Pregnant at 42, battling with having termination!

(176 Posts)
crunchy3 Tue 31-Aug-10 09:25:20

Quick background, am 42 and DH is 49, have 2 DS's - DS1 age 12 (conceived by 3xIVF) and DS2 age 6 (adopted as baby). Have had over 17 yrs unexplained fertility so both sons were 'very much wanted'. About a year ago, suddenly found out I was pregnant, completely gobsmacked however turned out be complete molar (quite rare) and so was over by 8 weeks. Docs were amazed, was tested for 6 months due to molar and then given all clear. Periods stopped, had more blood tests and was told was in perimenopause and that the pregnancy was probably my body's last burst of fertility. However found out over 2 weeks ago, 2 days before we were due to go abroad for a fortnight that I was pregnant again. Just couldn,t believe it, no way could it happen again, rushed up hospital for scan and was told everything normal, heartbeat seen and approx 7 weeks pregnant. In shock and denial, pleaded for a termination before my hols but obviously they couldn't do this at such short notice. Booked me in for counselling in 3 wks time because of hols and termination following week. Have just returned from hols and body has changed so much in the last couple of weeks. Have all the pregnancy symptoms and am just so gutted. Have spoke to DH and we both feel we are too old to contemplate going ahead. Am now getting a bit of independence as children are growing up. Have been doing school run for last 8 years and just cannot imagine starting all over again. DH admits he feels old being a dad to a 6 yr old as all his friends etc are now grandparents so cant imagine what he would be like with a new born. Also marriage isn't fantastic at the mo, hasn't been for sometime although not noticeable so much at home as both do our own things ,however did notice on hols how little we now have in common, prob only the children. On the plus side, cant help thinking that this could be a gift and was meant too find out a couple of days before hols so couldn't rush out and get termination. To fall pregnant naturally for me after this time is just un believeable. However there are so many things on the minus side, I suppose the main one being I just cant visualise me starting all over again now. Feel like DS2 would miss out as he is only 6 so still needs a lot of attention, and also think that I may resent having baby in years to come, when I am 50 I will have a 7 year old and by then all my friends children will have grown up and I think I would feel quite isolated and alone. I know it sounds selfish but I have got to think of the future as well. Keep debating whether to have CVS in case something is wrong so can warrant termination, but then if it comes back normal am still in the same situation, only further along which makes it even harder. Would welcome any advice/opinions, will not be offended in anyway as feel completely heartless. Just need to sort my head out as having been going round and round for nearly 3 weeks and seems to be getting worse!

OP’s posts: |
Cluds Tue 31-Aug-10 09:33:24

Oh crunchy - what a truly difficult situation you are in, and a very personal one too. I think really that it is only something that you and your husband can answer. I am 40 and pregnant with my 3rd. DS1 is 10 and DS2 is 7. I know what you mean about the school run! HOwever, our pregnancy was planned (long story, but DS2 has had cance twice, is still not 100% and if he does survive can not ever have children and me and my DH really want lots of grandchildren one day!). One of my friends who had a surprise pregnancy at 45 with her her 3rd now says at the age of 53 that this 3rd child makes her feel so young.
However, as i said, this is a personal decision between you and your husband and one really that only the two of you can make. I do though understand your reasons behind wanting a termination. I know my rambling short message isn't much help but i just wanted you to know i am thinking of you! k x

tanmu82 Tue 31-Aug-10 09:36:54

I'm not sure what to say to be honest.
Personally, I am very pro-life, but would never presume to force my opinions on someone else - but this does mean that I dont feel that I can offer you impartial advice. I hope someone comes along who is able to help you more <hug>

comtessa Tue 31-Aug-10 09:53:01

It sounds as though you could do with some counselling with an advice and support line. Generally, in principle, are you pro- or anti-abortion? How do you think it would affect you emotionally if you were to have an abortion? You spoke of this pregnancy as if it might be "a gift", which makes me think that in a way, you welcome the news of the pregnancy. Not to mention the fact that it was against all the odds, from the sounds of your history.

I was once given a one-off piece of advice from a life-coach I happened to get talking to. (Totally different situation, but useful principle to figure out what's most important to your life) I was agonising over whether to quit my job and go to college but was worried about the money. Her question: "If money was no object, what would you do?".

(Like tanmu82, I put my hands up and confess my pro-life stance, so take the following as you will.)

I know your situation is more complex, but it may help you figure out whatyour gut instinct is: If you strip away the details of school-runs etc, what do you want? Are you secretly delighted that you're pregnant? Or is your main feeling one of dread?

