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Advice on unplanned pregnancy threads

(63 Posts)
ALittleStranger Thu 30-Jan-14 22:25:43

I fully accept maybe I ABU.

Support is nice. And there's nothing wrong with anonymous posters helping someone put the best spin on things.

But it worries me that when someone will post about an unplanned pregnancy and seek advice, someone will invariably reassure them that they'll be a great mum and love the kid etc etc. And that's it. Case closed as far as the supportive poster is concerned.

It just seems like such a bland platitude that it's unhelpful to say it. Deciding whether to have a child as a single parent is a huge decision. It concerns me that sometimes a "babies are cute" brigade will clatter in and start cheerleading and ignore that a) women have choices and b) there's invariably a complex back story and "you'll love you bubz" does not get around a lack of finance, support or enthusiasm.

I don't know, I'm just fiercely pro-choice and I fear that sometimes we risk forgetting that abortion can be the life enhancing option.

meditrina Thu 30-Jan-14 22:54:20

I think YABU, as the threads I've seen have (when OP appears undecided) invariably contain posts giving a range of options, opinions and experiences. There is nothing inherently wrong about a view in favour of proceeding any more than there is about a view in favour of termination.

It's not a great subject for AIBU. The Antenatal Resuts and Choices topic is supportive and posters are tactful and sensitive, whatever view they espouse.

SolidGoldBrass Thu 30-Jan-14 22:56:50

Having a baby you didn't plan and didn't want can also be a damaging experience.

MoominIsGoingToBeAMumWaitWHAT Thu 30-Jan-14 22:57:13

I posted on here when I found out I was pregnant, very unplanned - I'm 19 and just started second year of uni, in a 3 year relationship with my also-student boyfriend - and actually the responses I got were pretty balanced and helped me to consider all the options.

I think more needs to be made in sex ed etc about just how difficult pregnancy is. I haven't even had the baby yet and I'm finding it so difficult, more than I could imagine at the start - but the advice given means I was at least prepared for it to be difficult.

I feel happy that I made an informed choice - and that's mostly thanks to the advice I received here.

ikeaismylocal Thu 30-Jan-14 23:00:33

* There is of course no middle ground between a designer clad baby with parents who don't really care for it, and a baby wearing the next thing up from rags with no toys but adoring parents*

Ofcourse there is a middle ground. My point is that no one can guarantee that parenting will be easy or love for their child will come naturally. In my opinion a baby's needs are in order of importance are food, shelter, affection. Maybe I am naive, but a mother and baby would not be left on the street starving in the UK. All that leaves is eaffection, which I don't think is a given for anyone.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 30-Jan-14 23:03:26

They might not be left on the street starving, but that is hardly a great benchmark, is it?

If you already have children then you might feel that your resources - time, money, and everything else are already stretched thinly enough. Is it then fair to those existing children to bring another baby into the mix?

The OP's point I think, which I agree with, is that with unplanned pregnancy it is never as clear cut as 'oh it's ok I shall love the baby, hurrah'.

goodasitgets Thu 30-Jan-14 23:06:00

My medical termination was so painful I ended up ringing the helpline while crying on the floor alone. I wasn't prepared for that. Everyone else's experiences seemed to have been less painful
Mine was not my decision. I've been left suicidal, heartbroken, guilty, angry and with all these feelings I don't know how to cope with
I don't know if I will ever get the chance to have children or if that was my one shot
I wasn't prepared for the pain I feel seeing children now, it's like a physical ache
I can't watch programmes I used to enjoy because I just sob at them. Thinking you've cried hard before and then crying so hard you can't stop, howling with grief
I'm still pro choice, always. But people seem to think, have an abortion and that's it

Cabrinha Thu 30-Jan-14 23:13:41

Oh it irritates me no end, all the "oh you'll be a great mum". I mean - let's not kick people when they're down, but - how do you know?
There are some shit mums out there.

Thread about a thread, or post about a thread I suppose, but FFS, undecided people in less than ideal circumstances shouldn't be met with vomitous stuff about ickle bubba botties.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 30-Jan-14 23:14:42

good I'm so sorry that you had that experience sad No woman should be forced into having an abortion that she doesn't want.

