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Pregnant and really don't think I can do this.

(42 Posts)
OhThePlacesYoullGo Sun 02-Dec-12 13:32:07

Having taken five pregnancy tests over the last three days, it is slowly starting to sink in that this is actually happening. This is not a planned pregnancy and I am scared out of my mind. I am only 23, in the first year of my doctorate and this is just not how things were meant to happen. I am in a relationship, but he is also still studying and has another year left before finishing med school. We only started dating a few months ago. I just don't know what to do. I haven't told anyone (including him) and have not stopped crying since finding out I am definitely pregnant. We always used protection. Always. I can't afford a baby, I have no idea how I could continue studying/working if I had a baby, I don't know how to take care of a baby, I have no family, none of my friends have children, I live in a flat share, ... I never thought this would happen to me.

I know I need to tell him and go to the GP, but I just can't. That would make it real and I can't do this. I am so scared.

Could someone please tell me it'll be ok? That I will magically figure out how to handle this. That my life isn't over. That I would not be a terrible mother.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sun 02-Dec-12 13:35:16

Do you want to carry on with the pregnancy? You don't have to.

Perhaps a counselling session with Marie Stopes or similar would help straighten out your mind, and help you make the decision that works best for you.

You're not the first, and won't be the last.

SoHHKB Sun 02-Dec-12 13:39:39

Even at 32 my unplanned pregnancy made me feel like an irresponsible, guilty teenager so believe me, you're not alone...
Talk to someone - a trusted friend, a family member, a counsellor from Marie Stopes or similar. You have choices and they are only for YOU to make - good luck smile

Bunnychan Sun 02-Dec-12 13:39:46

I think that you need a little time and need to come a decision that is right for you! I can't give you an answer but if you speak to your gp, then they can probably point in the direction of a professional to talk to. May be you could write down your thoughts both positive and negative. If your studying, is there a some one you can talk to for advice at uni/ collage? We're here for you either way x

OhThePlacesYoullGo Sun 02-Dec-12 14:01:51

Thank you for your kind words. I don't have a family and I have always wanted children, just not like this. Because of my family history, I don't think I could have an abortion (though I understand that this can be the right choice for others).

SoHHKB, what did you do in the end? Were you alone? How did you manage financially?

How do I tell my boyfriend? He wants to do Paeds and loves children (same for me I wanted to specialise in Paeds Neuropsych, though I am guessing that'll never happen now), but it'll be a disaster for him too.

Jojoba1986 Sun 02-Dec-12 14:26:33

If you're still studying then you're involved with a university, right? Once you've spoken to your BF, go & have a chat with the advice service at the uni. They may well be able to provide support. I remember the uni I was an undergrad at had family accommodation & provided cheap childcare. Do you still get student loans? They can give you a bigger loan if you have dependents.

If you've already decided against abortion then make sure you make this clear when you talk to your BF. He may or may not have preferred that route but will be less likely to try & persuade you if you're firm about it from the start. Who knows, maybe he'll actually be happy about it, even if the timing isn't perfect!

This doesn't have to be a disaster. You're clearly an intelligent woman & people do cope with unplanned pregnancy when they're younger & less educated than you. You're life isn't over, it's just taken an unexpected turn. Take a deep breath, trust yourself & know that you can do this.

SoHHKB Sun 02-Dec-12 15:04:46

I decided to go ahead - I briefly considered my options but came to the conclusion that no child of mine would ever be unloved so it didn't seem right to abort. I have a dd from my failed marriage and her care is shared with her dad and I'm self-employed working from home so can fit that around childcare.
I met the baby's father on a dating site less than 3 months before I realised I was pregnant - his profile didn't mention his supersperm that took no notice of my copper coil! Luckily, he's an absolutely brilliant guy, who has taken everything in his stride and actually came to terms with the pregnancy much quicker than I did. We've moved in together now and baby is due in January.
He has really helped me to see that I am not on my own - that we were a team in making the baby and will be a team in looking after him, each other and our futures. I hope your baby's father is helpful too!
Either way, find out what support there is for single mums at university - my uni had a creche facility and you may be able to defer a year. When you are ready, talk to as many people as possible, in RL and on MN, and see what financial support and practical help you are entitled to.
Good luck (again!) smile

ItsMyLastOne Sun 02-Dec-12 15:22:15

My sister also got pregnant whilst at university, also at 23, although different circumstances. She was single and was part way through her second year. She also struggled to make a decision about what to do but continued with the pregnancy. She was able to continue that year as she was about 6 months pg when she had her exams. Then took a year out and returned when her DD was 12 months.