HTH. I really feel for you.

PYT Tue 31-Aug-10 10:00:51

What a tricky situation. I really feel for you. Lots of things to consider.

Counselling is a good idea. You need someone impartial to air all your fears and worries to. It might give you a bit of clarity. Perhaps your DH could benefit form a session, too?

My personal opinion is that, as well as thinking through all the practicalities, you do have to consider how you feel, physically and emotionally, about the pregnancy. I am completely pro-choice, by the way, but I do think that termination when you aren't totally sure it's what you want can be terribly hard and have a lasting effect on your emotional state and relationship with your husband.

You have been through a lot to have your children by the sounds of it - IVF and adoption - and you sound incredibly sensible, so i am sure that whatever decision you reach will be the right one.

Best of luck.

crunchy3 Tue 31-Aug-10 10:22:08

Many thanks for your replies, it does help to hear other peoples opinions and advice. Am booked for counselling on Friday and will make sure DH comes along as I feel he should be involved also. It is so hard though, as he dosen't feel any different at all and it is my body changing. Not really pro or anti abortion, I guess with my history, have never had to really think about it and certainly didn't think I would be in this situation ever! Money not a problem at the mo, DH has his own Company but obviously can never tell whats around the corner. Think the worst thing about this situation is timing, DS 2 will be 7 when the baby is born and DS 1 nearly 13. Just feel that I will be bringing up children for 30 years and not sure if I want to/am able to. If DS2 was still a toddler, think I would definitely go ahead, but he is now getting independent himself and often goes to friends to play etc. However I am aware that DS1 will be around less and less in the future, so maybe I would welcome another little one around the house - I just dont know? I think the worse thing would be when I was in my fifties and have say a 10 year old. I have hardly any childcare although I know DS's would be older then. I dont know if I will resent having a child at his age or possibly the child resent having me as an older mum. I need a crystal ball so I can look into the future and decide! I keep thinking of all the things that could be wrong with me and that I should be happy - Life is never easy is it!

OP’s posts: |
MoominMymbleandMy Tue 31-Aug-10 10:23:20

I had my second DC at 42. He was planned but still a surprise as we weren't sure the ageing equipment would still work. But my midwife once told me I was the healthiest expectant mother she had on her books.

We do (DD included, despite the nine-year age gap) regard him as a wonderful gift. It isn't any more tiring and I think he's helped keep us from settling into a boring middle-age with a tidy house and a perfect garden.


sanielle Tue 31-Aug-10 11:04:55

I really feel for you crunchy hope you can decide for yourself what is best for you and for your children. It must be a horrible decision to be faced with terminating a pregnancy after so many years of infertility. How do you feel at 42 now? Do you feel "young" for your age? Would having a baby make you feel older or keep you young? Obviously the odds for a child having downs do up after 40, how would you feel with a disabled child at 50? Or if you would choose to terminate would a termination at 12 weeks (or later)because of problems be too traumatic for you? More so than having an early one now?

lucy101 Tue 31-Aug-10 11:12:17

I wonder if you should have some counseling with your DH to really look at the different scenarios/futures that you might/might not have with this baby? It might also help your relationship too as you say you are having problems. You have so much going on that I think it is hard to see the wood for the trees and it is such a huge and life-changing decision.

leawesty Tue 31-Aug-10 11:17:26

Hi crunchy, would just like to say my mum had my little brother when she was 42 I was 19 i think at the time he is now 16 and i think he keeps her young, im now 35 and pregnant with my 3rd my 2 girls are 12 & 10 and i too also thought i was too old to start again, even though im extatic to be pg, it is a massive change to your life style again, I think your kids will help you loads even be able to do the school run for you (this is what i have in mind) haha and age really is no barrier its just a number its how you feel in yourself, I think you and hubby probly need to have a good talk and clear the air no matter which way your marriage goes im sure you will be fine and your boys will always help you however things turn out, Thinking of you

whirleywoo72 Tue 31-Aug-10 11:40:26

i feel for you, im 38 and my dh is 44, we both have grown up children, and even my dh has a granddaughter. im currently 37wks pregnant,and with 5 misscarriages and 3 live babies, it came as a shock to me, we talked, and decided we could cope, and werent to old, its not been a easy pregnancy, i would never of contemplated a termination, last time i had my last miss was 10 yrs ago,so we are seeing my daughter as a gift, im down for sterilisation, and quiet looking forward to having bottles and changing nappies, not looking forward to birth all over again xx but its your decssion, theres a lot to think of life changes, i never started to enjoy this pregnancy till i had my scan, and when she started moving, i was elated, i knew it was to be, and she was here for keeps xx

frankenfanny Tue 31-Aug-10 11:50:27

I am 40 and DH 42. My kids are 15, 10 and 5. I am due another in December. I am pro-choice- no agenda either way.

