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Need some sage advice.

(38 Posts)
HeartVHead Fri 01-Nov-13 19:39:52

DP and I had a contraceptive failure. I was at the end of my cycle and the condom split but because of my age I decided there was little chance I would get pregnant, but I am.

At the time of the 'accident' we discussed taking the MAP, we both thought there was little possibility of conception but when I asked DP what he would do if I did get PG he said he would be supportive. So on Monday I tested + after feeling 'off' for a few days and told him that the test was +. Between then and yesterday he called me (we live 40 miles or so apart and he was working and my kids are off school for half term so we could not see each other) and he asked me if I had stopped drinking and smoking and was eating right etc etc (I rarely drink and am an occasional social smoker) which led me to believe he was concerned about the baby's welfare.

Yesterday he came around and when the kids were in bed he dropped the bombshell that he wants me to have a termination. He has said that we had not been getting on great for a while which is true to an extent; we lived together but it was stressful as I am doing a course and have young children and he works in another city. He said he has lots on his plate; he has a big tax bill to pay and some other minor financial commitments. He said he is not ready for a baby now; he said before that he wanted us to be together and eventually have a child together (he has no children) but not at the moment.

I, meanwhile, am absolutely devastated. The timing is not perfect but the problems he has mentioned are not insurmountable in my book and if we don't have this baby now then when will we? He said maybe next year when I have finished my course and if we are getting a long better. I feel sick at the thought of terminating this pregnancy to then try for another baby in a years time.

I am not anti-abortion but I am the sort of person that if there is a problem I will try to find solutions and so, while I appreciate his perspective, it feels very much to me that his issues are a knee jerk reaction to this unexpected news and that he has told me what he has thought I wanted to hear for the past 3.5 years and that our relatioship has been built on untruths.

I have made an appointment to have counselling with Marie Stopes and a pre-assessment appointment next week but I just feel sick at the thought of agreeing to take tablets to abort a baby I very much want. That being said, I cannot do this on my own. I just can't. I married an alcoholic who was abusive and to all intents and purposes have brought up 3 kids on my own. From a selfish point of view, I want to be happy and find a life partner (I thought I had) and I cannot see how that would be possible if I have this baby. Even thinking that makes me very uncomfortable as it sounds like I want to end a life for my own selfish reasons.

Equally, I do not want to manipulate my DP into supporting me and fathering a child he does not want. I want him to want me, my kids and this baby. I know I will never forgive him if he does not change his mind though. It is just a lose:lose situation.

I am sorry this is so long but I really would appreciate the perspective of others as I can't seem to rationally think about this without sobbing. Another point to make is that I have terminated a pregnancy because of abnormality and I have moments where I struggle with that decision 17 years after the event.

Thank you for reading.

HeartVHead Sun 03-Nov-13 20:29:02

Yes I am very early in the pregnancy, the pressure of making a decision is overbearing but I can't let this go on and on and only decide at the 11th hour as i'll drive myself mad.

It would just be brilliant to have a crystal ball and be able to look into the future...

bunchoffives Sun 03-Nov-13 00:20:18

HVH, I really think that you should put your own life and that of your children first. Even if you do go ahead you could end up feeling very resentful and so could your DC, and that is a very bitter feeling to endure for possibly years. Save yourself the long-term sacrifice and struggles which won't be good for any of you. sad

Also you won't have to see surgeons or anything. I think you are very early on? You can have a medical abortion (2 sets of tablets) up to 5 weeks.

HeartVHead Sat 02-Nov-13 23:39:49

Whoselifeisitanyway, it is not so much whether I can, as I probably could because of the sort of person I am and the fact I have done it with 3, but i'm not sure if I want to. I can't even begin to think about his actions and what he will do, I just have to come to a decision of my own making.

Thymeout, I am swaying between what you have said and then just feeling like I cannot make that choice. After speaking to the Counsellor today I felt like we could have the baby and everything would be oK and haven't cried today but the fact of the matter is that is probably a pipe dream...

