help! thinking of terminating preg...i am 40. - Mothering Forums
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I'm Pregnant > help! thinking of terminating preg...i am 40.
pattigirlny's Avatar pattigirlny 10:42 AM 05-23-2008
I am posting because I need to make sure I am making the best decision. I am a married mom with 2 beautiful kids....10 and 7.Just found out yesterday that I am pregnant. I am 40 and hub is 49 1/2.I think I am around 6 weeks but other than my nipples being sore....don't 'feel ' pregnant yet. I am seriously contemplating a termination next week because we are totally happy with 2,they are getting older...we feel like we have 'been there,done that'. I never look at a baby or toddler and feel like 'i need another'. Also,our finances are in the hub doesnt have a job...I was actually beginning to search for something to help make ends meet...our self pay health insurance doesnt cover pregnancy....I would have to pay over $5K or have a child or go to a 'clinic' under medicaid! I feel so badly about even thinking about a termination because my first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage at 16 weeks and it was devistating....I hated people who electively terminated a pregnancy because they didnt want one or it wasnt the right time. How dare they! So now here I am worried and feeling horrible that I might do that. I am also worried about being older and possibly having something wrong with the baby. If I got tested for down syndrome I think I would terminate then. My hub and I also talked about 'getting fixed' but of course that cost alot of money and wasnt covered by insurance. I also thought that what if I won lotto this week...and the finance thing wasnt an issue....then I think I would go ahead with the pregnancy. My issues are: if I terminate, then i may regret it,or feel that God will punish me for taking away a life,I will feel guilty because I have friends my age who have been trying for years and would be thrilled if it were them. if i have the child, then i worry about the health of baby, medicaid, clinic visits....( a pride thing),our finances and the sacrifice of starting all over again at my age.Please do not judge me, I would just like advice. Thank you.

Spark's Avatar Spark 11:04 AM 05-23-2008
Just offering a huge and lots of love & support.

May your heart guide you!
avivaelona's Avatar avivaelona 11:45 AM 05-23-2008
I'm not judging you at all, but I am not sure what advice you think we can give you? How can anyone possibly make this decision for you?

The only thing I will say is that the things that you seem to be arguing for terminating are all "practical" matters while the ones that are for keeping it seem to be matters of conscience and the heart. Personally I tend to think that practical matters are usually resolvable, matters of the heart not as much. But that would be my choice and certainly doesn't have to be yours. Wait a week or two, sit with the pregnancy, and see how you feel. If you are only 6 weeks along there is no huge rush to decide.
morganstar83's Avatar morganstar83 11:55 AM 05-23-2008
Im sorry you feel torn. You can always consider adoption by giving someone that gift of a child in their life. I hope you find peace of mind and feel the right thing for you.
kittywitty's Avatar kittywitty 12:04 PM 05-23-2008
This is really only a decision you can make. But I will say that almost everyone *I* personally know who has terminated has had a really terrible time dealing with that for the rest of their life. It's like being haunted and it causes them a lot of pain. Not everyone does, but like I said, at least 6 people I know.

But only you can decide what's best for you and your family.

About cost-have you looked into homebirth or UC? UC is free and homebirth is substantially cheaper than a hospital birth. Don't worry about medicaid! Sooooo many people have it. Plus, breastfeeding is free, you can babywear and cloth diaper for next to nothing (I've seen people spend $55 total for all that). It can be done, for sure. You can also look into jobs you can do with baby-paper routes, house cleaning, baby sitting.

I used to work in Reproductive Endocrinology and I know hundreds of women who got pg over 40 without any birth defects or issues. It can be done!
diamond lil's Avatar diamond lil 12:04 PM 05-23-2008
Sometimes later-in-life babies are blessings in disguise. I hope your heart guides you to the best desicion for you and your family.
pattigirlny's Avatar pattigirlny 12:05 PM 05-23-2008
I know of course this is our decision....I think I am just looking for something....a help guide me.... maybe someone who has been in my situation...(40). Again....thank you.
S.Raine-Drop's Avatar S.Raine-Drop 12:07 PM 05-23-2008
Originally Posted by morganstar83 View Post
Im sorry you feel torn. You can always consider adoption by giving someone that gift of a child in their life. I hope you find peace of mind and feel the right thing for you.
I agree 100% with this post.
If you truly end up feeling that this baby is not right for you, then do consider allowing someone else the chance to raise it.
And I wish you the best in your decision.
Funny Face's Avatar Funny Face 12:09 PM 05-23-2008
The circumstances right now may seem hopeless with your hubby unemployed and finances in the dumps but these can change. I would consider how you would feel if a year from now you were doing much better financially and some of your issues resolved and how you would feel then about terminating your pregnancy.

