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Pregnancy choices

Please help, don't know what to do

23 replies

mangobutter · 29/06/2019 23:11

Unexpectedly pregnant with 2nd DC, we had a 3yo, both in late 30s/early 40s. We've talked about having another but aren't financially stable. DH has bad anxiety/depression and honestly I'm not enjoying our relationship at the moment but he's getting help and I hope that will improve things. He's a sahp and I work ft.

I'm utterly terrified. I found out a week ago and this has honestly been one of the worst weeks of my life. I'm scared of being pregnant and something happening to me so I leave my DH and potentially 2 kids behind with no means of support. I'm scared of life being hard for years and years, it's no walk in the park now due to money being tight, DH's mental health problems, threenager and not having any family support nearby.

But I'm also scared of how I'll feel if I terminate, and scared that this might actually be my one shot at having a second.

My overwhelming feeling is just 'we can't do this' but all tied up in that is bitterness that I really want another child and if it weren't for DH - who is at the root of the main issues - I'd be able to have one. But I would never have planned to put myself in this position, this is the worst decision I've ever had to make.

I feel like such a mess right now and have literally no idea what to do. Both of us are veering wildly between conflicting emotions. But when I've talked about the option of termination DH has said it's more my choice than his and that if it's early enough he probably won't be too upset by it, I appreciate he means it's my choice in that I'm the one who has to go through it physically but I feel so much pressure. It sounds stupid but I just want my mum - even my dad would do at this point. And yet I know their reaction would most likely be that this is a very bad idea and we'd be irresponsible for even considering keeping it.

Any handholding would be so appreciated right now.

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mangobutter · 29/06/2019 23:13

I also feel like I don't want our son to be an only child as he's already finding it hard to cope socially at nursery and staff have commented that he doesn't engage well with other kids. I would never have a child just to provide a sibling but he's asking constantly (which isn't helping me right now!) so it's on my mind too.

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SlinkyDogDash · 30/06/2019 08:15

Sorry you're having a hard time OP. How far along are you? There may be some time to think through your decision. It sounds like you really want a second child but your circumstances are making the decision hard for you. I've heard people say that circumstances are almost never 'perfect' for having a child. Equally I had an abortion because I felt I couldn't cope with another child. It sounds silly but I made a long list of pros and cons to keeping/terminating and that helped with my decision. I hope everything works out for you Flowers

mangobutter · 30/06/2019 08:46

I'm about 5 weeks. As much as I want a second, now I'm actually pregnant (and obviously it's a bit of a shock) I'm feeling like I'm not sure that's even true. I can't decide if it's just the circumstances making me think that or if I'd feel the same even if money etc were no obstacle. But I'm so worried if I terminate I'll regret it and never have a chance at a second at all.

I did some pros and cons to both keeping and terminating, there are more cons to keeping than not, but then also more cons to terminating than not. This is so hard Sad

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FloatingthroughSpace · 30/06/2019 08:55

Well, only you can make that decision.
But some of your thinking seems a bit chaotic, probably because of the situation you are in.
For example, the vast majority of families have 2 (or more) kids, and the mum isn't killed by it. The number of women in the UK who die in pregnancy and childbirth is mercifully low. Of course it does happen, but it's very very rare, so rare that unless you have a pre-existing health condition that increases your risk, it's not a logical or proportionate reason not to have a second child.

If the worst happened and you did die - well, he'd get your death in service benefits, your mortgage paid off if you have one, and maybe sort out some life insurance too? Plus he could get a job, plenty of people do....

mangobutter · 30/06/2019 08:57

Yes, would get death in benefit and I have a small life insurance policy. We rent. I realise my thinking is chaotic, I think I was having a particularly bad night last night. I'm probably catastrophising a lot!

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FloatingthroughSpace · 30/06/2019 10:36

You have time to just think for a week or two. Don't make a hasty decision. Pros and cons, as someone else said.

You would also get child benefits etc as you aren't beyond the 2 child limit.

Could you do it alone if you had to? DC 1 will be entitled to free nursery hours, you will have some mat leave, then dc1 will be ready for school...

mangobutter · 30/06/2019 10:45

Thank you. We're trying to give ourselves space to think but I think I'm using the time to panic instead which isn't helping!

I could do it on my own. My worry is more doing it with DH at the moment in case it makes his mental health worse or in case he doesn't step up to support us. If I was confident he could handle both those things I wouldn't be so torn.

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mangobutter · 30/06/2019 10:47

Even earning at the top end of his earning potential DH wouldn't be able to cover our outgoings alone. Sure he can get a job and would have to hope that Universal Credit would cover a bit of the shortfall.

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FloatingthroughSpace · 30/06/2019 11:29

But mango, I don't understand why you can't both work? Why does it have to be one or other of you?

