Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“I’m Afraid This Pregnancy Will Ruin His Dreams”

My boyfriend and I have only known each other for eight months. I live in Kansas and he lives in Florida. We are both thirty and I have an eleven year old daughter from a previous relationship. We both feel as though we want to spend our lives together, but there are many things we would like to accomplish also. Separately, in our own lives. He is a musician in a band that tours regularly. I would like to make films and documentaries, and hopefully travel the world. These goals are not necessarily conducive to a life together. We are both willing to be patient and supportive, but the problem is I’m pregnant. He doesn’t know yet and I’m horrified that this will be the end of his dreams. I would never want to be the cause of that. I know he wants to marry me eventually, but it was all supposed to happen in due time. Now it worries me things will be put in fast-forward. I know I will have to talk to him, but I am so afraid he will make choices that he’ll resent me for in the future. I dread the thought of abortion. I may not have another chance to have a child either. I am at a loss. Any advice would be truly appreciated. — Scared in Kansas


Woah, the last time I checked, it takes two people to make a baby. You being pregnant isn’t something you’ve done to ruin your boyfriend’s dreams. He is every bit as responsible for your pregnancy as you are. Futhermore, why does a baby have to mean your — or his — dreams are over? You, as a mother for 11 years, should know that your life doesn’t stop the minute you become a parent. Yes, your priorities shift; you have to make compromises; some things that were once easy require a lot more forethought and planning; and maybe you don’t get to do everything on that bucket list of yours. But parenthood doesn’t mean your life stops. It doesn’t mean the dreams you have won’t ever be realized. Maybe they won’t be … but maybe they wouldn’t have been even without the baby. Dreams change all the time as we grow and evolve, and among the biggest opportunity for growth and evolution is becoming a parent. Parenthood can create new dreams. Bigger dreams. Better dreams.

But I’m not telling you anything you don’t know. You’ve been a mom for a long time. You’re just worried that your boyfriend doesn’t know these things, and that he won’t wholly embrace the opportunities parenthood provides. And maybe he won’t. But there’s a far better chance he will if you approach your pregnancy from a place of positivity instead of a place of dread, and if you come to the discussions you’re bound to have over the next many months with an open and patient heart and a willingness to share your ideas for making it work. But it’s also important to remember that you don’t have to have everything figured out just yet. You’ll figure out together. Together. You didn’t get pregnant by yourself, and if this man truly loves you and has even a shred of decency, he’ll stand by your side and support you through whatever decisions you make. Together. Because that’s what grown-ups in mature relationships do, even if it means re-imagining how their future and dreams will play out.

*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at [email protected].

62 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Callifax April 25, 2011, 7:31 am

    Great advice, Wendy! I’m 25 and am not planning to have kids for a few years, but have had to have this conversation with my father many a time. He worries that if I settle down and have kids within the next five years, I’ll miss out on growing in my career as a Biologist and my goal of doing some writing on the side. I think that a lot of people fret that having kids means giving up everything that you are – including hobbies, interests and dreams. I don’t think it has to be that way at all. Certainly you need to shift your priorities…but I’d imagine that having kids might also push you to better yourself and make the most out of your goals, in order to set a good example for them.

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    • avatar

      justpeachy April 25, 2011, 2:57 pm

      Sounds like you at least have a great support system in place if any of your dreams did change. If everyone had that, there would be A LOT fewer people emailing in for advice.

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    Beckaleigh April 25, 2011, 9:22 am

    I really don’t understand why most people think that having children will make someone give up their dreams. I got pregnant at 15 and the first words out of everyone’s mouths was that I would have to quit high school and would amount to nothing. Now, ten years later, I graduated from high school, college, and law school. I agree with Callifax, having my daughter made me want to do better and if I didn’t have her, I’m not sure that I’d be as successful.

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    • avatar

      honeybeenicki April 25, 2011, 9:41 am

      I completely agree with you. Sure, having a baby (especially that young) can make it more difficult but it doesn’t make it impossible. My best friend had her son the summer after our sophomore year and she graduated with honors and is now a nurse and finishing her bachelors degree. She did it all while taking care of her son and she did it because of her son. She knew she had to do it to have a good life.

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  • avatar

    sleepy April 25, 2011, 9:28 am

    My question is… if you want to pursue these things in your life, why weren’t you more careful about birth control. If freedom was so important, you would think this would be tantamount in your relationship. That you were careless seems to me that you wanted more from this relationship than you were letting on.

