Help - must choose boyfriend or TTC

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-23-2005
Help - must choose boyfriend or TTC
5
Thu, 02-24-2005 - 8:40am
I'm 42, single and in a great relationship for the first time in years. The problem is I'd like to try to get pregnant and my boyfriend, who has three kids from his first marriage, is absolutely opposed to having any more children, biological or adopted. At my age, I feel like this is my last chance to try to have a child and am willing to try anonymous donor insemination, but I also love my boyfriend and don't want to lose him. I feel like I'm being forced to make a choice and I don't know how to choose. I don't really want to be a single mom-- I'm worried about finances and don't really have a support network of family or close friends where I live (I moved here a year ago)--but I'm willing to try anyway.
I agonize and cry over this every day. If you have any advice, please help.
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-17-2004
Thu, 02-24-2005 - 1:02pm

Hi there - I understand your predicament. But really, the choice to have a child is yours. You love your boyfriend but he has made it clear he doesn't want any more kids. My ex-beau told me I was ridiculous to think about having a child - at my age - I had just turned 41. Oh the expenses, being a single mom etc.etc. then six months later he married a lady who had a six-year-old son so ... just want to let you know they do change their minds. But don't count on it!

You love him - that's great - is he committed to you - any talk of marriage or is that also something he needs time to think about - yes, I'm playing devils advocate here. If you do decide to go the TTC route - it is something you should really think hard about. Okay - the finances - do you have insurance that will cover any of this treatment - find that out first as it will help you determine if you are ready to shell out your own $$ for this. Then the finances and time of raising a child - your shopping, trips to the gym, vacations, girls night out, restaurants etc. etc. those go on the back burner and the child is the focus.

Then - are you ready to give up your life as you know it to take care of a baby - regardless of whether or not you and your boyfriend stay together. You need to decide if you want a baby - and you're behind the eight-ball as one of my favorite REs once told me. You cannot afford to wait much longer if you're going to try this route. And, most adoption places do not allow single folks over 48-50 to adopt (though, of course there are exceptions!). But adoption is not inexpensive in the least.

Good luck with whatever decision you make - make the right decision for you and try to keep in the back of your mind that your boyfriend may or may not last. If two years down the road you two split you don't want to be mad at yourself for not taking this chance. If you have a baby - you and the baby will be together for life.

Hope this is somewhat helpful - Barbara

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-07-2004
Fri, 02-25-2005 - 2:07pm

Well, I don't know if this will help, but you have to listen to your intuition and trust it. That little voice inside can probably tell you what to do. Going through the pros and cons is probably just confusing ... since there are so many good things and so many difficult things about each choice (if your bf is indeed inflexible on this subject).

If you do this visualization exercise in your head, maybe you can arrive at a conclusion that tips the scales: Picture choosing your bf and turning your back on having a child forever. Does it feel right? Or if not completely right, at least okay? Can you picture filling up that empty space with other things (creative challenges, career, travel, your dh's children) and eventually being at peace with this choice? Or do you imagine feeling a lot of regret about the child you will never have with him/because of him? Does it seem unbearable? Does it seem like something that will haunt you for a long time?

Then picture having a child … alone. Picture al the good things you hope for. Also try to imagine the harder things … colic … the difficult first year when you must work and take care of a newborn without back up. Picture a health emergency for that child and having to be strong without another adult to lean on. Picture school troubles and teenage rebellion without having a partner to reinforce your judgment. How do you feel? Do you feel it will be worthwhile in spite of the challenges? Do you feel yourself thinking, it will be hard, but I am strong enough and resourceful enough and I want this badly enough to rise to the challenges? Because along with the challenges are great rewards, of course.

You have concerns about finances and lack of a support system, and those are really valid, rational concerns. Single parenting is hard. But everyone has fears and reservations about becoming a parent ... and often the time and circumstances are never "just right" to do it. You have to sort out what concerns you can live with and manage in execution (know yourself, be as honest as you can) and what concerns might be substantial enough to warrant considering a different, wiser course. Perhaps you could post on the single parents board. I'm sure they could give you good insights about what that life choice might be like.

I think you have to listen to yourself ... because if you make a sacrifice like not having your own child for bf and you end up *really* regretting it ... that regret can turn to bitterness that could eventually harm the very relationship you gave this path up to preserve. Remember the relationship will have its own ups and downs and growing pains over the years, no matter how good and healthy it is at this early point before you make a life commitment. Giving up on having a child is a big sacrifice, especially if you are untrue to yourself and you choose BF over becoming a mom partly out of fear.

