Anyway, in April I finally started talking to a guy I had my eye on way before I even got pregnant. By that time, I was already 4 to 5 months pregnant. We started talking, and it turned out he had a 3-year-old girl too, which made me feel a little more comfortable. We went out to eat, to movies, out dancing, to his friends’ houses, to his parents’ house, etc. I stopped going out to places with him around the beginning of last month because I was showing a lot more and I had never told him I was pregnant until last week. It was a very nerve-wracking situation. It was hard and scary for me to do; I felt embarrassed and still do. And I feel really bad. But I just couldn’t hide my pregnancy anymore. First, because the baby is coming any day now. And second, it wasn’t right and fair to him that I kept it from him for about 4 months of dating.
It’s been a week now since I told him and I haven’t heard from him. And I told him I knew I wasn’t going to since it was really a pretty scandalous thing to do. But I came to like him a lot. He would tell me the same; everything between us felt so natural and great. Until I had to tell him I was about to have a baby. Would it be a bad idea to text him? Any ideas of what he might be feeling or thinking? I didn’t tell him sooner because I was embarrassed and afraid maybe he wouldn’t give me a chance. I really liked him a lot. But maybe it’s just best to leave it alone and move on. I do have my 3-year-old and soon-to-be newborn to think about anyway. They are what matter most. I just wish my love story could’ve worked out differently. — About to Give Birth
Your scenario reminds me of a letter we discussed a few weeks back about the appropriate time to tell a potential date that you’re in an open relationship. Advice columnist Dan Savage suggested telling before having sex, but waiting until the third date/hang out/whatever to mention your (open) relationship status, saying: “Let them get to know you a bit, then spill — before fucking but after they’ve made a small emotional investment in you. They’ll be more likely to reconsider prejudices they may have against guys in open relationships after they’ve gotten to know a semi-straightforward one and perhaps be less quick to slam the door.” I disagreed with him, saying that being in an open relationship is something that should be shared at the end of the first date, and that applies to being pregnant too.
You took Dan Savage’s idea about an emotional investment making it harder to slam the door and ran with it, only instead of waiting a few dates to tell this guy about your mama-to-be status, you waited four months. This isn’t about you being “embarrassed” or “afraid he wouldn’t give you a chance.” This is about your being manipulative as fuck. You played him. You let him believe you were emotionally and physically available in a way you just aren’t as a pregnant woman (or as a father-to-be, too, for that matter). And having already had a child, you knew that! You knew in a very real and concrete way — because you’d been through it before! — that having a baby is life-changing. And yet you presented yourself as a woman who had one kind of life — as a single mom of a 3-year-old — without opening up that you were about to become a mother of two — that in the very near future, your life would at least temporarily revolve around sleepless nights and tending to the needs of a completely helpless infant. Like a potential partner deserves to know whether you’re in an open relationship — because that kind of thing matters a lot — he or she deserves to know about impending new parenthood as well.
You messed up. You know that. So what do you do now? Well, as you said, you have a 3-year-old daughter and a newborn-to-be to think about. But that doesn’t mean you don’t get to ever have a love life again. Your kids should be your top priority, but, if you aren’t ready to give up on this “love story,” you could send one last message to the guy apologizing for telling such a huge lie by omission, saying you liked him so much and were afraid to scare him away but know you were wrong and don’t blame him for never wanting to talk to you again. But if he ever did want to talk to you again and if he could find it in his heart to forgive you, you would welcome hearing from him, even if he (understandably) wasn’t ready to step back into your life.
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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at [email protected].
Ika September 5, 2014, 8:22 am
WWS. Excellent again, Wendy.
Also? BIRTH CONTROL. BIRTH CONTROL. BIRTH CONTROL. Sheesh.
Miel September 5, 2014, 8:53 am
Oh I hadn’t seen Mafalda in a long time. I like you more now!
Ika September 5, 2014, 8:55 am
She is my favourite. 🙂
ktfran September 5, 2014, 8:43 am
I’m sorry. I just can’t today. I’m going to be snarky. LOVE STORY? At 21? For real? Come on. Wendy, you are far, far nicer than I am.
Lyra September 5, 2014, 11:57 am
I blame Taylor Swift.
TheRascal September 5, 2014, 8:50 am
For the LOVE OF GOD PLEASE USE CONTRACEPTIVES. Why is this so hard to understand?!
Amanda September 5, 2014, 9:04 am
Let’s look at this from his point of view. About a month ago, you stopped going out to places with him. I’m sure he was already confused. THEN, a week ago, you dropped a bombshell about being 9 months pregnant (although, hey, at least it wasn’t from the delivery room). I’m willing to bet that he’s feeling betrayed and very angry. Maybe send one last text as Wendy suggested, and then move on.
