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Woman's husband begs to keep their latest pregnancy; she refuses, 'Terminating is the right thing to do.' AITA? MAJOR UPDATES.

Woman's husband begs to keep their latest pregnancy; she refuses, 'Terminating is the right thing to do.' AITA? MAJOR UPDATES.


When this mom to be is at odds with her husband about their new pregnancy, she asks Reddit:

"My doctors told my husband (30M) and I (31F) that our baby has many birth defects. I want to terminate the pregnancy, he does not. AITA?"

My doctors told my husband (30M) and I (31F) that our baby has many birth defects. I want to abort, he does not. This was a planned baby and I’m absolutely devastated. Me and my husband met in college and have been married for 6 years now. We have one son who is now 4 years old.

I know some people are gonna wonder, but yes we did discuss our moral/political views before even getting engaged and we’re both pro-choice. When we were 21 and 20 we made a stupid mistake that ended in a pregnancy.

We were both flat broke and not at all ready for kids. I decided to terminate and he fully agreed with and supported me.

He loves our son so much and is an amazing father. He confided in me that he loved the idea of having a daughter as well. Luckily we’re in a good financial place so I agreed and we started trying for a 2nd baby. We conceived fairly quickly and were overjoyed.

We also soon discovered that we’re having a girl. My husband was so excited. As soon as he was told he went all out and started to plan her nursery. He asked our son to help him pick which shade of pink he wanted, which crib to get, what the theme should be, etc. It was all so adorable.

I don’t want to reveal any personal medical history, so forgive me for being vague with the descriptions. At our last doctors visit a few days ago we were given the news that our daughter has severe birth defects. They think that she could possibly survive the birth, but any life that she gets to experience will be painful for her.

There have been medical cases of babies with the same conditions to survive from early childhood to even the teenage years rarely.

These poor children suffer with so much pain and are uncomfortable their entire lives. They are very low-functioning and need around the clock care, as well as several uncomfortable surgeries to try and give them a better quality of life.

We were both heartbroken and cried for hours together in the car. Then we drove home in silence.

Neither of us said anything until my husband began to quietly mumble his thoughts.

He was going on and on about how we needed to schedule another doctors appointment so we know what medical equipment we’d need to buy for her, and we should renovate the nursery again so we could care for her more easily.

He said that he’d definitely have to talk to his boss so he can take a longer paternal leave. He wants to be by her side in the NICU until we can take her home. He talked about how we’d have to ask his mom to babysit our son more often while she’s a newborn.

He even said that maybe we could sell one of our cars, move to a smaller house, and take our son out of private school so we’d have more money to pay for our daughters care.

I was silent until he asked me what I thought. I was blunt and said that I think we should terminate the pregnancy. Now I feel bad for saying it that way but I was still frazzled from the news. This made him very upset.

He began to cry and ask why I don’t want our daughter, even with disabilities? I mentioned our previous abortion. He said it was different because it was unplanned and we had no way to take care of the child. Now, we’re in a pretty good place financially so theoretically we could shoulder the cost of our daughter.

I have a bit of personal history with this type of situation. My best friend in high school was at my house all the time because her parents were way to busy with her severely autistic older brother. They did love her, but she was pushed to the side her entire childhood. I told him this story.

He said that we’d do better by our son and daughter. My best friends parents were stupid for having a 2nd kid after they already had a disabled one.

He then seemed hopeful for a minute and asked if I was just afraid. He promised that he’d be by my side the whole time and we could do this together.

I told him it’s not about fear. Our daughter will be in pain constantly if she’s born alive. It would be a short and painful life for her. I love this baby so much already, I don’t want her to suffer like that.

He began to yell that even if she doesn’t live long we could still pour our hearts and souls into making her life as fulfilling as possible. I didn’t respond and he stormed inside. It’s been a couple day now and he won’t even look me in the eyes.

He sits in the new nursery for hours. Our son is very confused. I know he’s grieving, but I really don’t want to go further with this pregnancy. I love him so much, I have no idea what to do now.

TLDR: husband and I learned that our planned daughter has many birth defects that would devastate her quality of life. I want to abort in order to save her from an existence full of pain. My husband wants to keep her so we can love her for however long she lives.

Before we give you OP's major update about the situation, let's take a look at some of the top responses:

mammoth0 writes:

My daughter has a 20 year old autistic/bipolar daughter, my granddaughter. There are 3 daughters in total, 1 older and 1 younger. The autistic child cannot self-entertain and will always have the mentality of a 6 year old child.