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    • avatar

      SpaceySteph April 25, 2011, 10:02 am

      I think thats unfair. Being careless with birth control does NOT mean you subconsciously want to get pregnant. You are essentially accusing her of trying to trap this guy in a relationship by having his baby.
      Accidents happen (Not that your child is an accident, LW, but the slip up of birth control could have been) and sometimes even when you are using it correctly, birth control is not 100% effective.

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      • avatar

        LTC039 April 25, 2011, 10:09 am

        Regardless, its irrelavent. What’s done is done. Birth control issues is her personal business…Clearly she feels bad enough as it is, why bring up something that isn’t any use. She wants advice, not judgement.

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      • avatar

        NolaGirl April 25, 2011, 10:23 am

        Not that I particularly disagree with you or particularly agree with Sleepy – I think what Sleepy is trying to say is that most people know the consequences of sex, and again, most people know that most forms of birth control are not 100% effective. But, (and this is a big but) if you really are not at a position to have children, and wouldn’t be ready to take care of an accident, wouldn’t you use more than one form of birth control? I know my husband and I did when we were first dating. Birth control plus condoms make it so ridiculously unlikely to get pregnant. I mean, I always recognized it’s POSSIBLE. It’s also possible to get struck by lightning. I always took the stance if I got pregnant through two forms of defense, that child was definitely meant to be here. Same if I get struck my lightning, guess it was my time!

        I don’t know if LW was using multiple forms of birth control or not. But honestly, if so there is no reason to feel guilty. Even if you’re using one form, there’s no reason to feel guilty. Shoot, even if you two are using NO form (so long as he knows), there’s no reason to feel guilty. It’s not like you can get knocked up without help.

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        NolaGirl April 25, 2011, 10:52 am

        I’m honestly not sure what ya’ll think I’m saying here. But to clarify for the LW (if she reads this, and for anyone else) What I attempted to say is there’s no reason to feel guilty b/c most people recognize the risks of having sex (with our without protection), and it’s not like you can very well get pregnant without a little help.

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      • avatar

        SpaceySteph April 25, 2011, 11:09 am

        I don’t know why you’re getting all those thumbs down either. Your response seemed rather reasonable. If you are so afraid getting pregnant will ruin your life, you might want to take extra precaution…
        And I think the best part is:
        “Shoot, even if you two are using NO form (so long as he knows), there’s no reason to feel guilty. It’s not like you can get knocked up without help.”
        Or as I think of from Save the Last Dance “I climbed on myself and got pregnant?”

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      • bittergaymark

        bitter gay mark April 26, 2011, 8:41 pm

        No, it’s a logical question. And if more of you thought like this fewer kids would be born into such bad situations…

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      • avatar

        SpaceySteph April 26, 2011, 8:46 pm

        I think that its ok to question birth control methods. I was specifically reacting to the “That you were careless seems to me that you wanted more from this relationship than you were letting on.”
        To me this sounds like the poster is accusing the LW of willfully getting pregnant to trap her boyfriend. She might have been being careless, she might have not thought through their birth control choices and the effects of an unwanted pregnancy before it happened… but thats a long way from maliciously getting pregnant on purpose.

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      • bittergaymark

        bitter gay mark April 26, 2011, 9:13 pm

        People probably wouldn’t post much less think such sentiments if it didn’t seem to happen so damn often. I personally know of three such situations where the pill “somehow” simply didn’t work… The girl’s were all “thrilled.” The guys decidedly less so. Two are now divorced, meanwhile, the third never got married and it’s all one big mess…

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    • avatar

      SGMcG April 25, 2011, 10:14 am

      Seriously? You’re going there?

      Did you skip the health class lecture that no form of birth control is 100% effective, other than abstinence? And that you could take every precaution in the world with a condom and sometimes that 15-25 pregnancies per 100 just happens?

      Life doesn’t happen in a straight line and the unexpected turns it takes make it a life worth living. LW, please first focus on what you want to do with the baby, and then talk to your partner about it. You might discover that your ideas regarding the baby might be mutually shared and not harbor any resentment on his part. If they’re not shared – work from there. The important thing LW is not to feel guilty about being pregnant. It’s not the end of the world for him or for you.

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      • bittergaymark

        bitter gay mark April 26, 2011, 8:43 pm

        If this 15 to 25% failure was true, then the HIV infection rate in my circle of friends… ZERO in two decades and I have a circle of friends that is in the hundreds…is beyond miraculous….