I do have to give you bonus points for recognizing your children are your top priority though!
What the What September 5, 2014, 9:07 am
I don’t know the circumstances surrounding your first pregnancy but you were approximately 17 when you got pregnant? You dated a guy who was a cheater and didn’t “accept” (!) your daughter, but got pregnant by him anyway. Then, you don’t tell the guy you are dating that you are pregnant until you are about to pop. You have a history of making very bad decisions. It’s time to stop worrying about boys, and time to start taking care of yourself and your kids. It’s time to re-evaluate your life choices. Be single for awhile (this means no sex too). It’s time to grow up.
kaybay September 5, 2014, 1:39 pm
I was pretty much done with LW at “I never wanted anything to do with the dad”…except clearly at one point you did since you SLEPT WITH HIM.
TheOtherOtherMe September 5, 2014, 9:10 am
WHAT THE F**KING [email protected]%K????? That’s all I have to say.
ktfran September 5, 2014, 9:11 am
Also, at 7 or 8 months pregnant, how could he not know? How does one actually hide the fact that she is pregnant for that long? Wheat belly? Food baby? I got fat?
call-me-hobo September 5, 2014, 9:14 am
I’m assuming that the LW was already overweight/high risk pregnancy which are easier to hide.
lets_be_honest September 5, 2014, 9:22 am
I had a friend who was not overweight and hid her pregnancy from everyone, including her family that she lived with, til she was in labor. Big sweatshirts and saying you’ve been eating too much. I guess some people just don’t show that much.
csp September 5, 2014, 9:26 am
sometimes it is someone with very, very strong ab muscles don’t show.
ktfran September 5, 2014, 9:53 am
Alright, alright, I’ll give you all that. I just assume they’ve had sex, which could be totally false, and I just can’t imagine hiding that from someone you’re sleeping with. Again, maybe I’m an asshole for assuming that.
csp September 5, 2014, 12:03 pm
ok, that is totally fair. hiding it in bed would be really hard. I just think of those shows, I didn’t know I was pregnant.
SpaceySteph September 5, 2014, 12:07 pm
I mean if you watch that show where the women themselves didn’t know they were pregnant, obviously they’ve seen themselves naked and still couldn’t tell. So while it is unlikely, I wouldn’t be 100% sure that if you have sex with someone they would know.
RedroverRedrover September 5, 2014, 12:49 pm
But aren’t those women often in denial? Like, they’re telling themselves that they’ve just gained weight or whatever? I’ve never seen one of the shows, but can the viewer tell they’re pregnant?
csp September 5, 2014, 1:34 pm
SO with the show, it is a lot of reenactments. Sometimes they have pictures, sometimes not. It is more telling the story of the surprise baby.
Portia September 5, 2014, 9:29 am
This is why I call the TV show “I didn’t know I was pregnant” a horror show because, well, how the heck can you and others around you not realize you’re pregnant until you pop?? It’s frightening. And in most of the episodes I’ve seen, they were normal-ish weight, too.
MissDre September 5, 2014, 10:03 am
My friend hardly showed at all when she was pregnant, and we was not at all overweight. If she put on a sweater or hoodie, you wouldn’t even be able to tell she was pregnant.
Portia September 5, 2014, 12:21 pm
MissDre September 5, 2014, 12:45 pm
It’s crazy how different people can be. I knew another woman who was this teeny tiny little thing but her belly was HUGE! When she was only 6 months pregnant everybody assumed she was ready to give birth at any moment.
csp September 5, 2014, 9:30 am
LW, so I feel like you are fixating on this relationship because you don’t want to deal with the real, concrete problems in your life. I am sure there is a term for this. I had an acquaintance that was in a car accident where the other person died. IT was tragic but she did kill a man. In the middle of this terrible time, she obsessed about the littlest stuff like not getting invited somewhere or some small slight by someone. She couldn’t deal with the real issues so she freaked about small ones.
LW, take a breath and deal with what is in front of you.
fast eddie September 5, 2014, 8:38 am
To the boyfriend: RUN! and don’t look back.
LW: Find some backbone and be HONEST with yourself and EVERYONE else. You’ve made some huge mistakes but life will go on if you correct those that you can and take responsibility for the past. Do some life planing for yourself and the children.
FireStar September 5, 2014, 9:43 am
You took a gamble that he would like you enough to forgive the lie by the time you told him. You lost. There is no love story between you and him anymore. From his perspective none of it was real. You are 21 with two kids. Let that be enough for now. Focus on your kids and giving then the best possible life you can. I can’t imagine being about to give birth to my second child with no father in the picture and my biggest worry is some man I lied to isn’t speaking to me anymore. Adjust your priorities.
