thought I wanted a third, got pregnant, and now wondering if I've made a huge mistake - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 04-23-2012, 05:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello everyone,


I'm 41.  I have two kids, ages 3 and 7.  I've been thinking for the last few years that I might want a third.  I guess I got it into my head and it just wouldn't leave. My husband I both have disconnected families.  Our parents see our kids occasionally but don't offer us any support of help.  We love our kids and like the idea of having a larger family since our kids will never know what its like to have family around for holidays.  We wanted to change the pattern and have a close big family of our own.  But even when I tried to get pregnant I felt an awful regret.  I don't know why I even tried.  I thought I should just get through the fear and finality of a pregnancy.  When I found out I was pregnant, I cried.  I hoped that it wasn't true.  Now, I'm sitting here waiting to miscarry.  I'm one month pregnant....I just found out last week. So anyway, now I feel like this might be the worst decision for our family.  The first reason is my age.  I'm just tired and more importantly, I keep calculating the number of years I have l left of doing thankless labor for my kids that seems completely unappreciated.  I also think of all the things that I still want to do with my life (like volunteer overseas - things that won't blend with raising a family). I also feel like financially, my husband and I are at a point where the next 10 years are extremely important in terms of income raised for college and retirement.  My husband will be traveling more and the brunt of this 3rd child will come down on me.  I'm worried about my own health, carrying another baby, I'm worried about money, I'm worried about a happy life for everyone, I'm worried about my sanity...sometimes I find childcare really boring, even though I really do love my kids. So I'm wondering if I should get an abortion and not move forward with this pregnancy. There is a slice of me that feels some excitement that I'm pregnant, but I'm not listening to that part.  I don't know whether that excitement is worth the lifetime commitment.  I don't see how I could possibly allow myself to get pregnant, and change my mind.  I feel terrible, immature, crazy, abusive of life.  I can't even think straight about the problem.  I don't know what I want.


Anyone have some advice for me?

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#2 of 17 Old 04-23-2012, 08:19 PM
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It sounds to me like you are burned out. Do you do anything outside out taking care of the kids? Maybe you need some regularly scheduled time away from them so you can remember who you are outside of being a mom.

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#3 of 17 Old 04-24-2012, 10:57 AM
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I just wanted to say that I have been considering the move from 2 to 3 myself, at age 38. I have found the website to be very helpful. There is a forums section, and I have read through many of the posts. I have seen at least 3 or so that state exactly what you have said here -- once pregnant, completely regretting/wondering if it was the wrong choice. You should check out some of those responses! I think it is more common than people realize/talk about to feel this way, especially at a third (or higher?) pregnancy. Overall, most people tend to work through it and everything is okay in the end.





Here is a post that has some encouraging responses:

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#4 of 17 Old 04-24-2012, 11:02 AM
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I think you need to pause and breathe and have a long talk with someone you trust who is not your husband to help you figure out what *you* want, in terms of this baby and in terms of you life, and then do the same with your husband about what this baby means for those things. It sounds like you need some changes in your life, and you need to figure out what you want moving forward, and you need a little space to figure that out.


You're burnt out. Do you need to get out of the house more? You feel like you're doing thankless work. Do you need more support from your husband? Some babysitting time? A mother's helper? A part time job or hobby  or volunteer work that is meaningful to you? You're not connected to your family. Can you build a family where you are of close friends?


This is really hard. Wishing you all the best.

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#5 of 17 Old 04-29-2012, 08:31 PM
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Don't worry. One part of you does want a third child and you listened to that part. I think that is good. I don't think you should get an abortion. I also don't think you have to feel 100% happy about your pregnancy to have a baby. In fact, I felt 100% sad, negative, and not wanting my first pregnancy, and years later, I am so thankful.


You have another part of yourself that knows that having a third child will be hard work, hard timing, hard financially, and just hard in general. It is good to listen to that part too. You can listen to both parts. Acknowledge the bad feelings too, but try to have trust that things will work out! They will! Even if money is tight, your age is 40, and you are stressed, a baby will still bring joy that, in rare moments, will make it all worth it. I agree with you that being a mother feels like thankless work 90% of the time, especially when kids are younger. But when your kids are grown up they may be more grateful. When you are 60 years old and this baby is 20, you will wonder where the time went. It will go by quickly. You will be happy you have three, they will visit you, and your fears now will have been confronted, settled, or passed.