There was a lot of financial support available but it was bloody hard work getting it sorted. She managed to get a one bedroom flat so didn't have to worry about sharing with anyone. Most of the full time nursery fees were paid. The university nursery would have been a lot cheaper still, as well as being more convenient, but it was impossible to get into. So one thing I would say is of you plan to do similar, get your name down at your university's nursery ASAP.

During her year out she came back and did have plenty of support from me and our mum, so she luckily wasn't alone with it all.

I know she found it hard when she went back to finish her last year, but it was because she was 100 miles away from home and had no one there to help at all.

I suspect it wouldn't be easy for you or your boyfriend, but it's certainly not impossible. The one other thing I would consider is how it would work when you are doing placements. Do you have to do night shifts as well? And would your boyfriend then be in a job doing night shifts? If so, you'd need to work out about childcare during those.

If you decide to go ahead, you need to speak to the university about how they could support you.

You need to tell your boyfriend first though and make this decision together. At the moment you can only guess at his response and how he would feel about it all.

Good luck. smile

OhThePlacesYoullGo Sun 02-Dec-12 15:47:25

Thank you, that is really helpful. I am not doing medicine, but psych, so no night shifts. My boyfriend does and works absolutely silly hours even now and that will only get worse once he's an FY1. As I get paid (it's a professional clinical doctorate) I don't get student loans or anything.

Boyfriend just called, he's on Obs and Gynae at the moment and started telling me about one patient who was completely alone during labour and how terrible he thought that was and that he stayed with her; I started crying (again). He knows I've been ill, so said he'll come over this eve and check on me. Think he thinks I am losing the plot (which I guess I kind of am). I know I need to tell him, I've missed my period for three months now, but just don't know how.

SoHHKB Sun 02-Dec-12 16:00:33

So glad to hear you will be talking to him tonight and it seems he won't be unsympathetic. Even if his first reaction is not exactly what you hope for, take a deep breath and give him a bit of time to get his head around your news maybe tell him briefly tonight but leave talking details until tomorrow or the next day
Good luck smile again wink

MrsAmaretto Sun 02-Dec-12 17:12:14

Hope it goes ok tonight. You should be able to defer/ take a year out of your doctorate and continue with the intake below you. After you've spoken to your boyfriend you need to speak to uni and get advice. It's a tough course but it is possible to complete it with a child. Good luck (P.S my sisters done this course & one of her pals had a planned baby half way through the course, and is back on it)

Oh sweetheart! I could have written your post myself. I don't know how much help I can offer but I can share my experience.

When I was 23 I was in my last year at uni and found myself pg and still living in halls. I was terrified. The future seemed so scary and the hardest part was not knowing what would happen next. I was lucky my bf took the news really well and immediately started saving for a deposit for our own (rented) home. We had only been together for 6 months so I was scared of ending up alone and o had no family nearby either.

Thankfully he has a wonderful big supportive family who helped us get settled and I managed to finish uni before my ds arrived. What I'm saying is we worked together and things worked out. It was bloody hard and scary but...

We are still together ds1 is now 9 and wonderful and we also have ds2 (7) and dd (4)!

Approach your uni to see what help they can give you and tell your bf as you are in this together. I really hope everything works out for you as I remember being you!

