Keeping My Big, Pregnant Mouth Shut
November 7, 2008 1:12 PM   Subscribe

I'm pregnant, and very likely to miscarry. Telling the father that I'm pregnant will open up a gigantic can of worms, something I'd much rather avoid if I am going to miscarry anyway. How long can I ethically wait to notify him about my situation?

I am pregnant.

I also have a disorder that makes me incredibly likely to miscarry. Previous sperm/egg junctions led to twelve miscarriages, all so early I was barely pregnant at all (six-eight weeks), and I'd basically written myself off as sterile.

After the first time I got pregnant and miscarried, with all the pain and drama and family/friends freaking out and lectures and doctors and ER visits, I made the decision that I would never again tell anyone that I was pregnant until I was sure it would "stick". The next eleven miscarriages were far, far less awful due to that decision, and a hell of a lot less trauma for my oblivious partner.

So ordinarily, I would be keeping my mouth shut right about now (six weeks).

The thing is, this time feels different. Ordinarily, my pregnancy symptoms -- the few that I get -- are very mild. This time, they are absolutely kicking my ass... and they're getting worse as time progresses instead of waning as they usually do. I'm starting to think that I have, miraculously, gotten knocked up Fo' Reals.

My question becomes... how long should I wait before I tell the father?

Because Murphy's Law rules my uterus, it's more complicated than it sounds. Doomed pregnancies #1-12 took place when I was in a stable, committed relationship where I was living with the father and planning to get married someday anyway. Babydaddy of Yore was overjoyed the first time I was pregnant and crushed when I miscarried, which was a huge factor in me never telling him again... I couldn't stand getting his hopes up and stomping on them another time.

I am totally NOT in that situation now. My wee embryo is the product of me having one-shot pity sex with a deeply screwed-up ex-boyfriend of mine who had distress-called me in a suicidal fugue over his abusive girlfriend and his abusive boyfriend leaving him for each other. He started pawing me, all desperate and needy, and I didn't have the heart to pile another rejection on top of the huge one he'd just received... and bam, Epic Mistake.

Babydaddy of Fail already has one child and is so determined to never have another that he intends to have a vasectomy soon. More than that... Babydaddy of Fail is weeks away from moving across the country (East Coast to West Coast) to go live with his ex-wife and her new husband so that she can take their kid off his hands for a while so he can concentrate on recovery from his most recent nervous breakdown.

I strongly support his decision to go; I think it's the best thing for both him and his kid. If I tell him that I'm pregnant, I know that he a) won't go and b) will pressure me to leave my family and marry him, something I absolutely do not want to do.

It's not just that I don't want to marry him for personal reasons; there's more to it than that.

I am currently the caretaker for both my (extremely disabled) mother and my (psycho, angry, bum) older brother. When Mom became disabled, I inherited the debtpile she'd made of her finances *and* the huge medical bills she racked up due to not having insurance. I'm currently working four jobs to try to dig us out of a hole I had no part in making, hiding from collection agents, and basically a miserable, exhausted pile of stress. Topping it all off, our house is a total pit, because both mother and brother are compulsive hoarders. Babydaddy of Fail had already told me long ago that there was no way he was joining me in my little hell, and I know he will scream to the rafters if I announce that I plan to raise a child of his in this situation. If I don't bail on them and marry him, he will almost certainly sue for custody and quite likely win... he won against his first wife.

Basically... the moment I tell him I'm knocked up, the drama and craziness and threats will start. His whole family will get involved, and then his ex-wife's family will get involved. I can predict with 99% certainty that his insane ex-mother-in-law will jump all over this as an excuse to keep him from taking her grandson across the country, something she's been against from the beginning. It is going to be a horrible, hideous mess, with the spotlight on me... and I'm already so stressed to the max just from my current situation that sometimes I can't believe I haven't had a heart attack.

So telling him is not that attractive... especially when I know that this may all end up as my thirteenth miscarriage.

But I have to tell him sometime, right? How long should I wait? End of the first trimester? After the first ultrasound that says that the baby is healthy? Before he moves? After, risking that he might move home and be doubly furious with me for making him move across the country twice, with the added unbonus that his ex-wife will HATE me for snatching her chances of finally having her kid nearby?

Gaaaah!
posted by iliketrafficlights to Human Relations (45 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
Is abortion off the table?
posted by squorch at 1:22 PM on November 7, 2008 [4 favorites]


Wow. But what you didn't tell us is - do YOU want to keep the baby? HUGS.