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#6 of 17 Old 07-15-2012, 06:21 AM
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I could have written your post two years ago.  I had a 3 and 6 year old and couldn't help shake that feeling that I wanted a third.  That is, until I got pregnant with the third one.   I was very depressed and like you, even considered some really horrible options.  All I could think was "what have I done ?"  to my family, my career, my sanity, my bank account etc.  

I will admit it was a terrible pregnancy and even continued into the first few months of my baby's life.  However, my youngest ds is now almost 2 (currently sitting on my lap) and I can't imagine our family without him.  
It is harder and more expensive, but in the end I don't think you can put a price tag on giving your children another sibling.

Let me know if you want to talk b/c I do totally understand where you are and I have faith it will get better for you.

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#7 of 17 Old 07-15-2012, 07:38 AM
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I'm 31 and i'm 14+ weeks pregnant with #3.


#1 was unplanned in a failing relationship.  #2 was planned in a wonderful relationship as was this one.  BUT, i too have spent several weeks going back and forth between either ignoring that i'm pregnant at all, and seriously doubting that i've done the right thing.


I think part of the problem is that i have 20+ friends with 2 kids and 2 with 3 kids.  That's significant in terms of the number of people i see coping fine, day to day, which what i've just bitten off!  I have to believe i can do it, but i also have to admit that most people don't choose to.


Financially we didn't really try to factor.  I mean, we can afford it now, but we can't plan for tomorrow because there are too many unknowns.  If everything continues to be fine then we too will be fine.  Duh!  ANYONE could say that!  I do recognise that in terms of space it's going to take some work - we're in a 3-bed but OH needs a study so we're looking at extending to create more space downstairs for a study, WC (5 people with one toilet, NO!), and eventually we'll need to convert the loft space into a bigger 3rd bedroom (we'd lose the small one, due to the laws on staircases here) as it's pretty titchy.  On top of that we're going to need a bigger vehicle, and a bunch of our more expensive baby items (carseats!) are now out of date so we'll need new for our last kid!  If i think about it i get bogged down, just now i'm not thinking about it.


I too am counting down the years to when the baby in my belly will be in school, and i can write a book.  2017.  It feels a long way away, but 17 is my lucky number.


None of this is any use to you, i realise, i just want you to know that you're not alone and feeling ambivalent after the fact is, i think, incredibly common, but something we feel unable to talk about a lot of the time.

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#8 of 17 Old 07-17-2012, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post

 feeling ambivalent after the fact is, i think, incredibly common, but something we feel unable to talk about a lot of the time.


Exactly. Few people want to hear this. I tested the waters multiple times in a joking manner about it, and yep, few people relate or can even understand. For me, it was my 4th child. He was one of those babies where we weren't sure if if were 100% done, and then I was pg not exactly on purpose at the exact time we were realizing our third child was delayed. He turns one this month. I can't say that all the doubts melted away when he was born like you read at times. Honestly, life still is a serious challenge with him and the increasing issues our third child has but he is here and loved. 

There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.
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#9 of 17 Old 07-17-2012, 07:45 AM
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Yes, I had this feeling and had an abortion.  I have not regretted it.  

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#10 of 17 Old 07-17-2012, 10:37 AM
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OP, I'm sorry you feel this way! I just want to validate your feelings and choices, whichever way you go. This isn't an easy call.


If you decide to continue the pregnancy, that's okay. It doesn't mean you have to be super happy and excited about it all the time. You can have worries, fears, and regrets.


If you want to end the pregnancy, that's okay. You are raising two children who need you. It would be okay to be sad, and regretful, but end the pregnancy anyway. Did you know that most abortions are performed on women who already have children?

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#11 of 17 Old 10-02-2012, 10:00 PM
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I would say that you have to listen to your heart about this, and not all the doubts and fears that are nagging at you. And find a way to meet so of your own unmet needs, as it sounds like you have a lot of them! If you are planning on working while pregnant, I would seriously think about finding a way to work from home after the baby is here.

