I’d always said I didn’t want children and avoided them, but wasn’t sure if that was down to the termination or my mum saying she’d wasted her life having kids.

By anonymous on 21/08/2009
Hi, not really sure where to start and crying as I write this. I found out this week that I’m pregnant (3weeks late and I am 41). I had a termination about 10yrs ago, wrong person and wrong time, and then didn’t meet my husband and marry until I was 40. In the meantime, all my check ups showed extremely low egg reserve and predicted I would find it nigh impossible to get pregnant naturally and would have early menopause. I’d always said I didn’t want children and avoided them, but wasn’t sure if that was down to the termination or my mum saying she’d wasted her life having kids. Anyway, I didn’t entertain even thinking about whether I wanted them as it looked like I couldn’t have them (a bit like asking a disabled person if they want to run a marathon) and now here I am after one intercourse on day 9.

I have a good job which I’ve worked all my life for. I do very long days with lots of travel and fear this would be the end of my career progression at my age. Before doing the test I was adamant I didn’t want a kid. I was strangely calm and accepting for about 8 hours after the test thinking I’d keep it, but 48 hours later, I’m now really depressed, can’t think straight and just wish it’d disappear so I can get my life back. I don’t feel like I want a child, am already hating my hubby for not getting fat and the people at my gym for being free, but don’t feel I can go through another termination.

I am finding it very hard to talk to my partner. I’ve clammed up. He’s 10 years younger and would like a child but having seen me in this state says he just wants his wife back and will support me whatever. My friends who had kids years ago say they screw your life up and can’t wait for them to leave. I feel like the whole decision is on me and am very angry with medical professionals for their prognosis. I would never have taken such risks otherwise. I’d imagined us half trying for two years, nothing happening and then, ‘Oh well, it wasn’t to be. I’m also aware though that this is the last chance saloon for having kids at my age, that I’ve been having tests to check my fertility levels for years. It’s a virtual immaculate conception given the amount of time we actually see each other. So many around me can’t conceive and consequently am torn. I feel like I should feel lucky that I managed to meet my partner and conceive so late in life. What does this all mean? And as I’m fairly late now how can I make a quick decision that I can stick to and be happy with before all the deadlines run out. By the way I live in France and have no support networks/friends here. Thank you!

Editor’s note: Thanks for sharing your story with us…Logically, there seem to be several reasons why ending the pregnancy would be advantageous: continuing with your career, life carrying on as it was before, and not risking being unhappy with a child, as your friends and your mother suggest. But something appears to be stopping you, and I don’t think you know why. For many women facing an unplanned pregnancy, it feels urgent to get back to what was before, especially if circumstances make it difficult to have a baby. In our heads, we rationalise why ending the pregnancy is the best solution – and it often makes sense. That’s why so many women feel relief immediately afterwards, because the pressure has been lifted. In our hearts, however, there are other deeper things at work, which you need to take account of in order to make a positive decision. As the saying goes, ‘The heart has its reasons about which the mind knows nothing’. These are the reasons of your conscience, instinct and beliefs.

For example, you may have already tried to look after yourself physically so that the pregnancy is not damaged, such as drinking less alcohol, not taking medication, perhaps even thinking of a name for a baby. This is your instinct at work. You may also be reconsidering your values with regard to termination, having had one before. Lastly, I think you are questioning your beliefs about having children, having been told you would probably have none, that you didn’t really want children and actually they cause you problems more than anything else!

All this change is unsettling you and you have the added pressure of having to make a decision hastily. It’s important that you make a decision with your heart as well as your head, with your conscience, beliefs and instinct as well as your rationality. Making a decision purely based on circumstances can lead to emotional pain, such as grief, guilt and anger, if the heart has not been acknowledged and taken into account. As part of this process, it may also be important for you to find out more about foetal development and decide what you feel about that at your stage of pregnancy.

Change is difficult at first, impacting you with fear, anxiety and stress, but in time, you come out of that chaos, a new order to life emerges and you can develop a new relationship to your life in its changed form. Consider making a decision that will bring you to a place of peace in your heart, peace with your husband too. What would give you that? Be courageous. We'll be thinking of you.

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