Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“Should I Keep My Surprise Baby Even Though I’m Having a Great Time Dating?”

stork

I’m a 43-year-old independent woman with a good job. My husband of seven years just left me two months ago. I was sad for a bit but really bounced back and am having the time of my life! I’ve been dating, too. My ex and I never had kids — I was told I could not have a baby because I have fibroids. Hubby and I were okay with this, and it was likely good because he turned out to be physically abusive to me. But a year ago I really did want a baby. I prayed for one all the time and really tried hard. I had to grieve that I would never be a mom.

But now my husband’s gone, thank God, and I’m enjoying my freedom! I’m 43 but very attractive and enjoying male attention. I had a fling last month, but it was short-lived. He used to text me daily, but in the last week he won’t even text me back. I am hurt about this. Then, today, I found out I am pregnant. Shock of my life.

Also within the last two to three weeks, I started dating a really nice guy. We are both into each other, but I know from this crazy dating world it is too soon to say what will happen.

So what do I do? Part of me says get an abortion, forget this ever happened, don’t tell the new guy and keep dating him. Another part of me says this is my only chance to have a baby and to go for it. It would be really hard to make ends meet, but I think I could do it…But I don’t want to lose the new guy. — To Keep it or Not

Sorry, but your priorities as a potential mom-to-be already sound really whack. You’re really weighing the attention and time of a guy you’ve been dating for two weeks in your decision to keep a baby you say you prayed and tried really hard for a year ago? Look, I appreciate that you’re going through this big transition right now, having just gotten out of an abusive relationship, and enjoying male attention. So…maybe that’s your priority right now and that’s fine. But, yeah, at 43 this probably is your one and last chance to have a baby. So, really think about that. (And also consider the risks involved in conceiving at your age and whether you are emotionally and financially prepared to deal with them). Think about whether being a single mom is the life you want to embrace. Think about whether you’re ready and willing to sacrifice the “time of your life” you’re currently having for a completely different experience — one that you may also find great pleasure and joy in. You can still date, but it will be in a different way than you’re dating now, and you very well might lose your chance with this guy you’ve known a couple of weeks. But, honestly, if that is such a concern for you that it’s a major factor in whether or not you keep this baby — and it seems it is since it’s one of the only factors you mention in your decision-making — then I think the decision is a pretty obvious one.

If you do decide to keep the baby, though, you need to alert the potential father(s) and have paternity confirmed.

***************

Follow along on Facebook, and Instagram.

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

28 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Katy June 12, 2015, 8:18 am

    Yikes. I vote for dating the new guy.

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  • avatar

    joanna June 12, 2015, 8:26 am

    Pro tip: Don’t make any life-changing decisions based on someone you’ve known for 2 weeks.

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    • avatar

      pebblesntrix June 12, 2015, 8:28 am

      This.

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  • gigi

    gigi June 12, 2015, 8:33 am

    And if you do decide to abort & keep dating, please use Birth Control … obviously you can get prenant

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  • avatar

    Cleopatra Jones June 12, 2015, 8:48 am

    I felt like LW was all over the place with this letter.
    .
    She went from…I got a divorce from an asshole ex, who was abusive to dating multiple dudes to now I’m pregnant–should I keep the baby? Oh by the way, I may not be able to support said baby.
    .
    Just no, don’t do that to that poor child. LW you don’t have your shit together so how can you expect to raise a healthy child? I’m not sure if anyone told you this but…having kids is HARD work. Real hard work. It is not something that should be taken lightly. So please think long and hard about bringing this child into the world. Also, at this age your child is at higher risk for birth defects. Think about what that would mean to you, if that were the case.
    .
    You haven’t even really processed the end of your marriage nor have you sought help or healing after leaving an abusive relationship. You were divorced all of 2 MONTHS before you got involved in another relationship that you thought would be long-term.
    .
    Also, not to be too judge-y but you were having unprotected sex with some dude that you just met??? For real? Did you think because you ‘couldn’t’ have children, you didn’t need to worry about protection? Oy vey.

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    • Ika

      Ika June 12, 2015, 8:52 am

      A million times this ^^

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    • avatar

      KCL June 12, 2015, 11:26 am

      I’m not sure it’s not the ex-husband’s,

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      • Monkeysmommy

        Monkeys mommy June 13, 2015, 1:36 pm

        I think he just LEFT two months ago, this woman has been burning it up!

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  • Skyblossom

    Skyblossom June 12, 2015, 9:17 am

    Your letter is all over the place. You say you have a good job but you also say you’d have trouble making ends meet. You’ve gone from praying for a baby every day to ready to have an abortion for a guy you’ve known for two weeks. Slow down and ask yourself questions. Look at your situation honestly.

