £750 per month, the benefits would leave more than £450 after paying the rent?
Is that universal credit Dani? You would also get a £500 sure start grant and healthy start vouchers which you can get as soon as you're pregnant for fruit and veg and milk. What area are you in? How long do you have left at college?
I think you need to research financial help more. Where did you get the 1,200 figure from?
Have you spoken to citizens advice? You should be able to get help to pay your rent, tax credits, child benefit and possible IS if you're not earning at all. It will be ok.
If you really want this baby, you can manage on benefits. Many women do. There's healthy start vouchers as well. Then when you're ready you can return to work and you'll get help to pay for childcare.
I use freecycle and fb pages for cheap secondhand items for my kids and furniture all the time. You can get lots of baby items without paying full price.
Speak to citizens advice. Research things fully. Yes there is the option to abort too. That's your choice. But if money is what's stopping you, stop for a minute and look into it more. I survived as a lone parent with an 11 month old and 2.3 year old on benefits when my h left me. And it was ok. I returned to work when things settled down and now things look very different for me but I look back at that period in my life and I'm grateful that the state supported me when I needed it and I was ok.
Will you have friends and family to support you too?
I can totally see how abortion would feel very very wrong. Have you thought about adoption? If you would be able to go through with the pregnancy with that knowledge that the child would not be yours but have a new family who could provide for it, would that be possible?
Ive asked friends who have been in my situation, single with one child, who live in the area and also reasearched online and it all has come back too 1200,
i live in oxfordshire, its quite expensive to rent, i wouldnt be able to find any cheaper than that, but still only entitled to 600 housing benefits, doesnt add up to me but thats how it is, trust me i have researched and researched, i would not get much more than that, A friend of mine claimed maternity pay (she was also single and pregnant) and because she clamied that she was only entitled to 200 pound housing benefits,
i'v researched so much but deep down just keep thinking maybe its just not the right time for me.
If abortion is off the table (an few would blame you at 21) then don't panic, you will survive. There's lots of ways to bring in some extra cash to pad out the budget. You have to wrack your skill set to work out how you can fit jobs around your baby. It's possible (I've done it but I'm a bit older than you so I speak with some work experience) but you will be okay. You will because you have your baby to keep things going.
Take care xx
Okay, deep breaths my love.
I'll give you my background because reading your post actually gave me chills.
19 years old, 400 miles away from family having just started university, was coming to the end of freshers week having had a bottle of vodka glued to one hand and 20 Lambert and Butler permanently glued to the other when BOOM, good ol' reliable AF was late. So I did a test and fell, rather graciously, off the toilet seat having read the positive result.
There is nothing that can prepare you for the shock. All you can do is take big deep breaths and try and figure out what you want to do. It's not an easy choice and it is certainly one you need to seriously consider.
My story now? I have an amazing seven year old daughter who I love with every fibre of my being. I finished up my first year at uni to get the credit, moved back home for support and the rest as they say, is history. It's been hard. Really fucking hard. I had weeks a few years back where I had no money, no electric, no heating and sometimes no bloody hope. I was stuck on benefits in an area where jobs were pretty scarce even before the sodding recession hit. But I always had dd, and I swear to God that kid has pulled me through some really, really crappy times. Becoming a mother toughened me up - I have a fight in me that was never there before, because you have to fight for them. You're all they have and it's all on you.
Things have been pretty amazing for the past...going on three years now. It took some doing but I managed to get myself sorted out and starting back at work was a lifeline. I've had ups and downs and I've been ecstatically happy and utterly depressed. Life, unfortunately, doesn't stop for anybody's blues. You pick yourself up, dust yourself off and wait for the shower of shit to start all over again.
With regards to the choice you're faced with - that's all on you to decide. You're going to wobble no matter what you do sweetheart. I am very much pro-choice, but aborting was never a decision I felt personally comfortable making. I just couldn't have done it. Of course, choosing to keep a baby isn't exactly a walk in the park. But that's the tragedy of being human - sometimes, you have to pick what you feel is the less rocky path, despite the fact both paths have just been completely torn up by one fucker of an earthquake.
A few things that stood out to me:
You've been stupid? Most of the population have been 'stupid' at some point. It's done, it's happened, don't beat yourself up. Give yourself a shake and get your head on straight. And don't you dare let anybody make you feel bad. You're young, you're scared and you don't need the stress.
You can't give the little one the comfortable life they deserve? Bullshit. Kids needs love, stability, a roof over their heads, clothes on their backs and food in their tummies. Anything over and above that simply stems from fantastic advertising. You might not be able to afford to send them to private school or take them on luxurious holidays or buy them a rainbow coloured unicorn, but hey, a lot of people can't afford those things either. Shit happens.
With regards to cost - yep, kids cost a fortune. Mine's just set me back over £100 to kit her out for starting back school in August and that was shopping carefully whilst loaded down with discount vouchers. However...things don't have to cost as much as you may think. Check out sites such as Freecylce and Gumtree and any local Facebook selling pages for cheap alternatives to furnish a house/prepare for a baby - if that's the route you decide to go down.