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    • avatar

      HolsteinHoney April 25, 2011, 10:53 am

      As a woman who has gotten pregnant while on the pill (which I took religiously) as well as using a condom I am extremely frustrated with your statement. I took every precaution that was feasible. I just happened to be the 1 out of 100 or 1 out of 1000 who didn’t have things work out.

      To play the blame game without knowing anything about the situation is rude and hurtful. I can only hope that the LW reads all the comments below this one and doesn’t take your comment to heart. ESPECIALLY if she was being safe and careful. My thoughts are with you and I hope you make the decision YOU want. Whether or not this guy is ready to go along with you on this journey will be the ultimate test of whether you two are compatible.

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    • avatar

      baby.blanka April 25, 2011, 11:04 am

      I don’t think it’s inappropriate to question the birth control methods the LW was using – yes the situation is what it is but it may help her to rethink her methods for the future if nothing else.

      I think Wendy’s advice is great and I would definitely take it to heart. You and your BF are having this baby, not just you. When your life changes your dreams evolve – they don’t disappear. Good luck.

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      • avatar

        demoiselle April 25, 2011, 12:13 pm

        I suspect that she’s already questioning the birth control methods herself, without anyone needing to point that out to her. 🙂

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      • avatar

        baby.blanka April 25, 2011, 1:05 pm

        I don’t mean pointing it out so much as bringing it to her attention. Her letter didn’t really address it so maybe it hasn’t been an issue. So asking her about her methods might encourage her to talk to her BF about it instead of leaving it out of the conversation entirely.

        I had to have this type of conversation with Mr. Blanka and it was really eye opening about how he felt about me and our relationship. I would ask, not to be judgmental but more just to have that information out there and have it work for the two of them together.

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    • avatar

      Sarah April 25, 2011, 12:13 pm

      You will probably not find someone so rigidly focused on their birth control as I am. I take my pill every day to the minute, use condoms, and have a emergency supply of plan b pills if either method fails. Even then, while I was never truly pregnant, I did have a chemical pregnancy (which apparently is much more common then most women think.) My point is, it can happen to anyone.

      We don’t know LW’s story, why are we so quick to give her blame when she already carries way too much of it? She has chosen to keep her baby, from that moment of her decision, this pregnancy stopped being an accident and started being an adventure. LW, I sincerely hope your boyfriend comes along for the ride, but if he doesn’t, that’s on him, not on you.

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      • avatar

        Red_Lady April 25, 2011, 1:47 pm

        “this pregnancy stopped being an accident and started being an adventure”
        Love it!

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  • avatar

    LTC039 April 25, 2011, 9:49 am

    This is the problem with women… Why do we always have to feel pitty for men? “Oh I don’t want to bother him with this as it might ruin his dreams…” What about YOUR dreams, what about YOU! He was just as much involved in making this pregnancy as you were. Whether he takes it well, well that’s an issue about his character. Tell him. It’s his responsibilty too. Do NOT feel guilty!

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    • avatar

      fallonthecity April 25, 2011, 10:46 am

      I agree! There’s no need for the anxiety about whether a pregnancy will ruin his dreams in life. He’s a grown man and he wasn’t forced into this situation – he’ll be fine!

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    • avatar

      demoiselle April 25, 2011, 12:13 pm

      Bravo!

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    • avatar

      sarita_f April 25, 2011, 1:10 pm

      TOTALLYTOTALLYTOTALLY!!!!!!!!!1 To paraphrase @fallonthecity – he’s a GROWN ASS MAN. Takes two to tango and all that. Worry about yourself first, at this point.

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      • avatar

        sarita_f April 25, 2011, 1:19 pm

        Hit post before I was done. To finish:

        Just do you. Figure it all our for yourself for as long as feasible, then clue him in. If he’s on board with what you want to do and supportive and all that jazz – icing on the cake.

        But based on your fears for how he’ll take it, you’re not expecting the happy outcome. I’m sorry you feel that way, it sucks. But you know what? If he’s not on board and his reaction is as you feared, well, it will be difficult. But give yourself some credit – dragging him along through child support and whatnot will be nothing compared to the difficulties you’ve already faced raising a pre-teen.

        It sounds as if you’re considering abortion but based on what you’ve written you really don’t want to go down that path. And that is completely OK, and completely YOUR decision to make. Dude got it in himself, dude can handle the outcome. He should be informed (IMO) of what the results are, but you don’t need to cow to him in any what whatsoever. And he should be beholden to the greatest extent of the law. Don’t let him off easy on this.