If so, I would wait to tell baby daddy til the end of the 1st trimester.
posted by k8t at 1:25 PM on November 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


I recommend that you meet with a therapist in order to sort your situation out - there are so many things that could be skewing perspectives here, and these factors are crucial for an answer. I think many therapists would see this as an emergency situation and would meet with you - many on a sliding scale.
posted by By The Grace of God at 1:31 PM on November 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


I agree with k8t. What do YOU want to do?
posted by meerkatty at 1:34 PM on November 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Honestly, I just plain wouldn't tell him. I can't think of a single non-awful thing that would come from telling him. Yeah, yeah, father's rights, etc. but he sounds like a nightmare to his current unwanted kid, you don't want to be pressured to marry him...oh, and he's psycho and will take you OVER.

If you absolutely MUST tell him, I'd wait until the baby is born alive. Seriously. At the very least, given your medical issues, that would seem practical/justified to me.

How likely is this guy to find out that you are pregnant on his own? How much contact do you have with anyone who knows him? And would he know for absolute sure he's the father (which is to say, how much does he know about your dating life? if he usually doesn't hang around you, you could have been seeing someone else, right?).

*shudder* You have my sympathies.
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:34 PM on November 7, 2008 [4 favorites]


Oh boy.

Maybe I am going to get trounced for saying this, but what if you simply didn't tell him? There are certainly lots of children out there who don't know their fathers. It's not ideal, but it sounds like the situation in which you involve the father would be considerably worse.

With that question out of the way, or at least postponed, you can focus on creating a more stable life for yourself. In the short term, you need to reduce stress in order to have a healthy pregnancy. Easier said than done, of course, but. Can you stay with a friend for a few weeks, at least? Can you quit one of your four jobs? So your mother has debt. Lots of people have debt. Is there a reason you have to pay it off right this second?

I agree that an emergency visit with a therapist would be a good idea. Make the appointment and then take a sick day if you have to. You seem very grown-up and responsible and capable, but this is too much for one person to deal with alone.
posted by Mender at 1:35 PM on November 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


Do you want the baby? If you do, and if all goes well, then have it, keep it and don't tell him. I don't think you owe this guy anything.
posted by Xianny at 1:36 PM on November 7, 2008


I just have to say that you sound like an amazing person and it's a crying shame that you're going through such a tough time with noone to lean on... I second BTGoG's advice that you try to get some therapy right now; this is just too much to go through on your own. Best of luck to you.
posted by LuckySeven~ at 1:37 PM on November 7, 2008 [1 favorite]



But I have to tell him sometime, right?


From your description, he sounds like more stress in a time where you absolutely don't need more stress. Wait until after the kid is born and then, honestly, consider never telling him. He doesn't seem like he'd be good for you and if the parents aren't happy, then the kid won't be happy.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:39 PM on November 7, 2008


OK, I agree with BTGoG here - you should talk to a professional about this.

More personally, I strongly believe that YOU are the only person who has a say in the course of this pregnancy, if you do not miscarry. First, you should decide what you want to do, without regard to the father at all (and by that I mean, do you want to keep the baby? have an abortion? or give it up for adoption?) Once you decide what YOU want to do, then you need to figure out how the father fits in to those plans. He can't force you to marry him. He can't force you to keep the child. Like other commenters, I don't think that I, personally, would even tell him it was his kid. But then again, my personal politics and ethics tell me it's none of his business.
posted by muddgirl at 1:39 PM on November 7, 2008


Do you want to have the baby? If so, don't tell him. It isn't that uncommon a situation.

If you don't want to have the baby, any reason you don't want to get an abortion. This whole situation seems to be exactly what they are for.
posted by chunking express at 1:40 PM on November 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Seconding wow. I'm with jenfullmoon and Mender - under your very unique situation, I wouldn't tell him.

If I had to justify it to myself, I'd at least give myself the full duration of the pregnancy to put it off, and tell myself that I needed to do everything possible to reduce my stress so that I could have a healthy baby. Then I'd re-think the issue later. Sounds like you're not interested in abortion; so if you're going to have this baby (good luck!), I don't see any need to tell him any time soon.

And do make taking care of YOURSELF a priority for now.

Please update us, at least if you have good news!
posted by Amizu at 1:44 PM on November 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


I hate to say this, but perhaps the earlier miscarriages were not due to your reproductive health as much as the father's. I would not count on the miscarriage occurring with you have much stronger signs of pregnancy and a completely different father in the picture.
posted by Benjy at 1:45 PM on November 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I don't see the need to tell him at all. Chances are low you'll deliver anyway (sorry; I'm glad you've dealt with that successfully), you don't want him in your life, and you don't want to change his.

