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Not ready to be a mum(21 Posts)
I'm 27, single and a degree student through the Open University. I'm 8 weeks pregnant by a man I had a 5 year long fling with, who has decided he does not want to be involved. I'm not ready to be a mum. I have plans for my life and I'm not sure how a baby will fit into them, but I'm not prepared to give them up either. Thing is, I'm also not prepared to abort a healthy pregnancy or give my baby up for adoption, so I have no choice but to carry on and hope it works out okay. The baby is due two weeks before my law exams and I just have no idea how I will cope. I can't talk to any friends or family about this as I don't want them to know how much I'd rather not have this baby, so I'm looking for some advice or reassurance, or to see if anybody has been in a similar situation. I feel like I'm going mad as I have to keep this all to myself. Thanks in advance for any replies x
Should probably add that this is my first so I also have no experience raising a baby
I fell pregnant on a degree. Some people think this would be devastating. I really did not know how to feel as I was scared, none of my friends had babies etc, I am the same age as you now, I was 21 then. What WAS devastating was when I miscarried. I had my planned child less than a year later because it showed me what I wanted from life. The feelings I had about the pregnancy upon positive test and upon discovery my baby had died were completely uncomparable. In the long run everything has still worked out very well for me "despite" being a relatively young parent and not continuing my education yet to the level I may have. We never know what life is going to throw at us - a baby is not the end of your life, its changing your life. I am much happier than I could ever have imagined and my children are happy. I still mourn the baby I lost but I do not mourn the studies I missed. It seems a life time away and i do not spare a thought for what could have been, because it wasnt
Speak to your tutors, find out what your options are with uni. Make sure you write everything down and write down different hypothetical situations.
Eg, have baby on due date, take exams at home or in a separate room with an invigilator, take some time out as 'maternity leave' to enable you to physically and mentally recover from birth, then ...etc etc
You really need to talk to someone in real life. You have options. Granted, none of them are easy choices, but the only way you will truly know which is the right decision is to talk it through and get some proper advice. You say you had a fling with the father - is he married? 5 years is a long time for a fling. You must be struggling with the breakdown of the relationship too. If you are worried about judgement you could go to your gp?
Also i very much think child birth would come under extenuating circumstances and if you look into it i bet you could delay your exams, my miscarriage did. If this is your final year swat up during your pregnancy to minimise revision then try to delay/ retake any exams
Whatsername17 No he wasn't married, I would never go there, I guess we were both happy with the situation at the time and naively I thought that one day it may go further. This has harshly brought me back to reality and helped me see (too late) that that was never going to be an option for him. I'm fine with that now, although terrified at the prospect of being a single mum and worried about how I will be judged. I'm thinking of talking to my gp or my midwife at my first appointment but I'm also worried there may be consequences down the line if they think I'm unable to cope?
user1471461436 I understand where you are coming from, but I can't postpone or quit my studies. It's taken me a long time to get into this and I would feel that I've lost my way if I were to delay them so I'm preparing myself to juggle both. I just don't know if this is going to be possible and I know I will be viewed as selfish that I'm not willing to give it up. I feel so guilty but I think it will be better for both me and the baby in the long run if I'm able to complete the degree on time and start building a decent life. But is it true what they say - that you can't have both? Because I can't give either up!
I'm sorry if I'm not making much sense, I'm so confused
There won't be consequences. They are there to help you. Gp will be more helpful than midwife. Good luck with whatever you decide x
I continued my pregnancy because I couldn't face an abortion or adoption. I didn't really want the baby. The pregnancy was a very sad time. It took me a little while to bond with my daughter but she really is the absolute best thing ever. Undoubtably the best child to ever grace our earth
You should be able to defer your exams.
Are you working currently?
Once you've got your scans out the way you need to get something for the baby to sleep in (blankets and Moses basket), some milk source (boobs or formula and bottles), clothes (5 baby grows, 5 baby vests) something to transport the baby in (sling or buggy), a pack of nappies and some cotton wool for cleaning it. Hey presto you are now prepared to have a baby! I don't think anyone is actually mentally prepared for a baby so don't worry about that bit. You'll do fine.
I also think I would just defer the exams for a year/six months. I know you've worked hard and just want to get them over and done with but its not massively going to change your life outcome of you delay them for a bit. It's bad timing. I powered through loads of things while pregnant and with a small baby - I definitely have a can-do attitude to these sort of things, and I think if you had exams 4 weeks before or after your due date then you'd probably be (just about) okay. I really don't see how you'll be able to do them so soon after though, most first babies go a week over anyway. Maybe if you have very very supportive family? I think the first people you should talk to should be the open uni and see what they suggest. You don't sound selfish by the way, you sound completely normal!
