Pregnant at 40 and don't think I can raise child. What to do?

(55 Posts)
pbandjam Sun 26-May-13 20:04:00

Would really appreciate opinion on my current situation. I am separated and live alone with my 7 year old DD. I have a good FT job but between working and looking after DD, it's a lot. I live in a new town without much in the way of friends which I moved to for said job. Family live 'across the pond' so don't have family support here in the UK.

Ex-P and I got back together briefly and I got pregnant. Wasn't expecting it at all at my age and felt euphoric for a moment after previous years and years throughout my 20s and 30s of miscarriages.

However at about 10 weeks once the euphoria wore off I realized how crazy the whole situation was - being pregnant by myself in a new place, with the pressure of already raising a young child. I thought, perhaps, a termination might be best and booked two appointments but each time I arrived I couldn't go through with it. I'm now 16 weeks and, to be honest, I just feel it's too late in the day to go down this route.

I do not want to get back together with Ex-partner but honestly don't feel I can cope with baby alone without any kind of support network. Lately I've been thinking seriously about adoption which makes me feel crazy and like a character out of '16 and Pregnant' and not a professional rationale 40 year old woman.

I appreciate some of this is hormones, but I honestly don't believe I can raise two children very much solo. I would appreciate some thoughts about what I should do.

Please no flaming in relation to reference to termination and please don't bark at me for being a 'bad mum' etc.

lougle Sun 26-May-13 20:20:51

You sound very stressed and your post give the message that you feel out of control. Perhaps you see adoption as a way of gaining some control over what happens?

Adoption is an option, if you honestly don't think you can raise this baby. Perhaps, if you approached Social Services, they could chat it through with you, and then you will have a much clearer idea of whether it's a serious consideration or whether it would be out of the question?

I think they will offer you counselling anyway but I think it'd be a good idea to seek some.

Will ex be involved if you decided you could raise the baby?

No flaming here for being sensible and considering all options. What specifically do you feel yiu couldnt cope with if yiu had the baby?

pbandjam Sun 26-May-13 20:28:40

Thx all for your comments. ExP would love to raise baby with me but that's not really what I want and I would prefer not to have his influence and involvement.

I think a lot of this is disappointment that things have turned out this way --- of course, life never works out the way planned. I know there are many many mums who cope by themselves with 3,4, 5 kids. But the issue for me is support - I imagine they have family and friends around to lean on, which I just don't.

pbandjam Sun 26-May-13 20:29:38

Stealth, I don't think i have the stamina to look after two totally alone and I think financially things would be incredibly difficult - I couldn't make ends meet with childcare costs and work by myself.

It is harder with no support. Do you have a local children's centre/sure start?

Right. Im not sure what to suggest. Cohld you ask your mw about adoption and what woukd be involved?

skyeskyeskye Sun 26-May-13 20:33:47

I second the local Children's Centre, they will be able to give advice on support etc and may be able to provide counselling for you. I think that you need counselling of some description to talk it all through.

You need to look into childcare, tax credits etc and see how you would be financially.

girliefriend Sun 26-May-13 20:34:25

I think you are understandable freaked out which is probably not helping you think straight.

I am a single parent to a 7yo and can totally understand how you feel as have wondered myself what would happen if I had another baby on my own.

However I could not imagine any scenario where giving the baby away to someone else would be o.kay. Is your 7yo quite independent? Mine would love a baby brother or sister and I think would be quite helpful. Would the dad be supportive and help you out?

I think you are scared but I am not sure that is the right reason to consider adoption.

Not sure I am helping sorry.

pbandjam Sun 26-May-13 20:36:19

Thanks Jazz - there is a local children's centre and I know there are various services for support, but fundamentally I'll have to do this myself.

I've spoken to my MW about it who was kind of baffled. I don't really 'look' like someone who can't cope or is struggling financially but obviously looks belie reality. I have looked into adoption but know how embarassed I'd be and how upset and equally baffled my family would be. Adoption would feel like a BIG FAIL but after having numerous scans and seeing baby develop and move I just can't swallow a termination sadly.

Feel like I'm in 19th century victorian home for unwed mums!

pbandjam Sun 26-May-13 20:37:59

Thanks girliefriend - its nice to know that other single moms know how hard it can be...

MsWazowski Sun 26-May-13 20:39:15

It's totally understandable to feel the way you do, this might be a completely mad suggestion, but would exp consider raising the baby? I'm probably clutching at straws here, sorry.

