To think having this baby can work(67 Posts)
Hi, I already posted in larger families but didn't get many replies though the ones I got were helpful. So I have decided to post here as I know this board is busier.
I am having a terrible dilemma having just found out I am pregnant with my third (unplanned) child. We have two dcs aged 2 and 4. My partner in particular has found having young children hard and we nearly split up after the secondt. He is an academic, very driven and career focused and I know he feels the chaos of young children, lack of sleep and time has held him back, which it probably has. I also work part time but am more established in my career and I do the bulk of the childcare ( he works long days and always does some at weekends though I know even then he feels it is not enough). That said he is a very loving and good father to our dcs.
When I first found I was pregnant he was adamant it couldn't go ahead and I agreed and booked an appointment to talk about termination. Howewver sybswquently he has said he feels uncomfortable about making this decision having looked up stages of foetal development. He has said it is up to me to decide and he will support my decision. I personally have never been in favour of abortion except in extreme circumstances and really do not know if I cam physically go through with it. However I am worried another child will be a disaster financially and in terms if our relationship. I have worked out the short term finances and could just about afford childcare (an extra 600 a month so a lot) but then I worry about the longer term effects on other dc, paying for 3 at university (our income at moment is 80000 so not poor but by no means rich either). I made a list if pros and cons, the cons far outweighing the pros but when I showed it to my partner he was really upset and said it was meaningless to weigh all this up against a life. I have read the baby is the size of a lentil (5 weeks) but uncomfortably it seems like a life to me too and I feel vert squeamish about getting rid of it.
If you have managed to read all this thanks. I would love to hear from anyone especially anyone who can relate to any aspect of this.
I think it's a bit of a cop out for him to say 'it's up to you'- he's not taking responsibility for the decision and is burdening you. Noone on here can tell you what to do but hopefully some parents of 2/ 3 will come along soon with some support.
IMVHO, and I'm not sure i should even reply as my views are not altogether balanced, the pro's and cons of having another child should be weighed up very carefully during the planning stage and then every point is truly valid. You are past this stage and have a baby on the way and this is what you should now be making plans for.
I am not totally against termination in desperate circumstances but two (loving) parents with good careers earning £80'000 a year, for me, does not come close.
We earn well less than half of your income and extended the terms of our mortgage to accommodate ds3. He is an absolute miracle, a little wonder and the light of my life. Worrying about 3 at university is pointless at your stage as no one knows what the future will bring.
You will soon have one child at school if you don't already and may be able to find cheaper childcare than a nursery ie nanny or childminder. Or perhaps you could take a career break for a couple of years until dc's 1&2 are at school. Cut the cloth to suit!
I wish you all the best.
It sounds as though he's in favour of keeping the baby now. You took a very practical, unemotional approach by listing pros and cons and he dismissed it as the cons outweighed the pros.
You really need to talk to eachother about this. Fwiw, I think an abortion sounds as tho it could lead to resentment on both sides. Agree with pp who said your dh was copping out. Good luck, I really think this is something you need to work our as a couple.
To me it sounds like he wants you to decide to keep it. Perhaps he is scared of saying that out loud.
I don't know the ins and outs of your finances but 80k is a lot more than most families earn - by a long way.
Evalluna, firstly you both sound like a lovely couple. You are being practical as regards finances and the effect it might have on your relationship, but you are both thinking about the potential of another DC in the right way, ie not merely as an inconvenience, but as a challenge because it is your third and trying to think through all the consequences of whether or not to go ahead with the baby. You are weighing up the options to make sure you make the right decision for your family, and each other. At such an emotional time, I commend your strength of character.
I am interested that, although you feel having the baby could put your relationship at risk, your DP actually sounds supportive at this time, although you alone can tell whether you feel this could put you on shakey ground over the longer term. However I do have a caveat about DPs level of support which I explain below.
I cant predict the future for you, or say with any certainty whether having the baby could work for you. It certainly isnt a financial impossibility but clearly the chilcare costs are high which sounds like your main concern. My response is that you do still need a "positive confirmation" from your DP that he feels fully committed and will not only support you through the pregnancy, but long term as well. Rather than assume what he feels, get him to honestly voice his concerns, get it all out in the open now. If you feel confident that he is resolute to support you, then you are both taking on the commitment of your third child together.
From what you describe, he has deferred the decision about "termination or not" to you and is stopping short of saying "I love you and want this baby together". You need him to take joint ownership and Sometimes its that last bit of commitment that makes the person shift their mental mindset into one where they too are investing emotionally, not standing on the sidelines!