I would look into so many resources in your area that are available. There are people you can call and speak to who could help you find answers to many of the questions that you are having.

If you qualify for medicaid your state may likely have very reputable OBs (some even have midwives) who can provide wonderful care.

Personally I would never terminate a pregnancy. I believe that we are given our children as gifts because God sees in us the ability to love and raise them in ways that we may not see for ourselves. Whatever happens is in His hands.

I agree with the pp who said that most of your 'pros' are reasons of the heart while the 'cons' are reasons of practicality- that might be something to seriously think about.
aurora_skys's Avatar aurora_skys 12:11 PM 05-23-2008
If you are considering having an abortion, you need to speak with someone personally who has had one. They are nothing to mess around with. It can seriously damage a womans mind, body, and soul. I second that you look into unassisted childbirth, maybe check the uc forum out here. Have you considered adopting out? Since you are aware of how hard it is for many couples to conceive, maybe you would consider gifting this baby to a couple in need.

I would think that actually conceiving at 40 would be enough of a sign that this baby is meant to be... Even if she or he is not meant to be for you but maybe for someone else who needs him/her.

And even downs syndrom (not to say that your baby even has it! dont assume!) is not the end of the world, downs kids still are still delightful people.
N8'sMom's Avatar N8'sMom 12:13 PM 05-23-2008
Obviously you know how a baby's made. Were you using protection?

If you don't want it, then give it to someone who does.
The baby may not be a blessing to you, but it sure would be
to someone else who's been wanting one.
Kabes's Avatar Kabes 12:13 PM 05-23-2008
You are really in a tough spot. Before you decide to terminate I would encourage you to research several things:
1- The procedure they will use and exactly how it is done. Contrary to what the majority believe this is not information that is given when you go for the procedure. It is usually glossed over.

2- Post abortion stress syndrome. You should be aware of the risks upfront to make an informed decision. If you choose termination you can look out for these symptoms and can get help sooner rather than later.

3- The way termination affects a relationship. Statistically even married couple don't do well long term after a termination. Please be aware that if you begin to have marital problems in the future counseling may be key and informing the counselor or your termination could be crucial.

I know this sounds harsh but it is my hope that every woman who decides to terminate makes a fully informed decision. Personally, I think the risks are too great. Other posters have had some excellent ideas and resources for you. You could also contact your local crisis pregnancy center. I volunteer at ours and we see women of ALL ages on a daily basis (even though most people are under the impression that all our clients are "kids") Wishing you and your family the very best!
sadean's Avatar sadean 12:21 PM 05-23-2008
I haven't been in this situation, but my grandmother was. Her oldest two were 11 and 6 when she discoverd she was pregnant with a third child at age 40 in 1940 (surprise!). She had the baby, right after the depression and on the brink of a World War. Money was most certainly tight and she went back to work soon after the baby was born. The baby is my mother who grew to have five children (including me), all of whom are doing their part to make the world a better and more peaceful place. So, your situation is not unpresidented and women from time immortal have likely faced this situation and set of decisions.

I agree with those that say that you should sit with your thoughts for a week or two and not make a hasty decision. I fully support a woman's right and opportunity to choose what happens with her body and life. AND I do think that the decision should be made rationally and with a lot of thought and consideration and not on impulse and fear of the unknown.

Good luck with whatever you choose to do and I wish you peaceful and healing thoughts as you make your decision.