Ps am also 32 weeks pg again (unplanned and dp is still
my support as this was a shock)

babybythesea Sun 02-Dec-12 19:29:05

I can't add much that is practical but my best friend was in an almost identical situation. She was 22, had just started her first job (2 months into it) and had been seeing the guy for such a short time that she hadn't told anyone and they hadn't even got as far as calling it a relationship - they'd been together about a month when she found out...
She decided almost immediately she wanted the baby. She told him but said there would be no expectations from her in terms of his involvement as she was making the decision to keep the baby without asking his opinion. What he wanted to do would be his call - whether he wanted no further part, whether he wanted to be involved with the baby but not her or whether he wanted to keep dating. He took a week's holiday and went off by himself to think it through.
Two months after that, he moved in with her. Six months after the baby was born, they got married.
That unexpected baby is now 9, and has been joined by a sister and a brother, and my friend and her husband are still very much together.
It can work even when it all seems to be a disaster. She has had to work hard and adjust her original plan (and it's timings!) but she has managed to sort out a career in the field she wanted and has just started a Masters. And the kids are fantastic!
I hope it all goes well for you. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

scarlettsmummy2 Sun 02-Dec-12 19:35:44

What is your employment status with the doctorate? Are you bring employed by the uni to do it? Do you get paid on a monthly basis? If so, you may be eligible for stat maternity pay or maternity allowance.

MadBusLady Sun 02-Dec-12 19:43:31

I think you'll feel so much better once you've told him. You'll know then what you're working with.

Just a thought, if you continue with the pregnancy would it be an option to make it easier on yourself by doing your doctorate part-time? Maybe in addition to deferring a year. I know six+ years sounds like a long time at 23, but I think it would fly given that you'd be working on two major life projects at once!

beckie90 Sun 02-Dec-12 20:24:18

Hun I know how you feel I'm 22, just found out I'm pregnant really big shock as I thought it was more or less impossible, I already have 2 little boys, and although I feel I'm bot in the position to have another baby yet I know I'm going ahead with it. Me and my partner have been together 5 years but that was not the case with our 1st lil boy we had been together a few months but we made it work and still making it work now, its all so daunting at first but you do get use to it and learn to be happy, it doesn't mean giving things in your life up just means putting them on hold for a little while, dusnt even have to be put on hold if you don't want it to there's all kinds of help, I've always worked throughout having my kids just partime so I still can bring up my boys and there dad has a good job we have a nice home, trust me things work out much better then it seems at first. I was only 17 with the 1st I was terrified but I would not change a thing. I don't have any family help etc as they all work so many hours but I like it that way anyway. I'm daunted this time 3 kids seems so scary but just trying to get on with it, it still hasn't sunk in. Hope the talk with your bf goes good. Good luck xxx

FuturePerfect Sun 02-Dec-12 21:32:32

Just wanted to say: I also became pregnant at 23, in the first year of my PhD. I had been with my partner for only 18 months (he is a bit older) but for us the pregnancy was planned. That was 17 years ago. We now have four children, two of whom were born during my doctorate research. My department and supervisor were great - my course took slightly longer than planned but I got my PhD in the year my eldest started school. I really feel for you and obviously can't advise on what to do. But I just wanted to share my story. Good luck.

OhThePlacesYoullGo Sun 02-Dec-12 22:26:10

I told boyfriend. At first he said nothing and just looked completely shocked, I started crying yet again and he asked me what I wanted to do. When I told him that I want to continue the pregnancy he just held me and said that we'll figure it out. It's not great timing, but if we can do this together, then maybe everything will be ok.

Thank you to all of you for replying and to those who shared their own stories. It made me finally get up the nerve to start thinking about things a bit more rationally.

So the plan for this week is to see GP asap; worried now as technically it is a high risk pregnancy due to medical condition and I should have been prescribed quite large amounts of folic acid even prior to becoming pregnant.

Will also speak to uni and supervisor about options (thanks MrsAmaretto for telling me about your sister's friend). Boyfriend thinks that I would definitely be entitled to maternity pay as even though I am still training, I am an NHS employee.

I still can't believe we are doing this, but knowing that I will not be alone, let's me almost get just a little bit happy and excited. THANK YOU!

