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Unexpectedly pregnant and DH very firm about not wanting third child :(

(87 Posts)
RandomWords Sat 08-Aug-09 11:49:30

Have namechanged for this. I would like to hear from others who've been in this situation - what you did, how it's turned out, how your relationship is afterwards. I feel very alone right now.

DH and I have been together for over 10 years (married for 5) with two beautiful DCs, a boy and a girl with a small gap (less than two years) between them. Both children are under 4 at the moment, and DH and I both work.

Our first child was planned and a source of mutual joy. Our second child was a surprise, though not an entirely unwelcome one - we'd always talked about having two children, though our plan was for a bigger gap between them. However, DH was quite shocked at the start of our pregnancy with DC2 and although he came round fairly quickly, he did briefly bring up the idea of termination. (We'd had a termination before, when we were younger, nowhere near comfortable enough with each other to start a family, and living a very different life.) I explained to him then that since having DC1 my "maternal" switch was flipped and I couldn't contemplate a termination, so we went ahead. DC2 is a charming little creature and DH adores her as much as he does DC1.

BUT. DH has always been clear that he does NOT want three children. He has always been clearer than clear about it. I've wavered a bit but since DC2 turned 2 I've been really enjoying having my life back and starting to be able to do slightly more adventurous things as a family. So we have been in agreement: 2 is good. We're sticking with 2.

Then a month or so ago we had a condom incident and I took a MAP within 24 hours. (And kicked myself for not having had an IUD fitted yet.) And it hasn't worked. I had a BFP on Monday this week, so am pregnant with a potential DC3.

I told DH on the evening that I found out, but due to a mutually busy week we haven't had a chance to really talk until last night. In the lead-up, I've found myself coming to terms with the idea of a three child family. I'm REALLY not looking forward to pregnancy and birth again, and the situation with work is too hellish to think about (I'm quite senior so my hyper-fertility will be viewed as a problem, both by my team and my boss), but... but... I can see three children. By Thursday I was pondering how a boy or girl would affect our family make-up and started avoiding goats cheese.

Last night DH confirmed that after having a few days to think, he's still adamant he doesn't want three (well, I DID know that) and he would prefer that we terminate. Last night I couldn't stop crying about it - in so many ways I know he's actually being quite sensible and practical, but I can't bring myself to seriously plan a termination.

So I feel stuck. I can't go ahead without him being happy about it, as he's my partner and absolutely key to the healthy functioning of our family unit. I also can't bring myself to feel comfortable with termination. I am almost hoping for the pregnancy to be ectopic (which is probably the biggest indicator of just how helpless I feel). I am just hanging here knowing that not doing anything is actually a choice in itself, and one that could lead my DH to resent me/it.

MollieO Sat 08-Aug-09 11:56:45

Sorry but if your dh was so against having any more children then why didn't he get snipped? Bit late now. Obviously your decision re termination but I wouldn't be bullied into it because he couldn't be bothered.

Pannacotta Sat 08-Aug-09 12:03:10

I agree with MollieO if he was so adamant then he should have had the snip - IMO and IME barrier methods are not that reliable (I was using the diaphragm when I got pregnant with DS1).

I also agree that you shouldnt feel bullied.
He may well come round but is perhaps in shock at the moment.

My parents hadnt planned a third DC and my Mother became pregnant after similar incident to you and I know my Father mentioned termination but they couldnt go through with it. It was hard for the first couple of years for them with 3 young DCs but I cant imagine without my DSis (DC3).

RandomWords Sat 08-Aug-09 12:25:33

You're right, it's not terribly constructive to rail about why he didn't go for a vasectomy when we discussed it after the birth of our second child. He decided against it at the time because he wanted us to have the option of having children if anything happened to either of the DCs (which was quite a conversation in itself, as you might imagine).

Yes, I think that after this sterilization will be much more appealing to him. That doesn't help with where we are right NOW, though.

(I am looking after the DCs right now and having terrible problems with my internet connection - if I disappear for long periods its not because I've run off, but it may be entirely technical and/or childcare related.)

