I am a late 20's woman in my very first pregnancy ever. I am only a month along, heading into week 5 (and feeling really good, physically) but emotionally, I'm becoming drained.
I stupidly had unprotected sex on vacation with a man who I've been on/off with for years now. He currently lives on an island and invited me there to celebrate our birthdays, since they're so close. He plans on relocating here to the U.S. again this year and supposedly has his job transfer in motion and all that good stuff.
While I was on the island with him, he began ignoring me and leaving me with a female friend of his- and just being rude by not acknowledging me period. Long story short, I ended up celebrating my b-day on the beach by myself because he dropped me off at a hotel and that was it! No argument, no misunderstandings or anything- he just switched it up on me.
I felt like I needed to get an abortion for the first 2 days after finding out, but my mother, 2 best friends and 2 other close friends (who I've hinted the pregnancy at but haven't quite admitted) have been encouraging me to go ahead and become a mother here in my late 20's for a number of reasons. They claim that this (is a or was):
1. blessing- some women cannot have children but I've been given the chance to do so.
2. it was meant to be. Everything happens for a reason.
3. a part of me. How could I kill a part of me?
4. is not as hard as society portrays it to be. (my best friend famously brings up her own situation with her twins and oldest daughter and how she had to pay rent, work FT on a $9/hourly salary with no car and STILL wouldn't trade her kids for the world)
5. Mom wants me to make her a grandma (again, since my sis has two kids)
6. I will not regret being a mom, even with dad not around.
7. I will always regret having the abortion.
8. ET CETERA
I believe every single reason they've given me, but part of the reason why I'm almost 30 with no kids is because I'm somewhat selfish. Without a steady relationship and an AWESOME job, which I have neither), I feel like I'm setting myself up to struggle. I did not ever want to put any kids I may have in this situation.
I'm 75% for keeping this child but I keep waking up with my brain in limbo. I'm pretty set in keeping my child. What do you think about this?
I'm going to deliberately counter your reasons here, just as food for thought:
Some women can't have children, but you can clearly at least conceive. If you want to have children, you will in all probability get another chance. Maybe a better chance, with someone who loves you, and wants to actively partner you, and be a loving parent.
It's true that everything happens for a reason, as in everything that happens was caused by something else. It is not true that every single one of those events has some higher purpose or leads to good things.
Single parenthood is, no question, damn hard. I am impressed that your friend held it together under those circumstances, but I wouldn't read too much into them, or necessarily believe her that the road is "not as hard as society makes it out to be". Research done on women who considered, but did not have, abortions shows that they do[I love their children. There's an interesting article here - http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/16/magazine/study-women-denied-abortions.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0.
No matter how much your friend loves her daughters, and how well she has dealt with the difficulties of raising three children as a single parent, you should not believe that the road was "easy," or rush to sign up for those challenges.
Lots of things are part of us, and we get rid of them. A cancer would be part of you too, and it would be no more and no less an invader - part you, part not - than a fetus at this stage.
Your mom can suck it up and wait for you to be ready to have children. Her desire for (more) grandchildren could not be more irrelevant.
The baby's dad might not "not be around." Having a baby potentially puts you in a relationship with this guy for the next 18-20 years. That's 18 years of unavoidable financial and emotional involvement. That might be great - he might step up and be a great dad. Or he could spend that entire time yanking you around. I don't know where on the spectrum in between those extremes he is most likely to fall.
Some people live perfectly happy lives without having children. There is no guarantee that you would regret not having this baby.
There's no saying how you'll feel about the abortion. Yes, some women have them and regret them. Some women feel relieved.
Bottom line: Your life, your call.
A couple of questions:
Prior to this, how did you feel, in general, about the idea of ever having children? Definitely wanted them, definitely didn't want them, or not really sure/hadn't thought much about it?
Supposing you could look into a crystal ball and see that, if you terminate this pregnancy, you will not get another chance - that this would be your only chance to ever have a child. How would you feel about it if that were the case?
Picture yourself having had the abortion and looking back on it five or ten years down the line. How would you feel about it?
You say you started out thinking you'd have to get an abortion, but, after listening to your mother & friends, you're 75% decided to go ahead with the pregnancy. Is this because their reasoning/the extra chance to think about it is changing the way you genuinely feel about it, or is it because they're making it seem superficially right and logical to go ahead?
I feel like whatever your decision is make sure you are 1000000000000 percent sure of it. Financially raising a child is no joke but don't let that be your only reason of you not keeping your baby. It is a tough tough job. I am in my mid thirties and I am going through stuff that a person in their early twenties would be going through. Sometimes I wonder if I am even failing the job because times have gotten so rough.....But through all of my struggles I laugh more with my children. I wouldn't trade them for anything....ANYTHING. I know that I am doing the best that I can do and everything I do is for them.
I wish you well with whatever your decision is.
Last edited by NovaCayne10; 06-01-2014 at 11:18 PM.
Regarding abortion, you must listen to yourself. If you have one, you won't know what the alternative was like. So, the extent to which you regret an abortion will be based on your morality, beliefs, personality - and your reasoning and attitude. You can control your reaction, to some extent.
