Having Doubts About Pregnancy

After about five years of Thinking, a woman who has long been reading Choice Mom discussion board posts finally went in for her fertility tests and was happily ready to proceed. She’s in good physical, emotional and financial health. She has supportive family nearby. But after a year of proactive preparation, a few weeks away from her first intrauterine insemination (IUI), she was having doubts.

As she wrote to the Choice Moms Over 40 members: “I’m not even certain why. Yeah, I’m a bit older than I intended to be as a first-time parent. Yep, it’s scary as hell to do this on my own, but I’ve done loads of scary stuff alone and I’ve handled it just fine. I’m just frightened. Of getting pregnant. Of NOT getting pregnant. Frightened, despite all the protections of available testing, of having a child with special needs and drowning in the demands. Frightened of having a perfect baby and utterly failing them in some undefined way. And I’m scared that perhaps because I’ve wanted to have a child for so long, it’s just become a fact through familiarity, not reason. Someone, please tell me this is normal. Or not. Any kind of guidance is welcome right now.”

Women responded! Because, yes, this is a very normal stage for most of us. Here are excerpts of a few of the responses:

Jeanne: “You are so normal. A few years ago I could have written the same post you did! I started trying at 40 — had many ups and downs — and gave birth at 42. I worried about everything. I ended up with a healthy, yet screaming baby. This was extremely tough, and there were days I wondered if I did the right thing. However, I’ve gotten thru it and can’t imagine my life without my daughter. She’s now an extremely happy (most of the time!), healthy 20 month old. Some days are still tough, but worth every minute. It’s normal to get a little freaked out (or a lot!). Hang in there. The best is yet to come!”

Emily, mother of a 16-year-old: “I hear what you’re saying. You decided a long time ago to make a complete change in your life, to take on the total responsibility for a tiny helpless other, to move on from everything you’ve worked at building up for your comfort and security, for a complete unknown. Now it’s sinking in what an enormous step it is. Personally, I’d be much more worried if you had no doubts or questions! This is what it’s going to be like. You’ll never know what will work, you may be lucky first time, or not. And once your baby is born, you can wave goodbye to control over the minutiae of life forever! Just try to be open to what comes your way. The science is so limited and the mystery is part of the joy, once you can accept it!”

Liz: “We get nervous before starting a new job, or making a move, or getting married. It’s the same thing with having a baby. It shows that you’re thoughtful, and that’s a good thing for a parent to be. Like you, I thought over it for a while and then finally took the plunge, and it was a little surreal to be trying to get pregnant by picking a donor, and doing all the planning you have to do, and then doing it on your own. And when I was finally pregnant, I definitely experienced a moment of ‘Oh no!’ when it all hit me. But that was gone in about 2 minutes and I absolutely am so happy I went ahead with it. It just felt right and, five years later, it still does. … And just to cover both sides, it’s just as okay to decide that this isn’t for you. Just give yourself some time to figure out what you’re really feeling underneath the fear, which I really do believe is a normal thing. You’ll know as the day gets closer.”

Said another Thinker: “To get over that last bit of doubt ask yourself ‘will I have more regret if I don’t go for it and possibly never become a mother? Would that be worse than trying and failing or not measuring up to what I want to be? Do I believe in God (or higher power) that will watch over us and bless us? (This is personal, but I do believe this is important, at least it is for me).’ For me, I cannot imagine living my entire life without becoming a mother. I, too, am a planner and my cautiousness is a huge reason why I haven’t had a child yet. This is a good thing. However, it has given me many regrets as well.”

Segal: “It is not just normal — that’s the way it should be since you are facing a major change in your life for which nobody is ever ready, and you are trying to do it responsibly. No matter how much you read, or how ready you think you are, parenthood (and especially single motherhood) — and the road there — are not going to be what you expect it to be. It is going to change your life forever.”

What about you? What do you think? Have you experienced doubt yourself? Use the comments field below to share your story. — Mikki

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  9 comments for “Having Doubts About Pregnancy

  1. RER
    April 13, 2018 at 7:46 pm

    Hi there

    I’m only 12 weeks pg and I’m having terrible doubts. My husband doesn’t understand and thinks I’m just overly emotional but I’ve got s history of depression and anxiety and I’m afraid that bringing a child into this world isn’t the best thing to do. I’m not enjoying pg, it’s hard on me and it makes me feel so guilty to have these feelings. I’m scared I’m going to be a terrible mother, that I’m going to mess this baby up.

    I don’t know what to do or who to turn to.

    • Julie
      April 29, 2018 at 3:36 am

      Hi, I have felt the same through a very tough pregnancy. I’m 21weeks and constantly worried or scared about something. I turned to my support network – mum, dad, partner, and eventually scowering the internet and talking to a proper counsellor.

      They are all great sounding boards and its good to get it out…unfortunately it hasn’t put anything to bed for me, I am still unsure about everything and expect its the fear of the unknown and worry for finances that is worst.

