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To baby or not to baby....that is the question

(23 Posts)
Bella123 Thu 16-Aug-07 18:00:25

I've just registered and really not sure if I'm on the right er 'thread' but I can't work out where else to post this.

I need some advice. I'm soon to be 35 and am with with a lovely lovely guy who is 42. I've never been broody and for a long time, said I don't really want children (my partner however, does). Yet as the big 3-5 is erring ever nearer, I'm having to give it all some serious thought.

My feelings are still the same and I don't certainly don't hear the sound of a clock ticking - but as I have always said, its not so much the family I don't want (I love my family and love being part of a family), rather its the 'baby' thing I don't want. I like the idea of having children 5+ but the thought of no sleep, tantrums etc from the under 5's puts the fear of god up me!

I guess the question is, do yo go ahead with having children if you are not broody? Or do you need to really want children to help you through the testing first few years? Has anyone out there got pregnant and had children without particularly wanting them first and if so, how did it turn out? My sister thinks that hormones put pays tho this and once the bond happens, your smitten...but its a bit of a risk isn't it?? What happens if the bond never happens?

Any thoughts, views, opinions gratefully appreciated.


Bella....the undecided

bobbydazzler Thu 16-Aug-07 18:15:27

Hi Bella,

I had to post because some of what you said resonated with me.

I got married at 32 and when i did i knew i would have kids cos DH wanted them and i love him very much.

I took the plunge at 34 and was lucky enough to get pregnant quickly. I was not broody before taking the plunge, in fact if truth be told i really didn't like other peoples children very much and always hid when people brought their babies into work to show off. What got my heart racing back then was dogs and i longed for a puppy.

Anyway i loved being pregnant tho was very nervous re what life would be like with the end result.

I found the first few weeks quite stressful, i did not bond straight away, although the caring instinct did kick in from the very start. The love has come gradually, my ds is now 2.6 years old and i can honestly and truely say i would die for him and it is the best thing i have done in my otherwise fairly selfish and narcissistic life.

I am also now trying for no2 and so far not being successful. I feel very sad when i think it may not happen again as it was such an amazing experience and if it doesn't happen i plan to look into adoption.

I now am the first up out of my seat to gush over other peoples babies and kids and i can't say i am remotely interested in 4 legged friends who seem a very poor substitute for a child.

I would say that so long as you really are with someone you want to spend the rest of your life with, then go for it and you won't regret it.

Hope this helps and good luck.

Ready Thu 16-Aug-07 18:18:30

Hi Bella. I hope I don't upset you with what I say... but I don't think you should have a child unless you really want one. I'm not saying broody, because some people don't get broody as such. But I personally think that you should really want a baby before you go down the road of conceiving one.

Good luck.

aloha Thu 16-Aug-07 18:21:21

I'm not sure I agree with that. I really did want children, very much, but I'm not sure it has made me a better mother or more patient than those of my friends who had babies accidentally! I do think you can overthink it.

Ready Thu 16-Aug-07 18:24:57

It's not quite the same situation as an unplanned pregnancy though, is it?

If the OP had said she had got pregnant and was worried about the bond, then I wouldn't comment, as I have no experience.

I just personally feel that if you are going to go down the route of trying for a baby, it should be because you want one. Just my opinion though.

bobbydazzler Thu 16-Aug-07 18:33:19

Although I was not broody and had zero maternal extinct as i explained at length in my post, I did not not want children and my DH and I had always talked about having a family at some point, so that for me was enough to justify taking the plunge and i certainly don't for one second regret it. I also know that i have been a good mum right from the start although in the early days it was an instinct to care for a tiny defenceless little thing more than that i bonded straight away.

I think that like aloha says you can overthink it and i also think that it is really important to have a supportive partner to help you get through the difficult times in the first few weeks when you don't know what the hell you are doing and when you do feel totally exhausted.

