While her husband and family were excited of welcoming another child, the mother-of-one was thinking of ways to get out of the pregnancy without upsetting anyone.
When it comes to having children, some prefer having a full football team to complete their family, some prefer to have a few, and a few others stick to having just one. For one Letter Writer (LW), the latter was the case. But a momentary lapse in judgment left her pregnant with a second child. On one hand, she had her husband and family who were excited at the prospect of welcoming another child; on the other, the anonymous mother-of-one was looking for a way out of the pregnancy that would not upset anyone. Burdened with tremendous confusion, the woman turned to the author of Slate magazine's advice column Dear Prudence and wrote, "I am happily married, financially stable, and a mom of a beautiful, feral toddler."
Continuing to describe her current state, she wrote, "On a drunken night I convinced myself that I did, in fact, want a sibling for my toddler—quite the 180 from my staunch stance of being “one and done!” I’m now 10 weeks pregnant with my second child and plagued with nausea, vomiting, and most of all regret." The worried woman then asked if she should lie to her husband about a failed pregnancy to spare herself the disappointment that otherwise would have been directed towards her. "Should I terminate this pregnancy and tell all (including my husband) that I miscarried? He, his parents, and my parents are all excited about baby No. 2. I, however, am completely disappointed in myself for having a lapse in judgment and thinking I would be OK with getting pregnant again," concluded the post.
In the comment section, there were some who thought it would be wrong on the LW's part to lie and that she should come clean. "Lying about abortion to your husband is a massive betrayal. You shouldn't be married if that's how you feel about your marriage unless there's already zero trust and communication in the relationship," one wrote. Another sarcastically noted, "Yeah, I'm sure the decision to lie to your partner about how, and more importantly why, your pregnancy ended will never come back to bite you. Someone who can drunkenly change their mind on so big an issue as a second child would certainly never drunkenly let a secret like that slip out, for example."
A third was worried about how the woman was planning on pretending to have a miscarriage. "I'm curious about LW1's level of commitment to pretending that she's had a miscarriage. Is she going to act like she's grieving over the loss of a child that she wanted? How will she respond to the condolences that she'll receive from those who knew about her pregnancy? Is she going to allow her husband to provide care and comfort because he believes that he needs to be there for her? Will she pretend to empathize with him over his own grief? Is she sure that she can keep this secret forever, because her husband will undoubtedly see this as a betrayal no matter how long it takes before he finds out about it? Maintaining a lie is harder than many people think," they expressed.
According to the third commenter, the woman "could just be honest with her husband and tell him beforehand that she's changed her mind and has chosen to terminate the pregnancy. If their marriage is going to be irretrievably broken as a result, then it's better if it happens sooner rather than later." There were some who believed that the mother should just lie about her pregnancy. "LW 1, do it and take this secret to the grave with you. You're not obliged to be a parent just because everyone else is thrilled with the idea," wrote one.
As for Columnist Danny M. Lavert, he seemed to agree with the commenter as he wrote, "I don’t want to be a parent” is a wholly sufficient reason to schedule an abortion. You are under no obligation to disclose your decision to terminate a pregnancy to anyone else, no matter how excited they may have been about your pregnancy or how much they might wish you to carry your pregnancy to term." Explaining that her husband and their family's feelings are secondary, Lavert continued, "If you decide to have an abortion, you may choose to inform your husband beforehand if you think he’ll be supportive (emotionally and physically, since you’ll need care while recovering), or afterward, if you trust he’ll keep it in confidence."
However, he subtly hinted at the fact that disclosing her decision to abort the child might help relieve some of the stress, isolation, and regret that may surface in the longer run. Lavert added, "You may not know these views, but if you have reason to believe your husband or family would antagonize you for having had an abortion, you should prioritize your own well-being and safety first. If you decide you want to move forward with termination and don’t feel prepared to discuss it with your husband, then consider confiding in a trusted friend or your doctor. Whatever you decide, don’t let your disappointment or your embarrassment keep you from making an informed and self-interested decision about something as huge as raising a second child."
Representative cover image source: Getty | Photo by Chanintorn Vanichsawangphan / EyeEm