So confused sad

Thymeout Sat 02-Nov-13 22:07:49

Op - I feel so sorry for you in this situation, especially since dp's initial reaction gave you hope.

I'm sorry but I think, even if your dp changed his mind, there would be trouble ahead. It doesn't sound as if the relationship is secure enough to cope with an addition, if he moved out because he found living with 3 children too stressful. It'd be a lot for someone who's never had children before to take on.

I think, if you end the pregnancy, you will always feel sad about it. But, I could also see a time in your future, when you've qualified and are working at your new job, when you might also think 'How on earth could I have done this with a baby? It was the right thing to do.' And that would be a consolation.

Focus on your existing children and your plans for making life better for them. Take satisfaction in reaping the rewards of all your hard work in improving your career prospects.

It doesn't have to be entirely lose-lose, even if it feels like that at the moment.

whoselifeisitanyway Sat 02-Nov-13 19:55:57

Can you really support and raise four children on your own? Because that is the reality. When realistically would you be able to work those shift patterns? And how would you survive till then? This guy is not going to stick around is he?
It is such a difficult situation for you op.

HeartVHead Sat 02-Nov-13 18:39:20

She was a counsellor from a pregnancy advisory service but I do appreciate her opinion is only based on what i've told her.

I also agree and think I have to make an indepeneant decision and, maypoledancer, it's OK; I am a befriender for ARC so am aware of the issues but thank you smile

ChippingInLovesAGoodBang Sat 02-Nov-13 16:21:19

<<HUG>>

She doesn't sound very professional hmm

The way I see it, is that things have not been great between you for a while. It would appear he has been saying whatever he thinks he needs to for an easy life. He currently has the best of both worlds (bachelor when he feels like it, family life when he feels like it).

I couldn't get past some of the things he has said and for me, irrespective of the pregnancy, this would be the end of the road for the relationship. I'd end it now, before I even made the decision about the termination - separate the two things out.

You have to make the decision about what to do with this pregnancy for youself - not for him. Ignore what he says/what he wants/what the counsellor thinks he will do hmm & everything else. Either YOU go through a termination or YOU bring up this baby. Those are your only choices right now sad

You said you felt terrible guilt about your previous termination (and that was for a foetal abnormality incompatible with life, which IMO you shouldn't feel at all guilty about) do you think YOU could handle another termination and one that doesn't even have that 'reason'?

On the other hand, YOU would be the one struggling with 4 children on your own.

I'm sorry you are going through this sad
x

maypoledancer Sat 02-Nov-13 16:20:32

That's interesting OP. It is bound to be a shock for him.

I think many men aren't good at grasping the reality of a pregnancy, it's not their body and it can feel very unreal for a long time. That said, I think the counsellor has really stuck her neck out saying this. She is second guessing his feelings and she doesn't know him.

I really hope he comes round, but you have to think about what you will do if her instinct is wrong. Do you have a TOP and give up on enlarging your family, and, inevitably, end your relationship? Do you go it alone, with the difficulties this will present in terms of completing your studies and building your career?

You still have to think like this, unfortunately. Don't pin your hopes on the words of a stranger, however 'experienced'.

Of course I absolutely hope she is right, because all other options are very difficult for you. In your position I think I would have the baby and try to have faith that all would be well in the end, with or without your partner. But you are not young and, hate to mention it, you also have to consider how you would proceed and feel if the baby has DS, for example, or any other challenging condition whose incidence increases with maternal age. You have had a horrible experience of something like this before.

And I'm really not being negative about DS children or pregnancies, so please no one be offended that I mentioned this. A close friend has a DS son and he is lovely, but I can also see that it is a strain on her sometimes dealing with his needs and those of her other children. He is at the severer end of the scale with learning difficulties, had cardiac issues and has needed a lot of input. She worries about his future, and she has the support of a loving partner.

Don't want to raise issues that make things worse, you probably know all this already. I really hope all this works out for you.