Originally Posted by pattigirlny View Post
I know of course this is our decision....I think I am just looking for something....a help guide me.... maybe someone who has been in my situation...(40). Again....thank you.

mrscompgeek's Avatar mrscompgeek 12:47 PM 05-23-2008
Originally Posted by kittywitty View Post

About cost-have you looked into homebirth or UC? UC is free and homebirth is substantially cheaper than a hospital birth. .
I agree with this! I am TTC currently and we are planning a Home birth and my midwife is only charging $1,300, thats in my region not sure how much it would be where you are.
Mrs.Oz's Avatar Mrs.Oz 12:55 PM 05-23-2008
My mom had my brother 10 years after me (she wasn't 40, but very close). Financially it was really rough for us until several years after he was born, but she made it work, and we didn't know what we were missing. My dad has been downsized more times than I can count, so there were many months we survived without his income. Honestly, it wasn't until I looked back as an adult at the things we had/didn't have that I realize we were pretty poor then (I thought it was normal to eat spaghetti three times a week). FWIW, they still had a few ups and downs financially, but right now they are in a great position.

Watching my little brother grow up at an age when I was old enough to understand and appreciate things was something I'll always be grateful for. He's close to both my older brother and I, and I can't imagine our family being the same without him. Your older children will be able to help out and even if they gripe about it (yeah, I admit I did), it's a good experience for them. I know my mom thought she was done after I was born, but she has said in retrospect that she knows now that having a third was meant to happen.

As far as getting things for the baby that you don't have, see if you can get a flyer put up at a church or community center that you've got a baby on the way and are in need of specific gear. I know when I'm done having kids I want to be able to give what we have to someone who needs it, and I know there are countless mamas out there who feel the same way. Don't look at it as charity, look at it as a means to get you through a spot in time, and someday you'll be able to return the favor to someone else. There's also garage sales, Craigslist, etc. Your baby won't know the difference. He or she will just know your love. I think that all things happen for a reason. Please don't let your pride be the reason you make a decision you could regret (and the reason that a baby's life is ended). There's a little life inside you. I know we've been conditioned to just think of it as tissue and cells, but it's a little life, and in 8 months or so it will need someone's loving arms. You can do this. It won't be easy, but you can do it.
mysticlotus's Avatar mysticlotus 01:43 PM 05-23-2008
Hi Lady,

My heart goes out to you, and because there is no shame in correction and growth, I will share my story with you. I am 35 weeks pregnant now with a healthy fetus. I am 35 years old. I have an 18 year old boy, 15 year old girl, and a 9 year old boy. Only six months before I conceived this baby, I had terminated a pregnancy at 10 weeks. My circumstances were health related but it was a termination still. A termination that the doctors deemed a "medical" abortion, weighing out the risks of my own life against carrying child. I have a severe blood clot disorder that gets worse during pregnancy, naturally because the body creates more blood, this posed a risk of developing dangerous blood clots, and I've lost pregnancies to this condition before. They also tried to feed me some crap about my age....whatever.

Anyway, me "trusting" the doctors information, I terminated. Afterwards I was completely devestated. I begin to think that I had made a terrible mistake, and I had to seek therapy. One mental issue was my need and urgent desire to "replace" that baby as quickly as possible. I had become more informed and felt like I could really do it, and be successful. Every month that I didn't get pregnant was devastating to me and DH. The poor guy was so tired of being a trained robot, not to mention that although we were in a bad money tight (him unemployed) him staying with his family, me with mine, he wanted the baby. And I never considered him. We talked about it, but the final choice was mine, he did not support it.

I cried out to God for forgiveness, and begged not to be punished for my choice. That although I thought I was doing what was right for me and my health, it was still a life, and I was so sorry. I asked the Universe to please be kind and send me another baby, and needless to say we were blessed.

Not everyone is. It hurts having an abortion, physically and mentally, and I never REPLACED that baby, as a matter of fact I think about her often. I was only ten weeks but we heard the heartbeat at close to 180, so we always said it was a girl. We wanted it very much, but I let fear and doubt AND lack of faith win. I was lucky that my baby now found a healthy place in my uterus to implant, many times it leaves scar tissue and causes infertility.

