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This topic is for personal experiences or dilemmas; to debate the ethics of termination, please go here or here.

Third child at 40 : is it really going to be as bad as I think?

(27 Posts)
Imnotmyself Tue 26-Jul-16 16:43:37

Ok, so I'm not sure whether my miscarriage last year has made me slightly nuts, but I am unable to sleep, unable to eat, feel immense guilt when I spend time with my kids. I fear we cannot afford this third child. We were nearly out of the bit childcare cost wise, now we will be right back in. I can't face the thought of sleepless nights, dirty nappies, nights spent feeding on the couch, having to work extra hours to be able to afford shoes for the three of them, exhaustion, exhaustion, exhaustion. I always thought I was a mummy first, worker second. So, why now when I find that i am having the third (and to be fair I always said I wanted three) have I become so intensely interested in my work life and so bored by my home life? Is this some sort of weird form of depression? Anyone had a third pregnancy which they decided to keep and found that actually life wasn't that bad with three, even though the thought of it during pregnancy caused (and I'm not joking) anxiety attacks in the middle of the office? and a permanent scowl on my face ( my eldest daughter thinks I hate her now, because apparently I no longer smile anymore and my scowl is always in her direction according to her) I am not as patient with my girls as I was... I feel immense guilt that I have stolen 25% of our income to pay for childcare costs for a child that I definitely don't want...

eyestotheskies Tue 26-Jul-16 18:17:38

Hi op, sorry you're feeling this way. Have you looked up antenatal depression? It can completely take you by surprise even with a previously wanted pregnancy. Have you spoken to your mw about how you're feeling?

Fwiw my sister had an unplanned third at 45.. She panicked throughout the pregnancy about the effect on her others, and I know it caused her a lot of worry about finances etc. But it all worked out fine and the last one really completes the family.
How old are your two? Will they both be at school when the baby 's born? Do you have good support?flowers

Imnotmyself Wed 27-Jul-16 09:44:48

My other two are 6 and 3. The eldest is at school and the second is at preschool - she will be four two months after the new one arrives. My childcare costs are now fully covered (just in the last couple of months) by my childcare vouchers and childcare costs round here have gone up massively since I had my first. Our childminder never increased her prices, but stopped childminding last week. It all fitted quite nicely with just having the two. My parents live in a really remote part of Scotland which is 7 hours drive from where we live and my father is recovering from a cancer op and may never drive again - so limited help from that side. My mil lives with her very elderly mother who has just had a fall which may have the consequence that she will no longer be able to dress herself or take herself to the toilet. They are four hours drive away. I am forty and my dh is 39 so you can imagine none of the grandparents are young as it is. I can't afford to pay for extra help and I'm already owing masses of favours to friends for help with childcare in the past few months whilst my childminder was changing job... the future seems bleak to be honest.
but thanks for the positive words...

Imnotmyself Wed 27-Jul-16 09:45:35

and the mil is four hours drive away.

PisforPeter Wed 27-Jul-16 09:50:24

You will wing it, if I look back over the past few years I have no idea how we have managed but it's all worked out fine flowers

DiggersRest Wed 27-Jul-16 09:53:46

I had bad depression during my pregnancy with dd2. I'd had 2 mc before her and desperately wanted dc2 so why the feck did l feel absolutely miserable? I spent a fair bit of that pregnancy crying. But the second she was born the depression lifted and thankfully hasn't returned.

I also stress about the cost of dc2. We had a nice easy life with one, why did we go for two?! Because l really wanted another dc, as you did. It's probably the hormones talking for you, how far gone are you?

Can you maybe talk to a professional? flowers

DelphiniumBlue Wed 27-Jul-16 10:25:56

How pregnant are you?
It sounds as if there are no positives for you having this baby. Was the pregnancy a n accident?
If you really feel you won't be able to cope, its no good me telling you that I managed fine with 3, that I've always considered number 3 as a bonus. Our circumstances are different.
Fwiw, I was 41 by the time DS3 was born. Finances have been very tight, I couldn't afford to take more than 3 months maternity leave, and woulkd still say that the costs of 3 rather than 2 have had a big impact on the family finances. However, the kids don't care - they love each other, are each others closest friends and companions, despite there being 8 years between eldest and youngest. Seeing them together makes it worthwhile for me.
How are you planning to continue your work life? Is all the responsibility going to be yours, or will DH take a hit in working hours? Is childcare other than your retired childminder available?
You hardly mention DH, presumably having a third baby was a joint decision/risk? So where does he stand in all of this? What is his contribution going to be? Don't assume that all the responsibility is yours, that the childcare costs are yours. Look at it from the viewpoint that your joint income is x, and your joint outgoing s are y, not that childcare costs have to come from your earnings.
You talk about guilt; sadly I think you will feel guilty whatever you decide to do. If you continue with this pregnancy it might be worth remembering that you are not cheating your existing children out of material things, that they have no more right to future resources than the baby does. The benefits of another sibling for them are manifold.
Its really a question of whether you can cope, with the help/ resources that are actually available to you. And I don't think any of us would judge you for being realistic about that.
Talk it through with your DH, come back here and talk it through some more.