Earlybird Sun 26-May-13 20:40:25

Would you consider moving 'home' so your family could help you? A friend who found herself unexpectedly pregnant did that, and hard as it was, would say in retrospect that it was the best choice.

If that is not an option, would you have more practical support in your previous city? If so, should you job-hunt there?

pbandjam Sun 26-May-13 20:41:01

MsWaz, ExP would LOVE to raise the baby but, urgh, he would probably feed it chips and burgers and put it in front of the telly for next 10 years. Wasn't the most enlightened parent sadly.

lougle Sun 26-May-13 20:41:22

Well, the bottom line is that you have 3 choices:

You keep and raise the baby.

You keep the baby and place it for adoption.

You terminate the pregnancy.

You have very little time if you want an abortion (I appreciate that you don't at this moment). In 8 weeks you will have no choice on that.

That leaves you 8 weeks to get your head around one of the other choices.

Could you move 'across the pond' to be with family?

It's very hard to think of a solution if you don't want to place the baby for adoption, don't want to raise it with your exp and don't want to raise it alone.

I really feel for you sad

Mollydoggerson Sun 26-May-13 20:41:47

I would imagine the adopted child would suffer from some psychological damage when it realised it was the second child of a couple, and the first had been kept but the second put up for adoption. Also the first child would be deprived of the sibling relationship with it's only full sibling.

If you can't cope and don't want a second child it's not too late to terminate.

pbandjam Sun 26-May-13 20:41:55

EarlyBird - I think you may be right. I think a move back to N America would be a bit of a big step but certainly back to Scotland might make sense. I hadn't even thought about that (stuck in hole of worry and despair).

Salbertina Sun 26-May-13 20:42:52

Please stop beating yourself up and worrying so much about what people/mw think!! The only important people here are you and dd, no/one else! If you are clearheaded enough to see adoption as a viable option, well good for you. Better that than a resentful mum, struggling to bring up an unwanted baby because she was too embarrassed/ashamed?? not to do so. Nothing to feel ashamed of, you do what you must do.

pbandjam Sun 26-May-13 20:43:15

everyone on here has been so lovely, I could almost cry. MN can be so cruel sometimes and I really appreciate the nice comments. I feel v sad to be in this situation and quite envious of my friends with lovely partners and families but... I am where I am sadly.

Chubfuddler Sun 26-May-13 20:43:28

Is your ex your dds father? I'm assuming not as your post suggests you are alone with her...

I don't know what to suggest but this sounds incredibly hard and I have massive sympathy. So just wanted to say good luck.

MsWazowski Sun 26-May-13 20:44:19

I didn't think you would be keen from what you said earlier. I've raised two dc on my own, I know it's hard work, but it is doable. Sometimes the prospect is worse than the actual doing, sorry it doesn't help much when you're there though.

rainbowfeet Sun 26-May-13 20:44:21

I was 37 when I discovered I was pregnant with Ds now 15 months.. As a result of a brief casual relationship. I was already a lone parent with my dd now 10 from my 1st marriage.

I never really considered a termination just because I knew I couldn't go through with it because of suffering an infant death in 2008. I have nothing against terminations but as scary as the prospect of raising this baby alone I knew if I had a termination it would very much be to the detriment to my mental health.

I knew before I'd even told the Dad that he would not want to be part of it & although he is my neighbour he has never so much as acknowledged his son!!!! shock

I would say that it was my easiest pregnancy out of the 3 despite it being 10 years after my 1st!!

I can't lie to you the 1st couple of months were tough, the night feeds tiring & a slight mourning for the fun filled 40's I was planning with my dd getting older & more independent!! After a few weeks of dwelling on thoughts of being the oldest mum at the school gate & while my friends seemed to gaining more freedom I had stepped back, I started to realise that in fact I was the lucky one & my ds was a blessing, maybe even heaven sent!!! Emotionally it was tough because his Dad is such an arse but now I don't give him a 2nd thought & dd, ds & myself are a happy unit of 3!!!

The adoption option is something you don't have to rush into & I'm sure your mw could help you with talking to someone about that.

Good luck with what you decide x

Chubfuddler Sun 26-May-13 20:45:45

Just to add in your shoes I wouldn't feel adoption was viable - you have a seven year old who is going to wonder where the baby went. And possibly whether she may be sent away too.

Wolfiefan Sun 26-May-13 20:46:40

Why on earth would anyone flame you or call you a bad parent? You need support and understanding of your situation.
Can ex p offer financial support?

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