Where's the father in all this? Have you told him and if so, what did he say?
Whatever you decide, you need to do some work on yourself. What on earth were you thinking having sex for 3 years unprotected with a much older man who already has 4 children and then having several unprotected flings?
I don't disagree with vino by the way- a baby isn't the end of the world, but the behaviour you've described since 16 is very worrying.
Ah come on! The OP does not need to hear all about how much work you think she needs doing (and for that matter, shouldn't a man with four kids already be taking some responsibility for sleeping with a 16yo without protection!!)
OP, do not let guilt or other people's opinions cloud your judgement. You wanted this baby - what has changed since telling your family? Are you under pressure?
Also, have you looked at getting on to the housing register with the local council? Make an appointment with a Housing Officer at the council and Citizens Advice before you make any permanent decision.
Sounds silly but it became so much more real once I had had them, I started to think of so many factors that hadn't crossed my mind before,
No I'm not being pushed into anything they wanted me to think about my options but everyday remind me they're always here no matter what decision I make x
You don't have to do this, op. Babies are expensive & it just costs more the bigger they get.
If, for whatever reason, you are not able to go ahead with pregnancy, it is no ones business but your own.
A termination will not necessarily kill you inside, or lead you to regret it for the rest of your life. I know that I don't regret mine, though I am aware that that doesn't you won't regret it!
You can regret having a child too, which no one ever seems to want to say on these kind of threads.
Think of all you options. Don't base your final decision on what benefits you may be entitled to, because benefits eventually stop/change etc! Base your choice on how you think you will cope with either scenario. If you do decide to terminate, your reasons are as valid as anyone else's.
though I am aware that that doesn't mean you won't regret it!
Talk to other mums as well on how they coped with the financial aspects of things ... Honestly, kids don't need much. With my first one we got everything secondhand - our cot bed cost £20! Our pushchair was also second hand, a travel system for £40. We buy store brand nappies. Lots of things you can do! Gumtree and ebay are your friend - freecycle too.
No one says it's easy - like all things there will be two sides to everything - you can see the financial side of things, but you don't know the other side if things as you are not holding your baby in your arms, it is an almost abstract thing now. Once you feel them kicking it becomes more real.
Have you told the father? Maybe he will be supportive? And your family - I am sure they will be more than happy to babysit if you have a baby and support you, and give you time to do things for yourself, like go out, or work etc. and let you have those side of things too if you want.
Don't forget the father will be obliged to pay child maintenance. It takes 2 to make a baby!
What about maintenance from the father?
As good as some of the advice available on MN is, I would really recommend you to seek some impartial counselling in RL. Someone you can sit down & talk everything through with.
Please don't get hung up for too long on the amount of benefits & cost of accommodation. Of course finances matter but, if you decide to go ahead, you will manage. Lots of young women have managed before you & will continue to manage. It won't be particularly easy & you will be living to a strict budget, but you can do it.
Neither option is wrong. The bottom line is that it's your body & your choice. If you feel unready to have a baby now - for whatever reason, then you should feel no guilt about having a termination. Likewise, if you don't want a termination, you must feel no guilt with having your baby & possibly needing to rely on benefits, no matter what your family say.
Personally, I would (and did back in 1997!) follow my heart on this issue.
Completely agree that you will cope either way. I'd also question the belief that you'll be wracked with guilt should you choose termination. I think we've been conditioned to think of abortion as something 'wrong' and shameful. It's not. If it's the right decision, and truly your decision! you may not regret it at all, it be more relieved. That was my experience, and that of many of my friends who will admit to have one. You don't have to have a baby just because you're pregnant. At the same time, if you do choose to keep it, you'll manage. But I second getting some counselling. I had my first baby at your age. I absolutely adore her, wouldn't change her for the world. But it did alter the path of my entire life, and you'll never again get these carefree days back. Think very carefully.
Hi, you should get your housing benefit paid then on top of that you can get income support, child tax credits and child benefit.
I was also 21 when I fell pregnant literally a month after my 21st birthday so I had him when I was 21 to.
It does change your life, but my son is the best thing that ever happend to me. I never knew I could love anyone so much until I had him.
Your life will feel like its on hold for a while whilst pregnant, but you can get a job still study, go out etc when you have a child it's a bit harder. Will your family help you out?
I'm 24 now and currently pregnant with our 2nd child and I wouldn't change anything.
Of course the desion is yours but I just wanted to share my experience with you xx
With regard to maintenance from the father, you can't rely on this. Because DD's father is a lazy shit that plays the benefit system I receive precisely £5 per week through the CSA.
OP - get yourself to CAB and to your local pregnancy advisory service as soon as you can so that you can access some outside advice. Does your college have a counsellor or Student Welfare Officer?
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