Time is clearly of the essence so why not have that open dialogue soon. It takes two to tango, and he needs to be part of the dance!
Btw - It made me smile that your DP did some research on foetal development - as an academic, that is very much in character! Again, that gives the sense this is something he is thinking about deeply, not just making a knee- jerk reaction. You just need a bit more from him, to feel confident, I would suggest.
Childcare might not be that much more if you changed to say a nanny ( either live in or out) as they charge per family not child, so could look after all 3 for the same price as 1
You have had very good advice. Finanncially, when these lovely DC are teenagers you might be able to work more hours and your DH might be a professor or HoD or even Vice Chancellor.
I can't really see any good enough reason to terminate a healthy pg given your circumstances. I think your focus should be on making sure there are no unplanned pgs in the future which means permanent measures for one of you. This time you and your DP slipped up - in your circumstances I don't really think it should be an innocnt life that bears the consequences.
I'm not against abortion, but the reasons you mention are no where near enough reasons to abort a baby.
I think your dh wants you to keep the baby hence him saying what he has.
80k is a lot of money, i don't know anyone that earns that much. You are not short on finances and your other dc will be in school soon.
As someone who is on a very low income by comparison (I'm a sahm, dh earns 16k, we have two dc)I don't see how an income of 80k means you would struggle with a third child financially, things can always be cut down on. Anything could happen between now and university age. It's good to plan but you never know what is going to happen - none of them may even want to go to university!
It is a very difficult situation. I think you really need your dh to be more supportive and helpful in decision making.
It sounds as if your partner would like you to keep the baby but is aware that the bulk of the work & responsibility will fall on you so wants you to make the decision yourself.
By the time the baby is born your oldest will have nearly finished reception (if you are in the UK) and your younger child will presumably be going to nursery. Your termtime child care costs will reduce as more of your children go to school. Who know what how university fees will be structured in 14-18 years time, surely that isn't worth worrying about now?
I agree with marriedinwhiteisback that you need to sort out contraception more seriously. If you decide to keep this baby you can put in your notes that if you have to have a c-section for any reason you would like to have your tubes tied at the same time. My ob/gyn used to ask everyone this on their second pregnancy.
Good luck with your decision
You and your partner need to take about this and then talk some more until you both absolutely know what the other feels.
Drop the practical conversations and just work out do you want the child or not. It needs to be a joint decision to avoid resentment.
Based on the information you've posted here, I would NOT be even considering getting rid of your baby.
Rationally, having three children on your income and circumstances is very doable - plenty of people do it. So like Strange says, this is about feelings and emotions which makes it so very difficult.
It's also very hard for your DH to be in the right here - if he leaves it up to you then he's dumping you with the responsibility; if he makes a decision and insists you stick to it then he's ignoring your feelings.
Maybe try to see a counsellor together ASAP to help thrash this out. It may be that whatever path you take feels like the least-worst path.
If you do go ahead, please please don't ever refer to your baby as a mistake - I was an unwanted third child; much loved and cherished by my mother but less so by my father, and it can be a hard burden to carry.
I agree with the PP who says it's a cop-out. You really need to get his views out in the open, whatever they are. Oterwise you are leaving yourself open to accusations of 'entrapment' in later life - he can jsut say 'well you wanted to go ahead' whenever there is a rocky patch.
Cover yourself and pin him down, in writing if necessary.
People who say £80k is a lot - depends where you live, and how much the mortgage/living costs/ travel costs are. Childcare certainly seems to be hideously expensive where you are OP.
as others have said, most of your 'cons' are relevant at the 'thinking about another DC' stage, they are not things I would consider at the 'oops i'm pregnant' stage. I have 3 DCs and right now we know that for all of the reasons you mention to do with finances etc we wont be having another in the near future however if by genuine accident I became pregnant then a termination wouldn't be a consideration. i'm a SAHM and DH has a good salary (comfortably less than your income though) and we would find a way to manage. (less holidays, meal planning, second hand clothes for the DC which we had to do to some extent for DC3).
those that say 80k is a lot of money - of course it is but at that salary they will be likely paying more in rent/mortgage for a bigger house, higher utilities costs, have bigger cars that cost more to run. a larger salary doesn't necessarily mean you have more disposable income as you live within your means and the OP wasn't planning on another DC. I have less disposable income than friends on lower salaries due to surprise DC3 (twins) with very little way to fundementally change that without moving house or selling the cars! I've done it through meal planning and own brand food supplies mostly.
