This topic is for personal experiences or dilemmas; to debate the ethics of termination, please go here or here.

The choice I never thought id be considering

(104 Posts)
Softcookie Wed 06-May-15 09:23:26

I've posted in pregnancy but I'm not sure it's appropriate to keep posting there... This is now very much about what to do.

I'm 39, 2 beautiful kids of 9 and 7. Happy marriage, financially stable, all good. I've dithered for years on whether to have a 3rd (dh was always against it), and had finally decided I was done.

Of course that's when I got pregnant.

I think I'm about 6 weeks. I'm so shocked and scared, and I really cannot picture how a baby would fit into this family. I don't want to be pregnant, I don't want to have a newborn, I don't want to have a child who would grow up to be an only child to elder parents for most of his/her life, I don't want my daughters lives to change.

I'm almost irrationally scared of a disability, given I'm older and given we have been so blessed, twice. Tempting fate is what it feels like.

Dh is being sensitive around words but he'd rather we didn't have another one.

So I'm really thinking perhaps I should terminate. But that scares me too. While I've always been ardently pro choice, I've never thought I'd have to choose, iyswim. I'm also a catholic and while that won't stop me, my daughter is doing her first holy communion in 5 weeks - I don't think I could walk into that church with a clear conscience.

Mostly I worry I'll regret it forever.

But if I had a miscarriage today, I would weep with relief. So I think I don't want it.

I'm not asking what to do - I know that decision is mine only. But I would like reassurance that life goes on, that I won't be sad forever if I terminate, that it doesn't make me a monster or a bad mother.

TheCowThatLaughs Wed 06-May-15 09:42:36

There have been a couple of threads here recently with lots of women saying it was the right decision for them and they felt nothing except relief. I'll try and find them for you.

TheCowThatLaughs Wed 06-May-15 09:45:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mostlyjustaluker Wed 06-May-15 09:54:35

Soft this is a rubbish situation for you to be in.

This is an obviously Mn answer, but can you arrange some counselling or speak to somebody in real life. You are not the only one person to be in this situation. Most terminations are chosen by people in your age group.

gingerbreadmam Wed 06-May-15 09:58:37

my friend had a termination following a one night stand. as far as i know she never regretted it and it was the best decision for her.

another friend had one late teens and has since gone on to have 2 children with an mmc in between. again she never regretted hers. i think if it is right for you then you will be glad you did it. i wouldnt worry about the church.

fwiw though, i know lots of people and there are lots on mn that have children at your age and you wouldnt be an old parent grin

PenguinsandtheTantrumofDoom Wed 06-May-15 09:59:12

You make the decision that is best for you and for your family. That doesn't make you a monster, or a bad person. It makes you a person who made a difficult choice with care and thought.

What I would say though, having been in your situation (though with younger children) is don't think about how you would feel if you miscarried. Miscarriage is like a reset button. A way of not having to deal with it without it being your 'fault'. Whichever decision you make, you need to be comfortable with it being that - a decision you have made.

Good luck. Some wonderful women on here helped me. You will be ok.

gingerbreadmam Wed 06-May-15 10:00:39

sorry i just realised after posting the use of a smiley is completely inappropriate so i apologise for that.

i do think the old thing isnt really your main concern anyway and you have very valid reasons as to why a termination may be best for you. a previous poster offered great advice about discussing in rl. as far as i know if you speak to a gp about termination you will be offered counselling before hand.

hope you are ok and come to a decision.

Softcookie Wed 06-May-15 10:04:41

Thanks all. This means so much. Even the smiley, god I need some smiles im a bit of a wreck ATM

I'm at work, getting nothing done for the 3rd day in a row. I change my mind 200 times a day. I need to be ok with being that person, iyswim. And I need to believe I will be ok afterwards, whatever I decide. Rn I think I won't be ok, whatever I decide.

thisisnow Wed 06-May-15 10:11:07

The guilt is something you learn to let go of. I actually wished that I didn't beat myself up so much afterwards, I was so so hard on myself and ended up making myself ill. Even my own parents who were a wonderful support, told me I had to forgive myself and move on with my life.

Hope you're okay as you can be brew Life does go on; if you do decide to terminate, it doesn't make you a bad person or a bad mother.

gingerbreadmam Wed 06-May-15 10:16:40

any scope to take a bit of time off work and get your head round it?

i think if you give yourself chance to think of the reasons it is the best choice for you that afterwards you just have to kp reminding yourself of them. im sure for people that have done it there is occasions they wonder what if but if you have valid reasons for making the decision thats when they will come into play.

ConnieBaby Wed 06-May-15 10:28:42

I think if a MC would make you weep with relief then there's a good chance termination is the right choice for you- on paper, of course. Whether your brain could actually reconcile with that is another matter.

I was in a very similar position. I can tell you what I did and what the outcome was but it may influence you one way.
Good luck, it's never easy

proceeding Wed 06-May-15 10:34:03

Soft I really feel for you. I have two and am done. I had a "pregnancy scare" a while ago (how ridiculous does that sound coming from someone approaching middle age!) and knew absolutely that if I was pregnant I didn't want to be. It's a horrible feeling. Only you can know what's best for you and your family.

A wise priest once said to me, "Don't take advice from me on marriage and family life. I have no direct experience of it. I can only ever be an observer." Don't worry about the Church.

differentnameforthis Wed 06-May-15 10:46:04

I was you! As in, I never thought it would be me in that position.

Bit it was & you know what....it's OK! There is NOTHING to feel guilty for.