No, he does not need to know.
posted by iguanapolitico at 1:45 PM on November 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


And I did see that you have a disorder, but perhaps that problem was exacerbated by something on the father's end of things in the past.
posted by Benjy at 1:47 PM on November 7, 2008


Whoa.

I don't know what you should do because I don't see much about what you want to have happen. Do you want the baby? If yes, do you want to raise it living in your current "hellhole"? If so, why? If not, then what would you like to have happen? If your current situation is so grotesque as to have your child's custody immediately granted to your one-night-stand then maybe think about that a little. What do you want out of life? How old are you? What's your goal? What's your family goal?

Let's set the baby issue aside for now and concentrate on what you want to have happen in your life. From this post, it doesn't seem like you have a good handle on that. Your life is not actually just about you reacting to people and people reacting to you. If you live that way, there's no way you'll be happy. It's not a good place to raise a child. I know it seems like the pregnancy is a big thing which must be dealt with but it'll wait a little bit -- go to the doctor, concentrate on what you want to have happen and create some goals, focus on those.

And, historically, you would not be the first woman to keep her one-night-stand in the dark about a baby. There are often very good reasons to do this. You sound like you need to get your life back on the rails first. I wouldn't invite additional drama until or unless you have no other choice.

And if you do miscarry maybe think about what you want to have happen in your life.
posted by amanda at 1:48 PM on November 7, 2008 [7 favorites]


And as a side issue, re-reading your question, you need to get out of this situation with your mother and family. You cannot live with an insane brother. Cannot. You cannot raise a child under these circumstances. It sounds intolerable.

Your mothers medical bills must be handled a different way. It sounds like you need to contact some social services in your area. I think you have taken on a huge burden that is unreasonable. Your mother may be able to declare bankruptcy and get relief from these bills. If your brother is truly insane then he needs social services. If he is of age, he should be living on his own and supporting himself. If he won't move out then you should.

Anyway, things to think about. Good luck.
posted by amanda at 1:58 PM on November 7, 2008 [4 favorites]


I think the best interests of the unborn child trump Babydaddy of Fail's right to know.

I agree with the folks above that suggest you find a way of removing yourself from your present situation; I suggest talking to someone at social services to see what can be done for your mom. Her bills are not YOUR bills, and this burden too much for you particularly now.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 2:13 PM on November 7, 2008


You don't need to tell him if you don't plan on involving him later, i.e. if you don't plan on ever seeking child support, marriage, etc. Any "father's rights" are built upon the suspicion that "Well, she might decided she wants his support later." So you're off the hook if you're confident you never want him involved.

I imagine you plan on keeping this one if possible simply because 12 miscarriages seems like unbeatable odds. But you might either face serious risk from this pregnancy or find the uterus rules have changed. So see a doctor asap.
posted by jeffburdges at 2:18 PM on November 7, 2008


From my travails on fertilityfriend.com, it seems that most women don't consider themselves "safe" from miscarriage till after they've crossed into the 2nd trimester. So, if your ethics dictate you must tell him, you can wait till week 13 at the very least. Between weeks 6 and 13 there are a lot of tests you can undertake that will give you a clearer picture of the health of the embryo and help you make your ultimate decision. If your health condition makes you "high risk," you may not be sure of anything till after week 20, even. Nevertheless, given the state of his current life, it sounds entirely ethical to not tell him at all, especially if you haven't yet decided how to manage the situation yourself.
posted by xo at 2:20 PM on November 7, 2008


Assuming you want to keep the baby, then IMHO not telling the father seems perfectly appropriate. You don't need the extra stress it would cause in your life, and he certainly sounds like he is no state to endure the extra stress it would cause him.

Also, I think you should move out of your mother's house and away from your brother. I know that sounds harsh, but the situation you are in does not sound like an appropriate one to raise a child. At the very, very least you need to have your brother kicked out. You need to decide what you want to do once the baby is born. You certainly can't work 4 jobs, look after your mother AND a newborn baby. I can't imagine you can afford daycare either, from what you say about debt and collectors. Quite frankly, from the limited description you gave, I would say marrying the "BabyDaddy of Fail" and moving in with him would be better than staying where you currently are (not that it sounds like a good idea, I'm just trying to say it sounds less awful, and emphasise how inappropriate your current situation sounds for baby).

