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38, single, pregnant - depressed and terrified(18 Posts)
Hi everyone, please excuse the long post. I am going through hell and feel like I am losing my mind as I try to decide on whether to terminate or not - i have days left. I would really, REALLY appreciate anyone taking the time to read this as time is sprinting and I haven't slept properly in months as I try (and fail) to wrestle out any clear answer.
I am - completely unplanned due to contraception mistake - 12 weeks pregnant. The father and I had split up weeks before I found out - We had been together on and off for about 10 months but I ended it for a very good reason - he really brought me down as he suffers from chronic Aspergers and depression and I was very often the 'carer' to his dark moods when he couldn't leave the house and completely shut down. After attempting to be with him for some time I had done a lot of thinking and therapy and learnt that I must make better choices for myself romantically so I was optimistic and focused on a new start. So it was a massive, horrifying shock to us both. Nothing about this has been positive or exciting and I am full of panic - I ALWAYS said that if I were to have a baby, it had to be when I was a) financially settled (I am not at all - see below) and b) in a relationship with someone I wanted to make a baby with and who could support me (this is sadly the opposite of that) I have never been pregnant before, and If I am honest assumed it was just never going to happen and had started to come to terms with that as I love my job as a freelancer which is challenging, meaningful and allows me to travel a fair bit (though not well paid)
I now have a chance to 're-set' my life, and my GUT tells me that I absolutely shouldn't have a baby with this man and I should be kind to myself and let it go - I should add that I am also very concerned about the inheritance of his spectrum disorder on the baby, which has been very life limiting for him and I am terrified of how to cope with that. But, I am 38, and a termination is going to be horrific for anyone but at this age I have no idea if its my last chance. I haven't slept the night through in 8 weeks. I always said if it happened now I would probably have to go through with it - but this is so so far from what I imagined. I recently did an AMH test which came back as a good/normal result for my age which is something, but still doesn't make a termination any easier, to be honest - but at least theres hope I have a few years left. Anyway, I have 5 days to decide.
The three huge issues are that firstly: financially, there is no way I could do this on my own (I don't own a house, can't afford to rent on my own only house share - I would need some financial support no matter what but I fear it would be a toxic situation where he is 'forced' to do it) so I would be chaining my life - and that of the baby's life - to someone who has suffers from serious mental health issues for whom I have in many ways been the 'carer' for. He wants me to terminate as he cannot cope with the idea of being a Dad but has said that if I cannot then he would do his best - but I am seriously concerned for my health and happiness - and that of the baby - to be chained in life to someone who is a huge drain emotionally and cannot really cope with their own life (he has quit his job recently as well so money is an additional concern)
Secondly: and I think this is a big difference between me and lot of other potential single mothers out there - my mother died when I was a teenager, and my father has suffered from a chronic physical and neurological condition since I was in my twenties. He requires 24/7 care (which I often have to provide) - so obviously, there is no support or capacity there.
Thirdly: Perhaps because of the trauma of the loss and absence of my parents since an early age, I am prone to depression and anxiety (I have been on and off ssri's since I was 18), have very low self-esteem and I am genuinely TERRIFIED that doing this will push me over the edge - and I end up being a terrible mother or worse- having the child taken off me. Combined with the father's own issues - there simply is not enough of a safety net, is there? I had come off SSRI's a year ago but I obviously can't go back on anti-depressants (from what I understand there are too many risks to the baby) - and my feeling is that if i cannot do this 'alone' or naturally then I simply cannot do it at all as I am clearly not well enough. Every day waking up is hell.
I have a group of friends who are trying to support me - but they are all coming from such different perspectives - they are all settled, with house, married and are putting on pressure that this will change my life. But what if it destroys it? The one friend I know who has been in my situation agrees that termination is the right thing to do, but everyone bleeting on about how it will be worth it all is destroying my peace of mind.
The risks of having this baby seem immense - though I am of course terrified of the regret of termination - I am someone who thinks too much so this also poses the very real risk of destroying me - but then having this baby under these circumstances may too. I feel like I am caught in a nightmare - and I've been through a lot in my life so that is really saying something. Two weeks ago I went to A and E with a major bleed and to be brutally honest I was flooded with relief as I thought this was all over as was certain it was a miscarriage. I had come to happy terms with it whilst I sat there waiting and then was 'devastated' to then have a scan and see that the baby is safe and well. It breaks my heart - I think I do want a child (just this is the worst scenario I could have dreamt of) and right now EITHER option doesn't feel liveable. I've had therapy, hours of it, in the last month but I still go round and round in circles and I don't feel I can take it much longer. Any advice, at all, appreciated.
I'm sorry I don't know what to say but I didn't want to read and run. I think there's a board called pregnancy choices where you might get more specialised advice? You can report your post to MNHQ and ask them to move it. What would be most helpful for you here? Do you want to 'talk' it through out loud? Do you want us to try and ask you questions to help you work it out? I can definitely give you a handhold even if nothing else. [Flowers] for you
This sounds like such a hard situation for you, and I know it doesn't help, but there is isn't a right or wrong answer at this point, only what's right and wrong for you. Do be careful of some posters on here who come on with very strong points of view.
