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This is a sensitive subject I know, but I really need advice.  I am about 10 weeks pregnant with my third baby, which has come as a massive surprise to my husband and I.  We have 2 wonderful sons, who we decided were enough for us.  One is 4, home-educated and very demanding still.  The other is 11, and does not receive the time and attention I would really like to give to him (due to me spending a lot of time looking after ds2).  I had hoped that as ds2 got older I would be able to spend more time with ds1.  Now I don’t know how this can happen.  And my youngest is so attached to me that I am scared how upset he might be at me having to care for a new baby.  I am even dreading telling him about it for fear of seeing him hurt and his world turned upside down.  My husband is 58 next week, so he would be a very old daddy - 76 when baby is 18. I also hed terrible post-natal depression with my first, and I wouldn’t be in any fit state to parent my other 2 if this happened again.  I am so frightened about it all.  I have been wondering whether it might be in the best interests of my existing family to have an abortion, but I am worried I might not be able to live with myself if I went through with it as I think of it as murder (though I don’t judge other women who have one).  Has anyone been in a similar position in any way?  Or any advice anyone could give me?  I am meant to be going to pre-abortion counselling next week, although I have in no way made any decision yet.  On balance my husband wants to keep it, but he is out most of the time anyway so I don’t think it would impact him as much.
Please don’t send me any hate messages as I only want to do the best for my sons as they mean the world to me, and I am in a very dark place at the moment.  Thank you.

Lee
Mummy to 2 wonderful boys and 1 wonderful little girl xxx

I didn’t want to read this and not respond as you’re obviously going through a difficult time.  Only you know what is right for you and your family. Children are very resilient and can surprise you. I know that sometimes siblings reject new brothers or sisters but that’s not always the case. My experience has been positive but again you know your sons better than anyone. Listen to your heart but above all else be kind to yourself. Hope you find the right path for you and your boys.
Helen
xxx

And now mama to William too!

I want to send you a big hug. In your heart you probably know what the right decision is for you and your family. You asked if anyone had been in a similar position and although each of us have unique situations, I have been in a situation where my pregnancy seemed like the worst thing that could have happened, and some friends even said maybe I should consider an abortion. I had the baby, and although I would be lying if I said it was easy, the first few months in particular where really hard. This time was so short lived really when I think of the years of enjoyment from my beautiful daughter. Hope all goes well for you, sending you hugs.

wish I could come up with some advice for you.
My DH is 50, and I have a friend who’s husband is late 60’s with a 8 year old son, older dad’s seen to put a different slant on parenting and can be fantastic and calming especially if they are retired/ semiretired, the only big issue I worry about is health, but then illness can hit at any age I guess.
Gill
x

You are heard and in no way judged.  Like others have said you know your children and family the best.  It sounds like you are doing all the best things to make a decision that sounds very very hard.  I do hope in the midst of all your thinking you are able to consider yourself and ensure that whatever you decide you have the support you need to work through it.

Thank you.  What kind messages.

Lee
Mummy to 2 wonderful boys and 1 wonderful little girl xxx

I don’t know if anyone is still reading this thread, but I couldn’t read without posting! I just wanted to say that it made me sad to think that a person might even have to *ask* for understanding and kindness and no judgment in this situation! Of course, it’s only realistic, and of course I have encountered people who would judge you, but it is so disappointing to me that people cannot practise empathy more :-( . (And thank goodness for people like those who posted on this thread before me!) I don’t, personally, think of abortion at 10 weeks as murder (and perhaps you don’t either, apricot, because if you *did* then would you really be able to refrain from judging someone who made that choice?), but whatever our personal beliefs, I think that as women—as human beings!!!—we must try to find a way to listen and hold one another—just to sit with someone who is hurting, to sit with everything they are feeling, because so often that’s all that person needs.

All this is just a way of saying what others have already said: you are in such a difficult situation, and I can imagine what you are going through. I think your first priority should be to be gentle with yourself. Whatever you decide, the decision will not be easy; I hope you can arrive at a place where you do not feel guilty because you know you made the best choice for your family under the circumstances.

Some aspects of your family situation are very similar to mine—we home educate our 2 children, and I do feel that adding a third would complicate home education/unschooling because of the age gap—I do think it would become harder to find ways to excite/challenge our oldest (who turned 6 yesterday) while still meeting the needs of a baby and then, in a couple of years, a toddler. Right now, we have just the 3-year-age gap between our 2 to deal with, and I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, how it will slowly get easier to involve both girls in the same activities, but it is still quite hard for some things—there are all sorts of projects we’ve had to put on hold because DD2 just can’t participate yet. I do think it would be harder with a third. But on the other hand, your worry about your husband being older does not feel like such a huge obstacle to me. Life is fragile at any age; life can change overnight. Better to have an involved, loving parent for 15 years than a half-hearted, distant one for 50 years—and yet many people grow up with the latter, and mainstream society doesn’t question it. I would not be worried about age, in and of itself, if you have enough love to go around—and you can take this as advice coming from a relatively practical, unsentimental person grin .