HeartVHead Sat 02-Nov-13 16:03:31

I spoke to the Counsellor today. She has suggested that I need to get DP to think of this condom failure as a pregnancy that is a baby as she thinks he is in denial of the situation. She also thinks, if what he says is true, that he does want a child in a year or so and his reaction is a knee jerk response to the shock, that he will come around....

HeartVHead Fri 01-Nov-13 23:34:36

RhondaJean, yes, I terminated a pregnancy at 23 weeks because of a fetal abnormality that was incompatible with life. I have 3 other children and know that these things are rare but he only has that experience to go by. The impression I get is that he has dodged a bullet and can have his cake and eat it i.e. live on his own like a bachelor and dip in and out of family life with me if and when he feels like it (that is one of the hurtful things I have said).

Unlikely, I am meant to qualify at the end of July but baby would be due the middle of July but is likely to be born at end of June/early July as all my others have been early (however I am up on hours so could work around this). The problem is once I am qualified, I will be expected to work shifts/long days and having a baby without support would be unmanageable as I would have to work 7.00 - 7.30 or 8.30 - 9.00 3 days a week minimum; if I had a DP who would do the childcare runs before and after school then that would work.

I know exactly what you are saying, I have thought those things myself, but the difference is coping with a situation you find yourself in or choosing that situation in the first place. For example, my XH was a lovely bloke, I married him, we had 3 kids and a business together and gradually he became an alcoholic. I supported him until I could flog a dead horse no longer as one of us had to put the needs of the children before the booze but, that said, I would not have chosen to marry an alcoholic in the first place.

With my DP, I think it would be different if I did not have the kids and a whole suitcase family of baggage. If I was younger than him, had no kids or, indeed, if I had not pursued a career and had less responsibility and more free time, then I think he would feel differently. I have to face the fact that it is probably not the baby that he doesn't want but that he doesn't want me and the children sad

How many people in RL can help you with the baby?

Have you looked into what benefits or financial support might be available to you as a student with a baby?

Your baby's father will have to contribute maintenance towards his child which will help.

Presumably your baby is due in July, so that would give you two months off over the summer. Are you allowed to defer your course for one year from the september?

Some people who have had much-longed for babies in their older years have had no choice but do the best for their baby under the direst of circumstances.

You could have fallen pregnant and this wanted baby with your parnter who 'wanted' one...then decided when the baby was two months old that he did not.

You would not have had the choice of termination at that point but would still have managed somehow, and loved your baby to pieces.

RhondaJean Fri 01-Nov-13 23:04:25

Honestly?

I think you will hugely regret it if you don't continue with this pregnancy. Perhaps you can come to terms with it with counselling but its staring out of your posts how much you want this child.

I also think your relationship is over either way. If you have the baby, he's made his stand clear. If you don't, you will always feel pushed and never forgive him.

I'm sorry if I've read this wrong but did you lost a baby in an earlier pregnancy with him, do you think he's scared of it happening again, if so perhaps I am too harsh and he may come round.

HeartVHead Fri 01-Nov-13 22:49:35

Shapechanger, I honestly did not think I would get PG by a one shot wonder at the wrong time of the month, When he said he would be supportive I just felt reassurred that if a baby did result that we would keep it because he said he wanted to be with me and that we would have a baby one day.

With the PG test, I assumed it would be negative and was shocked! My period was due, I thought if I did a test it would be - and I would then come on. I felt 'off' but my DS had been off sick with D & V so I thought most likely that. As the week went on I thought of the practical problems, thought I had a supportive partner and had thought of solutions. My overriding thought was that this baby was a blessing and I felt positive about the pregnancy and having a new little person in the family.

I can't afford to pay for a private TOP, I am a student with very little income at the moment. I won't say what course I am doing but I work in the operating department.

Sleepy, Yes, I know, that is the most devastating part. I have wanted another baby for a long time, DP said we would have one at some point, I am now PG and he does not want me to keep it. He says he is unsure of his commitment to me on top of that. I let him into my children's lives, he said all the right things and now when the shit hits the fan it is evident he can talk the talk but he cant walk the walk.