from your post it sounds really like your biggest concern is the effect on yours and DPs relationship. I understand why you're worried but this time you are aware that this has the potential to cause issues so you should be looking at ways to prevent this. speak to your DP and make sure plans are in place to give you some couple time once DC3 is here (if you decide to keep it). Even if its a friend to watch the kids for an hour while you both take a walk - any time alone to talk and just be together is important. if their are elements that he particularly struggles with see where you can put coping mechanisms in place. My DH was useless late a night so I never got him up to help outside emergencies between midnight and 3am. however he knew that I could not function between 4am and 6am and he would always get up to settle DCs inbetween those times. its finding a balance that works.
good luck with your decision (and for what its worth, 3 DCs rock!!)
You talked about concern for the impact on your other DC. Fwiw, we had a third child four years back after being sure we only wanted two for years and years, and I had similar worries. She was planned so the circumstances were different, but it was definitely the best decision ever for us. Watching our older DDs develop caring and responsibility skills has been wonderful, as they are that bit older - they've gained not lost. Every family is different of course, but it's been good for us.
My only advice is this has to be a decision you both agree on. It isn't just yours or his if this is a committed marriage/partnership.
It's all or nothing. From experience you have to have peace with your decision to live with it. Til you both are at that point discussion is required.
When he says "I'll support your decision" does that include at 3 in the morning, or does he really mean he'll go along with it as long as it doesn't impact on him.
I also think the holding him back bit is bollocks. We have three, (singleton then twins) and in our case it really concentrated the mind to make sure pay rises and promotions happened! I think it is a shitty character trait to apportion blame to your children for your career.
Have you had any permanent contraception discussions?
If he can recognise that he is not great with babies/ toddlers shouldn't he be thinking now about techniques to manage that?
If this pregnancy were to go wrong do you think you would feel relieved or determined to go again?
I don't think this is one of those decisions you can make by making a list of pros and cons.
You have to go with your gut feeling.
Ensure that your DP saying "it's up to you" is not code for "if you go ahead, then I expect you to do 100% of the extra work involved and then I'd be quite in favour". Sorry if that's not what he is like but his "long days" as an academic and your part-time work coupled with the bulk of childcare sort of points that way. If you decide to go ahead (incidentally, I doubt you would ever regret that choice) then you need to have DP's full assurance that this is HIS decision too and that he will not opt out and/or resent DC3 on the basis he washed his hands of the whole thing. If he is not like that at all but instead genuinely supportive of you then you are in luck :-)
BTW if you do decide on a career break then get married first otherwise your future is unprotected.
Op, from what you've said here it doesn't sound to me as if either of you could live with your having an abortion. I think it is extremely hard for you or your Dh to suddenly make a completely emphatic decision that you are both 100% happy with because you are not in a situation you would have chosen. However, you do need to choose the least distressing path which, from your Op, sounds to me like having the baby. I agree that you need to make the decision together though. I only have 1 dc and wanted 2 but would have been as ambivalent at having 3 as you are so I do understand.
Hi, thanks for all the advice, I completely appreciate that for many there would be no question of a termination in these circumstances. Interested that people think childcare is expensive where we are - o think our local nursery is pretty much the going rate for baby care works out about 40 a full day. Despite our income we don't have a huge house and definitely could not have a live in nanny. Also me becoming sahm is not an option as I have the more secure better paid job (and dh temperamentally unsuited to be sahd). On a personal level, I would have this baby and try my hardest to make it work for everyone. My main concern is our relationship, dp's career ( which is v much tied into his emotional wellbeing) and knock on effects on dcs. He does not yet have tenure and as anyone in academia will know there is a bottleneck of people stuck at postdoctoral level and (as he keeps telling me) those with no commitment s who can work 24 hour days have advantage. Though not sure how much difference to this situation an extra dc would make. If anyone is an academic I would appreciate views as I only ever really have his description of the situation to go on.
I asked him again today and he said he felt uncomfortable about killing anything and would support my decision. Personally I even have problems killing a wasp! I am edging towards having it but terrified of potential effects on relationship and family. Yes though I do see that anothet sibling can br a good thing.
Just to add it would be unfair of him to say "you choose" but to then expect you to cope with the new addition on your own. Whatever you decide this potential new baby belongs to both of you
Sterilisation at the time of section is quite outdated as it has a higher failure rate than when done alone, and also there are much more reliable contraception methods than sterilisation available now.
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