Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Happily married but considering abortion

(215 Posts)
confused75 Fri 26-Jul-13 17:01:07

I found out i was pregnant last week. I think I am probably about the five week mark.

I was initially in shock but as the week has gone on, I feel increasing negative about the pregnancy.

I am in my late thirties and have never been especially maternal and my hubby is around the same age. We both work a lot, we aren't rich but we do enjoy traveling and our current freedom.

I am really surprised at how negative my reaction has been. If I had known how strong my reaction was I would have taken more precautions.

I also feel incredibly selfish that I would be considering abortion when I really have a wonderful husband who will support me through anything. We both agree that if we went through with the abortion it would also be an agreement to remain child free. This thought doesn't scare me too much but maybe it is my nerves and fears taking over,

I feel like a freak of nature! Has anyone else had any similar experiences or advice?

MorrisZapp Sat 27-Jul-13 00:00:35

For many women, having a termination isn't a huge deal. I had one, because it was best for me at the time. I've forgotten it now.

These threads always lean towards encouraging women to see all the positives of motherhood and all the negatives of termination. That's fine, obviously that reflects the fact this is a forum largely for mothers.

But you know what you want. Personally, I think following through with an unwanted or very ambivalent pregnancy because things always work out in the end is a huge gamble.

I have a child now, my life has changed utterly, and if I knew then what I know now I would very likely have made different choices. You don't have to be a mother. You are allowed to just keep your nice life as it is, if you are a loving person then you will always get love back, hopefully on your death bed too.

MorrisZapp Sat 27-Jul-13 00:04:03

And what distance call said. Every child born should be much wanted. I don't know why we feel we should encourage reluctant parents to take the plunge.

craftycottontail Sat 27-Jul-13 00:12:54

I fell pregnant accidently too. Was also happily married, intending to have children some day but was quite happy without.

For me, my decision was made when I read about what had already happened in my body. Also I read about what would happen at the various stages a pregnancy could be terminated and decided I couldn't go through with it, not even as early as 5 weeks (when I found out). I have a history of depression and a guilty kind of personality - I doubt I would have coped with it mentally. You might read the same information and decide differently, but do find out everything before you make your final decision.

I agree with the poster who said they've never met a person who regretted having their child once they arrive. I don't regret for a minute having mine.

Whippetwarmer Sat 27-Jul-13 00:12:55

My first child was conceived when I was 22, in far from ideal circumstances. I was horrified and my gut feeling was to have an abortion, even though I'd always been opposed to it. But I thought it through and decided I couldn't go through with an abortion. I spent my whole pregnancy dreading the baby being born because of all the freedom I would lose. I went into labour and gave birth to a girl who I loved instantly, and is now a happy, bright 9 year old who is an amazing little person. I've been a single mum but I have never for a moment regretted having her.

Last year, I got pregnant and had an abortion. Very long story as to why but I felt backed into a corner and had no option. It fucked with my head and has opened up a whole can of worms in terms of questioning my own morality. I have been having counselling for the last 7 months because of it. The whole experience was just horrible. The effect on my relationship has been catastrophic too.

I guess it depends on how you feel about abortion. If you really think that you can go and do it and not feel bad, then do it if you feel it's the right thing. But my warning is that both decisions are long term, life long ones. The way I saw it when I was pregnant the first time was that I knew that an abortion was not a happy ending but having a baby might be, which is why I chose that option. Good luck whatever you decide.

MorrisZapp Sat 27-Jul-13 00:23:40

There's an amazing thread on here called how has parenting affected your mental health. It's about women who don't find motherhood to be joy filled and amazing all the time. In fact, we often find it an almighty pain in the arse. Many brave women on there have said that if they had their time again, they'd make different choices.

The reason nobody has met anybody who regrets parenthood is because it's not something society wants to hear. It is shaming. So it's not talked about openly.

I personally had PND which nearly killed me. I'm not alone, millions of women suffer with it every year. I'm probably going to be on anti depressant medication for many years now, although I'm no longer ill.

Babies bring joy to many. They also bring debt, marriage breakdown, loss of self, and the hardest work you'll ever do in your life.

DistanceCall Sat 27-Jul-13 00:32:27

It's extremely rare to find a woman who openly says that she regrets having children because that's something that would deeply hurt her children, and most women (even those who regret having had children) are not monsters and don't wish to hurt their children.