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#12 of 17 Old 10-02-2012, 11:09 PM
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I have been struggling with the decision of a third baby (we have a four year old and a two year old). For now, I am ambivalent and the decision seems overwhelming. So, I can understand your struggle. I think my DH and I both in our hearts want another, but the logistics have held us back. Our family is nearby but also fairly disconnected so we have to find other forms of childcare when we need it. Anyway, I would really go with your heart. If I remember right, I was exhausted in early pregnancy. It is important to take care of yourself. Can you have a babysitter or mother's helper when your husband is traveling? The baby phase passes so quickly! Is there a way for you to possibly volunteer overseas with your children when they are a bit older?  We are planning on homeschooling our kids and that has helped me feel like I have a bigger purpose and goals when it comes to taking care of them. I think having these goals could be helpful even if your kids are in school. Just planning activities and fun and special stuff from time to time and things to look forward to. How does your husband feel about the pregnancy and is he supportive? I think one of the difficult things with having a third is that our society is made for a family of four so it's sometimes difficult to get a realistic idea of what a family of five or more is like. Also, after having two kids, we understand the responsibility and everything else having a baby entails so the decision seems a lot bigger. I hope that you come to peace with all of this and wish all the best for you and your family.

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#13 of 17 Old 10-22-2012, 09:49 PM
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Please please do not have an abortion. And anyone who is reading these responses please PLEASE do not consider this as an option. I have heard SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO many people who have had abortions and say they regretted it. Fell under deep deep depression over it. Taking a life is what you will be doing. I have never heard anyone say "I wish we would have stopped at two..ect". I am pregnant with our third child. We just found out a week ago. I cried and cried and CRIED. I have a 6 year old and a very needy 1 year old who has just recently started sleeping through the night. My husbands work is very demanding and I have a few health issues. This baby came as a COMPLETE shock. I am exhausted to say the least. I am scared. I was looking for encouragement and found this site. I was devasted seeing some of the responses saying to have an abortion. It will not be easy, but it will be worth it. You will NOT regret it. Just remember, plenty of mother's out there are going through something similar. Your gonna make it. I think having another child will only enhance who you are. You will start to focus more on the things that important in life. I can't think of anything more important than family. And just think, when it's time for them to take care of you, you will have an extra pair of hands. It is one more person to love and love in return.

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#14 of 17 Old 10-23-2012, 01:31 PM
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I'm not a SAM but this thread popped up. I am so sorry you feel so unsure and conflicted and sad. 


I am pro-choice all the way. That said, however, I had an abortion and I have never gotten over it. I feel a lot of sadness and regret and think about it all the time. I remember my family doctor telling me the only advice she would give is: 'Just don't do something you will regret for the rest of your life'. That was good advice and so I will pass it on to you.



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#15 of 17 Old 10-23-2012, 04:11 PM
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Many women have abortions and are at peace with that decision. Two posts on this thread scream pro-life agenda to me and there's really no place for that in a thread where the OP mentioned abortion as an option. Those talking about feeling grief over a past abortion, that's different-- it's definitely a difficult decision and should be made carefully.


I'm pregnant with a surprise third and whereas I'm younger, I'm worried, too. We're not thinking of retirement yet (though should be!) but are thinking about college as our oldest will be of that age in little more than 10 yrs. I was happy when I first found out I was pregnant, but then was pretty weirded out the first trimester. And I'm still not completely happy about it. But I'm dealing and decided to have the baby. My big issue was that I was a year away from a much worked for bachelor's degree and now I just don't know if that's going to happen any time soon.

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#16 of 17 Old 10-24-2012, 07:31 PM
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I have no advice about the pregnancy but it does seem to me as someone who has struggled with depression that you are pretty depressed. Have you ever been treated or evaluated for depression? Treating that depression (automatic negative thoughts, etc) might help you make this decision with a clearer head. Just my opinion, good luck whatever you decide, I hope things get easier for you.

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#17 of 17 Old 11-06-2012, 11:56 AM
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The irony here is you mention volunteering overseas as one of your goals. You are willing to lay down your life for complete strangers across the ocean, giving up so much for the honor, experience and growth such an opportunity would bring but you won't lay your life down for the stranger growing within you who offers you so much more in return! Something to ponder!

Your child is already here! Your child is already changing your life chiseling away at your fears, selfishness and doubt. You wanted this as much as this child wanted your family to be his/hers. Let this child change you! It will be one of your greatest blessings! Life is more valuble than retirement plans and college savings. Go for the family you and your dh want! It goes so fast!

It does sound like you are burnt out. Find something for you and build a support network of other moms! It will lift your spirits.

That all said, I do not stand in judgment but empathy! I get scared too when i am pregnant but every single time, I trusted it would work out and it did!

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