This pregnancy was rough, it is High Risk, and I even am currently having preterm labor issues. BUt my son is fine. I see a perinatologist every 3 weeks and they are extremely pleased with his growth and development, and when I saw him smile on that 3-d ultrasound, my heart was flooded with a love that I knew could only come from a divine source. A love that made me weather the storm, and deal with this pregnancy come what may. A love that made the decision for me, to go through the fire and rain to bring forth this new life, we've been blessed with.

I'm not a religious freak at all. But I do believe in a Higher Power that is our guide and relief. The answers are already deep within you sister, you need not look outside of yourself. Many people may try and judge you, even for the mere THOUGHT, but might a man walk a mile in your shoes?

With all due respect, I say you already know what you have to do. Peace and love to you!
JERENAUD's Avatar JERENAUD 01:56 PM 05-23-2008
Originally Posted by pattigirlny View Post
I know of course this is our decision....I think I am just looking for something....a help guide me.... maybe someone who has been in my situation...(40). Again....thank you.
I can't speak to most of your post, but my Mum was 2 months shy of 40 when my little sister was born. There's a 13 year age gap between us. I'm not sure of what was in her mind at the time, of course, and I'm sure it wasn't always easy balancing the needs of a teenager and a newborn. Of course their life is different than it would have been without her - there's university to think about, as they're retiring, etc.. But she also really enjoyed mothering again at a 'later' age - she found that doctors and others in the world were far more respectful of her.

And, it's been great for me - my girls have an auntie who is closer in age to them (by one year) than she is to me! if only she didn't live 3000 km away...

I'm certainly not trying to tell you to keep the baby if you don't want to, no one can answer that question. But, you had asked about being a Mum at 40.

bri276's Avatar bri276 02:01 PM 05-23-2008
just wanted to let you know there is genetic testing available starting at 10 wks- CVS- so you don't have to wait for a 20 wk amnio to test for Down's syndrome.

I hope you come to peace with whatever decision is right for you and your family
NatureMama3's Avatar NatureMama3 02:06 PM 05-23-2008

I agree with those who have said that recovering from abortion can be VERY hard. My best friend and one of my sisters have both had abortions and are still affected years later. Both went on to 'replace' those babies too.

I wanted to comment on not having things for the baby though, ultimately.

As far as getting things for the baby that you don't have, see if you can get a flyer put up at a church or community center that you've got a baby on the way and are in need of specific gear.
completely agree with that and frankly just even let your online friends know. My husband and I had gotten rid of EVERY baby thing we had due to chronic miscarriage. We were SURE we would never have another baby stick. Needless to say when this baby stuck we were beyond worried! We are very, VERY low income (live on probably 1/2 of the federal poverty level) and can't afford to buy baby things.

I just let it be known in general to my online friends that I would take their used hand-me-downs and by now (nearly term) I have more clothes, baby items (including carseat, bouncy, etc) and cloth diapers than I ever had with my other children. I literally won't have to buy a single baby item for 2 years. You just never know what the future holds. money is a fixable issue, missing a life that never was is not.
coyotemist's Avatar coyotemist 02:36 PM 05-23-2008
Patti-I had to respond. I'm in a similar situation, but a little different.

My kids are also 10 and 7. But I'm only 30, however, my hubby is on his 3rd diagnosis of cancer (beat the other 2), money is tight, I've got a year from now of school to finish, and I was going to get my tubes tied in June. Having another baby when hubby might be dieing? Is that such a good idea.

And yet, we got 2 lines for our 10th anniversary present. I considered terminating, what was I thinking, trying to have a baby (when I have difficult pregnancies) when I'll have 6 months of school left, and I don't know how to pay for daycare.

But even when I added up all the "logical" reasons why we couldn't have a baby, that didn't stop this little heart from beating, nor erase the reasons of the heart why we needed to have this baby.

DH and I still worry about finances. It won't be easy, but every time we've been in trouble before things have worked out. I have to hope that will still happen.

