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

How can I decide whether to have an abortion or a baby?

(23 Posts)
Flora87 Tue 12-Jul-16 16:52:50

I have just found out I am pregnant and cannot decide the best thing to do. One second I am completely sure I should have a termination and the next second I want to have the baby. I only found out two days ago and wondered how anyone ever makes this kind of decision. I'm worried that whichever way I chose I will regret it and wish I had chosen the other option.

For some background me and my boyfriend are both 28. I have a good job and we have been together almost 5 years. I've never been pregnant before. On paper it seems like the usual time to have a baby together. However, our relationship can be quite rocky, we have often broken up and got back together over the last five years, we also do not live together. We used to live together but I now live with my friends as my boyfriend used to become too aggressive and unpredictable when he was drunk and I didn't feel completely safe. This was quite a few years ago though and I don't think he would act like this again (smashing my phone and screaming at me over minor things).

When I found out I was pregnant I was in complete shock. Having a baby together is not something we have ever discussed or thought of doing together. When I told my boyfriend, his first reaction was "I'm not ready for a baby, we can't have it" and he has said he is 100% sure he does not want to have a baby. While I know it is my decision, I wouldn't feel right about forcing him into something he is so against. And I'm not even sure that I want the baby either. But everytime I think I have completely decided on the termination I start thinking about having it again.

My biggest reason for not having it is I'm not sure I want to be tied to him for the next 20 years, share a baby with him and I'm not sure I'm still completely in love with him. He thinks I am having the termination so I don't know what his reaction would be if I told him I was having it. If I do have it I would feel bad that it is such a negative start and it wasn't happy news. If anyone has been in a similar situation and can tell me how they ended up making the final decision that would be so helpful. I've never been this conflicted about anything in my life and the worry is exhausting.

2nds Tue 12-Jul-16 17:04:58

You are obviously proving that you can't make this decision in such a short space of time, why not give yourself a few weeks if possible to think it over?

I don't normally agree with what I'm about to say but if he's not on the birth cert he has no rights whatsoever, but I think this also means that he doesn't pay maintenance.

I've never had an abortion but I was faced with making a decision over my baby's future in my second pregnancy due to the baby's health. I chose to continue the pregnancy even though I had no idea if baby would make it or not and I've no regrets. Different scenario I know but people are faced with the decision for different reasons. What I will say is if it turns out you don't want to terminate being a single parent is doable.

Ditsy4 Tue 12-Jul-16 17:06:30

Get in touch with LIFE they have excellent counsellors.

specialsubject Tue 12-Jul-16 18:48:54

..and believe that abortion is always wrong.

DraenorQueen Tue 12-Jul-16 18:52:02

In your situation, OP, I chose termination. The man was not someone I wanted to tie myself to for the next 20 years, as you say, and I was certain my life was not meant to go down that path.
I have never once regretted my decision, only the fact I had to make it.

WarmSound Tue 12-Jul-16 19:02:37

In your shoes I personally would abort OP. He sounds abusive and potentially violent and having a baby ties you to him forever.

user1466690252 Tue 12-Jul-16 19:03:22

In your position i chose an abortion. For the reasons pp stated. It was absolutely the best decision for me and i went on to have 2 beauto9dul children i can care for properly. Its a difficult desision. Take time to think about it. But having children changes your life in ways you couldn't possibly imagine.

eyestotheskies Wed 13-Jul-16 22:17:02

Op, I'm so sorry you're in this position. Do you have other supportive people in your life who could help you if you do have the baby?

eyestotheskies Wed 13-Jul-16 22:19:53

You sound so torn over what to do that an abortion could be very hard for you to get through if it's not something you're sure about.

I think you need to imagine bringing up the baby as a single parent if you do decide to keep it. Plenty of women do this but it's not easy- if you have supportive family that would help.

Have you spoken to anyone else in real life? Or a counsellor?

ReadyPlayerOne Wed 13-Jul-16 22:30:13

I was set on an abortion for my unplanned third child. I didn't want any more babies and I was certain of my choice. What changed my mind was learning that I was further along than I thought I was and although still within the legal limits, it crossed a line for me personally. I didn't want such a big procedure.

However DH and I have a very strong relationship and even though having dc3 has pushed us to our limit, we are still as strong as ever. Do you think your boyfriend will be there for you or your baby? Do you want to be connected with him forever? If you have any doubts at all, I would counsel that you terminate and don't wait too long. I spoke with bpas who were wonderful and I highly recommend them. All the best OP

Solasum Wed 13-Jul-16 22:37:16

Could you do it all on your own?

If this was your one chance to have a child, would you?

What is your support network like?