Thank you preets.  You’re message is very understanding and thoughtful.  I will hold on to what you’ve said.

Lee
Mummy to 2 wonderful boys and 1 wonderful little girl xxx

Although I understand your concerns I think you are perhaps over anxious about the effect on your other children.  You are concerned about the amount of time you spend with your eldest, but is he concerned about this?  If you make at least some time each week to talk to him so he knows he is heard then I think that is fine.  Also, he coming up to the teenage years when they want to be with their friends more.  With your youngest I think how you approach telling him about a baby will influence the way he feels.  If he can feel your anxiety and worry this may affect how he feels about the baby, it has to be presented to him as a positive thing that he and all the family are happy about.  I think you are being hard on yourself as parents we are not miracle workers we can only do our best,  we can’t be all things to our children and they have to learn to cope with both the ups and downs of life.  Children are also incredibly resilient and adaptable to change, better than we are I think.

Only you know what is best for yourself and your family, I think ultimately it is what you feel you can cope with, not just in terms of having three children but in terms of whether you could emotionally deal with an abortion.  I am speaking from personal experience.  If you had post-natal depression (I did) it is possible to take some anti-depressants during pregnancy and breast-feeding (if you choose to), knowing that you are prone to depression will help you see the signs in advance.  Good luck for next week, and don’t forget to talk to you partner as much as possible about how you are feeling.

I have nothing to add as all these wise women have shared such beautiful thoughts.

However, I wanted to add my love to the discussion and I’m holding the space, knowing you will find the right decision for you all.

I feel us holding hands in a circle, with you in the centre feeling our love…Can you feel it too, apricot?
Draw on that strength; everything is and will be perfect.

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...and I know of families with one child who, even though are HE’ing and are *with* their child 24/7 still don’t feel like they give their child good quality attention (which as a mum of three baffles me haha!) but the point really here is that having more doesn’t necessarily mean watering down the attention; it is is different and your kids will neevr know anything else.  I have a friend who has just had a third after a 7 year gap and her 10 year old and 7 year old have an amazing relationship with the baby - v different to having a whole troop close together (the mum looks amazing for a start!!)  Every family has its own challenges and dynamics.

You are in safe hands on here , apricot, smile

xx

Preets - what a beautiful response

So many wise words, and I wanted to say that I’m in Starchild’s circle, sending you strength and love. Whatever you decide, remember that you will have made the best decision for you at the time you make it, and believe in yourself x

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Again, thank you everyone.  I do appreciate the love you are sending me.  Still undecided though.

Lee
Mummy to 2 wonderful boys and 1 wonderful little girl xxx

I wanted to add about the practicalities of having older siblings with a new one. I had my youngest when my bigger children were 7 and 9. Admittedly neither were he. However their relationship is so different to that of each other. They both adore him despite my eldest being mortified when we broke the news an that I was pg. Also a sling works wonders in the first year as if I needed to do anything I’d pop him in and 99% of the time he would fall asleep! Sometimes hours! My magic sling we used to all call it. As for an 11yr old, my dd turned 12 and now spends most of her free time out with her friends. We have a once a month girlie trip shopping and just this yr started an annual weekend away. Just us. Is this something that could be possible?

Your 4yr old won’t be 4 forever and will gradually be more independent. If you make good use of a sling it will keep your hands free to give time you him when you need to.

With pnd i had that with my middle one and it was my biggest fear with no3 (that and the birth as ds1s was traumatic). It was the first thing I spoke to my midwife about and she was wonderful! Thankfully I never got it this time but she was right there if I ever did. I also friends and family to watch in case they feel I developed it and to get me help asap.  I’m just trying to give practical solutions as i can only imagine how difficult this decision is for you.

I think in this situation you need to go with your heart. Life can be incredibly hard practically but you learn to cope… But i truly believe that it would be harder if you go against your heart. All the best with your decision. Hugs. xxxxxxx

I realised that I had not updated this post, and I wanted to let all you lovely people know that I decided to keep my baby.  I had a very worried and scared pregnancy, but I should have had more faith.  I gave birth to my darling daughter at home on 6th January, and I would not be without her.  It makes me cry to think that I even considered an abortion, and I thank God that I didn’t go down that route.  Thanks for all your lovely responses last year. xx

Lee
Mummy to 2 wonderful boys and 1 wonderful little girl xxx

Congratulations lovely, this is wonderful to read! I had been wondering about you. You know that we would have supported you no matter what decision you had made, but of course, news of a baby is always beautiful and magical, I never get tired of it if I have even the slightest connection to the family grin . Enjoy these newborn days with Daisy, and congratulations to all the family—I hope the transition is smooth and easy for your boys.

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