        I hope hope hope the outcome is happy and positive for both of you. But in case it’s not, take care of yourself. Hugs.

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      • avatar

        Painted_lady April 25, 2011, 5:27 pm

        “Dude got it in himself, dude can handle the outcome.”

        I’m in a room full of kids and nearly choked on my own tongue trying not to laugh at that.

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      • avatar

        LTC039 April 25, 2011, 2:10 pm

        Yes!! She should NOT be worrying about “ruining his dreams” She should be worrying about her future & her baby. If he can’t handle it, then that’s on HIM!

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      • avatar

        fallonthecity April 25, 2011, 9:49 pm

        Haha, I like your phrasing better, sarita!

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    • avatar

      HmC April 25, 2011, 2:04 pm

      Totally. He knowingly took the baby gamble by having sex. If an unplanned pregnancy ruins your whole life, male or female, then you shouldn’t be having sex.

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  • avatar

    BoomChakaLaka April 25, 2011, 10:16 am

    As much as you want to “plan” a pregnancy (or life for that matter), it rarely happens that way. Things happen to us everyday to test our character (which ultimately make us grow as people).

    If I’m doing my math correctly, you first got pregnant 19. Did your life change then? Were your dreams ruined? I’m going to guess not becuase you still have dreams to make documentaries.

    So now a child is in the the picture. I don’t see why that should stop you (or your BF) from fulfilling your dreams while raising a child.

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  • avatar

    demoiselle April 25, 2011, 10:42 am

    Is your dread because you are afraid this baby will ruin his dreams, or have you picked up on some level that his attitude towards the relationship is different than yours? Are you afraid that, telling him about the pregnancy, you will discover that his priorities do not include you and a family at all?

    Unfortunately, since you don’t have a solid commitment from him yet and have apparently not discussed a hypothetical pregnancy together (I’m not suggesting that you *should* have), you probably have to decide how you want to handle this pregnancy *without* assuming that he’s going to step up to the plate.

    Definitely tell him about it and see what the future holds … but now that you are pregnant, I think you need to be chiefly concerned with the quality of your own future–and your children’s–than with him giving up his dreams. You are not responsible for making his dreams come true despite your pregnancy. He’s an adult who has made his own choices, and he must take responsibility for them. I hope that he can do so, and without resentment (there are lots of people who will use life’s unpredictable surprises as a scapegoat for their own failures, at least in the fields of art and performance … but I think that is a often a personality flaw–being unwilling to take responsibility for one’s choices and actions).

    As Wendy and posters above said, it is possible to be a musician or make films and still be a parent. It will be a challenge, though. Soon, you’ll find out whether he is a man who is willing to compromise. I hope that he is. And I hope that you find out that he is the man you think he is.

    If he isn’t that kind of man, it isn’t because your pregnancy ruined his dreams. It will be because of himself.

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    • avatar

      fallonthecity April 25, 2011, 10:48 am

      Great comment.

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    • avatar

      demoiselle April 25, 2011, 12:11 pm

      And before anyone takes offense with my “at least in the fields of art and performance” and accuses me of slander: I say that because I work in those fields, and have therefore seen this dynamic personally. I don’t think it is endemic to artists to refuse to take responsibility for one’s choices. However, art, music, and performance are brutal, brutal careers, and I’ve seen people who couldn’t handle the disappointment and almost inevitable obscurity (totally understandable) blame anyone but themselves for their lack of success. I find that less understandable, and very difficult to live with if you happen to be the “scapegoat.” I don’t recommend it.

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      • parton_doll

        parton_doll April 25, 2011, 1:10 pm

        A little off topic, but as someone who also works in the arts, I agree with the sentiment of your explanation about using a “scapegoat”. Thank you for sharing because I have felt the exact same way and have felt very guilty about it.

        Back on topic … I also agree with your other comment about the letter. Appreciate your thoughtfulness.

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      • avatar

        Painted_lady April 25, 2011, 6:01 pm

        It’s so true. I got out of the arts because I couldn’t take the pressure and suspected there was something in me personally that rendered me incapable of making it a full-time career, whether lack of talent or lack of drive or whatever. It was *so* easy for me to blame a whole bunch of things – the economy, a couple of crappy theatres I worked for, getting pigeonholed into doing something that wasn’t my real passion – but the bottom line was, I couldn’t handle it like I thought I could. And that was really hard to accept. Blaming someone – for getting me pregnant, for needing full-time medical care, for dying and leaving a lot of debt – would have been way easier.