    In another two weeks your current boyfriend might already be an ex. That’s what happened with the last boyfriend. How much do you want a baby and why did you want one so badly a year ago? If you want it so that someone will always love you, someone who can’t abuse you, you need a different reason for wanting a baby. A baby shouldn’t be born with the job of making your life okay. A baby should be born because you want a child in your life, one that you will love and cherish and protect and yes, even make sacrifices for and if you aren’t willing to take a child that way you have no business having a child. If you want a child you wouldn’t entertain aborting that child for a man you’ve been seeing for two weeks. I find it concerning that you see those two alternatives as being equally attractive to the point that you can’t choose between the two. One should call to you much more loudly than the other. How much do you want a baby? How much do you want this man? There are no guarantees that if you choose the man that the relationship will last, at the age of 43 you should know that from personal experience. If you choose the baby it will be lots of hard work and there is no guarantee that the baby will grow up to love you and be devoted to you. In life there are no guarantees. As the mother of two much wanted children I can tell you that I wouldn’t have been willing to abort them for anyone and I wouldn’t have been willing to abort them for money or prestige or fame. That’s what it means to want a baby.

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  • chief10

    chief10 June 12, 2015, 9:26 am

    If you truly truly wanted a baby so bad there wouldn’t even be a decision to make.

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  • Skyblossom

    Skyblossom June 12, 2015, 9:35 am

    You aren’t willing to give up a guy you’ve known for two weeks for this baby.

    Having a baby means putting its needs ahead of your wants. It means buying what the baby needs before you buy what you want. It means staying home to take care of your baby instead of going out, unless you have an affordable, dependable babysitter. It means giving up sleep to feed it during the night. It means having your schedule dictated by meeting the needs of the baby. It means being on call 24 hours every day, especially since you would be a single parent.

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  • Raccoon eyes

    Raccoon eyes June 12, 2015, 10:02 am

    HOLD THE PHONE- LW, Im all about self-empowerment and all and it is great that you call yourself independent, BUT your abusive husband of 7 years left YOU two months ago? You were told you couldnt have a baby (NOT that you couldnt get pregnant)? You were fervently praying a year ago to bring a baby into an abusive marriage? In the two months since your physically abusive husband left YOU, you have casually dated at least two men and the last one is a major reason you are considering an abortion?
    *
    I think it is time for you to take some time for YOURSELF. Get divorced, be independent for more than two months, get to know yourself again, and reevaluate then (maybe a year from now?) if you want to be a mom. Then consider options.

    Good luck

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    • Raccoon eyes

      Raccoon eyes June 12, 2015, 10:11 am

      Also, WWS and WEES!
      *
      LW, therapy wouldnt hurt to help you deal with the demise of your marriage, the abusive aspects, and your mommy grief (for lack of a better word). Talking through issues with a third party is amazing. You should really look into it and find a good fit for you.

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    • coconot

      coconot June 12, 2015, 10:13 am

      I’m not sure whether this woman should have a baby or not, but a year from now it will may well be impossible for her to have a baby (with her own eggs at least). “Researchers found that 40-year-old women treated for infertility had a 25 percent chance of getting pregnant using their own eggs. But by age 43 that number dropped to 10 percent, and by 44 it had plummeted to 1.6 percent” – http://www.babycenter.com/0_age-and-fertility-getting-pregnant-in-your-40s_1494699.bc

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      • Raccoon eyes

        Raccoon eyes June 12, 2015, 10:38 am

        I get it. But also I think that this woman has a WHOLE lot of other things going on that in my humble opinion, her age should not be the deciding factor.

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  • avatar

    Anonymous June 12, 2015, 10:07 am

    Hmm… I think it’s a little unfair that everyone is criticizing this woman who ISN’T a mom yet for caring about supposedly frivolous things like a short-term relationship (which I admit, two weeks SOUNDS ridiculous, but if they see each other every day then that’s fourteen dates, so it could be the equivalent of a couple months in a different relationship), or for having a baby for the wrong reasons. Guys, it’s a surprise baby! It’s not like she wrote in to Wendy being like, “I feel like I might want to get pregnant on purpose and become a single mom, but I really like this guy so what do I do?” That would be insane. But she IS pregnant. She has to decide, a decision she never intended to put herself in the position to have to make. And the question is, does she value her life of freedom and fun and dating and yes, this new guy, more than she values her last chance to be a mom? Both of those things are valuable. Both of those are things that make for a full, well-rounded life — just in different ways. Why are we all jumping down this woman’s throat for not being like, “HOORAY! Can’t wait to give up my next two years of sleep for this random surprise baby whose father is no longer in my life!”