Shapechanger Fri 01-Nov-13 22:34:40

No 'might' I don't think, hoglet. That's the other thing to consider... if you have a TOP you have to accept that you won't have more children.

What course are you doing, OP?

Sleepyhoglet Fri 01-Nov-13 22:28:01

This might be your last chance. Are you prepared to never have another child?

Shapechanger Fri 01-Nov-13 22:22:37

What a horrible situation. I've had a TOP, years ago, and it's not nice.

When you had the conversation about the split condom - the one where he said he would support you - how did you feel at the time? Did a little bit of you feel pleased, maybe secretly hope you would get pregnant? When you felt a bit 'off' and took the test, what did you want the result to be?

If you are both 40 you are right, if you wanted children you would be trying to have them, not postponing it.

Give yourself at least a week to think and for things to fall into place a bit.

You wouldn't have to have a TOP at the hospital where you work. You could easily go discreetly to a private clinic. If you've had to tell them at work that you are pg, they don't have to know if the pregnancy ended voluntarily or by accident.

HeartVHead Fri 01-Nov-13 21:57:21

Unlikely, I am 40 very soon and he was 40 in the summer.

HeartVHead Fri 01-Nov-13 21:56:53

Bigfingers, part of me thinks I could do it on my own as I have done before but then I just break down thinking of the compromises and sacrifices I and the children have made to do my course for them not to materialise. I am training to do a job that requires a high level of commitment and unsociable hours, the children have been in childcare from 6am to 8pm some days but they jolly me along because they know the reasons why. I just would not be able to do the hours or apply myself to the job properly if I had a baby and no support as if I screw up it could be the difference between life and death.

Bubulou, I am not sure of the point really in talking to him. I was hurt and said some unkind things (which were actually true) and he is now saying 'You are mad for wanting this baby with me, it is not rational. I am a practical man and terminating is the sensible thing to do'. Personally, I think he is afraid of us experiencing a similar loss to our first baby and has shut down emotionally. He would say 'No, absolutely not' if I suggested this though...

How old are you and how old is he? sorry if you have answered this already.

bubalou Fri 01-Nov-13 21:22:30

So sorry heartvhead.

This is a big decision to make and I think despite all the advice you will get - you probably already know deep down which is the right decision.

However, some men just take time. Speak to him, really speak to him. If he's a typical man and refuses to then just let him know that you will not be making any decisions until it has been discussed properly!

smile

Bigfingers Fri 01-Nov-13 21:11:00

HVH I know. I honestly don't think if I could do it myself, so I feel wrong saying it anyway: it is my worst nightmare. I do not want any more children (I cannot cope well with the three I have!!) but if I discovered I had got pg, I could not cope emotionally with a termination. The only way I could rationalise it and forgive myself would be to consider that I had done better by my other children. If you do not think you would ever be able to forgive yourself, don't do it and find another way.

HeartVHead Fri 01-Nov-13 20:49:59

Bigfingers, that is what I think too but it is just a horrible, horrible, horrible thing to do when it is not what you want. It is also complicated by the fact that I do not want to go to the hospital where they do terminations as I had my first termination there and it was a horrendous experience but also because I work there with the surgeons and anaesthetists. Feel so ashamed of the whole sorry tale.

HeartVHead Fri 01-Nov-13 20:47:20

Bubalou, he did say 'You've got to take the MAP' and I said i didn't think it would be a problem and asked him what he would do if I was PG and he said, basically, he would man up (not in those words). He has since said he feels trapped etc...

Bigfingers Fri 01-Nov-13 20:42:58

It sounds like a nightmare, I'm so sorry for you this has happened. I'm sorry to say I agree that it sounds like your DP is not the one, and will not give you what you need either way. You have children already who need you, and if you really can't do it alone and be there for them too, I think they should be your priority. ((( )))
sad

HeartVHead Fri 01-Nov-13 20:41:39

Thank you Bubalou. I agree. Given my age, if he wanted children with me then he would accept that this has happened sooner than expected but would be more positive about it. I think telling me we can try again next year is the sweetener to a bitter pill as he has not got the ability to be honest about his intentions.

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