      I’m not sure what to say except your not alone in feeling this way and to talk to someone who might be able to share a different perspective for you.

      Hugs

  2. Hannah
    September 7, 2014 at 3:08 am

    I stumbled upon this website by accident later than some of the current post. However, I must say that you all have been a God send to me! I am 31, this is my first pregnancy and I have moments of life shucking fear. I am very successful and independent but started to question if I would ever have kids. I never considered children matter of fact the only thing I knew I wanted to do is be a wife. I have always been uber careful about not getting pregnant because I never wanted to be a single mom. When I found out I was pregnant I was excited but as the reality sank in I started to cry. The flood of hormones that rushed through my new body sent me on crying fits. Furthermore, I started having doubts about my relationship! I am not sure he is the person for me or that I should spend the rest of my life with. Reading the previous post reassures me that I should look beyond the trees and embrace my future not what I am losing! Thank you all again

  3. dcjo
    April 3, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    After turning 40 and realizing that my boyfriend of 5 years is not capable of moving forward with me at this time, I just scheduled my first "infertility" consultation. Blood tests came back ok and will have an HSG this week. I am browsing for a sperm donor, trying to be pleasant to my boyfriend, and trying to squash any unease. It’s tough. But a childless life will be tougher. As much as dads are important, there are so many things that can happen even with a traditional set of parents, and so many new combinations of family these days, I am not worried about any stigma for children growing up in the future.
    Good luck to all of you ladies!

  4. Valerie
    March 22, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    So glad I found this post today. I’m doing a donor embryo cycle and my transfer is this coming Tuesday. I am excited and terrified. I want it to work and I’m afraid it will. I’m so glad to know that these feelings are normal.

    I’ve spent years planning for this and I know I’m ready but it’s like jumping off a cliff – how can it not be? When I talked to my married friends who have kids they tell me they felt the same way – and had to hide it b/c as a "married" you’re just supposed to be thrilled and have no doubts.

    No one should enter this decision without fear – after all a life will be depending on you – but like millions of women who handled the responsiblity of kids on their own, for whatever reason, we will be just fine and so will our kids.

  5. Julie
    March 21, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    I have been a Thinker for 14 months now and TODAY, yes today, I was inseminated! I cannot believe that I DID do it. I am not a risk taker at all — have been at the same job since I graduated from college b/c I’m afraid of change. I just turned 40 and had to make a decision…I have always wanted kids. I thought I would have been married with 3 kids by now but that’s not the way things went. I am numb right now that I could be pregnant. It sounds so strange to even write/say that. I am so scared and in shock right now. Who would have ever thought that I would be a single parent. I read what all of you wrote and it helped calm me down…so thank you. I’m now nervous (when the time comes), how do I tell people? What do I say? I know I shouldn’t care what other people think, but I know part of me will. How did you handle this? Still totally shocked…

  6. Georgia
    February 21, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Hi All, I’m a little younger than most (turning 34 in May) but have been divorced after 8 years of marriage for 3 years now. I know my life will not be complete if I don’t have children (natural or adopted) and don’t want to out run my chances of siblings.

    I was ready and set to complete my first month of IUI and then I met a man who so completley turned me on my decision that I though he could have been the one. (As a Christian I was also thinking this is the answer to my prayers). A month later ‘he’ went poof and now I’m questioning my path.

    – If I could have a husband I want the conventional family.

    – If I believe God provides all good things in life should I be faithful and wait.

    So my planning that was so set on moving fwd with IUI has yo-yoed and I could use your advice – Thank you, Georgia

  7. Ness
    February 11, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    I wonder how different our thoughts are when we have a child already, are already single, have still had no luck with men as mates yet still want to have another child desperately. My situation is not such that I could adopt, yet, I have seen the social backlash that exists apparently everywhere for women who make the ‘selfish’ choice to go it alone. There are videos and studies everywhere on YouTube and many many people who call women like us every name in the book. It makes me cry honestly because every time I get close to making the decision to go with a donor, I am ultimately gripped with fear – not so much for myself – that exists too – but primarily for the child I would bring into the world effectively fatherless. Am I setting the child up for heartbreak, scorn and failure? That’s what much of the world is keen to make me think it appears, and because of it I am heartbroken. So I guess I understand completely why you fear going down this road, as I am currently in fear as well. What is the answer? Is what we want really a huge ‘sin’ and ‘wrong’ or am I just feeding into the bull of what the naysayers want us to think. I do not know. What I know is that I’m two weeks away from my supposed first insemination date. The donor (open donor) has been chosen. It seems my heart has not.

  8. Patty Fox
    February 10, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    We all have doubts, even in the "normal" pregnancy situations. We have doubts of the unknown, as you say. Who can say what it’s going to be like for you. For me, as a single, professional woman, I had twins! I cried when I found out! Then, I cried for joy. My life has never been the same ol’, same ol’. Children DO change your life, for the better. Put your doubts aside. Know you’ve done your due diligence. It will all fall into place, just let it!

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