Pregnant and really don't think I can do this.(42 Posts)
Having taken five pregnancy tests over the last three days, it is slowly starting to sink in that this is actually happening. This is not a planned pregnancy and I am scared out of my mind. I am only 23, in the first year of my doctorate and this is just not how things were meant to happen. I am in a relationship, but he is also still studying and has another year left before finishing med school. We only started dating a few months ago. I just don't know what to do. I haven't told anyone (including him) and have not stopped crying since finding out I am definitely pregnant. We always used protection. Always. I can't afford a baby, I have no idea how I could continue studying/working if I had a baby, I don't know how to take care of a baby, I have no family, none of my friends have children, I live in a flat share, ... I never thought this would happen to me.
I know I need to tell him and go to the GP, but I just can't. That would make it real and I can't do this. I am so scared.
Could someone please tell me it'll be ok? That I will magically figure out how to handle this. That my life isn't over. That I would not be a terrible mother.
Do you want to carry on with the pregnancy? You don't have to.
Perhaps a counselling session with Marie Stopes or similar would help straighten out your mind, and help you make the decision that works best for you.
You're not the first, and won't be the last.
Even at 32 my unplanned pregnancy made me feel like an irresponsible, guilty teenager so believe me, you're not alone...
Talk to someone - a trusted friend, a family member, a counsellor from Marie Stopes or similar. You have choices and they are only for YOU to make - good luck
I think that you need a little time and need to come a decision that is right for you! I can't give you an answer but if you speak to your gp, then they can probably point in the direction of a professional to talk to. May be you could write down your thoughts both positive and negative. If your studying, is there a some one you can talk to for advice at uni/ collage? We're here for you either way x
Thank you for your kind words. I don't have a family and I have always wanted children, just not like this. Because of my family history, I don't think I could have an abortion (though I understand that this can be the right choice for others).
SoHHKB, what did you do in the end? Were you alone? How did you manage financially?
How do I tell my boyfriend? He wants to do Paeds and loves children (same for me I wanted to specialise in Paeds Neuropsych, though I am guessing that'll never happen now), but it'll be a disaster for him too.
If you're still studying then you're involved with a university, right? Once you've spoken to your BF, go & have a chat with the advice service at the uni. They may well be able to provide support. I remember the uni I was an undergrad at had family accommodation & provided cheap childcare. Do you still get student loans? They can give you a bigger loan if you have dependents.
If you've already decided against abortion then make sure you make this clear when you talk to your BF. He may or may not have preferred that route but will be less likely to try & persuade you if you're firm about it from the start. Who knows, maybe he'll actually be happy about it, even if the timing isn't perfect!
This doesn't have to be a disaster. You're clearly an intelligent woman & people do cope with unplanned pregnancy when they're younger & less educated than you. You're life isn't over, it's just taken an unexpected turn. Take a deep breath, trust yourself & know that you can do this.
I decided to go ahead - I
briefly considered my options but came to the conclusion that no child of mine would ever be unloved so it didn't seem right to abort. I have a dd from my failed marriage and her care is shared with her dad and I'm self-employed working from home so can fit that around childcare.
I met the baby's father on a dating site less than 3 months before I realised I was pregnant - his profile didn't mention his supersperm that took no notice of my copper coil! Luckily, he's an absolutely brilliant guy, who has taken everything in his stride and actually came to terms with the pregnancy much quicker than I did. We've moved in together now and baby is due in January.
He has really helped me to see that I am not on my own - that we were a team in making the baby and will be a team in looking after him, each other and our futures. I hope your baby's father is helpful too!
Either way, find out what support there is for single mums at university - my uni had a creche facility and you may be able to defer a year. When you are ready, talk to as many people as possible, in RL and on MN, and see what financial support and practical help you are entitled to.
Good luck (again!)
My sister also got pregnant whilst at university, also at 23, although different circumstances. She was single and was part way through her second year. She also struggled to make a decision about what to do but continued with the pregnancy. She was able to continue that year as she was about 6 months pg when she had her exams. Then took a year out and returned when her DD was 12 months.
There was a lot of financial support available but it was bloody hard work getting it sorted. She managed to get a one bedroom flat so didn't have to worry about sharing with anyone. Most of the full time nursery fees were paid. The university nursery would have been a lot cheaper still, as well as being more convenient, but it was impossible to get into. So one thing I would say is of you plan to do similar, get your name down at your university's nursery ASAP.
During her year out she came back and did have plenty of support from me and our mum, so she luckily wasn't alone with it all.
I know she found it hard when she went back to finish her last year, but it was because she was 100 miles away from home and had no one there to help at all.