If you decide to keep the baby, and the pregnancy goes well, then it will be time to change your life around so you make yourself and your baby the priority, not cleaning up other family members' messes.
posted by Joh at 2:23 PM on November 7, 2008


If you want to keep it, I'd wait at least until after the first tri to tell him. Since it seems unlikely that you'll see him in person again before he moves (right?) I don't see why you can't wait until even after the 25th week (I think that's currently thought of as minimum fetal viability) to tell him.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 2:27 PM on November 7, 2008


Murphy's law being what it is, there's always a chance you'll deliver a wee little viable human. Babydaddy Fail's gift to humanity, despite being pathetic, may be tough offspring, and some good might come out of everything in the form of a child. Given your unique circumstances, you have several choices. From your writing, you sound like you want this baby, because quietly putting it up for adoption is nowhere in your plans. I’m sure you know that babies are huge fiscal drains and are prepared to deal with that and the resulting sacrifices.

In any case, you should see a doctor. I know you're massively in debt, so if you're in the US, this may be an expensive prospect, but there are usually tons of resources to help. Crisis pregnancy centres, often run by pro-lifers who want to support pregnant women, will be able to help hook you up with free pre-natal care, vitamins, and coupons for diapers... You name it. And they're free, so if you do miscarry, while it's very sad, it's not like you've wasted more than a few clinic visits.

You also should take a drugstore pregnancy test. Peeing on a stick will help tell you what exactly is going on. Having confirmed you're pregnant, do not tell Babydaddy Fail just yet. Those prenatal doctors can give you a better guestamation on if Fetus Anon's sticking power, and if you do want to keep it, tips for securing a pregnancy. If it does look like it's going to turn to a baby, unless you think Babydaddy Fail is a danger to your offspring, it would be nice to tell him. Father's rights n'all that, as while it's in your body, it's your business, it's sort of mean to exclude the genetic donor once it pops. You can hold off telling Babydaddy Fail right up until the last month or so if you want, to reduce drama.

As for the custody issue, it’s highly unusual for a marginally functional mother lose custody of her children. If your life is such a hell hole that you’d automatically lose a baby... Leave. I’m sorry, you yourself shouldn’t be in that sort of danger. Psycho brothers are not the company Anon needs, much less Baby Anon.
If you do have Babydaddy Fail’s baby, matters get trickier. You can always cut Babydaddy Fail from your social circle and claim it’s someone else’s, but that’ll give Baby Anon issues later, so I don’t recommend that. Better would be to approach Babydaddy Fail as “I am having a child which you assisted conceive. I am very happy and surprised to find myself fertile, as I had enough miscarriages in the past. I neglected to tell you because I expected the situation to resolve itself. Seeing as the doctors say I’m a week past due date... Well, I think I’m about to be proven emphatically wrong. I would like to raise this baby, as it may be my only chance to be a mother. I am happy to accept your input and support, if you want to give it.”

Babydaddy Fail cannot force you into being Mrs. Fail. He can try to convince you that a couple is the best way to do things, but you can say no. If Babydaddy Fail does want to help, and he’s remotely competent, you could use the extra babysitting help and someone extra to buy diapers. Obviously of Babydaddy Fail’s situation is as bad as yours, you may be better off telling nobody and fleeing, but if you think there’s a chance he’ll be a rational adult, you might be able to come to an agreement that’ll be best for Baby Anon.

Now for my bias: I was conceived under similar circumstances. The IUD failed (1% annual failure rate, plus a high chance of miscarriage when she had the IUD removed so that the pregnancy could either be safely aborted or carried to term), and my mother was living in a substance abusing hell hole. She moved, decided not to involve my father, who was 19 to her 23, and while I question that decision to exclude him, she was able to successfully raise me. I think you can do this, provided you behave pragmatically, and in your and the child’s best interests.
posted by Phalene at 2:40 PM on November 7, 2008 [5 favorites]


Ethically, you should tell him anything that might affect him in the future. If there is a possibility that one day an adult might show up at the door telling him that they are his child, it's the sort of thing he should be forewarned about.

As to when it should happen? Well, based on your circumstances, there doesn't seem to be any hurry. Wait until things are settled, and the child is certain, or born, or whenever it will cause the least grief. But denying someone information that may one day affect them is not ethical.

If you miscarry, I don't think there is any ethical obligation ever to inform him.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:42 PM on November 7, 2008


Don't tell anybody yet. Until you know the pregnancy is going to term, there's no point in unleashing drama. Spend the time trying to fix your current situation (financial mess, cluttered home, etc.)

Please think very carefully before cutting BDoF out of the picture entirely. You aren't just cutting off your kid from his father, but also from a sibling, grandparents... a whole extended support network. What if something happened to you? It doesn't sound like your family would step up to the plate. Would you definitely rather the kid went to social services than BDoF and his family? If so, then keep the secret. If not, then consider telling him. Even if he is currently not in a position to be a good dad, a lot can change in 18 years.
posted by the latin mouse at 3:43 PM on November 7, 2008


Obviously, it's up to you whether you want to keep the baby or not. Once you make that decision, then decisions have to be made in the baby's best interest. Not the father's, not yours. Your priorities become 1) baby 2) you .................. n) father. However, any decisions you make for the baby obviously affect you. Your stress level affects the baby inside you, so it's in his/her best interests to keep it low. So evaluate each decision on the basis of whether or not it will raise your stress level.