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sat 08-Aug-09 12:28:54

I think he's being really unreasonable. If he was SO adamant then he should have gone for a vasectomy.

Having had a termination myself many many years ago (long before I met DH), and now having had DS, I know that I could never terminate any pregnancy that we created. I would immediately feel that it was our child.

I really feel for you - could you maybe go and have some counselling together to work through how you feel? What are his objections to another child - financial and practical or emotional?

jeminthepantry Sat 08-Aug-09 12:35:30

I was in the same position with our 3rd, and unplanned pregnancy. I was on the progesterone pill at the time I got pregnant.

My partner was adament he didn't want any nore children, and before I fell pregnant I agreed with him- our first 2 were 16 months apart, I had only just got back into professional work etc....

What do you want to do?

I can tell you MY story, but my DH isn't your DH, etc, but I can share my experience if you want...?

lou031205 Sat 08-Aug-09 12:36:06

I'm really sorry you are facing this. A friend of mine was in that situation, her DH went to pick her up from the clinic 'after' and she had got to the last minute and couldn't face it. He is now 11. I hope you find a solution.

MollieO Sat 08-Aug-09 12:40:10

Would it really be so bad having a third child? You need to think long and hard about what you do. If you don't want a termination and have one because of pressure from dh you would have to be a stronger person than me to forgive your dh.

RandomWords Sat 08-Aug-09 12:42:28

His objections are financial (cost of childcare), practical (size of house/car, logistics of both of us working, inability for me to take the family to see my family overseas due to the crushing expense of 5 airplane seats - as I said, he's actually being quite practical), and emotional (he'll be in his 40s before the youngest would be out of babyhood and he's enjoying our children being ever-so-slightly older/out of babyhood. Interestingly, this is the first time he's revealed that 40 is a milestone for him).

We are a 50-50 parenting/earning split, so a third child will impact him perhaps rather more than it would if we had a more traditional division of labour. And I would WANT him to continue to be hands-on, so just announcing that I'm going ahead whether he likes it or not doesn't feel particularly good either.

RandomWords Sat 08-Aug-09 12:43:13

Would really appreciate hearing your story, jeminthepantry.

3littlefrogs Sat 08-Aug-09 12:46:39

How do you envisage your relationship with him IF you have a termination?

Ditto if you have the baby?

I had my 3rd child at 42 after an "accident".

We never contemplated a termination, but had to consider the possibility of possible problems related to my age.

It was a huge shock, but she has been the best thing that ever happened to me. The thought of not having her makes me well up.

She is the most wonderful, precious gift I could ever have.

It certainly rocked the family dynamics, but we all pulled together, and we coped.

3littlefrogs Sat 08-Aug-09 12:52:13

We sold our car, bought a very ancient people carrier, I retrained and went back to work in a different career, and we have a holiday every other year, instead of every year.

None of these material things matter to us, more than our lovely 3rd child. And I am really, really not being trite when I say that.

But you and your DH are going to have to sit down and talk about how you go forward together, whatever decision you make, because whatever you do, things will not be the same.

sleeplessinstretford Sat 08-Aug-09 12:53:01

i believe each parent should have equal say in how many children they have ie planning them but you know what, this was a cock up (literally) you took all steps you could to avoid it and really-it's happened so your situation has already changed (ie you aren't looking to persuade him to have another child,you currently are doing so-therefore the previous conversations and agreements have now got to have gone out of the window)
can your relationship survive you feeling peed off with him for you having an abortion?
Can you take the tablets or is that too late (a friend of mine felt that that was like taking a morning after pill rather than surgery)
you do need to talk though-and soon.
I absolutely feel for you and hope you sort it out.

skidoodle Sat 08-Aug-09 13:04:56

sleepless is right.

Saying you want 2 children and no more is perfectly reasonable when you have two and are taking precautions to avoid having more.

It's a completely different thing to expect to stick to that 'agreement' when your wife is now pregnant with number 3.