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sun 02-Dec-12 22:37:13

So glad you're feeling more positive about it all. And congratulations! grin

Jojoba1986 Sun 02-Dec-12 22:45:46

I'm so pleased he's being supportive! He sounds like he's a lovely bloke!

If you've not had a period for 3 months are you assuming they're all due to the pregnancy? That would put you at about the same stage as me. If you work out you're due in late May/early June then do pop onto the 'Broadly Gemini' thread in the antenatal support group topic. You'll find a lot of support there, including first timers, more experienced mums & our very own resident midwife! If you're due at another time then do join the relevant thread, it's so nice to have others at the same stage as you! smile

ICompletelyKnowAboutGuineaPigs Sun 02-Dec-12 22:49:30

Glad you're feeling a bit less uneasy about everything now OP. You've already received some fab advice but thought I'd share my experience too.

I had my DS (COMPLETELY unplanned) when I was 22, I had him during my first yr of uni and I had only known his dad for 3 months ish and we were careful too. He didn't want to know at first but has since become involved and has DS one night and one day a week. I then had a planned DD with my current partner during my masters and I'm pregnant now (planned DC3) whilst doing my PhD.

Just wanted to let you know that with some organisation and support (from the Uni especially) it is absolutely possible to finish your studies whilst having children.

Glad your BF is being supportive, such a great start. Hope you both keep remaining positive. Congratulations - babies are great!

SoHHKB Mon 03-Dec-12 09:30:22

SO glad to hear you're feeling positive - all the best smile

june2013 Mon 03-Dec-12 13:17:47

Hi there -

I really sympathise with how you're feeling... when I was 24 I fell pregnant by accident. I was in a relationship and had kind of always thought that now that I was this age, had a job and a decent life (ya ha!), I should 'take my responsibilities' when I got pregnant and would just go ahead with it. When I found out I was pregnant, I knew about 80% that I didn't want to be pregnant. Suddenly I felt so young and incapable of going through with this. My partner at the time didn't want me to terminate the pregnancy, but I couldn't keep it. I terminated at about 6 weeks. And I got over it pretty quickly. It's not a nice experience but I have never looked back, wondered, stressed about. That's not to say that other women haven't had a much harder time of terminations, this is just my experience.

Fast forward 7 years and I am now married (to a different guy) and I am pregnant. It was planned and I am very happy, so a completely different scenario. I had no trouble conceiving (so the termination didn't affect anything down there - unlike many people told me it would, a lie clearly!). I am in the first year of my doctorate and my husband is a medic student too. There is a lot in place to support students with children and particularly medics, surprisingly! (at our uni, if you get NHS grant, you get 85% of childcare costs covered)... as a doctoral student I get good amount of time off and if you have a grant there might be some maternity pay included. Also there was a thread recently about having a baby during a PhD which I thought was really helpful!

Anyway - it sounds like you have figured some things out, which is great news. I hope all goes well and if you want to exchange more ideas, do get in touch (I don't know how MN works very well - I think there's a way we can send private messages to each other. If you figure out how to do this, do get in touch!).

All the best!!

Congratulations! Your dp sounds grand and that support makes all the difference. Hope everything goes well with the rest of your pg x

LordOfThe5Rings Mon 03-Dec-12 13:40:38

Congratulations on your baby and on how your partner reacted, so glad that he is being supportive in this process.

Definately a trip the GP sounds like a good idea. If you are 3 months, you'll be due a scan to see how the baby is getting on soon, which is exciting too and although it'll feel more real, it'll help you adjust to the idea I am sure.

I wish you both the best of luck.

OhThePlacesYoullGo Mon 03-Dec-12 17:40:44

Seeing GP tomorrow, but my specialist saw me after work today (am currently on placement in the same department where I am also a patient, suddenly quite convenient) and has referred to me to obstetrician. So now two people know. I still feel like I'll wake up any minute and it was all just a bad dream, though boyfriend seems positively excited now. He also seems to think we'll be great at this, which is reassuring though I am still not entirely convinced.

