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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?

IvanaPee Thu 21-Feb-19 18:22:05

Does it matter if he’s a good dad? I mean, he’ll be on the other side of the Atlantic!

PaintingOwls Thu 21-Feb-19 18:23:25

I always thought I'd get rid under those circumstances but here I am struggling to conceive and now I think grab the opportunity whilst you can.

TokyoSushi Thu 21-Feb-19 18:24:12

If you really want the baby then I'd keep it, you can do it OP! Congratulations!

Stopwoofing Thu 21-Feb-19 18:24:59

I didn’t mean is he a good day from the POV of his involvement, more from whether he’s going to make a pest of himself acting strangely or have something terrible in his family background.

hibbledibble Thu 21-Feb-19 18:29:58

It's never unreasonable to keep a pregnancy you want.

Congratulations.

The practicalities have a habit of working themselves out generally.

The dad may or may not be involved, and you cannot compel him to pay child support, but if he is a decent person then he will do

LittleDoritt Thu 21-Feb-19 18:31:58

Congratulations! Definitely keep the baby.

hatriet Thu 21-Feb-19 18:37:14

Congratulations OP. I would continue with t he pregnancy - I imagine these weren't the circumstances you have planned to be in, but it is doable.

Practically:
Can you start saving to have a few hours extra help a week? Someone to watch the baby for you or maybe get someone to come and put laundry through for you? Just a bit of a cushion. I'd spend money on this over NCT. Lots of local mums set up their own groups anyway via facebook.

In terms of paying for childcare: id get a plan ASAP. Childcare is much cheaper in our area of London if you move out a bit (not sure where you are based). See when the free hours kick in for you, it might be worth taking a hit for a year or so until the free hours kick in.

Rtmhwales Thu 21-Feb-19 18:37:37

You can get a support order for the baby in the UK and have it enforced in a number of countries (including the US) through REMO (https://www.gov.uk/remo-unit-helpline). I know that wasn't your real question, and it can be a bit difficult to do, but is doable. I am currently doing that with my DS in North America with his British father - different situation as we were married and separated before finding out I was pregnant, but I've been through the logistics.

Obviously he's an adult and knows the potential outcome but he might be upset about this development. It will be his child, too, and he won't be able to see either child effectively. He will likely have to pick one over the other and I'd imagine his current DD will be the chosen one. But still, he should really be told, regardless of maintenance or not.

MatildaTheCat Thu 21-Feb-19 18:38:30

Sounds a lot like Catastrophe!

If I’m honest it sounds as if you consciously or unconsciously wanted this to happen. You had repeated unprotected ( seemingly) sex for several days so it can’t be so much a surprise as an, ‘omg it’s happened’?

So look at ways of making it work and give him the option of being involved since you have both allowed this to happen. There’s no reason why it can’t be a great success but it’s time to do your sums and figout how to make it work and yes, it’s shockingly expensive.

Toomuchworking Thu 21-Feb-19 18:38:54

I'm definitely not being judgey at any decision as it would make me a total hypocrite, but just be aware that it can take a long time to get over a termination. It's not just a case of getting it done and moving on for most women, I still have huge pangs of guilt, remorse and upset 15 years on, and like you I am pro choice, but for me at least it was much harder (still is) than I could have imagined. It's definitely not the easy option!! If I was in your position and was considering going it alone anyway I would keep it, although that is with hindsight.
Good luck whatever you decide.

Rtmhwales Thu 21-Feb-19 18:44:07

From a practical point, if you're going to need childcare can you afford to put away close to that amount until you give birth?

Ideally if you could put away the amount for childcare now, then you've covered a good chunk of payments for at least one of the years between maternity leave ending and 30 hours childcare kicking in when you combine it with the 80/20 childcare.

My situation is a bit different as Canada really supports single mothers and tops up they're reduced income until the child is at school full time but I still saved as much as I could toward childcare costs in the lead up to giving birth. I even got a second job on weekends and evenings just to stockpile funds.

DS is eight months old now and totally worth every sacrifice. You make it work somehow.

WorraLiberty Thu 21-Feb-19 18:47:34

Have you had an STI check OP?

