Carolyn Hax / Life Advice

42 and Pregnant

Dear Carolyn:

Found out few weeks ago that I am pregnant at 42! Have one kid, almost 8, who is a complete joy. Husband has made quite clear he does not want this baby because it was not planned and he doesn't want to work forever. I am feeling like it is a miracle after four years of fertility treatments and finally giving up two years ago.

I don't want to be selfish but really want this baby. But then I keep seeing moms with kids and wonder, is it selfish to be so old with a young child and to go against what my husband wants? Friends who know my struggle are very excited ... he has told no one. I cry a lot of nights.

-- 42 and Pregnant

He wants his wife to abort a child she has ached for six years to conceive.

And you're the one worried you're selfish?

Does this originate in you, the state of mind that doesn't even entertain that it's equally selfish of him to "go against" what you want? Does it originate in him? In your dynamic together?

Allow me to note that I dwell comfortably in the gray areas of child-bearing, out of respect for the fact that no one can know -- or has any business dictating -- what is right for each prospective parent and child.

But this is, again, a yearned-for child who is already on the way -- courtesy of parents who, two years ago, used fertility treatments. You got "so old" since then? When you gaze upon those "moms with kids," can you peg their ages to within a two-year margin of error?

There are, certainly, practical considerations here that outrage won't solve. An obvious and painful one is your 8-year-old, who stands to lose a (presumably) stable, intact home to this standoff. There's also always a chance your baby will have special needs -- especially given the higher risks associated with the gently phrased "advanced" maternal (and paternal) age -- and that has to factor into any responsible calculations about having this child as a single mom.

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