You mention you've had a lot of therapy, have you spoken to the counsellors at Marie Stopes? I was once in a similar situation and their expertise really helped me, there is no pressure either way. In my case, a subsequent miscarriage scare made me realise I was actually terrified of losing the pregnancy not relieved, and that I'd actually wanted to keep it.
Would you feel relieved if you saw the start of another miscarriage? Do you feel that you could change things in your life to give you a safety net that would make you more comfortable? Or do you see a way to change things in the next few years that mean you would like to wait (and would it be ok if it turns out that waiting means potentially not having a baby)? I was also given good advice that in these situations there is no perfect solution or no regrets solution - you will feel some either way, and that's ok. Sending hugs and good luck.
I'm not sure what advice I can give, but I didn't want to read and run.
It's a very difficult situation for you. I agree I think it's a bit unfair of your settled friends to tell you how "wonderful" it will be when you are in a very different place to them.
It sounds like perhaps your gut instinct is not to continue?
Oh god sweetheart, sorry to hear you’re having such a tough time. You sound so desperate. I don’t really feel like I have any words of wisdom to offer but didn’t want to read and run.
It’s especially hard because no-one else can make this decision for you. You have given plenty of reasons for both terminating and continuing your pregnancy. Have you spoken to a midwife or your GP yet? Perhaps booking the appointment to terminate will focus your mind? In that, you will attend and realise it’s what you want, or be unable to go through with it for various reasons? I’m sorry if that’s crap advice, I just don’t know what else to suggest.
I really hope you can make a decision you’re completely happy with in the short timeframe you have to make your mind up
I want to say something which I hope is helpful about your fear of future regret.
I'm in a very different position to you, but had to make a very similar / opposite decision. I'm infertile, and was offered ivf. After the hardest decision of my life I turned it down, with impact on my physical and mental health, career and relationship all factors.
The "what if" question is always there - but I still know I made the right decision for me At The Time. I can't remake the decision today, sure, and some days I wobble and wonder; but other days I am fine and know that at that moment I did what was right for me when the decision needed to be made, and that has helped me enormously. I am kind to the person I was then.
Whatever you decide I hope this helps you too. Sending you all warmest wishes.
Everything in your post says to me that this is not the right time for you to have a baby. Ignore your settled friends and think about the for you. Termination is not a bad choice and very often is the right choice if you are not in a position either mentally or in life in general to have a baby. I had one at a similar age and do not regret it - for many reasons it was not the right time for me to have a baby. End of. I wish you luck in coming to a decision.
I wanted to say something similar to the previous poster. You should focus on whether or not you want this baby. From an outsider's perspective (I'm not originally from the UK) it's actually rather bizarre that people here so often feel they need to own a house before they can have a baby.. or definitely need their parents to be able to help out. Not having either of these doesn't make it impossible at all to raise a child! It's completely fine and normal. I am an over-thinker too, but something someone once told me was, you don't have to have everything worked out upfront - some things do just work themselves out when the time comes. I'm not saying it will all be easy... but I just don't think this kind of decision should be made based on practical issues like that, which might actually end up being quite manageable in the end.
So sorry you're going through this OP.
From reading your post, it sounds like you know what you want to do, you just need someone to tell you it's ok to do it. It IS ok. The fact that you were relieved when you thought the pregnancy was over says it all. Termination can be a very positive choice, and the reasons you've given make it sound like you've thought it all through carefully and it wouldn't be a rash decision.
I wish you every happiness in the future. There's absolutely no reason why you shouldn't have a termination, move on with your life, meet someone wonderful and have a baby with someone you love. Of course it might not work out like that, but it might. Many women don't start their families until they are in their forties now.
I agree with what other posters, in particular @MegsMog, have said here. One line of your post jumped out: “The one friend I know who has been in my situation agrees that termination is the right thing to do”. It sounds from that (the fact your friend agrees with you) that you have already decided to have a termination. If what you are looking for is reassurance that it is okay to make that decision - it is. It is absolutely fine. Not everyone regrets an abortion - many people don’t. I don’t know whether you will in the future and you probably don’t either - none of us has a crystal ball. But remember that when looking back on your decision (whatever it might be) in the future you have to put it in the context of the reasons you made it at that time. There is no right or wrong answer to these sorts of questions - just the answer that is best for you at the time on the basis of the information you have then. Whatever you choose I wish you the very best.
Hi everyone and @Viewofhedges
I really appreciate all your thoughts and taking time to response - it means an awful lot and is hugely helpful to understand I am not alone. I have had several hours of counselling with specialists in this area spoke to my GP and midwife several times - and I decided to spend a few days - intensively - with the father to work out just where we are - and to what degree I may have been projecting my fear of having the baby onto his own issues. I am feeling more positive about enabling myself to make the choice I need to make, but we have also made some (I suppose not insignificant) leaps forward in plans for how this would work - financially, geographically and otherwise - which is opening up a door to a place where this baby isn't completely terrifying. I am thinking on, of course, but I am perhaps quietly returning to a place where maybe I am able to embrace this option. But I will keep you posted next week. Thanks again, I really do appreciate it.
I'm glad to hear you sound as if you are in a better place, and are having helpful and supportive conversations.
MN can be a strange place but it also can be great sometimes and I'm glad you know there are a bunch of us on here wishing you well whatever you decide.
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