Again: every child deserves to be intensely wanted, preferably by both parents. If you're feeling so ambivalent about it, I think that's a strong sign you should take into account.

popupdrop Sat 27-Jul-13 00:41:34

I have had a termination in your situation. I already had a child from an earlier relationship, but in my current marriage I'd made a joint decision not to have any more dc as we enjoyed our lifestyle with a fairly independent teenager child. I knew from my first dc that we definitely would lose a lot of freedom and options if we'd continued with the pg, even though I'd been quite adventurous and travelled a fair bit with him. I only had a negative response to my own pg, but tbh I'd often thought hypothetically about what might happen in the case of a contraceptive failure and I always knew I'd choose a termination.

There is no shame in it, and no reason to justify it to anyone else. It wasn't a big deal to me, and for many women the only feeling is relief and I definitely didn't fundamentally change how I felt about myself - I've made a lot of life-changing decisions in my life and this really wasn't one of them! I just feel glad that we live in a country and society where these options are available, although it is a pity that so many people see it as shameful or regretful.

notanyanymore Sat 27-Jul-13 00:43:25

Me and dp were both scared shitless when we found out we were expecting dc3, we'd only just got our family back together. I know how twee this sounds but the feeling isn't, it likes she completes me/our family, everything.

I'll raise my hand and say I sometimes (even often) regret having children. I never particularly wanted kids, then suddenly got broody in my early 30s, had two girls who I do love dearly, don't get me wrong. I'm pleased they're in my life and and I'm very happy.

But: I think I would be happier childless and single. Not because I don't love my DH and my DDs - I really do. But I'm a solitary person at heart, selfish and rather intolerant of having my space invaded. I resent the time the DDs take up, the damage to my career that parenthood has caused, the money spent, the loss freedom to do what I want when I want... In a nutshell I feel I've lost too much control over myself.

I realise that if I hadn't found DH and had children, I'd probably be sad and lonely and want nothing more than a partner and kids... grass is always greener and all that.

What I truly wish is that I could rewind my life and start again, but with a truer understanding of myself and my overwhelming need for solitude.

So my advice to you is to look as deeply into yourself as you can. What do you want for yourself, really? Where do you want your life to go and can it go there if you have children. If you have to change tacks and make huge adjustments (and you will have to make huge adjustments), will there be resentment? What are you likely to regret the most if you do or don't have children?

Mostly, don't believe the people who say you'll never regret having children. People do, all the time. They just don't admit it.

MorrisZapp Sat 27-Jul-13 01:18:42

Feel I want to hug you for that wonderful, kind, sane post Annie. But I'll respect your personal space smile

Ah, now I do love a cuddle, Morris, and that's what kids are best at grin! I'd have no regrets at all about children if we could just sit on the sofa and cuddle all day.

It's the relentlessness of parenting. That's what kills me.

niceupthedance Sat 27-Jul-13 07:27:24

I'm with Morris and Annie. Not everyone is cut out for motherhood and you shouldn't feel abnormal if you aren't.

Just last night I was discussing with my own mother our experience of child-rearing, and the two main themes were 'boring' and 'hard'.

Good luck in your decision.

MadameLeBean Sat 27-Jul-13 07:44:06

The effect on your relationship and personal freedom is huge and that is not a temporary thing. I had my dd unplanned, young and I resented losing my independence for years. Now I'm more comfortable with it but the thought of having a baby with my partner terrifies me as now my dd is a bit older we have a little more independence. We still have hardly any "us" time between work, dd, friends (not even often) and chores. If you can afford help - a nanny or housekeeper - it might keep you sane. I do want a baby at some point but want to have support systems in place and not be stressing about my career. I dont think termination has to be emotionally devastating, everyone has different feelings about it, but as people have said up to 9 weeks is simple procedure. Good luck whatever you decide.

Viviennemary Sat 27-Jul-13 12:10:40

I agree that the answer for you is within you and how you would feel about the situation. I don't think I'm the very maternal type but I certainly am pleased I had children and would not want to be single and childless or married and childless. But what's right for one person isn't always right for the other person. I hope you come to the right decision for you.

JohFlow Sat 27-Jul-13 13:29:38

I can't really help you to make your decision. But I would hold off until you have full information on all of your options - including non-termination ones e.g adoption etc. Sometimes considering those you get a feel of whether you could/couldn't go through with them. Feeling negative about a pregnancy may change within the course of the next 8+ months; but choosing to terminate is irreversible. Some mothers who aren't particularly 'maternal' still provide solid upbringings for their children. It's not an easy decision and I think you have to go with what you think is the best course of action for you and your DH. Good Luck

flippinada Sat 27-Jul-13 14:37:08

Excellent, thoughtful posts from MorrisZapp and AnnieLobeseder - not that others aren't thoughtful, those ones just stand out for me.