        So all of these fears are so, so understandable. Even if she’s not actually ruining his dreams, it’s understandable that she’s afraid he’ll blame her for it someday.

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    • avatar

      SpyGlassez April 25, 2011, 7:07 pm

      “If he isn’t that kind of man, it isn’t because your pregnancy ruined his dreams. It will be because of himself.” —I nominate this as a quote of the week!

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  • avatar

    Niki April 25, 2011, 10:53 am

    I can completely sympathize with the letter writer. I’m a 30 yr old law student and just found out that I am pregnant by a fellow law student. I was taking birth control plus had been told that because of my history of endometriosis, ovarian cysts, and adhesions that it was highly unlikely I’d ever get pregnant naturally. But here I am and the father is not handling it well. He made it clear that he wanted me to have an abortion but that he would support my decision. I have chosen to keep the baby. He also said that, while he’ll be supportive and be there as best he can, he has no intention of marrying me and if I have this child I will be a single parent. He has completely pulled away from me. So I can understand the LW’s apprehension about telling her boyfriend. The prospect of raising a child alone and finding out that the man you loved isn’t the person you thought he was, can be devastating. I hope the LW’s boyfriend comes through for her and I wish her the best.

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    • avatar

      MonMon April 25, 2011, 3:15 pm

      Niki,

      I want to tell you how much I admire your strength in your decision to keep your child, despite your knowledge of the bumps that lay in the road ahead of you. Unfortunately the “man” that happens to be the biological father of your child is one of the worse representatives of the male sex, however I believe that a strong woman like yourself will have no problem meeting a real man who will love you and your child enough to want to marry you and make a life with you (if this is what you choose for yourself, of course).

      I wish you the best in your future and for a joyous birth of a healthy child. She or he will be blessed to have you for a mommy.

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    • MissRemy

      Ally April 25, 2011, 4:42 pm

      Niki – One of my friends recently became pregnant after having been told that it was highly unlikely, for similar reasons to yours. She however had stopped ‘bothering’ with contraception because of this. Luckily she and her partner are very pleased to be expecting. Just goes to show the doctors don’t always have it right. Anyway, I just wanted to say I think you are very brave to take on this challenge solo and I hope that being a parent is as fulfilling and wonderful for you as it should be, despite the situation. Good luck!

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  • avatar

    MellaJade April 25, 2011, 11:07 am

    My question is – if you’re only 30, LW, why are you convinced this is the last chance you’ll have to get pregnant? If you were 40, I might understand the concern but at 30 you still have at least another 10 good years of child bearing, no?

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    • landygirl

      Landy April 25, 2011, 11:40 am

      “I dread the thought of abortion. I may not have another chance to have a child either.”

      This line hit a note with me as well.

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      • avatar

        NolaGirl April 25, 2011, 11:45 am

        As a side note – Not all women go through menopause in their 40s or later. I know several women who started through in their mid to early thirties. Not to mention conception gets harder the older you get. I think for women, your fertility starts to decline around 30, and the older you get the harder it can get.

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      • landygirl

        Landy April 25, 2011, 11:54 am

        True, but my guess would be that going through menopause in your 30s isn’t that common and most likely would not happen to the LW.

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        NolaGirl April 25, 2011, 12:08 pm

        I know it runs in my family, and I just found out about a girl I know who also has it running in her family. It’s not something people talk about – especially women of a certain age – (menopause that is), so it really surprised me that there was someone else I’d known for years with it.

        Who knows, maybe not. But fertility does definitely decrease the older you get. I’m approaching 30 and already concerned about it. I think you peak around age 23-24 and it starts to really decrease in your 30s. I know a lot of women in their late 20s and early 30s concerned about it. It takes some time to find the “right” guy, settle down and decide to have kids. It really bothers some women more than others. I think the “biological clock” people talk about is totally legit.

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      • landygirl

        Landy April 25, 2011, 12:36 pm

        I guess I’m not one of them but I wish I was, I’m ready to be finished with menstruation.

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        SpyGlassez April 25, 2011, 7:10 pm

        I know the stats on this, but it is not always the case. My grandmother was 35 when she had her first (my dad); my mom was 34 when she had my sister; one great aunt was 40 when she had my second cousin, and two of my great aunts were born to my great grandparents when my great grandmother was in her 30s.