Kate B. September 5, 2014, 10:17 am
Well, I can’t tell you how he’s feeling, but I can tell you how I’d feel if I were him. I’d feel lied to, I’d be angry, and maybe feel a little stupid for not figuring it out on my own. Frankly, I wouldn’t contact him. What do you hope to gain? Move on, focus on your kids and don’t date for a while. You cannot make smart decisions about men right now (or for a whole it sounds like). And, realize that you don’t have to get pregnant by every man you date. You have a lot of growing up to do.
Kate B. September 5, 2014, 10:24 am
Diablo September 5, 2014, 10:59 am
BGM? BGM? Where are ya when we need ya, man?
honeybeenicki September 5, 2014, 11:22 am
Er… What? You said “But I’m having the baby after all.” What the actual fuck? If you don’t want this baby, please give it up for adoption so that it can have a family that actually wants it and takes proper care of it and doesn’t bring this drama into it. If you insist on keeping the baby, you need to stop worrying about boys and focus on yourself and your children.
As far as this guy goes, if you want to send one last message admitting that you messed up and you should have been honest, then go for it. But then you need to let it go. Maybe he realizes that this is too much drama and dishonesty to bring into his (and his daughter’s) life. You need to re-evaluate your priorities.
That’s about as compassionate as I can be today.
findingtheearth September 5, 2014, 11:24 am
I have some empathy here for the LW. I did not find out I was pregnant until 5 months along. I was on birth control, and my cycles were light. I had 3 light cycles and then none. I was also starting to go vegetarian/vegan at the time and had been told it may influence my cycle. I went in, to the doctor for really bad stomach issues and bloating, and found out I was significantly far along. It ended a 2 month relationship for me, as he was not the father and I needed to be single at the time.
However, LW, YOU knew you were pregnant. You purposely kept it a secret so you could have fun and pretend you were something you aren’t. That is not fair to him at all. Or to your unborn child. You can’t expect him to take this easily.
I think you have some other issues, and should see a therapist.
csp September 5, 2014, 12:06 pm
Besides Wendy, I think this is the most helpful advice so far.
TaraMonster September 5, 2014, 11:03 am
I can’t even be compassionate today because this is such a train wreck.
FFS, LW, get an IUD or something.
TaraMonster September 5, 2014, 12:46 pm
Think of an IUD as if you’re putting a padlock on your uterus. A uterine padlock, if you will.
Lyra September 5, 2014, 12:21 pm
LW, I think it’s high time you really focused on your kids. I mean REALLY focus on them. You dating all these guys is not doing any good for your 3 year old or your newborn. Stop dating for a while. A long while. Focus on being the best mother you can be. Focus on providing for your kids and creating a good stable home environment for them. I’m sure it’s not easy being 21 with 2 kids already, but it is YOUR job to be a responsible mom for them. It’s time to grow up, stop worrying about if this “love story” was meant to be, and step it up to be the mom these kids deserve.
Lucy September 5, 2014, 12:33 pm
1. After you have the baby, get an IUD.
2. After you have the IUD, get a therapist.
3. Stop dating until you get your shit together enough to stop making catastrophic decisions. It’s one thing to make bad decisions that affect you; it’s quite another when they affect two small children.
RedroverRedrover September 5, 2014, 12:54 pm
Dude. WHAT. THE. FUCK?!
I’m gonna start a competing site where this will be my advice for all letters that come in. I’ll only publish the most train-wrecky ones though. How do you think it’ll do? 🙂
RedroverRedrover September 5, 2014, 1:21 pm
Sorry, that wasn’t helpful. But this is just craziness. Yeah, LW, he’s pissed because you lied to him by omission for four months, about something really really big. You’re going to be too busy for the next few months anyway to spend time with him, so just leave it. If he decides to forgive you I’m sure he’ll reach out.
j2 September 5, 2014, 3:48 pm
This is one serious facepalm of a letter.
Sue Jones September 5, 2014, 6:48 pm
Why sex ed and contraception ABSOLUTELY needs to be taught in public schools. Really WTF????? I can’t even….
Diablo September 5, 2014, 6:58 pm
High school graduates are having sex at the level of ninth graders! It’s an outrage!
MsMisery September 8, 2014, 12:54 pm
Ye gods. You’re about to burst forth with child and you’re worried about what some guy thinks of you? Unless that guy is your imminent SON, it should not even matter. Focus on what is important, your CHILDREN.
Bittergaymark September 8, 2014, 9:36 pm
Ugh. I have nothing to say here that won’t get me banned.