I suspect it wouldn't be easy for you or your boyfriend, but it's certainly not impossible. The one other thing I would consider is how it would work when you are doing placements. Do you have to do night shifts as well? And would your boyfriend then be in a job doing night shifts? If so, you'd need to work out about childcare during those.
If you decide to go ahead, you need to speak to the university about how they could support you.
You need to tell your boyfriend first though and make this decision together. At the moment you can only guess at his response and how he would feel about it all.
Thank you, that is really helpful. I am not doing medicine, but psych, so no night shifts. My boyfriend does and works absolutely silly hours even now and that will only get worse once he's an FY1. As I get paid (it's a professional clinical doctorate) I don't get student loans or anything.
Boyfriend just called, he's on Obs and Gynae at the moment and started telling me about one patient who was completely alone during labour and how terrible he thought that was and that he stayed with her; I started crying (again). He knows I've been ill, so said he'll come over this eve and check on me. Think he thinks I am losing the plot (which I guess I kind of am). I know I need to tell him, I've missed my period for three months now, but just don't know how.
So glad to hear you will be talking to him tonight and it seems he won't be unsympathetic. Even if his first reaction is not exactly what you hope for, take a deep breath and give him a bit of time to get his head around your news
maybe tell him briefly tonight but leave talking details until tomorrow or the next day
Good luck again
Hope it goes ok tonight. You should be able to defer/ take a year out of your doctorate and continue with the intake below you. After you've spoken to your boyfriend you need to speak to uni and get advice. It's a tough course but it is possible to complete it with a child. Good luck (P.S my sisters done this course & one of her pals had a planned baby half way through the course, and is back on it)
Oh sweetheart! I could have written your post myself. I don't know how much help I can offer but I can share my experience.
When I was 23 I was in my last year at uni and found myself pg and still living in halls. I was terrified. The future seemed so scary and the hardest part was not knowing what would happen next. I was lucky my bf took the news really well and immediately started saving for a deposit for our own (rented) home. We had only been together for 6 months so I was scared of ending up alone and o had no family nearby either.
Thankfully he has a wonderful big supportive family who helped us get settled and I managed to finish uni before my ds arrived. What I'm saying is we worked together and things worked out. It was bloody hard and scary but...
We are still together ds1 is now 9 and wonderful and we also have ds2 (7) and dd (4)!
Approach your uni to see what help they can give you and tell your bf as you are in this together. I really hope everything works out for you as I remember being you!
Ps am also 32 weeks pg again (unplanned and dp is still
my support as this was a shock)
I can't add much that is practical but my best friend was in an almost identical situation. She was 22, had just started her first job (2 months into it) and had been seeing the guy for such a short time that she hadn't told anyone and they hadn't even got as far as calling it a relationship - they'd been together about a month when she found out...
She decided almost immediately she wanted the baby. She told him but said there would be no expectations from her in terms of his involvement as she was making the decision to keep the baby without asking his opinion. What he wanted to do would be his call - whether he wanted no further part, whether he wanted to be involved with the baby but not her or whether he wanted to keep dating. He took a week's holiday and went off by himself to think it through.
Two months after that, he moved in with her. Six months after the baby was born, they got married.
That unexpected baby is now 9, and has been joined by a sister and a brother, and my friend and her husband are still very much together.
It can work even when it all seems to be a disaster. She has had to work hard and adjust her original plan (and it's timings!) but she has managed to sort out a career in the field she wanted and has just started a Masters. And the kids are fantastic!
I hope it all goes well for you. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
What is your employment status with the doctorate? Are you bring employed by the uni to do it? Do you get paid on a monthly basis? If so, you may be eligible for stat maternity pay or maternity allowance.
I think you'll feel so much better once you've told him. You'll know then what you're working with.
Just a thought, if you continue with the pregnancy would it be an option to make it easier on yourself by doing your doctorate part-time? Maybe in addition to deferring a year. I know six+ years sounds like a long time at 23, but I think it would fly given that you'd be working on two major life projects at once!
Hun I know how you feel I'm 22, just found out I'm pregnant really big shock as I thought it was more or less impossible, I already have 2 little boys, and although I feel I'm bot in the position to have another baby yet I know I'm going ahead with it. Me and my partner have been together 5 years but that was not the case with our 1st lil boy we had been together a few months but we made it work and still making it work now, its all so daunting at first but you do get use to it and learn to be happy, it doesn't mean giving things in your life up just means putting them on hold for a little while, dusnt even have to be put on hold if you don't want it to there's all kinds of help, I've always worked throughout having my kids just partime so I still can bring up my boys and there dad has a good job we have a nice home, trust me things work out much better then it seems at first. I was only 17 with the 1st I was terrified but I would not change a thing. I don't have any family help etc as they all work so many hours but I like it that way anyway. I'm daunted this time 3 kids seems so scary but just trying to get on with it, it still hasn't sunk in. Hope the talk with your bf goes good. Good luck xxx
Just wanted to say: I also became pregnant at 23, in the first year of my PhD. I had been with my partner for only 18 months (he is a bit older) but for us the pregnancy was planned. That was 17 years ago. We now have four children, two of whom were born during my doctorate research. My department and supervisor were great - my course took slightly longer than planned but I got my PhD in the year my eldest started school. I really feel for you and obviously can't advise on what to do. But I just wanted to share my story. Good luck.
