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How do I talk to DP about wanting to start trying for a baby?(24 Posts)
This is an emotional topic for me due to years of believing I wasn't good enough/didn't deserve to have a family of my own, so please be gentle!
I really need some advice about the best way to discuss with DP that I want to start trying for a baby asap. For a bit of background...we've been together for 2 years and living together for more than half of that. I am 37 years and have no children. My DP is much younger than me. I know some people will judge me/us on that, but we are genuinely happy and in love. He is the best partner I have had by some considerable margin.
We've discussed children and marriage and he says they are both things he wants us to do. Recently though my desire to have a baby has started to overwhelm me to the point where it is leading to depression. I am attending counselling for this, and my counsellor has helped me identify how important it is for my own emotional well being to confront the issue. It also goes without saying that my age is a massive concern. I worry EVERY day that I've left it too late to have a child.
I've booked a private fertility test for three months time as I really need to know what I'm dealing with. I've been told coming off the pill in advance will give the clearest results. Therefore it's become a conversation that urgently needs to be a had...I just don't know how to raise it. Years of emotional abuse in previous relationships has really damaged me with regards to this subject. I feel sick with anxiety and terror at the thought of even voicing my feelings. What do I do?
I should add my DP has always been very mature and understanding in other discussions. I've no actual evidence to back up my belief he will react badly. It's all down to previous conditioning that I don't feel able to over come.
That's the trouble though. I find it almost impossible to discuss such serious matters without getting incredible defensive, overwrought and upset. I've basically been conditioned my whole life to believe that my feelings aren't really important.
He works really long hours too, and it's not something I want to raise when he's feeling tired, or not at this best. I can barely think straight for worrying about the best time to discuss it and ruminating on the conversation.
If it was me, I think I would approach it by explaining to my partner that you want to have some fertility tests done and that means that you will have to come off the pill. That should then lead to a discussion about how to approach contraception in the intervening period, or indeed whether, if you both want to have a child, whether this might be a time to try without contraception until it is time for your test.
What is the worst thing that can happen with this discussion? If you find he isn't ready, and you really are, then you might have to consider your ongoing relationship. But if you really want this, you need to know one way or the other.
Can your counsellor discuss with you how to approach this? If so many other things have been achieved, then this is another step in the process of getting to where you need to be to feel you have fulfilled something you need to.
That's really good advice Triliteral. I think mentioning the fertility testing first and then seeing where that conversation leads is a gentler way for both of us.
What's the worst thing that can happen? Him not being ready yet and me having to deal with the implications I suppose. Then again, leaving things as they are just isn't an option. It's making me so unhappy. I'd happily hang fire for a few more years if it wasn't for the deafening ticking of my biological clock! I don't have that luxury though sadly.
My counsellor has given some excellent advice, but it's mainly centred around how to see my own feelings on the subject. Perhaps asking her more for more practical tips would be a good idea.
It's agonising not knowing what will happen. I probably sounds totally OTT about it, but years of negative experiences have seriously left their mark on me.
How much younger is he? Is he of an age where he is likely to not want children yet?
If you've discussed having children then he must, surely, know that it will have to be sooner rather than later?
He's early twenties ImperialBlether. I know it's a really big age gap and I even agree myself that it's an age where few men would be wanting to have a child.
That said, we have discussed it and he's said he's on the same page. He's no idiot, so he knows I haven't got forever. I suspect in an ideal world he would prefer to wait a couple more years though. I would be fine with that if I were younger, but the worry around not been able to conceive is horrendous right now.
Of course I have to respect his wishes either way, and act accordingly if he says no. The thought terrifies me though.
I thought of the letter idea jonsnow (love the name btw) It seems a bit unfair to do that though really. Like I say, he's not the dismissive or hard to talk to type. The issues around this are all mine.
I fully understand the idea that it is agonising not knowing what will happen, but I try to rationalise my way through what might happen and prepare myself. It may be more comfortable to live in hope than to face reality, but ultimately the reality is still there, whether you see it or leave yourself in the dark.
If it's any help, most times the resulting discussion isn't nearly as awful as I have feared. But yes to asking the counsellor if she has any practical advice.
He's aware of your age, and presumably of the biological fact that you don't have the luxury of time on your side when it comes to getting pregnant, especially if you want more than one child. So, I'd be surprised if this conversation came as a shock to him. He might even be considering raising the issue himself.
