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Talk me out of wanting a baby at 45years

By June 16, 2010 - 7:03am
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15 years ago I met my husband, he was young free and single i was going thru divorce with 2 children. We had a very passionate and loving relationship that turned sour when real life started to take over, mortgage, bills, financial worries etc. As our relationship was failing I fell pregnant with his child. He tried to coerce me into having an abortion - i refused and he left me at 3 months pregnant. Now 10 years down the line we got back to gether (when our child was 4 years old) and have been married for 5 years. I am now 45 and earlier this year became pregnant after un protected sex. Sadly at 7 weeks i miscarried (i had a very bad fall and suffered deep trauma). My husband was sad for my loss but very relieved for himself as he ALWAYS made it clear that he doesn't want any children. I am desolate and inconsolable. I know he has a right to choose not to have children but I'm really struggling to cope with emotional issues over my previous pregnancy when he left me to go it alone (very sad,lonely and humiliating) and the loss of our unexpected but for me very much wanted baby. I know there will never be another chance for me. He is with holding sex because he fears i will try to get pregnant, although in the 5 years that we've been married sex is a very rare thing anyway. He always withdraws to avoid risk of preganancy and i find this humiliating too. Where is the love? Don't get me wrong he is a WONDERFUL father to our child, he is willing to sacrifice anything and everything for our child but this is precisely why he doesn't want another child - he doesn't want to have to put in that level of comittment or responsibility. I on the other hand would give my right arm to be able to pace the floorboards at night with a teething infant. I would happily change smelly nappy after smelly nappy and go through all the ups and downs of parenting, the financial, physical and emotional cost are more than worth it to me. I know that I'm in mourning for my lost baby and still grieving over my traumatic pregnancy all those years ago which left such a strong sense of being abandoned at my most vulnerable. I need closure on both of these issues and i have no idea how to go about it. on top of all this I am 45years old and time has really run out for me. Its not an option to say ok, lets divorce and I can try to have the kind of family I need with someone else - i don't have the time quite literally. Whilst he has plenty of time, he is only 39 and could have a whole new life with or without someone else if he wanted.

Now we are at an impass, we barely talk to each other, we are pleasant and accomodating to each other but we just don't 'talk' about what really matters because we both know that it will lead to arguements as both of our point of views are set in stone. I have tried writing to him to try and explain how deep my emotions go but he jst says 'what can I say' and we both know that I need him to say 'I love you and support you and understand your needs, lets try for another child'' and he needs me to say, 'Its ok darling the past is forgiven and forgotten lets enjoy our life together without the burden of more children'
this is something neither of us can do. Where do we go from here? unfortunately due to the remoteness of where we live councelling is out of the question which is why I've joined this community.
I need somehow to let go of my emotional issues and to accept that my childbearing days are over and to look forward to mid-life and retirement with hope and anticipation but all I see is increasing lonliness and isolation.
Advice pls!

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I'm so glad that you're writing. You have so much pent-up emotion and have dealt with it for so long that it is huge. And it seems like so much of it is grief. Grief can affect everything else in our lives unless we deal with it -- and we all deal with it at our own pace and in our own way.

Here is what I see all tangled up in your emotions:

-- Your feelings of loss and abandonment when your husband left you;
-- Your grief over your recent miscarriage;
-- Your feelings that your relationships with your two older children are insufficient and incomplete;
-- Your desire to have another child;
-- Your acknowledgment that the relationship is lacking between you and your husband;
-- Your sense that you just need to pack all this away and move on in your life, which is in direct conflict with all the other things.

It's like all those things are pieces of string that are tangled in a huge ball, and as soon as you tug on one of them a little bit, they pull on all the others and make the tangle worse.

Since you can't find counseling where you are, I am wondering if you are interested in some books on how to deal with grief and loss. It feels like this is the biggest thing going on for you, and you are dealing with it all on your own.