Seeing my DH with our son also helped me to bond with him.

escondida Thu 16-Aug-07 19:02:53

I agree with Ready. Best to only conceive when you want a child strongly with your guts. There's nothing with being "child-free" (as long as you don't have a resentful attitude about it).

Gemy Thu 16-Aug-07 20:33:56

I think if you mull over the hardships of having a baby and at the end of that you still smile at the thought of having one, then maybe it is time for you go for it.

I did not bond with my daughter straight away and this really surprised me. I did, like bobbydazzler, have the caring instinct. When I'd stopped stressing about me not "bonding" everything started to change and we each got used to each other. DD is nearly 18 months now and I feel lucky every minute of every day to think of this sweet girl who is mine

LoveAngel Thu 16-Aug-07 21:12:35

My opinion:

Don't have a baby because your partner wants one if you really don't.

BUT... if there is even a tiny part of you that would like to be a mother, go for it before its too late.

Good luck xx

cbcb Fri 17-Aug-07 14:10:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MellowMa Fri 17-Aug-07 14:12:09

Message withdrawn

lapsedrunner Fri 17-Aug-07 14:23:55

I know where you are coming from Bella123. I didn't get married until I was 35 & DH was 39. We just got on with enjoying being married for 3 years or so, Oh yes and got a dog (substitute perhaps?). DH then comented that he didn't really want to grow old never having had children and so we decided to give it ago (bearing in mind our ages). DS was born one month after my 40th birthday and I have to admit neither of us has found it easy, especially the first couple of years.

I'm not trying to put you off, just tring to be practical. I openly admit being a Mother has been the hardest thing I have ever done. "Mothering" does not come easily to me, that I do know. We love DS to bits but I certainly don't want a 2nd child now I am almost 45.

lalaa Fri 17-Aug-07 14:45:43

I wasn't massively up for it either but we (dh and I) had a discussion along the lines of 'can you imagine being 50/60 and not having children' and we both said no, so we went for it. I do wonder whether if we'd have waited a few years to have that discussion, I might have been brave enough to say that I didn't want to have a child, but that's all hypothetical now.

A lot of what you said resonated with me too, and I think it's important to say that I don't think that everyone becomes smitten with their children. My experience is that it's mainly a grind to get through the day/week (and my dd is going to school in September, so this isn't just the first few months I'm talking about!). If the bond doesn't happen for you, you just have to keep going doing the best you can. I remember ringing a relative after a particularly challenging day when dd was about 9 months and just sobbing down the phone that I never ever wanted to have another child.....and I didn't!

My advice would be to sit down and really think through what you want. If you don't want to have a child at the end of the day, embrace that decision and live your life. If there's one thing that being a parent has taught me is that you have to do what you think is right for you/partner/child, and don't let anyone else's view sway yours. The number of people who said to me, 'it'll be fine', 'we'll come and help', 'you'll enjoy it when it happens'. All crap! And your sister might want you to have a child so that her children have someone to play with and she has someone to moan with to about how hard it is.......

lalaa..... the cynic

tori32 Fri 17-Aug-07 14:52:29

A friend of mine was 42 and got pregnant by mistake. She never wanted children. However, even as a forensic scientific officer,she went on to have another baby which was planned and could not stop telling everyone about the joys of motherhood!! So the moral is I don't think broodiness matters because your own child is always fantastic regardless of planning.

newy Fri 17-Aug-07 14:53:34

Are you just worried about how you will cope first few years? If you would really prefer an older child there is also the possibility of adoption/fostering which may suit you better and make a huge difference to a child's life. My DH was very nervous about having children but loves DS to bits. But you have to do what's right for you. If your sister has children then she probably can't imagine having a baby and regretting it. Good luck, these things aren't always easy/straightforward.