Pinkyyy Thu 21-Feb-19 18:49:18

I think it's very unkind of people to congratulate the OP when she isn't yet sure whether or not she's going to keep the baby. She has asked for advice and by congratulating her you are pushing her to feel like the decision is already made.

IvanaPee Thu 21-Feb-19 18:51:51

but I don't want to end a pregnancy when I really want a baby, and then not have this chance again

She said she wants the baby. Congratulating her isn’t pushing her. I hardly think a woman of 36 will become a mother because randomers on the internet have said congratulations hmm

HollowTalk Thu 21-Feb-19 18:52:52

I wouldn't have a child in these circumstances unless the child could know his/her father. If you could keep in contact with him, if he showed an interest in the baby, if he was prepared to visit etc, then I'd consider it, but otherwise I wouldn't. I wouldn't want to explain that to my child.

SabineUndine Thu 21-Feb-19 18:54:32

A friend of mine did this and kept the baby. Her child is now a teenager and a delight. If you want a baby, have this one.

NopeNi Thu 21-Feb-19 18:54:31

Thinking from the future child's point of view, not yours - what about their future relationship with their father?

They'll want one, and maybe he'll want one too. How are you about facilitating that? What if he wants joint custody or visitation or something? How are you feeling about a lifetime of sharing this connection with him? How will you feel if he wants nothing and you have to explain that?

Pinkyyy Thu 21-Feb-19 18:56:46

@IvanaPee I disagree. People are all influenced in different ways. If I had lots of people congratulating me on a pregnancy, it would make it considerably more difficult for me to terminate. It's extremely unfair to do that to the OP.

TinTinBanana Thu 21-Feb-19 19:03:16

I was 36 when I found myself in a similar situation. I never had any doubts about proceeding with the pregnancy. It was the best thing that ever happened to me. I don't have a lot of family support and I had no friends with children. It has often been difficult but don't regret it for a moment.

cabalenica Thu 21-Feb-19 19:05:20

@WorraLiberty - to put your mind at rest, yes I have.

@Rtmhwales and hatriet - that's a very good point re. saving. I am a good saver when I have something to work towards and have got extra jobs before (e.g. when saving up for flat deposit) so this would definitely be a priority.

@Pinkyyy - Totally appreciate your concern re the congratulations; in this case I'm not feeling stressed out by them though. The general sense of 'yes, go for it' is certainly making me feel a bit more optimistic about it. I'm sure I'll go back and forth about it some more though, and how my family react will be influential.

It's helpful to get some practical ideas and hear what other people have done though.

OnlyFoolsnMothers Thu 21-Feb-19 19:07:09

Any potential of moving closer to your family? Friends say they I’ll help but they honestly don’t so count them out.

Haffdonga Thu 21-Feb-19 19:07:24

You want a baby. You're pregnant. Result.

I realise you have sensible concerns about childcare and finances etc which are logical, but frankly if we only had children when we had big bank balances, childcare sorted and the perfect local support network then the great majority of babies would never be born.

My friend is a single parent to a lovely ds whose dad is American. She and her ds have a lovely relationship with his df's family and have visited his grandparents and cousins in the US several times.

Pinkyyy Thu 21-Feb-19 19:08:21

I'm glad it's not affecting you, OP. I just didn't want it to make you feel like the decision had already been made for you. I'm sure you'll find plenty of support, no matter what your decision

RuLu Thu 21-Feb-19 19:08:35

I was in a similar position 7 years ago aged 33! I decided to have the baby, I never saw the man who got me pregnant again though, he disappeared. I was worried what people would think as I have a professional job with a lot of responsibility, but no one batted an eye lid. I now have a 6 year old, am married & also have a 2 year old. My husband is Dad to both children. The first couple of years on my own were hard but worth it. I had some support although the support promised by friends didn't come to anything but I don't regret it! I met my husband nearly 4 years ago & he now has parental responsibility for my eldest (would have to trace the 'sperm donor' to go down the adoption route). Good luck with whatever you decide!

EvaHarknessRose Thu 21-Feb-19 19:14:55

Tell him now though - in this age of DNA ancestry checks it will inevitably come out in future and then you won't have to explain to him and dc why you didn't. He also has a right to be as involved as he wants, even though you don't necessarily want it. I know it's more complicated, but it is morally important.

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