I told boyfriend. At first he said nothing and just looked completely shocked, I started crying yet again and he asked me what I wanted to do. When I told him that I want to continue the pregnancy he just held me and said that we'll figure it out. It's not great timing, but if we can do this together, then maybe everything will be ok.
Thank you to all of you for replying and to those who shared their own stories. It made me finally get up the nerve to start thinking about things a bit more rationally.
So the plan for this week is to see GP asap; worried now as technically it is a high risk pregnancy due to medical condition and I should have been prescribed quite large amounts of folic acid even prior to becoming pregnant.
Will also speak to uni and supervisor about options (thanks MrsAmaretto for telling me about your sister's friend). Boyfriend thinks that I would definitely be entitled to maternity pay as even though I am still training, I am an NHS employee.
I still can't believe we are doing this, but knowing that I will not be alone, let's me almost get just a little bit happy and excited. THANK YOU!
So glad you're feeling more positive about it all. And congratulations!
I'm so pleased he's being supportive! He sounds like he's a lovely bloke!
If you've not had a period for 3 months are you assuming they're all due to the pregnancy? That would put you at about the same stage as me. If you work out you're due in late May/early June then do pop onto the 'Broadly Gemini' thread in the antenatal support group topic. You'll find a lot of support there, including first timers, more experienced mums & our very own resident midwife! If you're due at another time then do join the relevant thread, it's so nice to have others at the same stage as you!
Glad you're feeling a bit less uneasy about everything now OP. You've already received some fab advice but thought I'd share my experience too.
I had my DS (COMPLETELY unplanned) when I was 22, I had him during my first yr of uni and I had only known his dad for 3 months ish and we were careful too. He didn't want to know at first but has since become involved and has DS one night and one day a week. I then had a planned DD with my current partner during my masters and I'm pregnant now (planned DC3) whilst doing my PhD.
Just wanted to let you know that with some organisation and support (from the Uni especially) it is absolutely possible to finish your studies whilst having children.
Glad your BF is being supportive, such a great start. Hope you both keep remaining positive. Congratulations - babies are great!
SO glad to hear you're feeling positive - all the best
Hi there -
I really sympathise with how you're feeling... when I was 24 I fell pregnant by accident. I was in a relationship and had kind of always thought that now that I was this age, had a job and a decent life (ya ha!), I should 'take my responsibilities' when I got pregnant and would just go ahead with it. When I found out I was pregnant, I knew about 80% that I didn't want to be pregnant. Suddenly I felt so young and incapable of going through with this. My partner at the time didn't want me to terminate the pregnancy, but I couldn't keep it. I terminated at about 6 weeks. And I got over it pretty quickly. It's not a nice experience but I have never looked back, wondered, stressed about. That's not to say that other women haven't had a much harder time of terminations, this is just my experience.
Fast forward 7 years and I am now married (to a different guy) and I am pregnant. It was planned and I am very happy, so a completely different scenario. I had no trouble conceiving (so the termination didn't affect anything down there - unlike many people told me it would, a lie clearly!). I am in the first year of my doctorate and my husband is a medic student too. There is a lot in place to support students with children and particularly medics, surprisingly! (at our uni, if you get NHS grant, you get 85% of childcare costs covered)... as a doctoral student I get good amount of time off and if you have a grant there might be some maternity pay included. Also there was a thread recently about having a baby during a PhD which I thought was really helpful!
Anyway - it sounds like you have figured some things out, which is great news. I hope all goes well and if you want to exchange more ideas, do get in touch (I don't know how MN works very well - I think there's a way we can send private messages to each other. If you figure out how to do this, do get in touch!).
All the best!!
Congratulations! Your dp sounds grand and that support makes all the difference. Hope everything goes well with the rest of your pg x
Congratulations on your baby and on how your partner reacted, so glad that he is being supportive in this process.
Definately a trip the GP sounds like a good idea. If you are 3 months, you'll be due a scan to see how the baby is getting on soon, which is exciting too and although it'll feel more real, it'll help you adjust to the idea I am sure.
I wish you both the best of luck.
Join the discussion
Please login first.