Imnotmyself Wed 27-Jul-16 13:32:38

I'm already 20 weeks. I went to bpas a few weeks ago. I did not find out I was pregnant until 9 weeks. When the bpas lady described 'rods in the cervix' it made me feel physically sick. I have more or less decided to request 4.5 days condensed into 4 at work, so that I get paid more hours than I need childcare. I currently work 3 days. Childcare costs have just hit rock bottom as my second daughter is at preschool but they will go up again for her as well if I up my working hours, but hte extra income will mean about the same disposable income as we have now... although I guess food bills and things will increase too, so not as much really. Maybe I will get more in tax credits. My dh made it very clear he wanted to stop at 2 kids. He finds it all exhausting. As do I, but till now I have absolutely loved being a mummy and thought it was what defined me. I now realise that we had moved on from the baby phase and I was enjoying having a social life. I feel like I've trapped myself and I don't know how to make myself look forward to the future. I worry that I will resent this wee one. She is not entirely accidental. I had always wanted three and after last year's MC I became utterly obsessed by it, but as the GP said I am already older than my mother was when she had menopause, so I guess deep down I did not expect this to happen. I was grieving for an MC that I now see was the universe telling me that my family was complete already. I didn't listen to my dh, I didn't listen to the universe, my mum or any of my friends many of whom did not directly warn against but made many 'well at my age and with no support I am happy wtih two' type comments. I think I have lost my mind.

DelphiniumBlue Wed 27-Jul-16 19:30:41

Well at 20 weeks its more or less a done deal, isn't it?
Stop beating yourself up. You decided to get pregnant, ( and I did exactly the same thing after a miscarriage, I do understand how strong the urge is) and DH presumably went along with it. You say he made it very clear that he wanted to stop at 2, but you are upduffed, by him, so I'd say that wasn't very clear at all. If he didn't want another baby, he should have used contraception. He is just as responsible as you for this. I don't know if he's putting the blame on you, or if you've taken it upon yourself, but this is a joint responsibility.
The universe is not telling you anything. Miscarriages happen, there's no great plan, your future is not set in stone.
You clearly wanted this baby so just go with it. Yes it will be hard for the first few years, but it is manageable, and it is happening. Don't waste your time with regrets and " what its", you are where you are and start planning what you can do to make this more manageable. 3 is a challenge, but can be fun. I call number 3 my bonus baby, he's 15 now, and so lovely, I've had so much pleasure from him, in a way I appreciated him more because I knew what I was doing, and I knew at 41 I would be very unlikely to have more.
I don't think your gp sounds very helpful - if your mum did go through menopause by the time she was 40, that's really unusual, and not really relevant to anything, anyway!
Do you know anyone else who had 3 DC? It might be worth talking to them, seeing how they manage. With decent time management, it is doable. I do understand what you mean about going back to the baby stage, but its really not for long. And older DC do help entertain the youngest, you don't spend so much time entertaining the baby because there's stuff happening all the time.
If you're going to have this baby, you need to embrace it, and start preparing.

Keep posting, I think lots of us here understand how equivocal you are feeling, but really, it seems to me that you have already made the decision to go ahead, and now its a question of how to make the best of it.

Mythreeknights Mon 01-Aug-16 19:11:13

I would echo Delphinium but also remind you that the baby phase is so short (I know at the time it feels like ages). In a blink of an eye they are flicking food off their spoons onto the floor and babbling at you and then they are toddling around exploring everywhere.
Friends of mine had kids quite late - he's now 51, she's 45 and their youngest is 5. The kids keep them young, they are active and busy and their third really makes the family dynamic work brilliantly. Good luck OP but do see a counsellor - it does sound on paper like you might have antenatal depression.

MotherofPearl Mon 01-Aug-16 19:35:48

OP, I just wanted to offer you sympathy for your situation. I'm 42 and had my third DC 3 months ago. I really wanted 3 too, but have had moments of ambivalence since she was born, for some of the same reasons as you (worrying about impending childcare costs, worrying how we're going to manage the work and exhaustion once my maternity leave is over etc), BUT - I do not regret having her for a moment. As a PP said, 3 DCs make a lovely family dynamic, and seeing the older two (8 and 4) with their baby sister is truly a joy for me. I hope you are able to make peace with your

Missgraeme Mon 01-Aug-16 19:42:49

I had number 11at 43. Neither dh or I have any family besides my ten kids and our baby. . Life is great. I felt truly blessed to be able to have another at my age!! Ttc again but miscarried last month at 8 weeks. I am 45 now so maybe my time is up! Congratulations I am sure it will all be fab!!