Again thank you to all of you for your lovely messages. Think if I hadn't posted on here I would have spent another week catastrophising and pretending that I really believed that I am throwing up constantly and feeling shoddy because I have a bad cold.

June, I have no idea either. I struggle to understand some of the abbreviations used on here too. Have figured out that p is partner and c is child, etc but was does the d in front stand for?

Jojoba1986, I will find that thread, thank you.

ICompletelyKnowAboutGuineaPigs Mon 03-Dec-12 20:33:32

The 'D' is for darling or dearest. I still struggle with some of the abbreviations. Especially DP because it always sounds really rude to me blush

There is a list of acronyms here

OhThePlacesYoullGo Mon 03-Dec-12 20:37:48

Thanks ICompletelyKnowAboutGuineaPigs. smile

CheerfulYank Tue 04-Dec-12 06:42:32

Aw, darlin'. It is hard! I was 24 and married (for about three weeks) when I unexpectedly got pregnant. I remember walking to the shop to get the test and whispering "please no, please no, please no!" under my breath.

My DH and I were terrified, we hadn't even thought of having kids for a few years! Now our son is five (I can't believe how fast the time has gone) and he is, quite simply, my entire heart. I can't tell you how much we love him. DH is an incredible dad despite not being ready and having no experience, and we are expecting number 2 in May. smile

Thinking of you! It can be quite scary.

ohfunnyface Tue 04-Dec-12 07:07:39

Oh I'm so pleased you're feeling happier and he is supporting you!

Another one here with an unplanned pregnancy- I'm 27 and it was five days after being promoted- terrible timing!

27 weeks now and couldn't be happier. It's just taken me a while to get my head round it all.

MrsHoarder Tue 04-Dec-12 07:14:58

I was 25 and doing a post grad degree when I discovered I was pregnant. The course administrator (who runs the department) was one of the first people I told, she helped me work out a plan for when to stop, where to get financial help and how my studies would start again.

There is help, you will be able to do it and your life will still be good even if you aren't on the original plan completely.

OhThePlacesYoullGo Tue 04-Dec-12 12:56:53

It's so nice to hear how things turned around for those of you who were in a similar situation. CheerfulYank, I know it's silly, but at the moment I am still not all that positive and the thought that I would possibly end up not loving this baby is really scary, so thank you for telling me about your son.

On another note my boyfriend has suggested we name the child Tummy Bug Surname, as that's what I kept telling him was wrong with me. Think it has a nice ring to it...

newby2 Tue 04-Dec-12 14:25:49

Hiya, I've been following with baited breath and so relieved for you. My partner and I were together 5 months and BINGO pregnant. Luckily both settled in jobs but not in houses.

Four years later still together expecting 2nd child and have grown together and learnt about each other through having a baby and wish we'd met and started earlier!

People always say this but it's so true- babies need so little for the first year at least that you will be fine where-ever you are. I have a busy career and life has changed so much for both of us. It can work. Well done you.xxx

CheerfulYank Tue 04-Dec-12 14:36:00

It's ok to not be sure! I wasn't sure until DS was about 4 months old. smile Sometimes I still have those moments, where he'll say "Mama?" and I'll think, "who, me?"

I used to think it was because we didn't plan for him, but this baby I'm carrying now was very planned and I still feel a bit unsure sometimes...how I will cope with two, what if I don't have enough attention, etc. I think it's just normal to not feel ready no matter what!

When I found out I was pregnant with DS I called DH crying (he was staying overnight at his parents' after hunting with his brother) and asking him to come home. He said "I can't, I'm too drunk to drive!" hmm I remember thinking "well THIS is a lovely beginning..." He was terrified for about a day and a half but has been nothing but a completely enthusiastic dad since then. He and DS are very close and it makes me love him even more.