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      • avatar

        demoiselle April 26, 2011, 9:50 am

        Yes … and my mother was 37 when I was born, and could have had more children … Fertility does decrease with age, but fortunately you only need one good egg for each pregnancy.

        One major reason for loss of fertility in older women is often overlooked: damage from STIs. Various STIs can scar the fallopian tubes, leading to major fertility issues or tubal pregnancies.

        Unfortunately, I don’t think many news sources or sex ed classes acknowledge how often this is the cause of difficulty bearing children at older ages. They act as if women just lose their effectiveness with age. However, if you know about the danger of STIs from the teen years on, you can protect yourself effectively (barring rape or condom breakage).

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      demoiselle April 25, 2011, 12:06 pm

      Some people have health conditions which might make having children vanishingly difficult. I think severe endometriosis is one of those conditions–I had friends told to have kids in their early 20s because every year increased their chances of damage that could preclude pregnancy. I have a friend who has been in aggressive treatment with a specialist for years so that she’d still be able to have kids in her 30s, but she’s fortunate to have been able to afford that treatment consistently ever since her diagnosis. Not everyone can …

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  • avatar

    cat-i-z April 25, 2011, 11:45 am

    He made the choice to have sex with you too… it’s not your fault. There is always a risk of some sort when you have sex.. no matter what pill or contraception you try…

    Children are miracles and they don’t ruin futures… I believe they make them better. He may have to change some things he wanted to do and so may you.. but I believe it will be worth it.

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    • bittergaymark

      bitter gay mark April 25, 2011, 7:51 pm

      Wow…. You live in a fantasy world. Give my best to Tinkerbell. Okay, seriously…every time I go to the market in LA I see sad examples of parents who clearly weren’t meant to be and who clearly are LOUSY at it. PS: Surprise, surprise, the kids don’t exactly seem very happy either… Trust me, not EVERY child makes the world a brighter place. Not in this time of over population.

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    • avatar

      Kate April 25, 2011, 7:58 pm

      Children aren’t miracles. They are biology.

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  • bittergaymark

    bitter gay mark April 25, 2011, 7:44 pm

    Once again I am simply astounded at how reckless and careless people are. Yet another 30 year old acting as if she were 14 and brought up in a home with no sex ed. The guy is just as dumb by the way… Perhaps even more so. Yep, if his dreams go up in smoke he’ll have nobody to blame but himself… And of course, her. Oh, and the innocent baby. Yeah, they’ll all make for a real happy bunch! Meanwhile, those two are about as ready to be parents as Bush was to lead the nation… Yikes. What a mess…

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    • avatar

      AnitaBath April 25, 2011, 7:53 pm

      Did you read some paragraph that I somehow missed, where the LW said how she had tons and tons of unprotected sex without using condoms (because they have a 100% success rate, right?)?

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      • avatar

        Foreveryoung April 25, 2011, 8:44 pm

        I completely agree. I am extremely fed up with everyone acting like they are so shocked by pregnancies. How is it that condoms/birth control are 93-97% effective, yet 50% of people claim they were so safe and just accidentally got pregnant. Why can’t people just own up and admit they were reckless? I’m sure the people commenting really are in the 3% that defied all odds and got pregnant, either that or people are completely over-estimating how safe they are being.

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      • bittergaymark

        bitter gay mark April 26, 2011, 8:21 pm

        Gee, Anita, I dunno. Where is the paragraph about how she and her boyfriend were super careful…using condoms, the pill, and the rhythm method only to (miraculously?) have this happen to them against all odds? Face it, the absence of my suggested missing paragraph speaks volumes — considering how ever other poster on here lately is trumpeting how they were totally blindsided by their own curious odd act of birth control failure (the rate of which on here goes against all known statistics by the way.) Newsflash, most time when birth control fails it does so because it is used dumbly i.e. incorrectly… I am gay guy with some seriously slutty friends (think Samantha!) all of whom use condoms and not a one has EVER come down with HIV in well over two decades now… so, look, I’m sorry if I am judgmental about this, but CLEARLY far too many of you straights out there need to take a remedial class on condoms… Again, this baffles me as they truly aren’t that tricky to figure out. END of RANT.

