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Childlessness


Coping Learning to deal with one's emotions and loss.

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Old 6th March 2019, 8:16 PM   #1
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Childlessness

Hi all,
I've suffered great regret over an abortion I had 10 years ago. Can't believe how quickly time passed, it seems like yesterday. Puts things in perspective and now I'm feeling a lot of anxiety seeing that I wanted to have kids yesterday. My bf at the time of the abortion and I were very serious. I became pregnant after a year or so of dating and he didn't want the baby and wanted me to get an abortion. I would have gladly continued the pregnancy if I knew he was going to stick around, but I knew I'd be a single mom. I was 25 and I guess I thought I'd have more chances. I had no idea how traumatizing that was until at least 5 years or more passed, until I saw all my other friends getting married and having kids.... when I wanted the same thing.

Now I'm 35 and still no children, still not married either. I'm once again in a 'serious' relationship (still new, only 4.5 months in so far) but I see potential. You never know though. I've dated lots of men since that ex 10 years ago, only maybe 2 serious relationships since that guy. And I feel further away from marriage and motherhood than I did 10 years ago. I was pregnant then and my ex and I were talking about marriage. I don't have either one of those things now.

I've come to a sad and regretful acceptance that I may never have children. Some people are quick to point out the health risks that come with having children at my age or older. My doctor says I'm very healthy and should have no problem conceiving. But in the back of my mind I feel I may have lost my chance, and I'm struggling to accept that. My current bf wants children and soon (in general, not specifically with me necessarily yet) but we're nowhere close to being engaged or married or even trying to have kids. I know he wants to be married before having children and of course I prefer that too. Women's window of fertility closes and sadly, if I ever do have kids, I will be an older mom. My own mom was my age when she had me, a couple months younger, actually. Now I'm 35 and she's about to be 70. I think with sadness that my parents may never live to have grandchildren.
My current bf is 48 so we're both much older and sometimes I wonder if some things just aren't meant to be. I see women my age or younger with babies, I'm looking at one right now, and feel a terrible pain and grief. I've always wanted to be a mother and I think I'd be a good one. My bf says he didn't always date younger women, but wants to now because he wants to have kids. I'm so worried that I can't (and won't) have children. It's become a constant weight on my shoulders. I never told him about the abortion but he knows I have stress that I may not be able to conceive.

I realize it could still happen for me in my life, but it's not being planned. And my relationship is new so there's no guarantee it will result in anything long term. We are still in the getting to know you phase, I feel... and not preventing pregnancy but not deliberately intentionally trying to conceive of course, we're just dating. i also don't want to bank my last chances of pregnancy on this one man who I just recently became 'official' with.

Any support appreciated.

Last edited by littlebridge; 6th March 2019 at 8:19 PM..
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Old 6th March 2019, 9:21 PM   #2
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I can relate to that -the best thing that ever happened to me is my son. I was 22 when I had him, now I am 36. Being a single parent was hard and I made a lot of mistakes. I had a lot of help over the years. I made mistakes I wouldn't have made going into it now. I am a firm believer that things happen for a reason and you can't change something that happened 10 years ago. I hope your post does get responses because this is a difficult situation your in. Abortion is traumatizing.
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Old 6th March 2019, 10:03 PM   #3
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LittleBridge plenty of women have kids at your age, and plenty of men have kids at his age, health is the main factor here of course but younger people can be sick too.

The biggest thing is not to rush it with the wrong men because he's your last chance. He's not, really. You still have good 5 fertile years left, it will be harder but not impossible after that.

I'm saying it from the position of a woman in similar situation. But the only thing that I regret is staying with wrong men in the past thinking I have no time... Finally with the right one but like you we need to wait a bit longer to be sure before taking the step.