Owllady Mon 01-Aug-16 19:50:21

Slightly different situation as I wasn't forty, but I had an unplanned third when mine were 8&6 and I was 10+ weeks when I realised I'd been feel sick etc so had better test
I was a complete headcase tbh. I think I coped with it because I treated every day as it came and was in total denial for alot of it.
It all worked out in the end
Why not go to your GP and ask if there is any talking type help you can get? Or vent here, if it helps?
You'll get through it. I think we look at other people and think they have perfect lives but it's usually a front. Other people are muddling through like we are

DiggersRest Tue 02-Aug-16 13:46:13

Are you feeling any better a few days on OP?

Imnotmyself Mon 08-Aug-16 14:24:09

I'm not feeling any better. Dropped my two girls off at Holiday Club today and felt sad that I couldn't be more enthusiastic about what is a bit of a first for the three-year old - it's the first time she gets to go to After School Club with her big sister. If they were definitely my only two I could have had a bittersweet moment about them growing up and gaining independence. As it is I felt guilt that maybe in years to come I will be taking them round to a variety of friends houses rather than pay for the After School Club that my eldest really enjoys. A friend who is a GP keeps assuring me that this is Depression and should lift when the baby arrives. I just hope she is right. Catastrophising is what she calls it. I just think I came to the conclusion that I was happy as a middle-aged mum of two just a a bit too late and discovered this pregnancy simultaneously with telling friends that I could no longer see the appeal of another baby.

Imnotmyself Mon 08-Aug-16 14:25:02

I know I need to come to terms and get on with preparing, but all I want to do at the moment is lie in a darkened room and pray that this situation is all a bad dream which I am about to wake up from...

Dozer Mon 22-Aug-16 22:55:02

I'm really sorry you're finding things so hard at the moment, and hope you're getting good support in RL flowers

Imnotmyself Mon 03-Oct-16 16:33:01

Still not coping with this pregnancy at all. Hope I don't hate this baby for ever. It is not her fault that her mother is not able to make rational decisions...

HelsinkiLights Mon 03-Oct-16 16:55:45

Myself have you seen your GP since you last posted? How many weeks are you?

Imnotmyself Tue 04-Oct-16 11:27:13

I've been referred to a Mental Health OT by my GP and I've also discovered I can get BUPA counselling over the phone through work - so I am doing that as well. I am 31 weeks now - hoping and praying for some sort of divine intervention - but the guilt if that actually came about would be immense. The relief would also be immense to be fair. Counselling and OT are to some extent helpful but really I just wish I could turn the clock back and have someone give me a shake and tell me that hormones after miscarriage can be very misleading - I probably needed help for low mood / depression in January - but I thought I needed to replace the dead baby - which I now realise I probably did not really want either....

HelsinkiLights Wed 05-Oct-16 20:32:58

Glad you're getting some help. I'm going to ask you a question now, how did you really feel when you got pregnant last time & how many weeks were you when you lost the baby? I know this also sounds a bit daft but were you actively ttc or was it a case of subconsciously throwing caution to the wind? Do you think you are frightened of loving this baby in case it all goes wrong? And I really don't mean to sound insensitive but what made you continue with the pregnancy when you found out?
I understand that you probably won't want to answer these questions on this thread so I'm happy if you want to pm me.
Finally just to let you know I had antenatal depression too but for different reasons & came through it with NHS support.

Imnotmyself Mon 10-Oct-16 10:45:18

That's ok, I've asked myself the same questions over and over again. It was a bit unfortunate in that with the one I lost, I did a pregnancy test and then started to bleed at work about three hours later. I remember having mixed emotions when I found out I was pregnant with that one, mainly I thought 'oh shit, I have to get through the birth' but I had not had time to really let it all sink in. When I started to bleed I was really disappointed and upset, so I thought - oh - I really do want this baby. Now looking back I think it is just the natural response to losing a baby. Had I had a week I think I would have felt relief at the bleeding. I guess at the beginning of this year I was really keen to conceive because I thought it was my last chance, but I was also having some degree of counselling and had a sudden light-bulb moment that another baby was not what I wanted and I knew my dh was really not in favour. I did not feel able to terminate this one though because I am one of three and always had it at the back of my mind that I would have three children. Also, when I told my dh that I did not want this one and would like a termination he was very much against - on the basis that in years to come I would regret it and blame him for letting me go ahead. He now says that I was not definite enough in how I put this across to him - and that he felt he was being asked to make the decision for me. A big issue for me is that my mother is hugely against abortion and regards it as murder. So, it would have been difficult for me to live with that given my upbringing. Once I had got pregnant with this one it does feel to me that I was 'damned if you do, damned if you don't'.

Imnotmyself Mon 10-Oct-16 16:40:51

Helsinki: you mentioned that you had antenatal depression and got through with NHS support. What support did you get? I'm not sure whether I have depression or not, my GP told me it was more like grief- grief for the miscarriage and also grief for the family of four and the lifestyle that we had that is now gone for ever.

HelsinkiLights Fri 21-Oct-16 19:03:42

Sorry Myself I've been a bit tied up this last few days so I will pm you over the weekend or by Tuesday at the latest. Will that be ok with you?

Goodmum1234 Fri 11-Nov-16 20:49:13

How are you doing Imnotmyself? X

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