the most difficult decision of my life(31 Posts)
Apologies in advance for the long post. I need to get it all out
I found out yesterday that I'm pregnant. I'm 45 and this was unplanned. I have a DS who just turned 4. I'm struggling to decide what to do.
Last week before I tested I could tell I was pregnant but I was so scared I would try to convince myself maybe I was not. I was having panic attacks. I cried and cried and cried.
Thoughts that run through my head:
How could I ever love a second child as much as I love my son?
Now that he is 4 life started to be more manageable, can I go back and do it all again? I would be almost 50 by the time things start to settle again
I really do not think I can cope.
Will my husband be supportive this time around? Will he pull his weigh?
Will it be too much for our relationship (which has been downhill for a long time now)?
As you can see all my first thoughts were against it. But now I am crying thinking this is my last chance. To have another baby in my arms, to feel the smell of a newborn. To give my son a sibling. To have a 'complete' family.
I really do not know what to do. I want all this to be a bad dream.
I know no one can make the decision for me, but I just do not know how to even start thinking about it.
On top of everything I had a bad argument with DH tonight. Yesterday he was all ' we'll get through this whatever we decide' today he was cold and argumentative, ended up leaving in a huff and I am here sitting alone at 2am.
I am devastated
It's a common worry that you wont love the second child as much as the first...and as a first born I tend to think that must be true 😊
Not really, you would love them equally, but differently. Please don't worry about that.
It probably will show up the cracks in your relationship even more, but if it's not this, it'll be something else. It's no reason not to go ahead. As far as your relationship goes, it's risky whatever you decide, especially if your DH is pushing you into it, even just a little bit, you will blame him & resent him if you wish you hadn't done it afterwards.
From what you have written, I feel like this is a big shock & not how you'd planned things, but that you'd regret a termination more than you'd regret keeping the baby.
It's horrible having to make a decision like this when your body is rammed full of early pregnancy hormones. Just take your time & do what's right for you, because at the end of the day, it's you who will carry the baby & who cannot walk away after and it's you that woukd have to go through with a termination & live with that decision. Not your family, friends, DS or DH. You.
thanks for your reply
you are absolutely right about showing the cracks in the relationship and also about feeling resentful. DH will keep it if he could be 100% (or close) that there would not be any genetic issues. he is very concerned about our age and looking after a disabled child, what would happen when we are not around etc. I actually agree with this but I tend to go in denial mode and think 'things will be ok.'
I am a mess.
If genetic issues are a big concern, go for the Harmony test and make your decision when you get results.
Harmony testing is a wise choice. Simple and fast.
what I haven't said was that even though things are more settled now that DS is 4, I many times feel that I am about to have a breakdown. I think this is a combination of having an extremely demanding job, no one to help, and marriage issues.
I am serious re. how on earth I would cope with another one.
My son didn't start to sleep through until he was 3yo. Before that he'd wake anything between 2-3 times on a good night to +8 times.
I was a very stressed first time mum and found the first months very stressful.
I love being a mother yet I sometimes feel that I have lost myself in the process and have only now started to look after myself again.
how early can you do the Harmony?
I really do not know how I'd cope with a termination at a later stage...
I read this and couldn't not reply to you. Firstly- my heart goes out to you. You are full of hormones, shocked by the "unplanned" nature of the pregnancy and are feeling so uncertain. You are in a naturally vulnerable position.
No one can possibly tell you what to do. But I think knowing other people's experiences may reassure you in some ways.
There is always a way forward. I have 3 ds. My youngest was unplanned. A suprise. I was 39. I'd always wanted a 3rd nut when the time came around I felt I had come to terms with the likely probability that it wouldn't happen again for us. I made my peace with that. Life started moving on. I retrained as a teach in assistant and was looking forward to working full time again. My youngest was almost 4 and ready for full time school.
I was very unsure about the pregnancy and how I would cope both mentally, physically and financially. But I never considered not having my baby.
At my 20 week scan we received the devastating news that our baby had a serious heart defect. We were advised to terminate. A later scan showed significant markers for Edwards syndrome and I was it was "incompatible with life". Again I was advised to terminate. Although my husband wanted to discuss that option it was absolutely never on the cards for me.
Carried my ds full term, he had open heart surgery at 10 days old. Due to the severity of his condition and further complications he required 2 more big surgeries on his heart and 3 more surgeries within the first 3 months of his life. He spent 4 months in hospital and there were many times that I did not ever think I would be able to take him home.
But he is here. He is alive. He is almost 2 and he is the absolute joy of my heart.
I know everyone is different and I don't want to be insensitive to anyone facing the challenges of a disabled child. But please don't let your worries and concern's over having a child with genetic problems or a disability take over your thoughts at this time. Even with the most serious of challenges it can all work out. And you do not even know if your child would have any issues at this point. Even if risks are pointed out or problems confirmed, you still do not know what the end result could be. I was told many times my baby may not survive but he did, against all the odds. The picture the medical profession gave me was that termination would be for the best. My darling little boy is a challenge against that.
You would love your 2nd child as much as you love your first. You think you might not have enough love...but there is always enough love.
You think you may struggle with your mental well being. That's OK. That's allowed. I struggle with this. I am still a capable, responsible loving mum. I access support when I need to. I try and look after myself for the sake of my 3 ds''s.I admit it's not always easy but if you didn't have the challenge of mental well being you would have other challenges. We all do.
As for your marriage - yes I've been there too, got the t-shirt so to speak... me and my dh have come through severely rocky times. Sometimes I thought it was over but we've managed to pul through and keep going. Whether you have this baby or not, your marriage would still be under pressure. That's life and keeping a challenging relationship going is never easy regardless of the circumstances.