I went through Amazon.co.uk because I thought it might be easier for you to order from there. But I'm sure that Amazon.com would have these books as well if you would rather order from the U.S.

This book has 100 stories from women who have miscarried, and women who have read it wrote wonderful things about it (scroll down and read their reviews):


And this book is written by a woman who herself had a miscarriage:


And these books are about working your way through grief:



I don't think you are crazy. I think you are a woman who loves being a mom and who has had some losses in her life that are hard to cope with at times. I think everything you are feeling came from somewhere. And now you're trying to figure out how to move ahead.

In terms of your husband -- I want to say, gently, that nobody owes anyone else another child, Lisa. He made a mistake -- a bad one. But he ultimately did try to do right by that mistake. It sounds like he was always honest about what he wanted (and didn't want) and that he, too, has had some things in life that he didn't expect. That doesn't forgive the fact that he left you and his baby when you were pregnant, but we are all human and we make mistakes.

It is up to you to decide what is more important to you, and act on that. If it is more important to you to try to have another child, it seems like you're going to need to leave your husband and seek other alternatives, like artificial insemination. If it is more important to you to keep your 10-year-old's home intact, then it seems like you need to stay and work through not being able to have another child. You don't have to know the answer right this minute. Order a book or two, read, think, cry, grieve, and work through it as best you can. It'll be a wonderful step toward whatever your future is.

Will you check out those books and let me know what you think?

June 18, 2010 - 9:21am


Hugs, Lisa. This is so complicated, and I know that every level of it is full of emotion for you.

I'm so sorry about your miscarriage. That wasn't very long ago, and I know it has affected everything, especially those old feelings of loss and vulnerability. I am sure that the joy you felt while pregnant -- and the grief you felt at losing the baby -- were both magnified because of your age and your disagreement with your husband about having more children. All that certainly brought up the past, and with it, the feelings and experiences around your previous pregnancy and his leaving.

Let's set aside the issue of your husband's feelings for a moment. You are a mom of three, and you clearly are very devoted to that role. A new baby would have meant that role for you was guaranteed for another 18 (and longer, of course!) years. It made sense, it was wonderful and comfortable. Is it possible that your yearning to have another child is as much about not wanting your role as a mom to "end" in some way as your three kids grow older?

Because your role as mom never ends! It just evolves and changes as your children get older. But it's so important, in all its stages. They would be the first to tell you that.

Are there other areas of your life that you are dedicated to or passionate about? Are there any other roles you cherish? Did you ever have those things that you wanted to do "when the kids got older"?

Or do you see your choices limited? Do you feel like you are needed less and less?

Some of the answers to those questions may help you work through the feelings you're having now about wanting to be a mom again.

I know you said you live in a remote area. Can you talk about that a little bit? Would you feel more alive in a city, where there are more options for you, both now and in the future? Is this sort of move a possibility?

If not, how far away are you from a city? Would counseling even once a month be a possibility? Because I tihnk it would help you soooo much. It helps you stop going over the same ground all the time.

OK. Let's get back to your husband. You are right -- he has every right to decide for himself whether he does or does not want more children. And there is no wrong answer to that question. The fact that he is a good father is awesome -- many "unexpected" dads might not rise to the task as high as he has. I can see that you are thankful for that! But it still doesn't seem to be enough.

When you ask, "Where is the love?" I would have to say that to me, it is there -- but since it falls short of the one thing you want more than anything right now, it seems empty to you. I can understand why he feels you would try to become pregnant -- because you would, right? Not for a reason of deception, necessarily, but just because you see mothering as love and you want to do it so badly.

It feels like the only way to move forward from here -- and actually make progress -- is for the two of you to start with what is common ground and go from there. Would you be interested in some self-help book recommendatiosn about loss, miscarriage, grieving or working through difficult issues in marriage? If so, tell me what city and country you live in and I'll work on the amazon site closest to you.

Do you have a family doctor who you can talk to about possibly being depressed right now?