I'd be happy to compare progress ere, I'm sure other women will chime in.
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Old 6th March 2019, 10:11 PM   #4
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Thank you. That’s kind of what my bf said why he hasn’t yet. Not with the right person and not ready. I feel the same. I had the chance 10 years ago but I had a really awful bf who wouldn’t have been in the picture and who ended up in jail. My current bfs long term exes either developed addiction or cheated and just like me I’m positive he would have wanted kids long ago.
Before he met me he said he wanted to have his life in order financially and career wise and is now ready for the next chapter. I highly doubt either of us at our ages would date for just someone to screw. You can get that anywhere. He actually got teary eyed talking about how he wants a daughter and he just gushes over babies and kids. Actually I’ve never seen a man like that he seems to be more baby fever than me. So it makes me think about it a lot. I worry that I may not be able to fulfill that desire.

Last edited by littlebridge; 6th March 2019 at 10:13 PM..
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Old 6th March 2019, 10:16 PM   #5
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Age isnít a factor for men.
Not true... there are more and more studies being done linking older male sperm to autism and other birth defects. As we age (over 40) our sperm does genetically mutate increasing the risk of birth defects. The DNA in older male sperm gets "broken".

The research has been a bit sparse and there are conflicting results, but it is cause for concern.

https://www.nbcnews.com/better/healt...dad-ncna882876
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Old 6th March 2019, 10:19 PM   #6
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Yeah, in our case is similar. He didn't have kids because his wife wasn't fertile. Before her he was not in serious relationships because he was taking care for his very sick mother before she passed.

It's not like people don't have kids early because they are morons that can't plan right. Life happens. Men are more lucky they have time. Knowing my boyfriend, he'll be much better father than younger guys, he has the advantage of maturity, and yeah, he won't run after the toddlers but there is so much more he can do for our future kids... His own father was nearly 50 when he had him.
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Old 6th March 2019, 10:22 PM   #7
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I don't think his age or your age count you out of the running for children yet.

My father-in-law was 47, while my mother-in-law was 36 when my wife was born.

So not quite your possible timeline, yet not far off it either.
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Old 6th March 2019, 10:22 PM   #8
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I meant women canít conceive after a certain age. Men can reproduce as long as they are ejaculating. This is the reason many men father later in life. Because they can. And I believe most men and women do want to carry on their genes. Of course there are exceptions.

I got from another post here somewhere - ďarenít you worried about healthy risks?Ē At my age. Yes. Iím worried about health risks. I would be very lucky to have one healthy child at this point. I know itís possible. But less possible with an older man and less possible when weíre not even trying.
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Old 6th March 2019, 10:31 PM   #9
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I hear all the time about how “so and so was x years old when they had their child” but that doesn’t really help. It doesn’t take away the pain of NOT having a child. It’s speculation that it would happen on that same timeframe. Some people just never have kids. Even if they want them. I don’t know why but sometimes life happens and we make choices we regret 10 years later.

I’m sure my bf would prefer not to be an older father just like I’d prefer not to be an older mom. But we have to take what life hands us and accept things even if it’s not what we want.

I have a male friend who is 36 who just proposed to my best friend who is 32 because he wants kids (and loves her). He told me he realized if he wanted to have kids he better marry her and fast. But had he met her years ago he may not have felt the same. He told me timing is everything. I liked that he said that. But is now in a place that he’s ready. I think a lot of men have to reach that point as do some women. Like me maybe.

