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To keep a baby conceived during a short fling?

(157 Posts)
cabalenica Thu 21-Feb-19 17:34:24

Namechanged for obvious reasons, although I've only posted a few times before anyway.

I'm 36 and very much want to have children, but have been single for several years.

A few months ago I met someone while visiting friends abroad (in the US) and he recently came over to the UK to visit me. We'd been texting/skyping and at the time I genuinely thought it might go somewhere. However, after 5 days in close quarters it's clear we're not very compatible - nothing major wrong with him, we just didn't click really. We did have a lot of sex over the 5 days though and I've just taken a pregnancy test and got a positive result.

In the last couple of years I've considered whether I might eventually look at sperm donors and having a baby by myself, if I didn't meet anyone; plus I don't really want to be 40 and trying to conceive my first child. On the other hand it's a huge thing to attempt by yourself. My family are lovely but live in another part of the country. I have very kind caring friends nearby but most of them don't have kids yet either, and obviously a bit of help from friends is not the same as having a partner.

He is also in his 30s and already has a daughter, who lives near him with her mum and the mum's new partner. He pays child support for her. I don't think I would want to ask him for any money if I did have the baby. (And no idea whether you can make someone pay child support if they're outside of the UK anyway)

I've actually never had so much as a pregnancy scare before so never had to think about this seriously. I don't have any moral objection to terminations, and would quickly have had an abortion if I was much much younger, but I don't want to end a pregnancy when I really want a baby, and then not have this chance again. Obviously I'd rather have a baby with someone I loved, but I'd rather have one alone than not at all... I think?

I have a pretty decent job (small company though so not great maternity benefits) and I own my flat. However, I am intimidated by the costs of childcare if I had to work and take care of a baby. Haven't got to the point of figuring out how it would work financially, yet.

I'm just looking for any thoughts, esp from anyone who has been in a similar position. Is there anything I should consider that I might not have thought of yet?

SpinningSister Thu 21-Feb-19 17:35:58

As someone whose recently had a baby, I’d say keep it.
Sometimes these things happen.


Lifeisabeach09 Thu 21-Feb-19 17:42:14

OP, I ended up pregnant without any home or money but with lots of family help.
I was on benefits for a while then got a job then went to university to retrain. I've been a professional for two years now.
It is doable.
Check your maternity package, check how much you'd get in terms of government financial support as a single parent and find out if the dad wants to be involved. Once you have more information, you can decide.
It's also ok to raise your child in a one bedroom flat contrary to what some Mumsnetters might say.

RexMyDarling Thu 21-Feb-19 17:49:07

Keep it. If you don’t and decide to go the sperm donor route in a few years and it doesn’t happen you’ll kick yourself.

Sperm donors are expensive and there’s not many of them in the UK.

If I’d been in your position at 36 I’d have kept it. I’m not, I’m married and had my daughter at 36. I can imagine doing it by yourself is daunting but 1000s of people manage it. Childcare is only for a few years til they’re 3.

Wanting a child and not getting one is the worse thing in the world. It took me 10 years: fertility tablets and three rounds of ivf. All of that is much worse if you have to do that alone and you would if you’re thinking of a sperm donor in a couple of years.

It’s a no-brainer to me.

niceupthedanceagain Thu 21-Feb-19 17:51:46

I was in a similar position and went for it.
I was freelance at the time and was very ill during my pregnancy and was unable to work, which had repercussions including having to sell my flat when DS was 11 months old.
I had no family support and no friends with kids so it was ridiculously lonely. I joined NCT but as I was a single mum I didn't really fit in and they started meeting up without me.
Ended up moving across the country to be nearer family.
Found lone parenting excruciatingly hard - turns out DS has autism but didn't know that for the first 7 years. Could you manage without family support or if you had a SN child?
I ended up going to university and retraining as lone parents get extra benefits and child care to facilitate this. I couldn't have afforded nursery otherwise.
When DS was 5 I met DP and we have a blended family which can present its own challenges, but is definitely a happy ending.

I'd say the two essentials to lone parenthood are savings/money and support. I wouldn't do it again without both those things. But don't let me put you off grin

WorraLiberty Thu 21-Feb-19 17:51:50

My first thought would be to get yourself checked for STI's.

Other than that, I'd keep it if you can afford to.

ShadyLady53 Thu 21-Feb-19 17:53:36

Keep it. This might be your only chance - maybe this baby is just meant to be!

Elllicam Thu 21-Feb-19 17:55:47

If you want a baby, at 36 I would go for it.

FermatsTheorem Thu 21-Feb-19 17:55:58

Congratulations. Keep the baby.

The only possible (and weak) argument against would be that it was somehow unfair to do so without the father's consent, but any man who has reached adulthood should know that as a man you only get one "decision point" in this game - the point at which you decide whether or not to put the condom on. And it's not like you tricked him (nor can you pursue him for child support - in fact, unless he's prepared to fly back when the baby's born, I don't think you can even put him on the birth certificate).

I'm a single mum, have been since the get-go, and yes, it's hard, but it's doable, and far and away the best thing I've ever done.

SpinningSister Thu 21-Feb-19 17:57:08

I’m also 36 and conceive naturally after 12 years of infertility but I didn’t do IVF we couldn’t be bothered with the heartache of it not working.