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        Sarah April 27, 2011, 12:14 am

        Pretty sure you’re not sorry. Btw, about 1 in a thousand women will be infected with HIV during unprotected vaginal sex, and 8 out of 100 typical birth control pill users will get pregnant. 1-2 out of a hundred perfect birth control users will also still get pregnant, pretty sure it doesn’t make sense to compare that with the HIV percentage. Why exactly do you have a problem with women warning other women to use extra back methods of protection because getting pregnant can happen to anybody? Or defending a girl who got accused of getting pregnant on purpose to lure her boyfriend in?

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      • bittergaymark

        bitter gay mark April 27, 2011, 3:50 pm

        I don’t understand where you ever got the idea that I don’t think women should use multiple forms of birth control…. Instead, my point was simply that I don’t necessarily believe all these women out there that just miraculously happen to have their birth control method “fail.” It’s also decidedly curious that almost all of these “miraculous” failures seem to happen to women who simply “can’t even bring themselves to even think about having an abortion.” Oh, no… These “failures” always seem to happen to those who are only all too happy to bring the child into the world, unwanted or not.

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    Mean Sistine April 25, 2011, 11:16 pm

    This is to the commenters, NOT the LW.

    Will everyone PLEASE stop saying “Birth control is only 98% effective” and discrediting it as if the chances of it failing are actually 100%. Where I grew up I heard this line all the time. And you know what? Our entire freshman class was full of pregnant 14 year olds, because they were told over and over how ineffective birth control is that they didn’t even bother to try and use it. 98% effective IF USED PROPERLY is a huge percentage. Even if the condom breaks, there is something called Plan B that is sold over the counter at any pharmacy. Why is it that commenters always act like the 2% ineffective population is every single person who writes into this site. Those that are questioning whether the letter writer used birth control are probably just sick and tired of always hearing people cry about how they got pregnant as if it’s some miraculous mystery that’s going to destroy their lives they didn’t see coming. We all know how it happened. I know someone who doesn’t want to get pregnant. She has an IUD AND uses condoms. I know another woman who doesn’t want to get pregnant. She’s on the pill AND uses condoms. If you really don’t want to get pregnant, you can use 2 forms of birth control.

    Regardless, the point isn’t wether the LW did or didn’t use birth control. Her questions wasn’t “How does birth control work?” It was “I’m pregnant, what do I tell my boyfriend?” So questioning whether she used it or assuming she did and it didn’t work are completely irrelevant at this point. She’s already pregnant so neither scenario matters. I just wish everyone would stop discrediting the idea that birth control works at all.

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    • bittergaymark

      bitter gay mark April 26, 2011, 8:22 pm

      So, so agree with you here. Brilliant post content. Eloquently stated, too.

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    Flake April 26, 2011, 1:31 pm

    First of all, you do have to tell the BF. He has the right to know. In the very least his reaction to these news will tell you everything you need to know about his personality and values. The rest of the decisions, in my opinion, are yours. Personally, now that I have a baby, I don’t think I could get an abortion (I would, however, NEVER impose my opinion or choice on anyone else). And as for you, you do know what it takes to raise a kid, and you do know that you can do it. Also, it was probably way more difficult when you were 19. Your experience and knowledge at this point are priceless.
    As you know already, having a baby is a life-changing event, but it is definitely not life-ending. In the worst case you will just have to postpone your goals and dreams for a couple of years.
    And unless you lied to him and said that you were on birth-control, he really should not be that surprised that you are pregnant. He is grown man. I assume he does know about the birds and the bees. TOGETHER, you decided to have sex, now together you have to deal with the consequences.

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  • theattack

    theattack April 27, 2011, 2:06 pm

    LW, you say you dread the thought of abortion. I wish I knew what this meant. Does this mean you have made the decision not to have an abortion because you want to carry the pregnancy to term and keep the baby, or does this mean that you sort of want one but are afraid?

    If you’ve already made the decision to have a baby, then you can just ignore the rest of what I’m writing here.

    If you are interested in abortion but are hesitating, you should learn and think about it some more. I had an abortion, and it was really not that bad. I took the pill, and the pain was similar to the pain from contractions, because they basically were. But the pain lasted about two hours, and it was over. I don’t have a child I wasn’t prepared for, and I’m not forever tied to my ex-boyfriend. If you don’t want to have another baby and don’t have moral issues with abortion, you should call a clinic and find out exactly what happens to alleviate some of your fears. If you want to hear more about what it was like from someone who’s had one, let me know and we can email about it. It’s really not that scary, and it’s worth it if you want one.

    Either way, best of luck to you and your family.

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