Children do have a massive impact on your life; once you have them it will never be the same again.

StillSeekingSpike Sat 27-Jul-13 14:37:31

I got pregnant in my late 20s- and up until that point, would have thought I was ambivalent about having children, leaning towards wanting to have one.
I was surprised how much I hated being pregnant and how much I wanted it over with. I had a termination and never regretted it. I'm in my 40s now and regret things about my life- but not having children wouldn't be in the top 200.
As for 'nobody regretting having children'- if everyone becomes a natural parent the minute the babies born- where do all the fucked up adults come from??????
I work in child protection and can tell you I'd be out of a job if wanting a child was the same as having a child.

hermioneweasley Sat 27-Jul-13 14:41:37

OP, I am confused. Were you trying to get pregnant? You mention "wondering if it would happen for you" and it being "passive"

motherinferior Sat 27-Jul-13 14:49:45

It doesn't matter, surely, Hermione? The fact is that she is now pregnant - and there's nothing like a not-madly-planned pregnancy for bringing you smack up against the reality of how your life may now take a very, very different track.

I was a little older than you, and I decided to go through with it; and I would say that for me, that was the right decision. However, I say that now - that first baby (I had another two years later) is now 12. If you'd asked me eight years ago, I was fairly horrified by people actively planning to throw their lives into the unfulfilled exhausted chaos that I lived in then.

So I suppose I'm saying the same as Morris grin. You can have a perfectly wonderful life without kids. Probably much, much nicer than if you do have them, to be honest.

I was never maternal, and my pregnancy at 39 could not have happened at a worse time (mid divorce). I initially thought a termination was the only sensible option as I have always been pro-choice. I had such bad bleeding my GP suggested going for an early private scan to see whether a termination would be necessary. When I saw the heart beat something in me just fell in love with the baby. There is no way I could have terminated the little life that was hanging on in there when the rest of my world was falling apart.

My dd is now 4 months and is the very best ting that ever happened to me. The divorce never happened btw but that is an aside. I love motherhood, and I think having spent 39 years focussing on the downsides the upsides came as an unexpected surprise. Sometimes when I look at dd my blood runs a little cold at the thought she might never have been.

Go for a scan (a private one is about £90), and see how you feel. A termination cannot be undone. Motherhood isn't for everyone but it has amazing upsides, and as a slightly older mum you will have some advantages. I am a kinder, less selfish person than I was 15 years ago because life has rubbed the hard corners off me.

Don't rush into a decision. As you are late 30s this could be your only chance at motherhood. How would you feel if you terminated and then couldn't have another later? It's funny how we sometimes don't want things until life/nature closes the door.

Best of luck

Liskey Sat 27-Jul-13 15:38:28

Hi Confused - I'm in a very similar position to you at the moment though I do already have a DD. I've found that I'm unexpectedly pregnant and am trying to decide what to do for the best. I've been to BPAS who were very helpful and I have an appointment for an abortion but I'm still feeling very undecided.

My DD is now a wonderful person who I adore but I wouldn't say I'm naturally maternal and I found the first year incredibly hard.

You really have my sympathy as this is an incredibly hard decision to make.

My single sister and I have talked about this and we've both realised we are envious about aspects of the other's life. I envy her the freedon she has and she envies me having a DD and all the good bits she sees of her.

bragmatic Sat 27-Jul-13 16:43:14

No doubt your life changes dramatically. But it will be different in 10 years' time anyway. And 10 years after that. And so on. And I might get flamed for saying this, but a child didn't change my life that much. We still did weekends away, travelled, etc. We both still worked. Now the youngest is 6, I still feel I have freedom to do pretty much what I want. I just have to plan more. Though I'll grant you, the first year can be difficult. Or, incredibly easy, as it was with my first.

I'm not trying to talk you into or out of anything. I was an older mum (36 the first time). I don't know. You have your shit together by then, right? Well, for the most part anyway. My life changed. But it wasn't going to stay the same anyway. That's what life is. If you decide not to have the baby, you'll be trading one change for another. Only you can decide if that will be right for you, or not. Good luck.

WaitMonkey Sat 27-Jul-13 17:00:09

g

WaitMonkey Sat 27-Jul-13 17:01:29

This must be so difficult for you, hope you make the right decision whatever that may be for you and your dh.

rob99 Sat 27-Jul-13 17:11:34

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now