BlurtonOnKites4eva Oh wow, even the thought of buying baby stuff is terrifying! It's all happening so quickly 🙈
I'm working part time and also volunteering, so I'll give up the volunteer work when it all starts getting too much. Everything will change so much, but I know nobody is ever really prepared for it so I will deal with it just as anybody else does I suppose. Once it's here, I know I'll feel the same as you and I'll love it more than anything, I just don't know how I will juggle it. I feel like I'd never forgive myself getting pregnant if I have to defer my studies. I couldn't face finishing it all past 30 years old, and I dont earn a great deal at the moment and want to provide a good life for it.
I know I'm rambling and there's probably not a great deal more anyone can say, I just need to get it out x
I think as long as you don't expect perfection, you can have it all, but not on the same timeline. Doing exams a few weeks after your baby arrives is a no hoper in my view. It's possible you might still be pregnant though. That said, I worked as a lawyer until 37.5 weeks and I was definitely not up to doing exams. Are there consequences if you do them when not at your best and want/need to resit?
ConvincingLiar I'm not sure if there'd be consequences. I haven't plucked up the courage to tell the uni yet as this suddenly makes it all real. I think I'll wait until after the scan and then I'll have to speak to them. I know they give leeway with regards to assignments, so I will discuss what options are available with the exams. If I were to take them on time I would then have 3 months off with the baby before the next year begins. I'm pinning all my hopes on these 3 months giving me a chance to eatablish a routine and making it work. Am I being delusional?
Ramble away! It's what mumsnet is for.
Sorry for scaring the shit out of you talking about baby stuff! But that is literally all you need. I posted a similarly desperate post when I was around 8 weeks.
I found the early baby days very difficult, it was tiring repetitive and boring. But people who've planned their babies also feel the same. I did complete a few online courses in the first few months, late night feeds are a great time for studying! Once she got to 6 months and could move and wanted proper food 3 times a day I've have found it a lot more difficult to get stuff done. I still work part time, and plan to go full time next year at some point. My plans have changed and evolved since having her, but I definitely don't feel financially doomed or anything. Lots of women's well established careers go tits up when they've had babies, but you will know what your dealing with and work out a way of developing a career with a child if that makes sense.
Lawschoolmum - I am a tutor on the law LLB at the Open University and I would really, really recommend you talk to your own tutor and/or Student Services. There are ways you can make it work with your exams etc and people who will support you - if that is what you decide you want to do.
Ebay, free cycle and charity shops are great for stocking up on baby stuff and babies do nothing so most stuff looks brand new anyway if you are worried money wise. You wont need a cot for a couple of months and moses baskets are cheap, baby baths are cheap if you choose to use one and prams/slings cost very little and look no different second hand. A baby does not have to cost a fortune, breast milk is free if you choose and value nappies are completely fine ime as newborns dont go long enough inbetween poos to leak! Do not worry about any of it, you will be more than fine and so will baby
Also if you are under a certain income you get free child care from 2 and from 3 for any income, so even if your studies dont go to plan you could go back within a very small timeframe
I think you need to except that exams 2 weeks after your due date is unrealistic and see what the alternatives are. Your baby may come late, you may have complications, you may still be in hospital or recovering from a c-section. If everything goes perfectly you still won't have time or energy to study.
Im a 26 year old - 38+5 days into an unplanned pregnancy with an on again off again, much younger boyfriend who begged me to abort. Id just landed my "career" job and couldnt believe id let it happen, was completely gutted at the timing but couldnt face the thought of aborting a healthy baby. I totally identify with your feelings and just wanted to offer support if you want to talk through PM or even facebook without any judgement. I spent weeks beating myself up over it - i urge you not to do the same!
When you feel ready to tell people you will probably find yourself astonished at how much support there is, even from strangers. Once i got over the initial embarassment of "i cant believe as an intelligent young woman i have got myself into this situation, this is NOT how i planned this" I found so much unexpected comfort from family, friends and colleagues - it turns out everybody loves a baby and every woman who has ever had one seems to share kinship about the whole experience and there was next to no judgement.
Here to here newmum90! I have completely found that too.
Not so long ago women tended only to take 6 weeks maternity leave. Even now some people only take 3 months. Whether it's realistic is not something you can say upfront. It'll depend on what baby you get and how much support you have. I'm sure it's possible to restart uni with a 3 month old but you might be better off waiting until you have a 15 month old (if OU works in the same way as conventional uni). It's the same as not knowing what kind of pregnancy you're going to have. You might feel great until you give birth and recover quickly, you might not have such an easy ride. Take honeybee's advice and talk to OU after your scan so you can work out your Plan A/B/C. No idea if it's possible, but I wonder whether the ideal option would be to do the exam early. That poses security problems though so may well not be allowed (due to the risk of you tipping everyone else off).
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