You'll have to make the right choice for you. But for me, the right choice ended up being the opposite of the most logical choice.

veganf's Avatar veganf 03:12 PM 05-23-2008
Originally Posted by pattigirlny View Post
I also thought that what if I won lotto this week...and the finance thing wasnt an issue....then I think I would go ahead with the pregnancy.
It sounds like there is part of you that does want to have another baby. But only you know what's best for you. I wouldn't worry too much about your age, but finances can be difficult. However, a termination might be expensive too, unless you can get the pill for it.
I hope you figure out what you want to do soon since it's best to make these sorts of decision before the 8 week mark.
meowee's Avatar meowee 03:27 PM 05-23-2008
I'm not reading the other responses.

Out of all the medical conditions to have medicaid for, pregnancy is probably the best. At least where I live, the best insured pregnant moms see the same exact drs in the same exact buildings and deliver in the same exact hospital as the moms covered by medicaid. Midwifery coverage might be harder to find with medicaid but generally prenatal care is taken very seriously and you will not be treated badly for being on medicaid while pregnant. I have several times had to go see specialists at high risk clinics and most of the women there were covered by medicaid (the waiting room is right by the receptionist so it's impossible not to overhear).

No one can tell you the right decision to make, but personally I would not terminate based on finances alone. I would consider terminating if I were in an abusive relationship or if my partner were totally unsupportive. But if I had a loving world to bring a child into, I would.
NicaG's Avatar NicaG 03:39 PM 05-23-2008
No advice, just sympathy. I hope you can come to a decision that you feel comfortable with. I have two friends who gave birth over 40 and their kids turned out fine. Down's syndrome shouldn't be taken lightly, but they can do pretty accurate screening at 10 weeks. I don't necessarily think that abortion is always devasting emotionally/spiritually. I think it all depends on your own worldview. And as others have suggested, you could always consider adoption. Good luck with whatever you decide.
Marysmama's Avatar Marysmama 03:42 PM 05-23-2008
Just wanted to say that I delivered my second child while on Medicaid and had the exact same hospital and doctor as when I was on regular health insurance and delivered my first.

I was treated no differently because I was on Medicaid. Perhaps in your area, women on medicaid have to go to clinics, but if you're assuming that, it may not be true.

I hope you find peace with whatever decision you make.

Individuation's Avatar Individuation 03:46 PM 05-23-2008
I have a nine-month-old and a ten year old. It's fun. And a new baby brings a bit more youth and hope into everyone's world.

I think you sound like you wouldn't really "get over" having an abortion--you might always feel like you were missing one of your children.
FancyD's Avatar FancyD 03:46 PM 05-23-2008
Down syndrome is not the end of the world. Lots of kids have very fulfilling lives, and do very well.

andreac's Avatar andreac 04:18 PM 05-23-2008
I wasn't quite in your situation, I'm younger and so are my 2 kids, but I felt the same "I'm so done with babies" feelings. I did decide to have an abortion and it was absolutely the right decision for our family. My husband was ok with either decision and put absolutely no pressure on me. The way I made up my mind was to sort of live with the idea of another baby for a week or so, to see if I could get excited, but I was just miserable at the idea of another baby, which really surprised me honestly. I have no regrest, no lingering sadness at all, just relief. BUT, that's me. Everyone obviously reacts differently, but I just wanted to share that not everyone has a negative reaction.

I wish you peace with whatever you decide.
Bad Horse's Avatar Bad Horse 04:30 PM 05-23-2008
I have terminated a pregnancy before, and I feel completely ok with that decision. If you can make peace with it and know it is right for you, then there is no reason it would haunt you forever.

That being said, if finances are really the main thing that you are stuck on (thinking of the lottery comment) I think you probably would feel a lot of regret.

Financially, I have had babies under times of financial duress and believe me, it can be done.

Best to you
Funny Face's Avatar Funny Face 04:35 PM 05-23-2008
How is your husband feeling about it? What are his thoughts/desires/fears?
feelinhot's Avatar feelinhot 04:38 PM 05-23-2008
If you really feel like you can't bring another child into your family, you could still give that baby to someone else that really wants him. Have you thought of adoption yet? I was able to have 2 babies on medicaid and it didn't cost me anything. Not sure if that would work for you or not. I'm sure it would be hard to give your baby to someone else, but probably easier to deal with than abortion, if you decide not to keep the baby.
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