I did it because I couldn't be the mum I wanted to be if I had a baby, plus a 6mth old plus an 7yr old. My girls deserved me to be the best mum I could be, that wouldn't be possible with another baby!

several years down the line, I look at my life & I am glad I had a termination. That isn't the done thing to say, but I will NOT feel guilty for myself & my family ahead of a something that I didn't even want!

PenguinsandtheTantrumofDoom Wed 06-May-15 10:48:25

And I need to believe I will be ok afterwards, whatever I decide. Rn I think I won't be ok, whatever I decide.

When I was facing this choice, someone very wise said to me that all options might feel wrong at the moment (that's part of why I think it's not that helpful to concentrate on how you'd feel if you miscarried). All options might feel like life will never be the same and that you will forever have this burden.

The reality is that, for many women who struggle with this choice, they initially have to go with which feels 'least worst'. I definitely felt that way.

18 months on, and with the benefit of time, I can honestly see that I probably would have been ok with either decision. I just needed to make one and let it settle as the right choice for me. I'm not saying that's the case for everyone, but sometimes striving for the 'right' choice is asking the impossible of yourself.

differentnameforthis Wed 06-May-15 10:53:55

With the greatest of respect, thecow, I don't think that is the best thread for op, it has some very challenging views, which in my opinion, the op doesn't need right now.

This one might be more suited

Softcookie Wed 06-May-15 11:00:39

connie thanks, I'd like to know what you decided in the end.

And thanks all for the really helpful, sensitive replies. I desperately want to want this baby, but I'm afraid I just don't. Or maybe I'm not letting myself want it.

I have an appointment with my doc on Friday - I'm not in the uk so system is a bit different. I'd like to know where I stand by then, not let this drag on for much longer. I think it'll just get harder to make up my mind the longer I wait.

HumourlessHarpy Wed 06-May-15 11:02:50

You have no reason to feel guilty at making a valid choice for which you have numerous good reasons, OP. Also, terminating an unwanted pregnancy doesn't turn you into a different person, you're just you, doing your best with circumstances you didn't choose.

I grew up Catholic, and know lots of Catholics who have had terminations. (Thousands of women from Ireland cross to England for terminations annually, and the majority would statistically be cultural Catholics who marry in churches and whose children make their first communion.) I wouldn't feel the slightest bit guilty about flying in the face of a religious hierarchy made up entirely of celibate men who are heavily invested in denying women bodily autonomy.

Best wishes as you make the decision. Be kind to yourself.

HumourlessHarpy Wed 06-May-15 11:04:01

Or maybe you are actually in Ireland, OP. In which case, especially good wishes, if you will have to travel.

PenguinsandtheTantrumofDoom Wed 06-May-15 11:05:19

If you are in Ireland OP, there are women on here who know about the processes you need to go through, and your own doctor may not be the best starting point if you decide to terminate. flowers

InfiniteJest Wed 06-May-15 11:12:21

OP I feel for you. I was not in your exact situation, but I was very depressed and desperately hoped for a miscarriage while pregnant. I went back and forth every day, continually changing my mind about what to do. I wanted a miscarriage so that the decision could be removed from me. I was desperately worried about how I'd cope with a baby, but did not think I could deal with the regret of a termination.

I went through with the pregnancy, and can honestly say now that it was the best decision - for me. I would never have forgiven myself if I had terminated, no matter how strongly I didn't want to be pregnant. I'm not saying this so that you won't terminate. I would never ever judge you for choosing that. But I wanted to post because I don't think wishing for a miscarriage automatically means an abortion is the right answer. It's wishing for an end to your situation, and I understand that completely.

Can I ask, would you feel differently if you knew your DH was excited/happy? Or if scans showed the baby was healthy? Just trying to identify your main concerns. It can be so hard to pinpoint exactly what would be right for you, when there are so many factors. You have my complete sympathy and understanding. I know how hard it is.

purplecloud123 Wed 06-May-15 11:13:21

I had a termination 13 years ago and I've never regretted it for a second.

Softcookie Wed 06-May-15 11:20:50

Yes I would feel differently if dh was excited and if I knew the baby was definitely healthy.

No I'm not in Ireland, luckily.

gingerbreadmam Wed 06-May-15 12:59:44

oh soft sounds like you really are in turmoil. i think you need some time to think about things (although i know that is not necessarily on your side right now).

in regards to anything wrong with baby this would hopefully be diagnosed early on in the pregnancy so you would still have choice there.

myermay1 Wed 06-May-15 16:56:35

Soft cookie, I was in exactly the same position in January as you are now. I had wanted a third for years and dh never did and 9 years later I got pg, so I totally get the agonising decision you are faced with.

Give yourself time and do not speak to many people in real life before you decide as the has to be your choice and no one else's.

Take care

ConnieBaby Wed 06-May-15 16:59:50

Hi Soft,
Well, my 2 were 7&9 and I had tried since dd was 18mth for another. Gave up when she was 6 and by the time she was 7, bamm! I was devastated. Things had become easy and good. I had 2 happy healthy bright and able kids. I was also in my 40s. The difference with me was that DH was desperate for dc3. Well, we went ahead. Ds2 was born. He was an incredibly difficult baby. I had horrid pnd. He turned out to have autism and now our family is massively strained. My relationship with DH has suffered hugely as has my relationship with my older 2. sad Our weekends are stress from start to finish and things aren't easy in the way they were before. I think it's taken 20yrs off my life. I know people say you never regret a baby but I can't hand on heart say that's true in my case. sad

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