I’ve spent all that time in RL and on MN calling myself childfree and in reality now I’ve got my baby it’s hands down the best thing I’ve ever done.

If you really think you’d live in abject poverty or end up homeless or something maybe give this more thought but if not keep your baby and have the time of your life.

I am even though I thought it wasn’t possible and someone’s quite rude about children - just protecting my broken heart I suppose

Waveysnail Thu 21-Feb-19 18:02:11

You want a baby then keep the baby

Shitonthebloodything Thu 21-Feb-19 18:03:20

Personally I'd keep it and although lots would disagree, I wouldn't tell the father. My eldest sons father and I split before he was born, the man has made my life as miserable as possible over the past 13 years and brings nothing positive to ds's life but I can't prevent him being a part of it.wony bore you with the back story but upshot is, I would give nothing and expect nothing as far as the father is concerned.

Good luck to you x

KickBishopBrennanUpTheArse Thu 21-Feb-19 18:03:23

Definitely keep the baby. Can you really picture yourself sitting in the waiting room waiting for a termination? There's no way you wouldn't stand up and walk out.

I found myself in the same situation 18 years ago with a FWB. Slightly easier in that he's local so dd has a relationship with him but I've been single since 3 minutes after conception and no local family.

I've never regretted it for a second. I was skint for a few years but it's amazing how much less you can live on when you have to.

Congratulations flowers

HJWT Thu 21-Feb-19 18:03:42

Just do it, you wont regret it smile

cabalenica Thu 21-Feb-19 18:09:44

Thanks for really nice replies.

Yes, I think the lack of family support nearby is what worries me most, but I suppose I could try it to start with and if it started to seem impossible I'd have to find a way to move closer to them.

It's helpful to hear how other people have managed so thank you.

PtahNeith Thu 21-Feb-19 18:10:24

Practical pros and cons lists aside, what does your gut say? Because ultimately you have to live with this decision; all the practical stuff can be problem solved to work with the decision you make, but what about your emotions and instincts?

Imagine yourself a year, 5 years, and 10 years from today on each path. What's your immediate gut response?

Once you can identify that, everything else is just a matter of research/planning to make it work for you, isn't it?

I just get the impression you'll regret it more if you don't keep it than if you do, but only you know that. Live the life you have right now the best way that you can, rather than trying to keep space for a possible life that you hope might possibly maybe happen... "Don't sacrifice the present for a future that might never happen."

MissingSilence Thu 21-Feb-19 18:13:54

Single mother by choice here, so slightly different situation but also very similar. I have a 14 month DD.
I would definitely say keep the baby. Fertility treatment can take multiple attempts and may not be successful, and the fact is your really want this baby and imagine having a child in your future.
I get some help with childcare through Universal Credit (it’s not amazing but it helps). I recommend signing up for that before you go on mat leave as you have to go in for an interview and you may be entitled to some money while you get maternity pay (I was).
I have a lot of support from my parents as they live close by and I think it would be hard without them around, but certainly not impossible. They’re away at the moment actually and me and little one are doing just fine.
Congratulations and wishing you all the best x

MissingSilence Thu 21-Feb-19 18:16:25

Oh and I would also say that some things are actually easier when you’re single! So it’s certainly not all hard work smile

tattooq Thu 21-Feb-19 18:16:43

Check if you're entitled to any tax credits or other child related benefits as a single parent, that may well make maternity leave and later childcare more viable. If it will be a squeeze but doable I would go ahead with the pregnancy. You could also consider moving back to be closer to family so you have support. I'm sure there is a way of making things work as you are in a good position as a homeowner.

DocusDiplo Thu 21-Feb-19 18:17:27

I would not do this unless I was very determined and financially secure. It will be incredibly difficult to juggle childcare with no family support. For example, what if you get really ill for a week?

I am a single parent now to two slightly older ones and its very difficult, I am not sure I would walk into it with my eyes open.

However, if you are financially secure, it will be OK.

It may be unfashionable to ask, but should one be in a relationship to have a child so that child has 2 role models and caregivers?

SpinningSister Thu 21-Feb-19 18:17:38

Could you tell your family now and look at moving near to them before you decide you have problems ?

IvanaPee Thu 21-Feb-19 18:18:01

I think you’ll regret not keeping it from the way you’re posting.

It sounds doable. Secure job, have options I think.

At 36, I would keep it! Congratulations 😊

Subeccoo Thu 21-Feb-19 18:18:10

In your position, I would definitely keep the baby! Like another poster said, maybe it was meant to be.
You definitely need to tell him though, both father and child deserve to know of the other's existence.

Pinkyyy Thu 21-Feb-19 18:19:45

OP it sounds like you've convinced yourself that this is your one and only chance to have a baby. It's definitely not. Don't feel like if you don't keep this baby there will never be another, you're only 36.

Stopwoofing Thu 21-Feb-19 18:21:04

I echo the other posters - you need to think about the baby’s support network, especially if you’ll be working a lot. If you have nice family that want to help, consider a move, very seriously.

How much do you know about this man - is he a good dad? Any hereditary illnesses? I’d want to know a bit more about his background before I made a decision - one family member had a baby after a fling and the man turned out to have a lot of mh problems.

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