Cabrinha Thu 30-Jan-14 23:14:45

goodasitgets xxx

Worriedthistimearound Thu 30-Jan-14 23:16:14

I have read quite a few of those types of threads over the years and I have to say I don't really recognise what you are saying.
I think the vast majority of posters make it very clear that the choice is there and needs to be made by the op alone without pressure from anyone else. I am very pro choice too but I still admit that from an emotional pov, a woman will often regret an unwanted abortion far more than she would regret going ahead so whilst termination is absolutely the right choice for many women and indeed their legal right, it is a choice they need to be sure about and to make without pressure from either the father or family. So perhaps that is why there is sometimes that slant to such threads.

Also, and again I say this as someone who is very pro choice, if a woman posts that the only reason she is considering an abortion is financial then I would pribably post encouraging her to see if there was another way. A termination may well be the right choice for many woman but if you're on here saying your only motive is financial then I think it's a reasonable assumption that emotionally, you want the baby and a termination in those circs could be very damaging to a woman's mental health.

Not sure I'd ever describe it as the 'life enhancing option' though.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 30-Jan-14 23:18:27

worried it absolutely enhanced my life, it is a perfectly valid description in many circumstances.

takingthathometomomma Thu 30-Jan-14 23:19:02

"You'll love you bubz"? Stereotyping much? Or am I reading that wrong?

AnnabelleLee Thu 30-Jan-14 23:22:37

You have to expect exactly that though, don't you? What else are people going to do, give identical empty platitudes? It's their opinion, based on their own experience. You know what you will get when you post.

I'm the same position as you, but to imagine any other response range is frankly naive.

ALittleStranger Thu 30-Jan-14 23:23:19

I apologise taking, I'm sure the more articulate posters are also capable of crap advice.

Good I'm sorry to read that, it's awful circumstances to be put through.

Worried maybe a time machine or better luck would be more life enhancing, but yeah working within the options currently enabled by science and technology...

claraschu Thu 30-Jan-14 23:23:48

I hate threads where young teenagers are encouraged to continue with pregnancies, even though they have no way of understanding what they are getting into, no way of supporting the baby, and are already very unbalanced in their thinking.

We have a huge population problem, and an enormous number of children who are neglected, abused or just not particularly well cared for.

ALittleStranger Thu 30-Jan-14 23:24:48

Annabelle I think responses could actually engage with the OPs' need to talk about focus on their individual circumstances, feelings and options. Populating a thread like a Facebook wall filled with "likes" is not helpful.

AnnabelleLee Thu 30-Jan-14 23:25:58

They do engage, just not in a manner you like.

ALittleStranger Thu 30-Jan-14 23:25:59

"need to talk, focused on" even

Neitheronethingortheother Thu 30-Jan-14 23:29:51

I think there are a lot of people who have been faced with an unwanted or unplanned pregnancy and who thought it was the end of the world and considered abortion but decided to keep the baby and did end up loving the baby and things worked out OK. I know this happened to me when I was 18 and I never regretted out for a minute. That is my experience so I would share that with someone as a personal experience. I have had 4 pregnancies since then with varying outcomes but I dont see the harm in sharing an actual experience as opposed to giving impartial unbiased counsel to someone who finds themselves in a similar situation. Surely the best advice is to tell them to speak to a fully trained counsellor rather than using amateur skills to try and influence them

clara that's unfair. a lot of pregnant women have no understanding of what they're getting into, not just teenagers. i appreciate that being a jobless, teenage parent isn't ideal but I had dc1 at 16 and was never any less capable of loving and looking after her as an older mother would have been.

saying to someone who is struggling to come to terms with an unplanned pregnancy, 'you'll be a great mum' is insensitive and stupid. but having a baby can be life enhancing as much as terminating an unplanned pregnancy. unless you know the person very well, it's a bad idea to advise either way. as has already been said, mention the options but that should be it.

MidniteScribbler Thu 30-Jan-14 23:37:37

I don't tend to go in to those threads, but I'm betting that for every post supporting keeping the baby, that there are just as many suggesting an abortion.

There is no law on an internet forum about having to post a completely balanced argument for your point of view. People post to ask for an opinion, and that's what they get. Like it or not, there's people out there for whom abortion is not a palatable option and as long as they aren't trotting out the "murder" line, then suggesting that the OP keep the baby is a perfectly valid option. No woman should be pressured either way, but a balance of opinions is healthy.