Last edited by littlebridge; 6th March 2019 at 10:36 PM..
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Old 6th March 2019, 10:43 PM   #10
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littlebridge, has your current bf ever been married before? if he hasn't then there is very little chance he will ever marry. Men his age who have never tied the knot rarely do so
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Old 6th March 2019, 10:56 PM   #11
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littlebridge, has your current bf ever been married before? if he hasn't then there is very little chance he will ever marry. Men his age who have never tied the knot rarely do so
No. And neither have I. Most people would say Iím past the age of ever marrying I havenít already. Doesnít mean either one of us doesnít want that.
I do know specifically he is looking to have a family and wants to be married. At least thatís what he tells me. I have no reason to not believe him.
My ex was 11 years older than me and already had been married with two grown children. He was clear he didnít really want more kids but was ďopenĒ to it. Iím suee heíll never have more kids. Current bf has said he wants and is looking for someone who he can have that with.
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Old 6th March 2019, 11:02 PM   #12
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My daughter is also 35, never married, no prospects for a relationship right now, and worries that she will never have children. While there are risks involved in pregnancy and child birth as you age, there are also more and more people waiting to get married and start families. I will tell you what I have told my daughter. Of course, everyone wants the chance to carry and bear their own child. For those unable for whatever reason, there are many, many children in this world who need loving, nurturing homes. If you can find your way to opening your heart and home to one or more of those children, you can experience the magical joy of motherhood (as well as the heart-wrenching, never-ending worry .)

Do not jump into anything merely because of that ticking clock. Give yourself some time, you still have plenty.
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Old 6th March 2019, 11:12 PM   #13
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My daughter is also 35, never married, no prospects for a relationship right now, and worries that she will never have children. While there are risks involved in pregnancy and child birth as you age, there are also more and more people waiting to get married and start families. I will tell you what I have told my daughter. Of course, everyone wants the chance to carry and bear their own child. For those unable for whatever reason, there are many, many children in this world who need loving, nurturing homes. If you can find your way to opening your heart and home to one or more of those children, you can experience the magical joy of motherhood (as well as the heart-wrenching, never-ending worry .)

Do not jump into anything merely because of that ticking clock. Give yourself some time, you still have plenty.
Thank you so much. I am like your daughter although Iíve never fallen short on prospects. Iím hopeful about this new relationship because we both want the same things so I find a glimmer of hope. And Iím in love with him.
Iíve considered adoption but would prefer to be marries and have my own child.
That may come to a point where I choose that. Or not. It could be.

Iím not planning on jumping into anything, I feel Iíve taken plenty of years holding out though. If it works out this time I would be very happy. If it doesnít I intend to keep having faith. And if that fails - id like to adopt
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Old 6th March 2019, 11:22 PM   #14
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I was 32 when I had my son. You’re not by any stretch too old to have kids. Don’t let anyone convince you that you are. Give yourself a timeline with the new guy. Say, in a year, if things are headed where you want, great. He wants kids, so do you. He’s not going to dally forever. Even then, if things don’t work out with him, get pregnant through a sperm bank and have that family you want. There’s no reason you can’t have that.
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Old 7th March 2019, 2:32 AM   #15
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I was 32 when I had my son. You’re not by any stretch too old to have kids. Don’t let anyone convince you that you are. Give yourself a timeline with the new guy. Say, in a year, if things are headed where you want, great. He wants kids, so do you. He’s not going to dally forever. Even then, if things don’t work out with him, get pregnant through a sperm bank and have that family you want. There’s no reason you can’t have that.
Thanks for your kind words. I know there is still a possibility, maybe for some time ahead too, it doesn't end at 35, or 40. I would rather not go to a sperm bank, I've been in many relationships, many long term ones too... I would like to think having my own child would be a natural occurrence... but yes, that is an option, adoption too. It's very hard for me when most of my peers are moms, married, engaged, now my younger friends are getting engaged and/or having kids. They will have a greater chance I feel at the family unit since they've already found their partner and are married or engaged, or at least in a very serious relationship. I still don't have that yet. My relationship is very new and I'm not putting all my hopes into it, but am still hopeful.