In your shoes, it would depend on if I could cope financially (and mentally) on my own, I would ditch your boyfriend and keep the baby. so that is what I did, also at 28

AnotherEmma Wed 13-Jul-16 22:38:12

Normally I would make a point of being completely neutral and insisting that it's your decision and whichever you choose will be right for you, but...
"my boyfriend used to become too aggressive and unpredictable when he was drunk and I didn't feel completely safe"

He is abusive and I think having his child would be a very very bad idea.

I actually think whatever you do, you need to end the relationship. If you get an abortion you can have a completely fresh start and if you continue with the pregnancy I would suggest not putting his name on the birth certificate.

Have you ever spoken to Women's Aid or looked at their website? If not please do.

I also suggest that you tell your GP that you're pregnant and unsure about what to do, and ask them to refer you for counselling. Please go through your GP or an impartial organisation such as BPAS or Marie Stopes. Their counsellor will support you to make your own decision and won't pressure you either way.

Whatever you do, don't go with an organisation that has a hidden anti-abortion agenda.

Dolphinsanddinosaurs Wed 13-Jul-16 22:44:04

I think whatever you decide to do, it should be with a view to doing it on your own. This man does not sound like a good person to have around. Take him out of the equation and see how you feel about the pregnancy then. Whatever you decide be kind to yourself. flowers

missybct Wed 13-Jul-16 22:48:03

Firstly OP, I am thinking of you. flowers Do you know how far along in the pregnancy you are? Please know you have more than a few days to make a decision.

As AnotherEmma has said, BPAS or Marie Stopes are impartial organisations and they can offer pre-termination counselling for free, for as many sessions as required. I also agree with her that ending this relationship should be a focus after you feel you are comfortable with your decision over your pregnancy, whichever route you take - don't focus on this now, but please know that you do NOT need to stay in this relationship irrespective of whether you continue with the pregnancy or not.

You are absolutely right to be considering both your needs and the needs of your child in light of the relationship you have with your boyfriend. It would be foolish to "jump" in, and your awareness is very commendable so please reassure yourself of that.

There is no easy way of deciding for some people - some are resolute in their decisions, and some, like yourself (and I too) fought very long and hard to make the decision. Either way, the decision will be the one that you believe to be right at the time. Ensure that you do not allow other people to rush you into a decision or to push their agenda (e.g.; your boyfriend saying "get an abortion" or a family member saying "you can't have an abortion") - people may try.

Flora87 Fri 15-Jul-16 13:45:00

Thank you for all your responses. They've been really helpful. I have close friends around me who I have spoken too but as none of them have ever been in the position I wanted to hear from people who had had children and/or abortions. I have spoken to Marie stopes who were so kind and I am going there for counselling on Tuesday. I have also booked the actual abortion for the following Saturday but they said I can change or cancel it if I am still unsure by them. I'm pretty sure I'm only about 5 weeks pregnant so I have a little bit of time to decide and am hoping the counselling will help. While my boyfriend was a bit abusive in the past, this was about 4 years ago and he has grown up a lot since then. I don't believe he would act like that again but I still have bad memories from it that are colouring my view of him as a potential father. Anyway thank you again it's been so good to get some other perspectives.

AnotherEmma Fri 15-Jul-16 16:39:41

Thanks for updating us, I'm so glad you have been in touch with Marie Stopes and will be getting counselling with them.

FWIW I haven't had an abortion but I did support a close friend who had one, we talked about it a lot and I went with her when she had the procedure. She didn't find the decision easy but she doesn't regret it.

Good luck with your decision and we will be here to support you either way.

missybct Fri 15-Jul-16 16:57:27

Ditto Emma, I'm glad you've got in touch and are seeking counselling prior to making the decision (although provisionally booked).

I've had a surgical termination, am expecting my first and am a stepmum, so I kind of tick all boxes I guess confused grin

Flora87 Tue 02-Aug-16 17:29:50

I had the abortion on Saturday and now feel so distraught and like I've made a terrible mistake. My original appointment was cancelled on the day as Marie Stopes said they didn't have enough staff so I rebooked for the following week. I now feel like that was some sort of sign that I shouldn't have done it. On the day while I was waiting I didn't think about what I was doing and I just forced myself to go there and do it and now I wish I would have really thought it through and thought about how I might feel afterwards. I never expected this crashing low I thought I would feel like I did before I found out I was pregnant.

The people I have spoken to say it's just all the hormones and the experience of being in a surgical/hospital environment and that I will feel better soon but I just feel like I'm never going to recover and be ok again. I don't understand because I had three weeks of thinking about it and I still did it. It wasn't a rush decision but now all my reasons for having the abortion seem so stupid and meaningless.

I don't mean to put anyone off if they are also thinking about it. The actual procedure is very quick, everyone at the clinic is extremely supportive and once I had the sedation I don't remember anything. Everyones situation is different but I now just feel so strongly that in my situation I should have continued with the pregnancy. Even if I have children in the future it's like they will never be this one and I just don't know how to get over it. To anyone who has had an abortion in the past, did you feel like this and do you ever feel better?