If you do end up choosing a child, perhaps your BF will reconsider when he sees that you have made a firm and thoughtful decision ... and when he realizes how important this is to you. Perhaps he will be able to reframe his own concerns enough that you will be able to choose this together. Both of you really do have to be committed to this in order for it to be right for you as a couple. Having had three kids of his own, he understands that commitment in a way that you do not yet. Talk to him. Ask him what fatherhood has been like for him … get him to talk about his reservations. And you can share your feelings with him in return … not in order to pressure him or change his mind. But to communicate and see if there is a way for you to come together. That will help you see your best path.

If you cannot work it out with BF and you do chose to have a child, perhaps this relationship was just not meant to be. That will be sad for you and you will grieve for a time. And if you choose to remain with BF and not have a child, you will grieve that loss as well. Both choices contain grief as well as the potential for happiness, as is true of most things in life. Since you cannot avoid pain, I think the important thing is to have the comfort and strength that comes from knowing that you are following your heart and doing what is right for you. You never know what wonderful, new relationships might come your way as a result of whichever path you choose. You have to just be brave and make the best decision that you can and give the rest to God or fate or whatever you believe. Try to be optimistic.

Good luck to you!




Edited 2/25/2005 4:05 pm ET ET by donachiara
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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-25-2000
Fri, 02-25-2005 - 3:53pm

Several years ago I was feeling the desire for a baby. At that time I was single, although I dated there was no one steady. I had two older children. . ..I was worried that I would look back after it was too late and regret not having another child. I was 35 at the time. I was a single mother - had been for quite some time, so I knew I could handle it alone. I wrestled with it. . then decided it just wasn't meant for me to have another baby. . .it was a hard pill to swallow.

Then I met John. His biological clock went off. . .at 39 we TTC and were blessed with twin girls. From my perspective . . .if I had remained set on not having another child at this point in life, I would have missed out on something wonderful.

So, my thoughts on this subject are your feelings. Can you look at it honestly and think in 10 years. . .if things with this boyfriend do not work out. . will you regret not having a child? On the other hand. . .is the desire to have a child worth losing a boyfriend? Only you know what your heart desires most. . .but, I don't think you should have to choose. If the man wants to be part of your life ongoing, he should be able to understand how important this issue is to you. . and bend. If the shoe were on the other foot and the man in your life wanted a child, if he were important to you, wouldn't you at least consider it?

I hope my 2 cents makes sense. .. . I worry I rambled. I'm nearing 42 now - and we are talking about possibly TTC again. . .our hesitation this time is whether or not we have the energy for 3 under 3. But, I really do desire another addition to our family and worry if we don't try I'll regret it when it's too late.. . .that I didn't at least try.

deb

 

  

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2004
Fri, 02-25-2005 - 4:41pm

Hi there,

I just wanted to tell you that I am in a very similar boat, though i am now 44. I truly know what you are going through. I have a BF who is totally not supportive about me TTC and even though he has not said he does not want children, he keeps telling me we have to wait. We have been dating for 6 years and I have gotten prg 3 times with him but mc'd all 3 times. We were not actively TTC though I was somewhat not paying attention on purpose, hoping that I would get prg. I have other issues with him (substance abuse problems that are affecting his SA).

Right now I am pretty close to having to choose between him and having a biological child of my own. Even though I could still get prg with him. I am concerned about having another mc and don't want to go through that again. So maybe I will move on soon. If he doesn't ultimately give up his substances, then I am not sure what I will do.

It is a personal decision I know is very difficult. It seems to me that if you really want a child you need to listen to your heart about that. Would your BF be Ok with you moving ahead with a donor? You never know, he might come round if he sees how serious you are. It is a difficult position to be in.

Feel free to email me directly about this if you want to talk offline with someone who is in a similar position. My email address is kalyaniforyoga@yahoo.com.

sending you big hugs and I hope you find the right answer for you!!
Jadu
44
TTC #1 after 4 mcs

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-22-2003
Sun, 03-13-2005 - 3:10pm
Unfortunately, I think you have to make a choice. If your partner does not want to have another child, you can't force the issue. He will resent you for trying. If you really want to have a baby, I think you should move on with your life to find a partner that would share the same feelings of becoming a parent.
best wishes
steph