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

don't want to be pregnant with no. 4 aged 40 but not sure I can face TOP

(30 Posts)
alix2525 Tue 15-Nov-16 00:20:07

I'm really in need of advice from people.
I have recently turned 40, have 3 lovely children aged 8,6 and 4 and found out I was pregnant at beginning of Oct.
I'm in a real dilemma - the pregnancy was not planned and I think occurred after a nasty upset tummy thanks to 2 lots of antibiotics not agreeing with my pill.
Haven't slept properly in a month, am horribly emotional and crying all the time at home. Have wished for a miscarriage as awful as that sounds so the decision is taken away from me.
Husband is super supportive and saying he'll go along with whichever decision I make and therein lies the problem - I can't make a decision. He thinks we should go for it, because he thinks that emotionally I won't cope in the long run with having an abortion. I'm not sure - I think I'll be upset and feel guilty as hell and I probably wouldn't really get over it, but I think with time, I'd accept my reasons for doing it and try and forgive myself.
I have days where I think I could cope with 4 but then the next moment, I'm shouting at the kids when they are fighting and think that there's no way I could do this again. I feel so selfish but I'm starting to enjoy the freedom of moving on from babies and toddlers and enjoying doing more things as a family and I worry that another baby will upset the dynamic and reduce the time I have with the other 3. I'm also horribly worried that as I'm older my risks will be increased and I have a fear of something going wrong.
Have spoken to Marie Stopes - had counselling which really just confirmed all the thoughts in my heads. Have written my pros and cons - (mainly all cons) yet when I've attended for treatment, I've bottled out twice as I was so upset. I'm now reaching cut off for medical treatment and have a further appointment booked for Weds. I know it's then or never because I'm terrified at the thought of surgical treatment.
I'd appreciate any thoughts from anyone who may be able to advise or who has been through a similar situation one way or the other and what they did and how they feel about their decision in hindsight.
I can't see there is a right answer to this for me and it feels like I'll be making the decision that I regret least.
Sorry for long rambling post - just feel so desperate.

Underchipsandpeas Tue 15-Nov-16 00:29:26

I really feel for you. But, you've bottled the appointment TWICE, which I think is very telling. If you really didn't want this you would have gone through with it straightaway. I know it's scary to think how will you cope, but remember how when you had just one baby you thought you couldn't love another but you just do it, well I think it's like that.

It's clear you want this baby and you're just scared. Fair enough, it'll pass and will be replaced by a lovely little thing that you'll just love. You've done it 3 times before already! Don't put yourself through years of pain and wondering and guilt when you could have love.

thingsandtings Tue 15-Nov-16 00:30:44

Why would you feel guilty OP? Not wanting another baby doesn't make you selfish. If you don't want another, then don't.

I had a surgical abortion and it was fine. I felt so relieved afterwards. I didn't want a baby so did what I needed to do to not be pregnant. It was quick and painless. I went to Marie stopes and they were great. I felt normal the next day.

I have never felt guilty or selfish for doing so. Ever.

Having children is hard work and babies are awful at the best of times - more so if your heart's not in it I imagine. I can absolutely understand not wanting to do all that again. Four children would be hell for me!

There will be people who say it's a difficult, heart wrenching decision, that they felt guilty after but then that guilt eased. In fact I think society makes women feel they should feel pained and terrible about it. I promise that on the flip side there are a lot of women who have had a termination that have never once wrestled with the decision, that they are pleased to have done so, that are pleased about it

Best of luck

thingsandtings Tue 15-Nov-16 00:33:08

'Don't put yourself through years of pain and wondering and guilt when you could have love.'

Ugh. Awful. Don't listen to that OP. What bullshit. I can assure you that you need not feel any of that if you have a termination and I'm pretty sure three kids and a loving partner gives you plenty of love already flowers

QuestionableMouse Tue 15-Nov-16 00:36:06

Keeping the baby and abortion aren't your only choices. Have you considered adoption?

bellabelly Tue 15-Nov-16 00:42:00

I've never had a termination so I've never had to "wrestle" with this dilemma. But I really feel for you. Not trying to tell you what to do but one thing sticks out for me - you say that you have wished for a miscarriage so that the "decision" was taken out of your hands. BUT in fact you had already made your decision - you were on the pill. You didn't want to be pregnant at this time.