This isn't hypothetical, it's happened. There is no 50-50 here - only one of you is pregnant and only one would have to go through an abortion they don't want.

I think that is too much to ask anyone to do.

His position doesn't sound sensible or fair to me - he is asking you to bear all of the burden for a mistake neither of you is responsible for.

sarah293 Sat 08-Aug-09 13:16:16

Message withdrawn

RandomWords Sat 08-Aug-09 13:21:47

No idea, Riven. In the immediate term, yes. I would generally characterise our relationship as being pretty strong. In the long term - well, it's hard to say who would build up what resentments in which scenario. Would he peel out after 10 years of building resentment? Would I?

I suspect I've considered the impact more than he has though. It probably would have helped if we'd been able to talk more last night, but I got too upset and withdrew from him for a few hours. We've been quite quiet today so far as it's not really an in-front-of-the-kids conversation.

sarah293 Sat 08-Aug-09 13:25:21

Message withdrawn

MollieO Sat 08-Aug-09 13:26:15

I know someone who went through the same thing but from the outset she was adamant she didn't want anymore children so the decision was completely mutual. Sounds to me as if you would prefer to have number 3 and dh not.

I had my ds at 39 so he certainly wasn't out of babyhood when I hit my 40s. Not sure I see that as any milestone tbh. I have quite a few friends whose partners were in their late 40s when they had their first.

sleeplessinstretford Sat 08-Aug-09 13:34:55

i speak from the experience of falling pregnant (whilst breastfeeding and on the pill and barely having sex) dd2 was 7 months old,i had just been made redundant,dp didn't have a permanent job,we have a mortgage to pay so would get no help with housing costs. I was getting my head round it having been utterly devastated initially-i spent dp's birthday meal sobbing over the table at him asking him to reconsider (he was anti me having another child as i was initially but then did as you did-my head was saying 'you can't' my heart/hormones/body was saying 'i am')
anyway,upshot of it was that i agreed to look into a termination (i didn't agree to go through with one though)and nature fortunately/unfortunately took it's course and i miscarried (i am sorry if that offends anyone)I feel that we got a very lucky escape-i don't know what i would have done. I don't know what the upshot and impact on our relationship would have been.I think i might have blamed him though and that would have been quite hard to resolve.
I really do feel for you.

PlumBumMum Sat 08-Aug-09 13:37:58

I agree with everyone else, the situation has completely changed now, and it is not as if you wanted no3 and dh didn't before getting pg

You said that you discussed vasectomy and he didn't have one because what if something happened to one of your dcs..... what if something did happen to one of your dcs in the future and you have terminated one, I know its an extreme possibilty (but one you have already discussed),

I think you need to think of your relationship afterwards, I think more relationships survive an unplanned pg, than one where someone has an abortion when they don't really want to!

FAQtothefuture Sat 08-Aug-09 13:41:55

oh I really feel for you - that was me writing this post just under 3yrs ago (DS3 is now just over 2). (DH wanting no more, MAP taken, him not wanting, me having got my head around it etc etc)

I could write an entire novel about what happened with us. However the short of it is, I we went ahead, he was reluctant and distant. We eventually split up - and are now back together and DS3 is adorable and a total daddy's boy.

FAQtothefuture Sat 08-Aug-09 13:44:09

actually Random - you're story is so strikingly similar if you want to CAT me please. This really is like de ja vouz (sp) for me .

Tiredmumno1 Sat 08-Aug-09 15:27:20

I cant believe he actually said that, i even told my dp, and he says he shouldnt say things like that, its wrong to expect you to do it, he should have had the snip. Tell him its not a game, if you have already terminated before surely its doubly dangerous now. If you are 100% sure you dont want what could then be your last chance to have another baby, then thats your decision not his, but DONT do it, if your not sure.

rostbeef Sat 08-Aug-09 17:38:29

"if you have already terminated before surely its doubly dangerous now" what do you mean??

expatinscotland Sat 08-Aug-09 17:44:14

Mollie pretty much sums it up, IMO.

If he was that firm he should have gotten sterilised.

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