I'm 39 and just found out I'm pregnant! Totally unplanned.

I'm 39 and just found out I'm pregnant! Totally unplanned. (I've officially answered my own question for years...you CAN get pregnant during your period!) We have been happily married for 14 years; have a 12 year old and a 7 year old. Life is great and kids maintain busy social schedules, school, etc. We have a nice balance going. I'm just not ready to do this again. I know what we're in for. I can't see past the sleepless nights, terrible twos, ear infections, not to mention giving birth and breastfeeding! Also, I am getting back surgery this summer and have been on pain meds for about six months now. I feel unhealthy. (Obviously if I keep the baby, surgery will have to be postponed.) When I took the pregnancy test today, I had mixed emotions. My first thought was "I always wanted a November baby"...then fear and dread set in immediately. My husband is happy about the news, but will support any decision I make. I've made two appointments, each one taking us in a different direction. One appointment is for the abortion pill and one is for my regular ob/gyn for a pregnancy check up. I have 1-2 weeks to decide, since I'm only four weeks now. I can't help but feel sad to think I may be robbing my children of another sibling and the joys of a baby in the house. I just feel SO old, tired and unhealthy to be doing this now. I worry I may produce an unhealthy child. I'm not physically or emotionally able to handle this. My husband thinks differently. I'm so undecided, so scared. I can't believe I'm 39, pregnant and writing this today. Editor’s note: Thanks for writing in…It’s plain from what you’ve written that you are being pulled in two different directions. One part of you is listing all the negatives – the various things you’ll have to cope with if you have the baby, the interruption to your present lifestyle, your age and health, all the hard work; and the other part of you is sensing the deeper meaning of what it means to have a baby – a new brother or sister, the joys of being a family together, your husband being a dad again, you being a mum again. It’s important that you don’t make this decision hurriedly. And remember you are affected now by tiredness and hormones. You are also under pressure from fear about how you’ll cope and whether it’ll be a healthy baby. But I sense ambivalence about you and you need to spend some time thinking this through. Many women report that their heads tell them one thing – that it’s logical not to pursue the pregnancy under these circumstances – but their hearts have a different message. Their hearts speak of conscience, instinct and beliefs. Your first thought about a November baby was an instinctive heart response. What did you think about termination before you found yourself in this situation? Were you comfortable with it? Have you found yourself instinctively nurturing the pregnancy – not drunk alcohol, for example? What do you believe about being a mum? What do you believe about when life begins? These are all questions you need to ask yourself honestly before you proceed as many women find that these thoughts come back and bite them if they don’t consider them beforehand. It’s far easier for circumstances to change (or at least for us to adapt to them) than to change the pain in our hearts. You can explore all the options, your feelings and get all the information you need about the choices open to you by visiting your nearest centre, or ringing the helpline for a chat, or using Online Advisor. Let me encourage you to make an informed decision, not one based on fear (which is simply the anticipation of future pain) or panic or just plain tiredness. There’s more to pregnancy and abortion than that. We’ll be thinking of you.

This story was sent in on 18/03/2009

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