    IMO, the test of being a good parent isn’t what you liked or cared about before deciding to become one; the test is whether, once the baby is born and in your care, you step up. She *didn’t* want or plan this particular baby (wanting a baby with one’s husband is not the same as automatically wanting every baby that might ever come along no matter who the father is). And she hasn’t committed to raising it yet. So she gets to remain a full human who cares about trivial things until she takes on the responsibility of this other life.

    Also, she seems perfectly aware that if she kept the baby, she would probably lose the new guy, so it’s not like she’s planning to become some deadbeat mom who would throw her kid’s welfare under the bus in order to go out on fun dates. In fact, I think one reason she’s not sure she wants it, is that she’s exactly aware of how much work it is and how much she will have to give up. Her ambivalence is so completely human and understandable and in fact CORRECT to me (and if she were 100% excited about this surprise baby whose father isn’t in her life anymore, I think she’d have a different contingent down her throat for being irresponsible and not recognizing the responsibility it takes).

    Good luck, LW.

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    • Lady_Red

      Red_Lady June 13, 2015, 10:37 am

      Yes! Thank you! It seems to me like she wrote this letter very soon after finding out she was pregnant. I mean, that’s a huge life altering thing, and I believe it’s totally understandable to have your thoughts flying all over the place.

      LW, I think, that your first step should be to go see a Dr, if you haven’t already. I may be wrong, but it seems like you just had a positive pregnancy test, and given your age and the fact that you thought you couldn’t get pregnant, it might be nice to have a medical opinion on all of this.

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  • avatar

    Jahaafincher June 12, 2015, 10:07 am

    My mom had fibroids. She was told of she carried a child to term that she could die. Her baby could die in utero, etc. Fibroids are no joke. If/when something goes wrong this issue with your age is a bad combination. Please take care of yourself!

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  • avatar

    rieux June 12, 2015, 10:08 am

    Hmm… I think it’s a little unfair that everyone is criticizing this woman who ISN’T a mom yet for caring about supposedly frivolous things like a short-term relationship (which I admit, two weeks SOUNDS ridiculous, but if they see each other every day then that’s fourteen dates, so it could be the equivalent of a couple months in a different relationship). It’s not like she wrote in to Wendy being like, “I feel like I might want to get pregnant on purpose and become a single mom, but I really like this guy so what do I do?” That would be insane. But she IS pregnant. She has to decide — a decision she never wanted to put herself in the position of making, a decision she had good reason to believe she wouldn’t have to make. And the question is, does she value her life of freedom and fun and dating and yes, this new guy, more than she values her last chance to be a mom? Both of those things are valuable. Both of those are things that make for a full, well-rounded life — just in different ways. Why are we all jumping down this woman’s throat for not being like, “HOORAY! Can’t wait to give up my next two years of sleep for this random surprise baby whose father is no longer in my life!”
    .
    IMO, the test of being a good parent isn’t what you liked or cared about before deciding to become one; the test is whether, once the baby is born and in your care, you step up. She *didn’t* want or plan this particular baby (wanting a baby with one’s husband is not the same as automatically wanting every baby that might ever come along no matter who the father is). And she hasn’t committed to raising it yet. So she gets to remain a full human who cares about trivial things until she takes on the responsibility of this other life.
    .
    Also, she seems perfectly aware that if she kept the baby, she would probably lose the new guy, so it’s not like she’s planning to become some deadbeat mom who would throw her kid’s welfare under the bus in order to go out on fun dates. In fact, I think one reason she’s not sure she wants it, is that she’s exactly aware of how much work it is and how much she will have to give up. Her ambivalence is so completely human and understandable and in fact CORRECT to me (and if she were 100% excited about this surprise baby whose father isn’t in her life anymore, I think she’d have a different contingent down her throat for being irresponsible and not recognizing the responsibility it takes).
    .
    Good luck, LW.

    Reply Link
    • Raccoon eyes

      Raccoon eyes June 12, 2015, 10:46 am

      Rieux, I agree with you to a point, and as I wrote my response that was in the back of my mind.
      *
      I maintain that the most important aspect here is that she was in this abusive marriage (and maybe it was only a recent development, but realistically, physically abusive relationships pretty much always have a pretty strong undercurrent of emotional abuse too) and HE left HER. Yes, she is out enjoying herself now, and good for her! But does that mean she should have a baby conceived a mere, what, week or two after this HUGE upheaval in her life?