manuka Sat 18-Aug-07 13:54:53

For what its worth here are my thoughts.
I agree with Ready most definitely.
Hormones may not make you love your child because if, God forbid, you have the birth experience from hell there will not be any love hormones produced only shock followed by severe post natal depression and when you're sitting there with a baby full of colic the only thing that can get you through is the memory of how much you really wanted that baby!
Also what happens if, like my friend, your baby has a one in a zillion rare chromasomal abnormality that will not show on any ante-natal test and you end up with a very poorly child? this child will need your love more than anything.
These situations do happen and need to be thought about if you're thinking about children on a purely rational basis.
Not all babies are hard work. Not all wake in the night. Not all toddlers have major tantrums so there's the positive side! And you get a friend for life too! I love my daughter now but it took hard work to get over the post natal depression and the desire to sell her on ebay!!
Don't do it if your heart's not in it. x

NAB3 Sat 18-Aug-07 14:13:25


TheDuchessOfNorksBride Sat 18-Aug-07 14:32:16

I wanted a family but didn't really want babies. But I thought a couple of years of nappies and being woken up was a fair investment for having children for the rest of our lives.

I didn't like being pregnant so was somewhat shocked to find that I actually enjoyed giving birth. And there was much more to babies & toddlers than I could ever have imagined and, surprisingly, it's all been great.

You and partner need to think really hard about this. Fostering or adopting older children is an option but if you don't have much experience of children you may find that proves harder than if you eased yourself into parenting by learning alongside your growing baby. I hope that makes sense!

tori32 Sat 18-Aug-07 23:30:22

I do agree to some extent with dutchess and manuka. If anything did go wrong it would be more difficult to deal with if your heart wasn't in it. Although as I said, I have a friend who strictly was a career woman but absolutely loved motherhood when it happened. I also suffered with PND for 6 mths and I do agree that if I hadn't been up for having a baby I would have resented her, instead of realising it was me with the problem. Children do involve lots of sacrifices daily. However, I think most mums will agree that they give pleasure in so many different ways and are fascinating little beings when you watch them grow and develop and see their personality coming through. They are only babies for a short time. The question is are you willing to sacrifice things for the baby years to reap the benefits of having a lovely school age child later on? Without attention, love and teaching children tend to become spoilt, withdrawn, nervous, aggressive etc. so it is not a decision to be taken lightly.

tori32 Sat 18-Aug-07 23:35:04

I don't agree that adoption is the way to go for an easy route. Most older children have come from challenging environments and require more time and attention than a baby. Many have behavioural/social/emotional issues which can take many years to resolve (if ever). At least with your own child you will understand where it is coming from and will understand what situations trigger which behaviours more easily.

liger Sun 19-Aug-07 08:10:46

One thing I found very enlightening was a friend pointing out that other people's kids are so much harder than your own. And that is the only experience you have to go- on before you take the plunge.

But its true, you know everything about your own child, what they like, dislike, how tired they are, how long their attention span is, what is likely to distract them, and what will comfort them. All of this is a mystery with someone else's child and makes being in their company seem much more out of control. It doeesn't take too long to pick up on all this stuff - and it changes all the time and the knowing just becomes secod nature.

I'm not sure if this helps, but its a bit like being in a social setting with your dh, and knowing you are the only one who really gets what he is trying to say, where he is coming from etc etc! Its like that a lot as a mum!

goingfor3 Sun 19-Aug-07 10:04:26

I think if you really didn't want children you wouldn't be here looking for advice.

Bella123 Wed 22-Aug-07 11:19:15

Hello folks, thank you so much for all your thoughts...its quite an nice environment here, I think I may just have to have a baby so I can hang out here more often! Its a tough decision and one that ultimately, only I can make...which is a right pain really...surely SOMEONE out there is in the business of making these tough decision for us??

I too am desparate for a dog bobbydazzler and lapsedrunner, but alas my partner (jokingly) say's that he'll only allow me a dog if I give him a baby first, just to check I can look after a dog properly .

Well no firm decisions have been made either way, but I'll keep you posted on all things baby.

Thanks again,

Bella x

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