Some people can't live with an abortion, under any circumstances. They definitely shouldn't have one, regardless how scared they are of raising a child alone. But some people CAN live with abortion, at least in some circumstances. If you know that's true of yourself, then you have to make your own decision. It's your life, so it will ultimately be insufficient to let anyone else - even your mother - make that decision for you.
I will say that with late abortions, I think people really have to play mind-games to convince themselves they're not killing a baby. Go ahead and flame me, if you want, but I had twins at 24 weeks' gestation. I could legally have aborted them. True, they would not have survived without major medical intervention. Yet, it would have been 100% intellectually dishonest to claim they were anything less than babies, or less than fully human; or that - at that stage - they would not have been harmed or stressed by the things done to "terminate" "fetuses". Today, they are teens with friends, sports, goals and lives as valuable and meaningful as yours or mine. With increasing neonatal technology, the developmental age at which everyone - regardless of politics - should consider fetuses people (with a right to try to live) gets earlier and earlier.
That said, you are still at a very early stage. If you don't procrastinate (after all, this is a life-and-death decision that merits decisive action and commitment, not procrastination), it's still possible for you to have an abortion while the life inside you is at a very primitive stage of development.
You should NOT listen to yourself about whether or not you'd "regret a child". You've never had one. You have no idea. Your relationship with a child you raise is not about morals and reason, like the issue of abortion is. At its core, it's about hormones and timeless animal instincts that will surprise and take you over, when you get there. So - on this - listen to people who've been there. You will not regret the life that you give a child, once you give it. You won't.
An unplanned child will - of course - change your life. You will sometimes wonder about the path not taken. But that's not the same thing as wishing the child didn't exist, or thinking - if you had it all to do over again - you would actually take the path without the child. Falling in love and marrying someone changes your life and eliminates other options, but often in a positive way. Similarly, the changes an unplanned child will bring to your life won't all be about losing your way and wistfulness for what might have been. It will be as much - or more - about unplanned joys, increased wisdom (that comes from being totally responsible for someone besides yourself), even a sense of having unexpectedly found yourself.
I had my twins when I was 23 and unmarried. Their unusual medical and developmental issues changed the entire trajectory of my life much more than one, normal baby would have. I do think sometimes about that other path. But if I could go back, I would not take it and give up the kids. I'm not just being sentimental. I really mean that.
One last thing, about becoming a young parent: You'll also be young when your child is grown. I'm 41. The twins graduate from high school next year (and would have graduated this year, if not for their delays). I still have plenty of life ahead of me. The wisdom, strength and self-knowledge I've gained from the experience of raising them does not negate some of the opportunities I missed; but it balances the list of negatives with a list of positives. I have plenty of hope about my future. Not one of the people with whom I graduated is exactly where their 25-year-old selves thought they'd be, at 40 - not even the MIT professor or the Harvard Law grad. I'm not where I thought I'd be, either. But so much is good, about where I am.
Decide. Not to please your mom. Not from a consensus of strangers. Not from fear. You can handle whichever path you take. You will start handling it - and finding out what's in store for you - as soon as you embrace a decision.
One woman in a house full of men: my soul mate: or... twin sons:(HS seniors) ... step-son: (a sophomore) ... our little man: (a first grader) ... and there is another female in the house, after all: our.
Last edited by VocalMinority; 06-02-2014 at 10:40 AM.
Now, I'm 28, which isn't much further down the road and I know that I can do it. I realize that my main reasons for considering abortion were so silly. I was afraid of other peoples' opinions. Comparing myself to family members who are married with kids... Questions from coworkers, strangers about the father, etc.
I know myself- I'm pretty short as it is & have no issues with letting people know when they're prying a bit too much but I would much rather have had things set up the way I wanted them before bringing life into this world!!
Even so, Ive found myself getting excited by the day & preparing to enter a phase that I've always wondered about: mommyhood. It's gonna be hard, sleep will become elusive & it certainly won't be about me anymore. But my fears are leaving day by day. Being replaced by excitement & determination.
I'm ready for it.
But single parents can be good parents. Poor parents can be good parents. As long as you can put food in their belly, even if it's not the best quality food like you'd like, and a roof over their head, even if it's not the nicest roof, all they really need is a stable, loving caregiver.
It's so taboo to say that I'm sure many more people than we realize feel this way, and just are too ashamed to admit it. It's a lot more common among parents of special needs kids to admit it, because that is just very hard. But I think the common-ness there is just as much due to the ableism that it's acceptable to not want special needs kids as it is due to how hard it is.
No one should ever become a parent thinking "my hormones will convince me to love and care for this child and I'll never regret it" because it's just not true.
If I had known what was going to happen I never would have had our baby. I love him to death, which is honestly why I said that- I did not want this life for my child. It's bad enough that I'm living it, but at least it's my mistakes and my choices that got me here- my child is here through no fault of his own. The longer this goes on, the more I'll regret it.
Whether or not I'll always regret this really depends on how things go. If we finally get on our feet and things are okay, maybe they'll go away, but I may always look back and regret not being able to do better. Hopefully, if he grows up and is happy and whatever he defines as successful, that feeling will go away. But if that doesn't happen...