I have known many mums who decided to start their family once in their 40's, or are adding to their existing family. You would not be isolated or unusual, and will make friends of other mums of all ages. The oldest mum my midwife had on her books was 56.

MY kids have been positive about it. The teenager relatively indifferent, 10 yr old thrilled, 5 yr old excited but thinks the scan photo is "YUK"

My DH is a much better Dad the older and mellower he gets. He runs his own business as well so can be a little more flexible re childcare and family time than when he was young and starting out.

It is an absolute gift to have a healthy natural pregnancy after everything you have been through, something I think you might regret if you lost the chance. I think you are trying to deny to yourself, for good practical reasons, that this pregnancy is important to you. Therefore, I think the reasons for termination would have to be pretty overwhelming.

So, in that situation deal breakers for me would be if it would 1) be actually risky to your own health (including mental)

2)cause serious, far too life altering, financial problems to the extent you feel your existing family would be harmed.

3) would cause more than a bump in the road of your marriage, but more an end of the road in an otherwise happy marriage.

It seems to me from your OP that you feel isolated and alone anyway, and are looking at a way to reconnect with the world (and your husband) apart from in the mummy role. I think relationship counselling sounds like a good idea here, as you are making all the sacrifices, and whatever you decide now might rebound on you later.

I am not explainig very well ( not a counsellor!), but what I mean is, you should decide what you want and unless DH is likely to walk straight out of the marriage and won't go to counselling, and you are not prepared to deal with that, then the decision should not be based on whether he feels "too old" or doesnt fit with his friends, or just to make life easier.

If you feel it would make you feel unwell, unhappy and resent being a mum again, I think you need individual counselling to help be at peace with your decision.

{{}}As this is hard on you either way, and so personal.

PixieOnaLeaf Tue 31-Aug-10 12:01:34

Message withdrawn

hobbgoblin Tue 31-Aug-10 12:21:38

I completely see both sides here and entirely appreciate the utter turmoil this must be causing you in your mind.

Having been in a situation where either going ahead with pregnancy or terminating was rife with pros and cons, I can only say from personal opinion that if you have any serious doubt at all about termination then it could well be the wrong choice.

I chose termination and changed my mind mid-way through but was able to save the baby. She is now 1. The cons of going ahead that I envisaged were not imagined and they present daily challenges to me now, but I am glad I did not lose my baby.

Do you think that you may face similar strains on your life and relationship if you do choose to terminate?

Madasajarofwasps Tue 31-Aug-10 13:13:25

Goodness what turmoil and confusion you must be in. All I would say is that a termination might not be the end to your confusion. You must be so sure that it is what you really want. The upheaval a baby brings is temporary but regret can last a lifetime.

I really hope you can make a decision that brings you some peace of mind.

crunchy3 Tue 31-Aug-10 15:12:17

Thanks again for all your support and messages, I am checking the board every so often but have got to be careful as eldest DS is using the computer as well, so am darting in and out! Must admit do feel a bit more positive after reading your messages, it does seem that those that have taken the plunge have not regretted it and have coped okay. Spoke to the hospital this morning re counselling that is booked for Friday. Asked if they could give me another scan first, as I feel I cannot make a decision until I see things properly and can take them in. At the last scan they turned the screen away from me, but I was in no position to digest info anyway. They said they couldn't do a scan on Friday and that I would have to request this at the appointment and maybe have one the following week, which is a bit of a pain really. Also enquired about CVS testing but again told to wait until Friday to discuss at appointment, so really no further forward. Do feel a little more happier, I know I still have choices and do not have to come to a decision in the next day or two. Am going to have 'big' discussion with DH tonight to see his views, and hopefully this will make things clearer. I will let you all know how I get on and keep you informed. Thanks again for your support.