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  • avatar

    Bostonpupgal June 12, 2015, 10:35 am

    I agree with rieux. I think we are judging the LW pretty harshly. It is ridiculous to base a decision about keeping a pregnancy on a relationship that is a few weeks old, but I got the vibe that it is more about the future represented by that relationship that is tripping the LW up. I can tell you from experience that an abusive relationship is a special kind of hell. I remember the feelings I had after leaving my abuser, it was like all the good and wonderful things about myself, the world, the opposite sex came rushing back. I felt more like myself and more joyful than I had in years. The LW spent the last few months getting herself and her life back, and realized there was a future of fun, joy, dating great guys, having great sex, maybe even one day being in a truly loving relationship, in front of her. That’s pretty damn enticing. Now she’s shocked by a pregnancy, something she badly wanted, realized would never happen, and put to rest. Now, this new path she’s chosen suddenly includes the option of parenting, and that changes everything. I’d be confused too. LW, the fact is no one can decide whether to keep this pregnancy except for you. Weigh the good and bad, really think about what you want your future to look like, and decide what sacrifices you’re willing to make. Neither choice is wrong, and both come with drawbacks and rewards. Only you can decide

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  • Skyblossom

    Skyblossom June 12, 2015, 10:38 am

    LW you sound like you are at the emotional level of a teenager. I’m not trying to be insulting, just factual. My grandmother’s cousin was this way and a counselor said that they thought she had a severe emotional trauma when she was a teen and she never matured emotionally after whatever happened. The family thinks she was sexually abused by her dad because they know her sisters were.

    If you’ve experienced severe trauma in your life you would benefit from counseling. The counseling would allow you to talk to someone who can help you understand and heal. Definitely, it could help you with the trauma of an abusive marriage but I wouldn’t be surprised to find that there has also been severe trauma at some other earlier point in your life. Sometime when you were young or very young.

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    • Skyblossom

      Skyblossom June 12, 2015, 10:41 am

      The cousin was an adult with 12 children and the counselor said she was functioning at the emotional level of a 13-year-old. Her children had a rough childhood because their mom was so immature. She was getting counseling after they were all grown. If you want to have a baby, go to counseling for the sake of both of you. You will both benefit. Even if you don’t have a baby you would benefit from counseling.

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  • avatar

    csp June 12, 2015, 12:24 pm

    LW, you are at a crossroads here and the only thing that will help is for you to look at the person you are. Not the person you want to be. So you got married at 36 but didn’t try to have a baby until you were 41. That is a late starting point. Were you trying because you want to be a mother or because you were trying to fix your marriage?

    Now you are faced with a decision. You can have this baby and raise it alone. You will face financial hardships and emotional hardships, but people do it every day. The other is to explore who you are as a person alone. You can explore this new found freedom and create a life for yourself that helps you define who you are outside of an abusive marriage.

    Some people say to get counseling but I don’t think you have time for that. If you are going to abort, many states have time limits. By the time you figure out your thoughts on this, it might be too late. If it was me, I would take this weekend to evaluate yourself. Make a pros and cons list. Also make a list of what you really want for your life. Think about all of these things if there are developmental delays and is this dream worth the risk. Many people are right here, this might be your only shot at a baby. The question is if this is what you really want or is this part of an old dream that no longer applies to your life.

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  • avatar

    Kaluu June 12, 2015, 1:27 pm

    Why don’t you ask your doctor whether you have a good chance of a healthy delivery? Also, how about the materniti21 or whatever it is called blood test? Make sure the baby is viable and healthy and then decide. Personally, from your letter, I get the impression you would regret not having this baby. But find out if it’s a healthy pregnancy first. Also if he is the one for you, he will accept you as is. If he doesn’t want you with the “plus one” there is probably someone more compatible out there!:-)

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  • avatar

    TheTruth June 12, 2015, 1:37 pm

    Keep the baby. It’s your last chance.

    Just ask yourself, in 20 years are you more likely to regret not having a baby, or to have stopped dating some random dude.

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  • avatar

    Lissa June 12, 2015, 1:58 pm

    This actually is an incredibly difficult decision that only you can make. That said, one of the reasons that it’s difficult (although there are many) is that you don’t have enough information. Get to a doctor pronto (pp above was right about the fibroids – plenty of women with them carry to term, but if yours were big enough that they already warned you about them, they’re going to watch you like a hawk), get prenatal testing, and tell bio dad about the pregnancy. You’ll have a better perspective on what this decision would entail after all of that, imo.

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  • avatar

    niki June 12, 2015, 6:36 pm

    LW – In addition to everyone’s comments, please get thee to a good family lawyer. If your husband just left two months ago, I presume you are still legally married. Most states (assuming you live in the US) have a law that if you conceive while legally married the husband is legally the father of the child. This means that your abusive husband will be in you and your child’s life, should you decide to keep the baby, until you can get everything straightened out with the courts. Your husband is abusive and the last thing you need is a reason for him to try and come back into your life. A good family lawyer can help protect you. Good luck.

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