Can anyone offer me a bit of clarity?(10 Posts)
Hello. Sorry I have lurked for a while and this is going to be quite long. I don't know what I expect of you wise ladies, but I hope that it will help to get it off my chest.
I found out recently that I am pg. DP and I already have DS, who is a joy and was a semi-surprise in himself! Although we weren't actively TTC we weren't actively preventing it either and we were both excited when we found out. The surprise bit comes from the fact that we're both a bit older - DP is 45 and I was 38 when I had DS. DP has older DSs from a previous relationship.
This time - genuine contraception failure. I'm now well over 40 and honestly didn't expect one split condom to result in a pregnancy, especially as I was just getting back to normal after having had the contraceptive injection since DS's birth. But, this is the situation we are in.
I am utterly conflicted. I lurch between excitement at the thought of a sibling for DS, to complete denial that it will ever happen. There is lots in our life which is in no way ideal for a second DC (just like everyone else, I'm sure) and some things I am genuinely unwilling to change. For example, we have a lovely 3-bed house which is exactly how I want it, with a nice bedroom for DS and a gorgeous guest room for visitors (of which we have quite a lot as we live 100+ miles from family). I work FT, which would have to change and I would find it difficult to return FT to my role later. I enjoy our family time as it is and I feel it provides a good balance, with a chance for baby-free time for both of us. This would change with 2 children.
But then I think about DS. This is his only chance for a brother or sister (well, one around his age anyway, his half-brothers are much older). I have a sister and simply cannot imagine life without her. We are friends, confidantes, allies and sometimes enemies - none of which I would change for the world. Would I ever get over the guilt of taking that relationship away from my son?
DP is utterly horrified. He suffers with rather fragile mental health and he says that he is already 'hanging by a thread' to wellness. I don't know how true this is because he has been known to exaggerate at times, but it is certainly true that he does get depressed sometimes. He will not go to the GP, and generally manages to control it with meditation, exercise and herbal remedies. He is vehemently opposed to ADs, despite the fact that the last time he was on them was over 16 years ago and I'm sure things have moved on a great deal since then.
Although he has said that whatever I decide, he will support me 100% - and I believe him; he is many things but he is not a quitter - I simply cannot ignore that he really, REALLY doesn't want another DC. I worry about what another child would do to our relationship; equally I worry about how I would feel if the reason I did not have this child was predominantly because of him. But then I worry if another DC really would push him over the edge?
I have just read the information the GP gave me yesterday (I have asked to be referred for TOP even though I am as yet undecided) and it has worried me even more about what I would need to put myself through if that's the path I choose.
As I have said, I am genuinely and completely conflicted. It feels wrong to think about terminating. It feels terrifying to the pit of my stomach to think about another DC. I know no-one can tell me what to do for the best. I'm just hoping someone can help me to clarify all the jumbled up
panic thoughts running through my head.
Don't know if I can help in anyway but didn't want to read and run. What a difficult situation to be in. I think you have to focus on two things: Firstly, IF you terminated, could you cope with the aftermath of feelings that you may have of you felt it wasn't what you had honestly wanted? Secondly, will your DH be pro-active in seeking help so that he CAN support you and the family? The other concerns about siblings, houses etc I think are secondary to those two issues. That's all I can offer - hope someone more helpful comes along but I hope whatever you decide works out ok
What was DP's attitude and mh like when you had DS? Did he have similar reservations, and what was it like during your pgy and after DS was born?
He didn't have the same reservations at all, despite never being over-keen on any more DC. He was brilliant during my pgy and after DS was born. I had quite a complicated birth and he was absolutely brilliant, both with him and with practicalities.
Hmm. Being depressed is not a good state to make decisions in - I have had to train myself not to make major decisions when I am down. But your DP doesn't have that luxury.
I can't help but say that I think the right medication might help him. It does me. You are right, there are a huge variety of ADs now, for this reason it can take time to find the right one, but for the same reason he is much more likely to find one that suits his physiology. Some get side effects for a few weeks, and the meds usually take a few weeks to kick in.
The MH Board is a good bunch of people, your DP could find support there if he could bring himself to try a more pharmaceutical approach, or even if not.
All of which is not helping you with your decision, perhaps? Has DP told you straight out he thinks you should terminate? (sorry to be blunt)
BTW I was first prescribed Seroxat (an SSRI like Prozac) in 1998, 16 years ago. It had only recently become available. I'd been depressed before, and had tried tri-cyclics, and something else I can't remember. Both made me feel emotionally numb, and I stopped taking them, preferring to feel something.
The Seroxat made me feel normal! It was like a miracle, and for me the only side effect was a little nausea in the first week. I am on a tiny maintenance dose now.
Thank you, Shimmering, I have tried to make him see that he doesn't have all the info on ADs, despite the fact that he does plenty of his own research. I work in medicine and I know he needs to give it a try. But he won't hear it. Maybe he's going to have to hear it.
And thank you fairylights too; it does help to get the concerns in some sort of priority.
The way I see it if you chose TOP you would be sacrificing your DS's chance to have a sibling for a house and to pander to your DPs desire to avoid dealing with his depression. Is that the case or am I being too harsh?
While I think my advice is possibly unfair to your DH and could ultimately cost you your marriage, for your own sake I would advise you to take your DH out of the equation and make this decision based on what you want.
Don't allow yourself to be swayed by guilt over your DH's ability to handle your decision, or your DS's opportunity to have a sibling (you don't miss what you don't have and there's no guarantee they'd get on anyway). Make this about you. It's the best way you have of making a decision you are happy to live with for the rest of your life.
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