SunshineAgain Tue 02-Aug-16 19:14:47

Flora I'm sorry you're finding it so tough. I also had my abortion on Saturday and although I was always sure of my decision it's still a difficult and confusing time so I can only imagine how much more you must have going on in your head.

One thing I can be sure of is that there is an adjustment period. You've spent weeks knowing you are pregnant and feeling pregnant and experiencing all the physical changes and now all of a sudden you are not and it's a lot to deal with. I also think it's human nature to want what we can't have. When you weighed up the options you made the best decision you could, now that it's more hypothetical it's easier to wear the rose tinted glasses. I really hope you feel better as time goes on. Have you got someone with you? How are you feeling physically?

mellowyellow1 Wed 03-Aug-16 10:41:48

Flora I felt the same afterwards. I was so low and distraught, I thought I would never recover but I did and went on to have a baby 2 years later.

What you are going through is so hard but it will get better with time I promise. flowers

MidnightVelvettheSixth Wed 03-Aug-16 11:06:35

I took the other path to you Flora, I was in an unhappy relationship, considered the options as you did & I went ahead & had the baby. Four months after the birth it got so bad that I left him. I moved away with a 3 year old & a 4 month old & was a single parents for a while & it was the hardest time of my life. The ex still has access to the DC so he will not be out of my life until DS2 (now 6) turns 18. I still have to see him & be civil to him & pretend to the children that all is good. Its exhausting & every second weekend I rehash all the bitterness & resentment & wishing he were dead. I would not wish this on anyone & I think if you had gone ahead then your future would be similar.

You made your decision & your reasons were good and valid, you are just having a kneejerk reaction to the trauma & yes it will get better. Your response is totally normal to the position you were in. There were no signs from the universe that 'it shouldn't have been' it was just poor staffing or lots of people being ill at once, things that happen every day all over the globe. You are looking for reasons to punish & blame yourself & when no reasonable options are there, you are making them up out of normal events as people do when they wish to find reasons. You may as well say the moon was in the wrong position or that the butterfly in the garden was a sign. Be kind to yourself sweetheart, you are an intelligent rational woman who had an impossible decision yet you had to make a choice. You made it & the natural reaction is to think it was wrong. If you had taken the other way then you would also be thinking it was the wrong decision as well. Be patient & kind to yourself.

And when you feel better ditch the prick of a boyfriend & go and find someone else who you wish to raise to family with & who is fit to be a father. Make some changes, you are young & this bloke really doesn't sound good, you cannot live with him for fear of personal harm & you can't envisage a future with him. Once you feel stronger then make this a turning point in your life, a point when you steered for calmer waters and lived your life how you wanted to flowers

Flora87 Thu 04-Aug-16 09:21:23

Thank you for your replies, I don't know why but it does make me feel a bit better. I have been talking to close friends, my mum and my boyfriend but as none of them have been through anything similar it's hard. Physically I'm fine, just a bit crampy but that's it. I keep questioning why no-one asked me if I was sure, even though it might have made no difference but no-one at the clinic asked and my boyfriend who came with me on the day didn't ask either. When I was in the waiting room it was like I completely disassociated myself from what I was doing and didn't think about it. And I just keep going over and over and over those few hours wishing I had done things differently. I know it's pointless to think like that now because it's done but my mind keeps going there.

Thank you MidnightVelvettheSixth for showing how the other path could have turned out and for your advice. I think I will break up with him if only so that there is a reason for having had the abortion. I just feel like I wasn't true to my own feelings and didn't even admit them to myself because he didn't want me to have the baby although I keep thinking back to those two hours when I was the only person who knew I was pregnant and having an abortion did not cross my mind. Maybe this is just my mind playing tricks on me but I think now that all the stress and sadness before I made the decision was actually not because I couldn't decide but because my heart didn't really want to have the abortion.

Thank you for all being so kind to my ramblings and I am just going to try and accept that this is happened and there is nothing I can do about it now.

SunshineAgain Thu 04-Aug-16 19:56:16

I think the finality of it all is hard, I guess it will just take time. I'm surprised you weren't asked about being sure, I was asked this at least once at every appointment. I really hope you continue to feel gradually better and in time can come to terms with your decision. When you said you didn't even consider termination when you first found out I felt so sad for you, I'm sorry you've ended up here and feeling like this.

Breaking up with your boyfriend just now seems like a tough decision but a sensible choice bssed on what you've said. The only positive thing in this whole situation for me has been that my boyfriend and I are closer than ever, he has really stepped up, taken such good care of me and made an unbearable situation bearable, I couldn't love him any more right now. I'm sure sure you can have a happy pregnancy in the future with the right person.

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