Obviously, preventing a hypothetical pregnancy must feel very different from terminating an actual pregnancy but - if it's the right thing for you and your family - there's no need to feel guilty. You were taking precautions and being responsible - if it weren't for your tummy bug, the chances are that your contraception would have been effective. Please don't beat yourself up any more. Listen to your heart - whatever it is telling you to do.

hoddtastic Tue 15-Nov-16 00:45:58

Another here to say not everyone who has had a TOP is wracked with guilt. I accidentally became pregnant- and so was responsible for sorting out the situation to make me not pregnant. No guilt- am sorry it had to happen but glad I could remedy a situation I had planned and was taking precautions against happening. It was over quickly. Hope you make a decision soon.

alix2525 Tue 15-Nov-16 00:51:40

Thanks for your replies.
The first time I went for the appointment, I had no idea how many weeks I was and the nurse was lovely and could see I was upset so she told me to go away and think and she booked a follow up which got put back a week and was the appt I ran from last week. The weird thing as soon as I ran away, I've panicked then phoned back and made a further appointment but I can't come to a definite decision. The counsellor said I should only go ahead if I'm at least 95 % sure but I'm not sure I'll be that sure of either option.
I'm wishing the situation would go away but obviously I know it won't.
The reason I feel guilty I guess is I look at my kids and can't imagine being without them and I'm finding it hard to separate out my emotions. I know I'm being incredibly irrational, but I feel that if I have an abortion then it'll somehow have a negative impact on the rest of my life or jinx me in someways. (Rational brain knows that isn't true but at the moment, my head is in cloud cuckoo land) I feel stupid and a bit ashamed to be in this situation - I'm 40 and a mum for god's sake, I'm not naive, I feel like an idiot.
It probably hasn't helped trawling the internet at stupid o'clock in the morning and reading awful sounding posts of how awful a medical/surgical termination was and how people felt afterwards.
I know I need to mentally make a decision, stick with it and man up but am struggling.
I know its not just about keeping the baby Vs abortion and that adoption is also an option. Funnily enough that's the one thing I am 100% about and that I couldn't do that.
Is anyone 100% sure when they make the decision to either go through with/abort an unplanned pregnancy. Do we all have doubt?

thingsandtings Tue 15-Nov-16 01:08:47

I think there can be a 'what if' feeling, if not doubt. But that's normal with any decision. But you have to make a decision for NOW. Do what is right for you NOW.

Your life will not be jinxed if you have a TOP. Promise. smile

thingsandtings Tue 15-Nov-16 01:09:25

And yes, of course there are people who are 100% about their decision

thingsandtings Tue 15-Nov-16 01:10:45

...s OP. Lots of them - people just don't talk about it much

And I agree with you - I couldn't do adoption. I'm sure a termination is easier on every level - physical and emotional, for you and your family

OlennasWimple Tue 15-Nov-16 01:17:07

I've had big doubts both with planned pregnancy and with adoption - I agree, it's completely natural with any big decision to have a wobble.

The thing that jumps out for me is that you have twice decided against the procedure: do you think that's because you weren't sure and were jut deferring the decision, or because although your head says that three children is enough you do want to have number four (even unplanned)?

OlennasWimple Tue 15-Nov-16 01:18:05

By adoption, I meant that I'm an adoptive parent as well as a birth parent, BTW, in case of confusion.

alix2525 Tue 15-Nov-16 01:35:45

Olennas Wimple - when my littlest was born/toddler, I really did want a 4th - but as time has gone on, these feelings have gradually faded and hitting 40, I kind of thought that it was time to move on and now this! I have a head/heart dilemma - head says No, heart not sure but wants it all to work out. I have a lot of "What Ifs" about possible outcomes and literally, my thoughts and decisions are swinging wildly from one to the other. I feel like I'm properly messing Marie Stopes about and then feel bad because I'm using up appointments that other ladies may need.
I'm one massive bag of guilt, stress and emotion at the moment.

OlennasWimple Tue 15-Nov-16 01:45:41

Time to be selfish!

I'm sure Marie Stopes are very used to people who are undecided, so try not to worry about that.


angstybaby Tue 15-Nov-16 15:15:48

i felt this way when i got pregnant (by accident) with DC3. when i found out i was pregnant i cried and was terrified about how I would cope. And i won't lie, the pregnancy was horrible (birth was ok) but since he arrived, he's been an easy kid and a little bundle of joy. the other 2 adore him (he's 15mths now). I couldn't imagine life without him. and now he's in nursery and i have a bit of my own life back. babyhood/toddlerhood is tough but also temporary.

that said, it's been hard and i completely understand that you feel you want to enjoy life without nappies, etc. i do too.

I'm not sure this helps but i just wanted to give the perspective of someone who was in the same position and kept the baby.

whatever you do, don't feel guilty. all your reasons for not wanting another baby are perfectly legitimate.

best of luck x

Imnotmyself Tue 15-Nov-16 15:19:01

how old are the older two angstybaby? I'm in a similar position and with the baby due next month, there's no way out for me now, I'm increasingly panicked at the prospect of a third and the financial side is also a massive worry. I fear my mental health will never be the same again.