June 16, 2010 - 8:34am
(reply to Diane Porter)

Hi Diane, thank you so much for your kind and very understanding words. How incredible it is that somebody 'out there' a total stranger could get right to the heart of my deepest emotions so perceptively.
I'll work backwards through your comments - We don't have a family doctor or anyone we could approach for counselling as we actually live in a remote part of Africa. The choice to remain in Africa is really my husband's as it is his work that keeps us here and he is the main 'breadwinner' in our family. My older children are on another continent and I find it very hard being so far from them. I only see them for a couple of weeks once a year and my relationship with them has drifted apart with distance and time. I miss them very much and I want to be a part of their lives, I want to be able to be 'there' for them in a very real sense, to do little things like cook for them every now and then to do their laundry for them. To listen to their worries to be able to give emotional and practical support to them. But sadly our finaces are very restricted and I cannot visit them more often, on top of this they feel resentful to my husband and will not come to visit us even though I would pay for them.They have never got over him leaving me/us when I was pregnant with his son.

When I miscarried I was able to keep my baby, in fact I have her in the deep freeze which I know sounds crazy and very weird but I dont know what else to do with her, I cant bury her here - this is not my home and one day I will leave and I dont want to leave her here alone. Since the day that I put her in the back of the deep freeze (I just know that she was/is a girl even though I was only 7 weeks pregnant) I have never looked or touched the little box that she is in but lately I want to take her out and talk to her, hold her...but I won't. Yes, I'm sure you're thinking I've cracked! I haven't really I just feel such an ache in my arms and my heart where she should be.
I probably do need some kind of grief/miscarriage counselling but it just can't happen. I have to be my own counsellor and try to find a way through this.
Last night my husband and I tried to talk but we came to the same brick wall and I ended up in floods of tears and took a sleeping pill and went to bed. The crux of it is that I feel he 'owes' me, that he is morally indebt to me because he left me whilst pregnant with our son and that he should be able to see how important it is for me to have a child together with him and do it all 'properly'. (My first 2 children were unplanned and unwanted and unacknowledged by their father too).
On one hand I can see that this is unrasonable and yet on the other I still 'feel' like this and feel I have a right to feel this way. I feel so desperately sad, for me, for him for us for our 'family'.
Its true I do feel needed less and less, I started being a mom when I was a teenager and although I have had a career along the way and juggled family and work, its being a mom that means everything to me. Our child is only 10 but already I'm afraid of an 'empty nest'.
I lost my other 2 when they were still teenagers, left them on another continent at college and subsequently they don't see me as 'mom' anymore. They have had to survive on their own without parents.
I never really had things I wanted to do when the kids get older, just things I want to do with the kids.
Its true I don't want my role as mom to end, i guess i mean the bit about providing for all their needs, emotional, physical everything in the way only a small child needs you.
I want to try to explain to my husband (who is not a physically demonstrative man or very communicative) that I need 'big' love. Maybe if i could feel more confident in his feelings for me I could begin to see a future for us without children. These feelings stem from the fact that when we got back together and got married he made it clear that it was not for 'love' but to do the right thing for our child and provide a 'family' and stability. Over these 5 years together he has repeatedly told me that he doesn't 'love' me like 'that' but the he can try to love me. And yet he just as often tells me that he loves me, although the physical side of our relationship is virtually non existent (making me feel rejected again and again). Its so complicated that if it wern't for our child i would give up and walk away. Yet I cant.
I think ideally I would like roses around the door and a house full of babies and a loving husband but in reality the best thing would be for me to accept that this will never be and for me to find peace and happiness with what I have here and now. I need to let go of my grief and resentment to be able to appreciate what I have.
Even if he were to consent to another child, at my age how can I justify the risks and potential for more pain and sadness?
Thanks for your words of support, you have no idea how much it has meant to me to open up my computer and find warmth and understanding for my situation.

June 17, 2010 - 1:12am
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