Just because he's mature doesn't mean he knows fully of the time frame. I learnt yesterday that my own BIL who has a decade on your BF, thinks the "cut off" for conception is 45! He was quite taken aback when I said that it was 41/42, maaaaybe 43 if you're damn lucky.
That said, you may have a couple more years than you think. Not much help to someone getting depressed though, I realise. But don't just assume he knows as much as you do. I guarantee he doesn't.
The best advice I can give to you (as someone who conceived at 39 & 41) is to arm yourself with as much information about your fertility as possible. For example, blood tests showed I wasn't ovulating which was a terrible shock. Luckily it was fixable but had I not got tested I'd have wasted time I didn't have. So being practical and sensible and to a certain extent clinical is essential at this age.
Also bear in mind TTC isn't easy. You pee on ovulation sticks every night, you take supplements, you have a distinctly unsexy shagging schedule. It can squeeze the romance out of a relationship very fast. So make sure you're rock solid before you try, and he's 100% as committed as you are.
Could you do some practise roleplays with your counsellor? You be you, and get him/her to act out the reactions that you're most fearful of, and the reactions that you genuinely think you're likely to get. You can then talk through the "fallout" of any negative reactions.
I've only been able to see myself with one biological child. I would really like to foster in the future though (which my DP is agreeable with) I've wanted to foster for years, but never been in the right circumstances.
NinaNeener. Can I ask at what age you found out you weren't ovulating? I've worried for years that my fertility might not be the best. I've always had short periods (3 days max usually) and they are none existent atm anyway from being on mini pill for years. I really feel getting tests done is the right way to go. You are totally right that being practical and sensible is essential at this point
I'd never considered the TTC angle (apart from the angle that I might not be able to get pregnant) We have really regular sex anyway, so hopefully it won't be too awful? Unless just the knowledge you are TTC makes it different? Sorry for all the questions!
Roleplay with the counsellor might be a good idea Pocket Saviour. In fact I might even write down my own imagined responses for DP and learn my answers to them by heart.
Wow, that really is clinical isn't it?
Oh and I'm 100% sure he doesn't know much about baby making practicalities. I wouldn't be surprised if he thinks the cut off is 45 as well!
Not that I could blame him. I've been in blissful (deliberate?) ignorance myself until very recently. Mainly because I'd given up hope on the idea of motherhood.
Hi, I only found out after 6 months with no success, and I had been lurking on the Conception board here (Excellent) for several months and wanted to outrule the fundamental things that could be the cause. It was an easy fix in my case as I had no other issues. Just not enough progesterone to ovulate basically. I took shitloads of supplements to boost it and it worked. Its fascinating to see how many hormonal factors are at play to make pregnancy occur and then to make it stick. Any imbalance can be a killer. But the Conception board is amazing in helping to clarify it. I was practically an amateur endocrinologist there for a while!
At the moment you have sex because you want to. Because you're up for it. Now imagine having sex when you dont much fancy it, you're stressed at work, you're knackered, you're a bit depressed and anxious and he looks knackered too. But the sticks say you're ovulating in the next 24 hrs so you have to grab your chance! It still should be nice of course because you love each other, but its a very different vibe when you're not burning to jump his loins. And when he looks like he'd much rather be watching House of Cards.
Hi pesky. I was in your exact position about 12 years ago. I was 37, my partner of about three years was 27, and the baby klaxon had just gone off in my head. Previously I hadn't been bothered about having a family, and suddenly it was all I could think about. I was SO NERVOUS about bringing it up with him. What if he says no? What then?
I spent the whole of a holiday in Barcelona worrying how/when/if to raise the question, then finally blurted it out on our last night. He was pretty brutal - it was too early for him. There was lots else he wanted to do, etc. It was devastating. BUT, I decided to give him six months to come round to the idea.
In the event, a friend of his (who had recently had a baby) pointed out to DP that if he wanted children, and he wanted to have them with me, and if we didn't start soon it might not happen, then his timeframe wasn't really top priority. So he came round! Admittedly, I did then go on to have four miscarriages and then 18 months of non-conception, but now we have our fantastic 7yo son, and are still together.
Your feelings count and you matter. It is pointless to do someone else's thinking for them before even communicating your wants, needs or feelings.
Whether he is tired from work or not is irrelevant, your needs matter too. But yes, choose a good time and just say, you'd like to start trying for a family. If he is not ready or says no or puts it off for more years, you may have to leave him but you have to see what he says first.