Mythreeknights Tue 15-Nov-16 19:26:35

I was in the same boat OP. We were using contraception, I discovered I was pg a year ago. My instinct was abortion but the more pg I became, the harder that decision became. My DH, unlike yours, was absolutely against DC4. I knew if I went ahead with the pg, we would need extra help (au pair) as he works long hours and I wouldn't cope on my own. I'd also had a BCC in my previous pg, and was worried that might come back (irrational!). I have no family nearby. I backed out of 1st appt. I yelled at my DH. I cried and cried. I ended up going through with it, at 80% sure it was the right thing to do. I must admit, this last year has been pretty hard. I felt immediate relief, followed by complications from the TOP which lasted 4 months and which required frequent hospital visits. I felt like a murderer. I KNOW many don't, but I did. The worst was coming up to the EDD. I fell apart. But I had other shit going on so that might have contributed to my emotional mess.
I have come to accept my decision, hard as that is. I did the best thing for me at the time, but I do also think with the hormones and emotion I panicked and didn't think things through enough. I don't 'wish' I had a 4th child now, and in fact am so grateful that my life / work / family have continued without the stress of going through birth and newborn period again. But I do think about how it would have been, boy or girl, and how its siblings would have loved it, and how I would have managed. It's the hardest decision I ever made and I couldn't tell you if I made the right one.

alix2525 Tue 15-Nov-16 21:03:03

Thanks again for the further input.

Mythreeknights - do you mind me asking if you had medical or surgical treatment? I'm booked for medical and another of my (long list) of fears is what will happen and the risk of complications now I'm 9weeks. I'm scared of being found out if anything went wrong and I ended up in hospital where I can't hide.
You've been so incredibly brave and honest but if you're anything like me, I can't believe you didn't think things through enough. I've thought of very little else for the last month.
I can't help myself but wonder if it's a boy or girl. My youngest keeps asking for a baby sister which tears at my heart. Bizarrely, my mum made a comment just before I found out along the lines of 'we couldn't cope with a 4th' and that keeps popping into my head.
Angstybaby, I'm glad it worked out for you and no. 3 has fitted in well. Another brave lady making a tough decision.

I have 15 hours before my appointment and I'm just torn....

KateInKorea Tue 15-Nov-16 21:12:03

Screw your Mum!

Have you given yourself permission to have a termination? It is OK to do that. Can you say (out loud) "It is permissible to have a termination", after that you can choose/take ownership of your decision and know you made the best decision you could at the time.

If you would be relieved to miscarry, then it sounds like a TOP is best... except you perhaps think it is something "other people" do, and have never had to think that actually it includes all sorts of people including one like you or me.

MissMargie Tue 15-Nov-16 21:13:20

That would be quite an age gap between the older ones and new baby. That would put me off. Children do so much these days, after school activities etc, someone would miss out, you can't be everywhere at once.

MapMyMum Tue 15-Nov-16 21:26:47

I had a 6 year gap and it was fine, no problems with anyone missing out.

Lokisglowstickofdestiny Tue 15-Nov-16 21:29:24

I found out at 40 that I was pregnant, failure of contraception. I booked a termination, think I was 7 weeks along at the time. Had a really bizarre dream about being pregnant. I couldn't remember the details but it spooked me enough to cancel the appointment. A week or so past and I booked another appointment as I rationalised it was just a dream and I really didn't want another child. Had the medical termination with sedation, it was fine. I don't regret my decision it was the right one for me, I did feel guilty but that feeling has receded as time has gone by. I agree with kate if you are hoping that nature will take the decision for you via a miscarriage it does sound like a termination is the best option.
Whatever you decide I hope it turns out ok for you - take care.

Pikawhoo Tue 15-Nov-16 21:35:50

My mum had a medical termination with a 4th unplanned pregnancy and she was just telling me the other day how painless and easy it had been! She did think long and hard about it (and sometimes wonders what it would have been like to have more children) but says she has no regrets as it was the right thing for her and the existing family.

It's interesting that you haven't gone to the appointment twice, though. I am a big believer in gut feelings. You could try rolling a dice to make the decision and then being very conscious of your gut reaction to it? (e.g. do you feel happy and relieved when it is a Yes or a No?)

dontbesillyhenry Tue 15-Nov-16 21:39:24

What an awful position for you to be in but many of us have been there myself included and had to do what's right. However some things you say like not wanting to go to hospital so nobody knows and mentioning what your mum thinks about you having another child make it seem like outside factors are having far more of an influence on your decision than they should be. It needs to be what you want 100% not your mum, your kids, colleagues or friends

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