My parents were a bit unsure at first (they started having kids in their teens and were only in their 40's when I got pregnant), felt too young themselves, all of that. But they have been completely over the moon for DS since the second he was born and now all they can say is how lucky they are to be young grandparents and have so much time with him. smile

I was worried about having no mom friends too. My best friend still doesn't have kids actually! But it was really kind of nice. I made friends with kids through baby and toddler groups, and then also had my friends without kids to talk about non-kid stuff, go out for drinks etc.

I would suggest to not be afraid to ask for help, if you're feeling ill or depressed or overwhelmed at any point. It's perfectly normal! It can be hard to do (at least it was for me!) but ask for help and keep asking until someone listens. And trust yourself. smile Those are the things I remember most.

CheerfulYank Tue 04-Dec-12 14:36:49

Oh and I like Tummy Bug Surname...we almost named DS We-Don't-Understand-How-Ovulation-Works Surname. wink

OhThePlacesYoullGo Tue 04-Dec-12 23:03:28

newby2 boyfriend and I have also been together for five months!

CheerfulYank, like the story about your parents. Have not yet met boyfriend's parents (they are constantly abroad), so our first encounter will be us having to tell them that I am pregnant. Hope they don't completely hate me.

RileyTheLittleMonster Tue 04-Dec-12 23:48:37

ohthe I was going to answer when you first wrote this post, but i thoughy I'd let the wiser woman answer first!

You'll get through it if your in it together I wish you all the luck possible!!

I'm 18, in the 1st year of college doing health and social care, boyfriend just been fired due to illness and I'm 8stone and still loosing weight... lost two babies this year, real bad situation!!

But I think if you believe In each other you can get through any situation grin

If youve missed three period are you not 12 weeks instead of 5?

Best of luck to you!!

Jenda Wed 05-Dec-12 00:23:34

Just wanted to say good luck. Also that when you mentioned your boyfriend staying with that lady in labour it made me cry a little bit (im pathetic) because what a kind and lovely man your baby will have for a daddy! You will be fine. You have a supportive partner and are clearly a clever girl. Im the same age as you, no kids yet
and I would feel the same as you,except for im in a doss job instead of doing a doctorate. Everyone says there is not really ever a good time to have kids,you will just managed. You will still get your career you might just have a little baby pitstop on the way! Also as someone said,you will meet lots of other mums through baby. Get yourself involved in as much as possible so you don't feel isolated.

Hope all goes well with the drs, let us know!

ItsMyLastOne Wed 05-Dec-12 13:22:45

I'm glad to hear things are more positive now, and that your boyfriend is so supportive.

I know I told you my sister's story up there ^ but I also fell pregnant (a week after she did!) and it was a total shock. I was also 23, but DP and I had been together for just over 2 years and engaged for 3 months. I felt far too young to have a child, and had so much planned in terms of study and career. I was also convinced he wouldn't want the baby. We'd never discussed children, but mainly because I was told I was infertile so it just wasn't on our radar at that stage. I was so shocked that he was so excited, and waited, ooh, about 5 minutes before telling family! wink I would never have planned it like this, but we now have an amazing toddler and I'm 2 days overdue with our second child.

Sometimes things don't work out how you expected, but it can be a blessing, even if it does feel terrifying at first. FWIW, I still feel terrified, even now, at the idea of being a mum, let alone a mum of two! shock

OhThePlacesYoullGo Wed 05-Dec-12 18:55:01

RileyTheLittleMonster, sounds like you are going through a pretty tough time at the moment. Hope everything works out for the two of you as well!!!

Jenda I am starting to think of it that way. Think it has just been a bit of a shock and I got myself worked up by not talking to boyfriend and letting myself dwell on all sorts of worst case scenarios, which as boyfriend pointed out is quite ironic given what I do for a living. Also he is awesome, you are right. smile

ItsMyLastOne good luck with baby number 2!!!

RileyTheLittleMonster Wed 05-Dec-12 19:24:29

OhThePlacesYoullGo I am and it scared me but I know we will be sorted by the time our little siddy is hear smile

Good luck to you and your boyfriend and congratulations on your pregnancy grin

RileyTheLittleMonster Wed 05-Dec-12 19:25:40

Here** bad spelling blush

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