When my kids were little, I always worked. I went down to part time and the kids went to nursery 4 days a week. When both were in nursery after paying fees I was clearing about 200 quid a month. But a) 200 quid is 200 quid that we wouldn't have otherwise had, and b) it meant that I was accruing pension contributions, continuous service, and continuing in my career.

It seems like you feel the only option is for one of you to be a SAHP but I don't understand why? And with a 3.5 year age Gap you would only be paying one set of nursery/ childminder fees at any one time, which is great. Did dh have these MH issues before he became a SAHP? I think that is potentially quite an isolating position for anyone who is not robust mentally, especially a man as it's harder to join playgroups etc and feel properly included.

QuestionableMouse · 30/06/2019 11:34

I don't think you should rush into a decision. Give yourself time to get over the shock.

For what it's worth (though I'm speaking from experience) you'd probably feel a lot of relief if you weren't trying to cope with you DPs problems too.

LizzieMacQueen · 30/06/2019 11:38

What kind of medication is your DH on? Is it time for a review of that if he's not coping with the big things?

titchy · 30/06/2019 11:48

If things are tight financially it's a good gap to have.... older one getting free nursery hours while your at home with baby, then starts school when you go back to work, so worse case scenario if dh cant step up or is working PT is one lot of childcare.

mangobutter · 30/06/2019 12:16

Sorry @FloatingthroughSpace I was talking about mat leave only. Whether he stayed home when I went to work or worked part time we'd be fine with two, it would be tight but manageable.

DH has recently changed medication and is starting CBT soon. I think he's doing all he can and am hopeful the talking therapy will massively help.

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mangobutter · 30/06/2019 12:26

Although by tight I mean we'd only manage if still entitled to the Universal Credit we currently receive!

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titchy · 30/06/2019 12:33

Sounds like you need to work out exactly what income you'd get on ML then and take it from there.

mangobutter · 30/06/2019 12:57

I've had a look on both entitledto and turn2us. Usually the former is fairly accurate for us. Both say that if I were on SMP and DH not working (assuming he struggled to find work) we'd receive UC to a level which would make it definitely doable, plus with a small amount of savings put aside we'd be able to top up for a few months and cover emergencies.

Equally if he was working, UC would be reduced but would continue to top us up to an equivalent level.

I just don't know how reliable those figures are. But then I guess lots could change in 8 months! And in the longer term I guess it means many more years until youngest is in school of it being very tight, even if DH were working ft. I'm okay with sacrificing, he finds it harder (we've always been poor but he had a much more comfortable upbringing than me so I think he has a level of frustration with it that I just don't).

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LizzieMacQueen · 30/06/2019 13:07

Re medication; once the new one settles in then perhaps your DH will see things more rationally. MH is hard for men to admit to so it's great that he's being proactive (though my own experience of CBT was it was a bit inadequate).

Sounds like financially things would be manageable - no reason not to trust the software.

mangobutter · 04/07/2019 13:27

The software was right! I spoke to Universal Credit and got full information about our entitlement. It'll be tight, but doable. My outlook has now totally changed, I feel a sudden connection with the idea of a baby and I want to proceed. Just need to see what DH wants to do - I have appointments booked with both Marie Stopes and the midwife next week so we need to make a call over the weekend. Thank you so much all for your support! x

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LizzieMacQueen · 04/07/2019 14:23

That's good @mangobutter. Thanks for the update.

caaamhs · 14/02/2023 00:37

I thought I'd come back and give an update on this (I deleted my account in the meantime, hence the name change) in case it's helpful for anyone else.

We proceeded with the pregnancy. My catastrophising may have been prophetic as I was diagnosed with cancer while pregnant! I had the baby early and had treatment throughout 2020, only recently finished.

Financially things have been just fine, thanks to sick pay instead of maternity pay, and lockdown which meant we weren't spending as much.

Our DC2 is an absolute delight, totally different to their big brother (who's now on the referral pathway for ASD so I chuckled to read my earlier comments about him not engaging socially at nursery..). Was an utter pleasure as a baby, now a bonkers but lovely 3yo.

Issues with DH continue and we've been through the mill with social services multiple times in the last 3 years which hasn't been fun but that's unrelated.

I will say it's fucking hard work with two (don't know how people cope with more) and in the light of my diagnosis, I do sometimes wish I didn't have the additional worry of something happening to me and leaving DH with two kids to worry about rather than one. But overall, our decision was 100% the right one.

heartbroken22 · 14/02/2023 09:42

@caaamhs I'm so sorry you had a tough pregnancy with the cancer etc but I'm so happy for you and you're bundle of joy! Thanks for updating and being so brave. It's really nice when people come back and let you know how it went. Here's to more happiness for you ❤️💐

heartbroken22 · 14/02/2023 09:42



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caaamhs · 14/02/2023 09:43

Thanks @heartbroken22 😊

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