We do want the same things, I would hope that if we were dating a year from now that we wouldn't be dallying... he seems in a 'hurry' so to speak, at least from what he tells me. In the first couple months of dating he said he wants to buy a bigger house in the next year, I asked why and he said because he wants to have a family and his place now is too small. The way he talks tells me he is serious about wanting a family. Not necessarily with me but that is his goal. We were at his work function a couple weeks ago talking with another couple at our table. They were in their early 40s probably, and were talking about their kids. The man asked us, "do you have kids? Oh sorry, I should've asked, are you married?" I said, "no", my bf said, "we're just dating". And we all had a little laugh, about how he asked us if we had kids assuming we were married. And my boyfriend said, "not yet, not yet!" I was surprised and the other man looked at me and shared my wide eyed look... I mean, no guarantees but what I'm seeing is my bf is thinking in those terms.

Yes, he's in his late 40s, no he's never been married, yes, there is a chance that men who never marry and are that age may never will, and in the worst case scenario he may be just stringing me along so he can continue having sex with me, but in all honesty, couldn't he do that with any woman? I know he's not just casually having sex with me. Why would he date me exclusively and invest into the relationship and tell me he sees a future with me if he just wanted sex? He could easily land other women around my age...he's handsome and in great shape and sexy and has a lot going for him. I think if a year passes that would be teetering on too long... but we're not even to 5 months. This isn't a long term serious thing yet, it is still in the early stages. We're not at the point that we talk about marriage or kids together or living together, etc. It just seems so out of reach. We're still going so I guess it's just wait and see at this point. I would just think at our ages neither one of us would want to waste time dating someone just for fun anymore. We both want something long term.

My brother isn't going to have kids, so rather than being an aunt I take to my friends' and younger cousin's children. I feel like an outcast a lot with my friends and at family gatherings, feel great sadness that I haven't had another pregnancy since my last one 10 years ago, and often lose faith that it will happen again, naturally, with someone I'm in love with. I'm also very lonely and struggle with living alone and being on my own most days or on certain occasions. I have a good life and am fortunate with good friends and family. And I'm in a good relationship now.

I just get depressed and sad about it a lot, and like I said have regret that I didn't go forward with my pregnancy 10 years ago. If I could counsel my younger self, I would tell her 'you can do it alone if you have to', 'you can make this work and will have support', 'you may not have this chance again, so take it you won't regret that'. The ten year anniversary of my engagement announcement came up on FB recently, and that's really been causing me a lot of pain. That was with the guy who told me he wanted me to have an abortion. We had been planning to be married and I had a ring and told our families, etc. I can't remember if that was after the abortion or before, but regardless to think that 10 entire years ago I was 'engaged' and pregnant... and here I am 35, living alone, not in an established, serious relationship (as far as I'm concerned we're just dating exclusively, boyfriend/girlfriend), and we're taking 'precautions' to avoid pregnancy... just all seems so far out of reach anymore. There are times I tell myself that I need to accept that things may not happen for a reason, maybe I'm not meant to have my own child, or be married. I know my bf has told me he's felt that way himself.

My mom couldn't conceive for 15 years after my brother was born and the doctors told her chances of pregnancy were slim to none. She had me just before she turned 35 and I'm the apple of her eye and she calls me a "miracle". Only a mother would say that, right? She shared with me that she used to cry every month when she got her period. She was married at 19 and had a husband, and was trying to get pregnant, and couldn't for a long time. Then she had me, then a miscarriage at 35, and had to go through a hysterectomy due to endometriosis, not much older than me. I don't have her health problems and am very healthy, no fertility problems or abnormalities. But it has become my greatest fear and burden. Something I can't share with my bf, only my closest girlfriends, mom, and my doctor know.

It doesn't help that the doctor tells me I'm fine and have no reason to worry. It doesn't help that people tell me "so and so was 38 when they had their third child, it can still happen to you!" It doesn't help to see all my female peers as mothers and wives. I've wanted that for a very long time. I'm not sure how to get rid of this pain. So I've come here. It's not about my boyfriend, or his age. It's about me feeling this pain and sadness. I've kind of hit the bottom of the pit lately.. I just had my 35th birthday and I think that was very hard for me too, to accept where I am in life is not where I had hoped to be.
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