OP’s posts: |
ledkr Tue 31-Aug-10 15:43:17

hi crunchy. I was in the same situation recently. Found out i was pg at 43 after 6 yrs of thinking i was infertile due to cancer treatment.
I was in total shock. will be bringing up kids for whole life,cant be arsed to do more school runs packed lunches, enjoy my social life and lie ins,wanted to travel a bit now. will get fat again and hard to lose, will probably be disabled due to age.Dh is younger and has no dcs of his own and didnt really seem that please either and shut down.
One night led awake i started to cry and couldnt stop. I was completely hysterical and hyper ventilating. Dh woke up and i poured it all out to him and he just listened.I woke up the next day as a different person. I thought my god this is amazing really. 42 and pregant?booked too go camping for the weekend with dd and dh and had a great relaxing time and felt calm and just ok.
I am now 18 wks and am actually quite excited as is dh and my other dcs 26 23 20 and 8. Its just a baby not the end of the world and i will stil perue stuff just i na different way.
Whatever you choose to do is up to you and im sure with the counselling you can make the right choice. I just wanted you to know that you arent the only one.

LetsHaveAnotherOne Tue 31-Aug-10 15:44:50

Amazing isn't it that when you're thinking of terminating the NHS will willingly give you a scan - but if like me you'r'e wanting to keep the baby but suspect things are wrong - they won't give you a scan unless you are bleeding and tell you to go and pay for a private scan! angry

That aside - I do feel for you having a very unexpected pregnancy thrust upon you - when you felt family life had moved forward somewhat and you were past the "baby stage". It must be daunting thinking of starting again when this was not in your plan.

I guess you need to think through how things would really be if you went ahead with the baby - would it really be so awful - or would you find some happiness in the situation? If you were to terminate - would you feel better after - would you move on with life and not look back? Would you feel guilty or like it was the right thing for everyone in the circumstances?

I don't suppose it's going to be easy either way.

I wish you well with your counselling - and talks with your husband.

ledkr Tue 31-Aug-10 15:45:43

oh yeah grandma of a one yr old too. Truly bizarre.

LeviStubbsTears Tue 31-Aug-10 16:15:48

Just to put the other side... I don't think you should feel bad in any way if you do have a termination. Obviously it won't be nice but you shouldn't feel guilty in any way, in my view - that's what I mean. I know it's not everyone's position, but I don't see it as a baby yet (and I'm happily 20 weeks pregnant so am not speaking as someone who is justifying some termination decision she made, or anti-children in any way). But I think you have to put your feelings (and secondarily those of other people around you) first - those who are out in the world have priority here in my view (though of course if you were at a much later stage I'd feel a bit differently). I know it must be very hard, but trying to work out what you want, uncluttered by the views your DH or anyone else, is the key thing here - and then acting accordingly. I'm sure either decision will be the right one by virtue of you having decided upon it and thrown yourself behind it - I'm sure you'll be delighted with the child if you have it, and of course you'd find a way to make it work. But if there's too much else at stake, I think you can consider the other option without feeling bad about it (and if (and it is an 'if', of course) you're not in the right place emotionally and mentally (and practically) to have another child, it can be seen as the most responsible one).

I know others will feel very differently, but that's just my view. If you feel yourself really wanting to be encouraged by the stories of late motherhood, of course, though, then perhaps that tells you something about your feelings about the prospect! But I think you should feel ok about contemplating either decision.

NatzCNL Tue 31-Aug-10 18:27:46

What a difficult situation to find yourself in. I really feel for you as it must be such a confusing time. Im glad you are getting counselling.
This is my own personal experience so please dont think I am trying to sway your choice, I just think you should hear from someone who has been there.
I had a termination at the tender age of 17 for similar reasons as you although the other end of the spectrum - too young, things want to do in life, fear of resentment etc. That was 12 years ago.
It is the one decision in life I have always regretted. It took a couple of years to accept the fact I had actually gone through with it, and it took many more years to start to forgive myself. My relationship with the father ended a couple of years later as I couldn't accept he could forgive me.
When my first child was born 8 years later, I finally grieved for the baby I let go. I did not have any counselling at all as I refused it - another bad choice.
A termination is a very simple procedure, and as I was only 8 weeks, I was put out for it so have no memory of it other than going into the theatre.
However the after affects and the emotional trauma is very hard to cope with. I did not want to have the baby at 17, and it was my choice to stop the pregnancy, the father wanted to continue but I refused.
12 years on, there are still days when all I can think about is the baby. I will never truly forgive myself, because I look at my daughters now and think about all my reasons for going ahead with the termination, and none of them, in my opinon now, were worth it.
I cant stress enough how hard it is to make that choice, but if you do go down that path, please please make sure you have professional emotional support afterwards. Because even when it is your decision, it is still the hardest thing in the world to come to terms with.
My thoughts are with you and hope you find the path that will be best for you and your family xxxxx

minipie Tue 31-Aug-10 19:08:16

I think the only important question here is "do you want another child".