As we see on this board all the time, people ask for opinions and then ignore the posts that don't suit them. For some women, it may be that support they need to go ahead with an abortion, and for some women it may be the support they need to keep the baby.

MeepMeepVrooooom Thu 30-Jan-14 23:37:38

I think it depends. There are different types of these threads. There are for example 'I am pregnant how am I going to cope being a single parent? ' and 'I am pregnant and don't know what to do' the former suggests to me they have made their mind up to continue with the pregnancy and to go blundering in with pro choice posts wouldn't be appropriate unless the OP brings it up. The latter of the two I think they are looking for advice on options, in that case any advice should be given.

anothernumberone Thu 30-Jan-14 23:58:37

I do know what you mean OP however outside of extreme circumstances abortion is not something I personally would consider. So say for example say I got pregnant now it would be a huge shock since DH had a vasectomy. I would be shocked, a little disoriented and tbh probably upset but I would want the everything is going to be ok chat not the you have options chat so I guess every situation needs to be judged on its own merits. Even women without obvious support might want the everything is going to be ok chat rather than the options chat. It all depends I guess.

I don't think running in with the options chat is very necessary either since everyone knows there are options don't they? At the end of the day abortion should be a choice not something someone needs to be encouraged into. If an OP comes on asking for advice on abortion or what options are out there that is when the abortion advice is relevant not otherwise IMO.

LittleBabyPigsus Fri 31-Jan-14 02:02:51

The thing is, if you regret your abortion, that's your life impacted negatively. If you regret continuing your pregnancy, that's two lives impacted negatively. The latter definitely seems worse.

differentnameforthis Fri 31-Jan-14 03:07:48

I object SO much to people saying

'you will love it'
'you'll cope'
'you never regret having a child'

Unplanned pregnancy thread is NOT the place for this type of talk. The experiences of the posters in these situations aren't helpful. They give false hope.

Deciding to have a child within a relationship is hard too, if it is unplanned. I terminated at 9 weeks (3rd pregnancy, 4yrs ago) for a lot of reasons. I don't regret, yes it changed my life. But for the better.

I am pro choice. VERY.

I was unwanted as a baby. My father convinced my mother to have to me, telling her it would be ok, she would love me etc. She didn't love, never wanted me & it damaged our relationship, especially when dad left (no one to show me love etc). We haven't talked for 20yrs.

No, I do not wish I have never been born, but I do wish I hadn't had to suffer what I suffered.

Every thread like this I've seen has had posters on it offering support whatever the op chooses. I have seen many that have not. Posters go on to detail how they felt when in that situation, but more often than not, they have finished with 'our accident is now 4 & we love her to bits, so it does work out' or 'you never regret having a child'. And those things are said far more than 'you don't have to do this' 'you can regret a baby' and also far more than any support offered.

Then you get the pro lifers coming on & giving over their agenda.

For instance, if someone tells them "you'll love the baby once it gets here" see, this is the EXACT thing we are talking about!! How the hell can anyone know that they will love the baby once it is born? My mother was told that, and she didn't love me. It's giving false hope.

And NO ONE gives any consideration to the person in that situation at all. What if they come back on 9mths later & say 'you all told me I would love him, but I don't. I didn't want him, I regret having him" Will they all offer to help op? Adopt the baby? Of course they won't!!

It is not unusual for them to be prefaced with 'I just know I could never have an abortion' or some other similarly guilt-inducing comment. Exactly. If ever I am on a thread like that, if the poster hasn't already expressed that she will go ahead, I would advise of the options.

My opinion is that if you choose to have a baby in the UK regardless of your relationship status or income your baby will have education, food, healthcare, a home and a safe environment. Hold on a sec... Nope, sorry, I told myself that at least I got an education, good healthcare, a home & felt safe (for all is true) But sorry, it failed to fill that huge fucking void left by my mother not loving me. All that means absolutely nothing if your mother doesn't love you & regrets having you.

Actually all babies need is love. NO. I had love. Just not from my mum. Which is the only love I wanted/needed. All babies need to be WANTED.

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