My daughter's marriage fell apart and the ex-husband wasn't around to take any responsibility. Plus, my daughter was rarely reimbursed for medical and dental out-of-pocket expenses.

The oldest daughter, the glass child, was parentified so her mother could work nights. She now has gone no contact with her mother and blocked her everywhere due to her childhood losses.

The younger child has lived in the shadow of the autistic sister and has many issues going on. My daughter can't leave the 2 of them at home because the older sister becomes violent.

When toddlers, the youngest had to have her hair cut short because her autistic sister would pull her long hair out by the roots and rip her scalp all bloodied. It was awful.

My daughter is movie-star beautiful, but men who have professed their love for her and had wanted to marry HER, but NOT the disabled daughter. My autistic granddaughter cannot self-entertain and is a velcro-person so is always there.

It's been a family tragedy. My daughter is a prisoner in her own home. My ex-husband would not help. I work full time and had gone to school at night so I was pretty much depleted. Plus, my autistic granddaughter is hard to keep.

I love my granddaughter, but I would not wish her life or my daughter's life on my worst enemy. It hurts me to say this, but it would be a mercy to NOT bring this severely disabled child into the world. What a cruel thing to bring this unborn child into the world.

The husband is out of his mind with grief and cannot see the whole picture. The wife needs to make up her own mind - even with the sad choice to divorce if it comes to it.

To the haters out there, unless you have walked in another person's shoes, you cannot understand this catastrophic situation.

seafari writes:

I worked with a guy who had a severely disabled son, they found out fairly early on and were offered a termination.

He wanted to terminate and his wife didn't, she was in her late 40s and thought it was her only chance for a kid, she was probably right but she was completely in denial about how hard their life would be and just how disabled their son would be. It completely wrecked their marriage and their son had an awful life.

Their son could not do anything, was often hospitalised, he could'nt express any emotion except unhappy (he would scream when he wasn't happy or in pain).

His dad was just a shell of a person, his life was work then back to the home life he hated with a wife he clearly resented, they got 1 week respite a year through a charity but they couldn't always take the full week because their son would become so distressed in the care facility.

I had a few honest chats with him and he said that every time his son got hospitalised with pneumonia he would wish that it would end his sons life so that it put all three of them out of the perpetual misery. That man was so tortured, and he wasn't a bad man, he never left his family no matter how much he hated his life.

It's so true that we wouldn't put animals through that kind of pain, so I never understand how people will knowingly put a child through a lifetime of pain when there's the option to ensure that they will never ever have to feel pain.

contentdispec writes:

I suffer from an incurable disease that causes chronic and horrific pain. I'm in several support groups and there is a good percentage of people suffering who choose to end it all because they can't bear it anymore.

I myself have had similar thoughts when I was going through the worst of it. It's cruel to condemn someone to a life filled with pain and misery.

OP, both of your responses are reasonable. Both of your feelings are valid. I would gather research from people who suffer with your daughter's condition and show him their quality of life..

while explaining that you love her too (regarding his comment about you not loving her because of her disabilities) and that it's because you love her you can't bear to watch her suffer for her entire life.

You planned for this too! You were excited too! But you don't want to put your wants and desires above her well-being. Ask the doctors office if there is a social worker who you two can discuss this with.

Try and get in with a therapist for an emergency appointment. If you don't include him in the decision it will cause major resentment in your marriage, but he needs to hear the hard truths as well. I'm sorry you're in this situation and I hope everything works out for you guys in the end.

dukecouch writes:

My nephew was born with several defects that would definitely shorten his lifespan. Underdeveloped brainstem, only 1 functional kidney, high palate, and many more. It was know in the last trisemester so nothing can be done. Also as Christians, my brother and SIL wont ever terminate the pregnancy.

He was born full term with vaginal delivery and only lived 2 months in the NICU. When he passed, we were beyond sad but also a little relieved. Cant speak for anybody, but seeing him in the NICU was hard. It took toll on their emotion and finances. Luckily they can afford it.

Until now I cannot imagine their life with the first born should he is still alive today. No one should be forced to live in that condition and quality of life. But as a new parent, I also cannot imagine the decision to terminate your much wanted child.

My heart goes to you and your husband, OP. This is a very hard situation and decision. May whatever you choose is the best one for you.

moutideas writes:

It important to be aware that this pregnancy could become very dangerous to you since your daughter has this many defects.

Wanting to terminate your pregnancy does NOT mean you don’t love her with your whole entire heart. You’re thinking rationally, your daughter will be in pain and suffer her whole life, no matter how fulfilling you guys make her life, no matter how much you love her.