I believe my baby is the baby God intended me to have. At the time he intended. Born for his own purpose and for a life of wonder. I'm glad I didn't take away his chance to be.
I'm sorry this is so long.
Sending you massive hugs and the very best wishes whichever way your journey takes you💐💐💐
Big hugs from me too. I can't imagine how you're feeling right now and I'm sorry you've had a row with your DH. I'm sure he'll be worried too, but probably expressing it differently.
Make it your mission today, if you can, to find out everything about screening tests and then talk to your DH again when you know what's involved.
I have nothing constructive to offer other than that my second pregnancy and birth was a completely different, easier, more positive experience than my first.
What a lovely post forever bee. Glad your son is doing well
It sounds like you could benefit from some counselling. Maybe have a chat with your GP and get a referral for a decent one that you can discuss all your worries and stresses with (pregnancy and non pregnancy) and this might help lighten the load a bit. Some areas have good imap services and they offer ACT courses, cbt counsellors etc and it might help you deal with some of the things that are getting you down.
I was worried that I couldn't love a second baby as much as my daughter. Especially after three miscarriages I couldn't believe I would actually get a real one at the end of it, but he is lying in my arms - extremely loved
Good luck x
thank you all so much
I still do not know what I will do but I feel better today (denial or euphoric from hormones?)
I am going to the doctor GP tomorrow, will ask for a referral for a GP and also want to get bloods done.
I've found out that the local hospital is doing the Harmony (but not for free off course). I will ring tomorrow too.
Bee - lovely post
Good luck OP. I just want to say that there is a really quite high chance if miscarriage too, as I found out at 44. Sorry to put a downer on things, but it is something to consider.
@whoaCadburys - totally aware of that, 50/50.
if I am very honest, and I know it sounds absolutely awful, I wish I miscarriage naturally.
how fuck*d up is that?
how can I make this decision being do bloody hormonal - I can't think straight at all!
I am so so scared
How do you feel about the 'whatever will be will be ' approach? I am sorry it's so hard for you at what should be a time of joy.
How are you doing OP? I can't stop wondering how you are. Have you told anyone how you're feeling in rl? SendING you loads of love x
Wanted to reply about coping with the lack of sleep. DS now 12 was a truly awful sleeper, screamed all night every night for the first year, didn't sleep through until he started school. Was bloody hard work. I had second DS 5 years later when eldest was finally sleeping through. He was a rubbish sleeper too! I always say I make boy babies who don't sleep!
However what was different this time was my attitude towards it. Rather than stressing that I was a rubbish parent for having a baby who wouldn't sleep, reading up on every sleep training technique and failing to carry through any of them, this time round I just accepted it and found ways to cope. For example, I co slept with him as a baby, slept with him in his room on a mattress on the floor beside his low bed when he got a bit bigger, then when he was ready to go into his own bed, bought one with a pull out trundle bed so I could sleep next to him. This approach meant I was right next to him when he needed comfort (he also had severe eczema so was often awake scratching) and could grab sleep when he did. Often slept with a dressing gown on so I didn't get cold in the night when comforting him.
What I'm saying is, I found ways to cope rather than fight it, and as a result we were both more relaxed and rested. I couldn't give a hoot what anyone else thought!
They are now 12 and 7 and sleep like logs, although the 7 yr old will always be an early riser, we do now all sleep through the night!
Good luck whatever you decide.
@foreverblessedbee - thanks for your concern. I am a mess. I go from feeling happy about being pregnant to having panic attacks to being numb.
I could not bring myself to tell anyone IRL yet. Almost like 'if nobody knows it is not really happening'. But I am seeing a counselor on Monday.
@talkmedownplease - what you describe is EXACTLY what I did with my DS. I never fought it I just tried to cope. Still I do not know how I could do it again with a still very demanding 4yo.
I think I am very scared of how much my life would change and whether I really want/can afford/risk that change.
Since this happened I have a very apocalyptic view and constantly think about the worst case scenario and whether I could live with that. Could I end up divorced with two children and no family support? I even started a thread asking how lone parents do it...
So sorry you are feeling this way op. I hope seeing the counsellor may help to give you some clarity. Could you never imagine the good bits? Like how good/exciting/miraculous life with 2 children could be? I only ask as it seems you are only seeing the negatives. Yes there may indeed be negatives...as a family we endured the worst time possible with my ds3....but I wouldn't ever have chosen to not face those challenges. I wonder, if possibly, you are too much in shock/ panic/despair to even see the hope and brightness of a wonderful blessing in the middle of all this? I've been praying for you. I hope you don't mind.
Sending you every good wish xxxxxxxxxx
well, as it happens DH is now thinking it might not be a bad idea, etc etc
as soon as he said it i started shaking. I really do not know if I can cope or I really want that. I am so so scared I find it difficult to understand how much of this is 'true' and how much is the shock
I can't really offer advice bc the decision had to come from you, and I think you've thought about all the issues. I can only say that I've been in the same boat. My son is 21 and I feel pregnant least August. I felt like life circumstances and hormones left me paralysed to make the decision. I'm not almost 36 weeks. I've found some resolution in my lack of decision but I still freak out. In retrospect, I don't know that anyone could have said the 'right' thing to help me make any other decision. Try to be confident in knowing that whatever decision you make, it will be the right one (regrets or not).
And wow... Sorry about the autocorrect typos :/ (the consequences of phone typing/swiping)
thanks Krissy congratulations on your pregnancy
glad to know I am not the only one who felt paralysed!
sometimes I seem to believe that if I do not think about it it will go away?
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