You should have the conversation asap as time is ticking. I knew at 37 I wanted a family. I had 3 day periods too. I started using ovulation strips, went on a fitness drive and cleaned my diet right up. I got pregnant almost immediately. But - it has been a nightmare pregnancy with hyperemesis, SPD and other issues. You need a strong supportive partner to cope and get through it, especially so if it becomes a difficult pregnancy.
Are short periods a sign of low or declining fertility?
I'm really glad it all worked out for you Nina. I will have to look at the conception board. It sounds a good place to start😊 Your story has made me even more determined to get the tests done though.
I hear what you're saying about TTC. I can imagine ovulation sticks are not the biggest turn on for a man. Fortunately DP is always up for it due to being a young stripling. So hopefully that will work in my favour.
Herbaceous: I'm happy to hear it worked out for you in the end. Your DPs initial reaction is pretty much my worst nightmare though. I would be devastated. The difficult pregnancy issue really worries my too. I'm fit and healthy in general, but definitely feel aches and twinges more than at 34. It's another reason for wanting to get on with it tbh!
MusicIsMedicine: The belief that my needs don't matter as much is one I am currently working on with my counsellor. I also have a dreadful habit of deciding what the other person thinks before they've even spoken.
I really do need to address all the angles with him. Perhaps I should write a list? It might sound mad, but at least I can refer to it if I become over emotional. Which I know I probably will...
The man doesn't need to see the sticks. You just pee on one every day.
Your self esteem is so low.
What is so wrong with having or expressing feelings? Or becoming emotional? It's perfectly natural to feel emotional, especially about wanting a baby. You are exceptionally hard on yourself. You're a person, not a robot.
I found out from using the sticks that I ovulate late in my cycle. Sometimes I ovulated twice!
Start taking folic acid now whatever you do. My cycles were irregular. I think what helped me to get preg so quickly at 38 was that I had quit smoking/drinking, went on a healthy eating rampage and the real key, Melatonin, which sorted out my periods.
Just come out and say it without a big buildup, how does he feel about trying for a baby, starting in next 3 months?
MusicIsMedicine. My self esteem is shockingly low. I don't think I'd realised just how low it is until I started to go to therapy.
I am incredibly hard on myself. Something else that I am working through in therapy. It's almost as if it's fine for other people to have feelings, but not me iyswim? Ironically people always tell me how kind and empathic I am. I just can't apply it to myself. Sadly I think it's the result of a less than ideal childhood, and then two long term relationships were my needs were never really heard. I'm really struggling with it all atm.
I've already started taking folic acid, so that's a good start I don't smoke, and I'm cutting down on drink (DP is mystified as to why) I exercise regularly, eat healthily. I may have to improve that though as I'm a strict vegetarian and not the best cook in the world! I hadn't heard of Melatonin for period regulation? I thought it was primarily for aiding sleep?
I think rather than asking him how he feels, that I'm going to tell him how I feel (terrifying thought) Then I'm going to ensure I have responses for all his likely replies. At the very least I am stopping taking the pill. I want to get these tests done, and I also want to find out where I am with my periods/ovulation. My main worry is how I will react if he says he wants to keep on using condoms for now. I will be so upset and resentful, and I'm not sure how well I will cope with that.
Thank you for your kind input. It is much appreciated.
It will be a big revelation in your life to start building your self esteem and realising that you don't need anyone's permission to feel and express your feelings. Your needs matter and they are just as valid as anyone else's.
Sadly, yes, upbringing can play a key role in our relationship with ourselves. When you are consistently invalidated as a child, it teaches damaging beliefs that you are less worthy than others or others are more important than you. I suggest doing some reading around 'Invalidation' and 'co-dependency' and 'narcissistic parents.'
The melatonin - yes it is mainly positioned as a sleep aid. However what it really does is alter circadian rhythm and my research showed me many, many ways that my circadian rhythm was not operating as it should, my period cycle being part of that. I had to do a lot of reading though.
Hugs to you on this journey. You know what you want now, you play the lead role in creating your life. That means being bold, taking charge and not letting others control your destiny.
You want a baby and time is ticking. So you tell him and either he agrees to start trying or he doesn't, in which case, you decide how you will proceed. If that means starting again, so be it. That's the beauty of taking control of your own choices and path in life.
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