You guys need to sit down and have a calm conversation about this. Talk about all the ups and all the downs and think about what would be the best thing for your children, both of them. Not let your emotions carry the conversation, because ofc you’d want her in your life but what kind of life will that be?

Your husband is already planning changes that would affect your son, make it so that he gets to spend less time with you and be removed from the school he has settled into, so he is already starting to prioritise your daughter over him, which does not mean he’s a bad father, he’s just thinking with his emotions.

I’m sending you a lot of love and strength, i am very sorry you have to go through this.

independentch writes:

I'm a parent of a disabled child. His life and mine are extremely difficult. My relationship with his father didn't survive the stress. It's expensive. It limits every aspect of our life.

This may sound cruel to those who can't understand, but I WISH my son's disability would shorten his life because I'm so afraid of what will happen to him after I die. My son has no friends at school and is aware he doesn't fit in; he's sad and angry and justifiably so.

He's in pain and every day is hard. I feel crushing guilt for bringing him into this life sentence. Do I love him? Of course. Is that enough to make his life or mine better? Not even remotely.

And now, OP's major update:

Thank you all so much for the advice and kind words. I'm sorry I haven't responded to many chats and comments. I've read through them all. The empathy and compassion shown is truly touching.

After I made my original post, my husband and I rushed to get a 2nd opinion. Nothing changed and it was still our originally diagnose. Once I learned that, I scheduled the termination for as soon as physically possible.

I didn't tell my husband at first. He kept on raving about how we could give her as much love in her life as we can. I feel bad for this now, but I snapped and angrily told him I was terminating the pregnancy. That I know how he feels, but I will not allow my daughter to suffer just because he wants to love her.

He was very angry with me after I put my foot down. After he realized his pleading wouldn't change my mind he didn't speak a word to me. It was like he refused to even acknowledge my existence.

I was terrified that he'd go and leave me all alone with the scraps of our family. I tried to explain it to my son but I think he still doesn't understand.

Then,the night before the procedure he stepped into my room and apologized for everyone and promised to be more supportive of me from now on. I was so happy and relieved I started to sob and he held me all night.

My original plan was that my mom would drive me to the hospital, then once it's done a close friend would take me home. Since it was only the night before he said he couldn't miss a full day of work, but really wanted to drive me home.

I agreed to let him and then the procedure was done in the morning. My son is having a long sleepover with my best friends family. I don't want him to see me like this. The next morning the termination was done.

It went fine with only minor physical pain, but the emotional toll was crushing. After I was done he didn't show up to get me. I waited for hours and he wouldn't answer any of my calls.

I ended up having to call a friend out from work to take me home. When we got there I saw just one note on the counter saying he can't do this. A few of our daughters special toys were removed from her nursery.

My entire life has fallen apart in a matter of days. I asked my mom to watch my son for a little while. I still can't contact my husband. Everything feels so pointless.

Readers continued to weigh in:

reasao writes:

OP, my heart hurts for you and your son. I don’t have kids so I truthfully can’t imagine the pain you’re in.

What I also can’t imagine is having my life partner beg me to bring a life into this world only to watch it struggle and be in pain to then have to bury that child. That child that was wanted, and so loved. I can’t imagine someone arguing about all of this for what? To cause a greater trauma to everyone because of a “want”?

OP you put your child, your daughter, first. And that’s all that matters. I’m so incredibly sorry that your husband can’t see that. You did the most motherly thing you could have done.

You spoke for your daughter and gave her a voice when she didn’t have one. She did not have to suffer a painful existence because of it. She was shown love and given love by you.

I would encourage, and hope, you find a counselor or therapist that specializes in child loss. They can hopefully help you make sense and help process this all during this difficult time.

danubekitty writes:

You did what is was the best for your daughter. As you said yourself "That I know how he feels, but I will not allow my daughter to suffer just because he wants to love her." This is the most important thing in this situation.

This is something your husband refuse to understand. His pain is important but not more than his child's pain, especially caused by his decision to let her live this...I don't now if 'life' is even correct word.

I think your husband is full of denial still thinking some miracle would happen and this could be doable. But there is huge possibility that if your daughter would be born, he would hate himself for seeing her suffer.

And it could lead to hating you for not insisting on abortion... Grief is complicated but these scenarios are not uncommon in this situations.

You put aside your pain and his pain to not let innocent child to suffer every minute of her short life. OP I am proud of you that you did what was the best for your beloved daughter. Sending hugs.

What do you make of OP's dilemma? Is she TA? Whose side are you on?

Sources: Reddit
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