I don't think you should assume that your other children would suffer, or that you would struggle to cope, if you have a 3rd child. If you want a third child then I am sure you will be able to make it work and will love having another child.

On the other hand, if you actually don't want a third child, you should not feel that you "ought" to keep it simply because your body has finally managed a natural pregnancy. That is not, IMO, a good enough reason to have another child, if you don't really want another one.

If you cannot work out what you want deep down, imagine how you would feel if the decision was already made one way or the other. For example, if you woke up tomorrow and had already had the baby, how would you feel. If you woke up tomorrow and had already had the termination, how would you feel. Which feels more right?

WillbeanChariot Tue 31-Aug-10 19:37:52

I don't have any advice, but just wanted to say that Luisa Dillner in the Family Guardian has been writing a diary about having her 5th child aged 48. If you want to see a positive portrayal you could google her.

crunchy3 Wed 01-Sep-10 09:03:47

I just wanted to thank you for all your messages and support, it really does help to see things from other peoples point of view. I had a talk with DH last night about the termination that is booked, and if he thought we were doing the right thing. He was positive that we were due to our ages, (especially his - 49), he just couldn't contemplate having a 15yr old when he was 65. I can see where he is coming from but it doesn't make it any easier. He couldn't understand why I felt different about a termination from the day I found out - nearly 3 weeks ago. I tried to explain that my body had changed a lot over the last couple of weeks, and obviously I have had more time to think about it and do some soul searching. He seemed adamant that we could just put it behind us and carry on as before, however I told him that life doesn't happen that way and you can not roll back to how things were a couple of months ago. He said he would come to counselling on Friday, so basically I am going to give him a couple of days to stew over things, and see what happens. TBH he was quite aloof and distant about the whole thing, but I think that is the only way he can cope. However, am not sticking up for him, as I think he is a complete git for his lack of support! I know deep down the decision is mine, and I dont have to go along with what he thinks. Sometimes, I think it would be easier to go it alone, as then I wouldn't have to take his feelings into consideration, however I know that this situation would no be ideal for the unborn child. This whole episode has highlighted the cracks in our marriage, and I dont think this will be resolved very easily. Thanks again for your support and advice, I will keep you all posted with any updates.

OP’s posts: |
amistillsexy Wed 01-Sep-10 09:43:33

This is just a thought, but I'm wondering about you and your dh. You mentioned in your op that you haven't been getting along so well lately. Do you think it's likely that you'll split up? Is there a chance that if you decide to have the baby he'll leave? Or, that he'll stay but your relationship will get worse? and does this concern you?
If so, you need to think over different senarios: have the baby and stay does that feel (will he resent you? Will he leave all the childcare to you because it wasn't his choice?). You have the baby and the 2 of you split up (how would you get on with the children on your own? This happened recently to a friend of mine with 5 dcs and she's happier than she's been for ages!).
You say that you struggled to get pg with dc1, and you adopted dc2. You know the heartache of wanting a child but being unable to have one. Would you consider having this child adopted? I am not suggesting you should, but I just put it out as an option.
If you do terminate, even if you truly believe it was the best thing, it is not something you will ever forget. You will still think about what could have been, and have times when you feel guilty for your decision, even if your rational mind is able to remind you of your good reasons. How would you feel if you terminated, then you split up with dh anyway? Would that give you even more regrets?
You seem to be being very considerate of him being 49, and woking out how old he'll be when certain age milestones are reached. Yes, he will be older than alot of dads, but he'll also find there are plenty of men (often on their 2nd families), who are enjoying being a father to a young child in later life.
I think you sound as if you want this baby, and the longer it's left, the harder it will be to terminate. You need to think about how you feel about it, and you are going to feel in the future. The other children will adapt to a new child in the house (and your 6 Yo may find his life is enriched, rather than missing out!),
But if you decide on a termination so that everyone else's life can carry on as it is, you might feel in the future that the sacrifice was too much.
I really feel for you. I was in a similar situation a couple of years ago, but decided that having a fourth baby when my eldest was only 5, and we were struggling to cope with his asd, would tip me over the edge. I had a termination, to 'protect' my other 3 from the upheaval. For me, there was no question, as i knew I was still suffering pnd from ds2 when I had ds3, and I hadn't yet got over that, so another baby would have caused me to properly go mad, I think. I still think it was the right thing to do. But the guilt and sadness I feel for that little soul will stay burried inside forever.
I do hope that whatever you decide to choose, it is your own decision, and I am sending all my sympathies and best wishes to you.

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