Is it in the baby's best interests to have the father in his/her life? From only what you've presented here, it does not seem so. Therefore there is no point in telling him. If he gets his shit together down the road and seems stable enough to be a (part-time) dad, tell him then. Otherwise you're potentially fucking up your kid's future.

Best wishes to you. This sounds like a really stressful and sucky situation.
posted by desjardins at 4:02 PM on November 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


I have the impression reading this that Babydaddy of Fail's family doesn't exactly sound like great, sane support for the poster either. Those kinds of guys don't tend to come from secure, loving, sane families, you know?
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:13 PM on November 7, 2008


Should all women everywhere wait until they're safe from miscarriage before they tell? I think this is one issue where Kant's categorical imperative is really useful. Think about what ethics mean. You are obligated to tell.
posted by luckypozzo at 4:38 PM on November 7, 2008


If you'll tolerate an old-fashioned answer, you might wait to tell until you have felt the baby move.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 5:32 PM on November 7, 2008


I think, under your particular circumstances, that it's okay if you don't tell the father until a much later date. Maybe even not until (if) the baby's born. Telling him will add all that stress, which is the exact last thing you need right now. Babydaddy will probably be angry no matter what, but if you frame your thought process right you might be able to avoid the worst of it. But I do think you need to tell him at some point.

In the interim you should focus on bettering your situation so that if he does sue for custody he won't win. He doesn't seem to be in the best situation anyway, so if your situation is bad enough that he can get sole custody you really need to change some things. For both you and the baby's benefit.

Good luck. I really hope everything works out for you.
posted by lilac girl at 5:51 PM on November 7, 2008


I have no advice for you, I'm sorry, but my first thought on reading your story was the same one that Benjy had: medical disorder or not, it's possible that you were unable to get-and-stay pregnant because of some quirk of your previous partner's genes (or rather a quirk of how his mixed with yours), not because of anything actually the matter with you.
posted by Asparagirl at 6:23 PM on November 7, 2008


Personally, I don't think you ever have to tell him. You've got all the responsibility. Own the power too; not just for your sake, but for your (potential) child's. If you do want to tell him, tell him when it suits you to, and not before.

Apart from that, I think you need to review how you've been living. You had sex with Babydaddy of Fail, not because you wanted to, but because you didn't want to reject him. You didn't tell your former partner about your miscarriages because you didn't want to put him through it, and bravely rode them out alone. It's noble to try to spare people's feelings, but you seem to take it very far indeed.

What about you? Many commenters have noted that you haven't even told us what you want. You probably avoid thinking about that because it's just another factor, which, if you add it in, will make your whole house of cards fall down.Why have you made the decisions which have led you to this point? What happens if you don't take over your mother's debt? What happens if you move out of the "pit"? Where is all this going? You have to allow yourself to think, and to think about what you want and where you want to be. It's really important, and there's nothing noble in ignoring it; you just end up an embittered martyr.

I'm sorry I've gone on at such length, and I hope I didn't come off too strident. It's just that you seem to be a very nice and good person who is letting everyone else get her into their trouble.
posted by tiny crocodile at 6:26 PM on November 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


You are obligated to tell.

Really? He was obligated to use a condom* to avoid this whole situation for himself, and that didn't work out so well so here we are, eh?

Fuck that - you're under no obligation to tell him a thing if it means more chaos and pain for you and the baby. This situation is insane, and you'd better save your reserves for YOU and FETUS, and that's IT.

Wow, this question is really crystallizing my opinions about this - I'm, like, 100% pro not telling him ever (or at least til way, way after the kid is born, assuming that much), regardless of the outcome, and I never thought I'd say that when it was just me thinking hypothetically.

(* - if he did and the condom broke, my premise is shit, I concede)
posted by tristeza at 6:56 PM on November 7, 2008


Six weeks is really too early to tell anyone - a LOT of pregnancies end at the 6-8 week mark - so it's generally accepted that you don't tell most folks until the start of the second trimester (13 weeks, I believe). I too have had a number of early pregnancy failures - and I recommend that you go to the doctor and get the blood test to see what your hormone levels are. This will give you a big hint as to whether or not this is a false alarm.

As for the "baby daddy of fail" - you have years to break the news to him. Why don't you worry about yourself for now and let him go on his unmerry way.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 7:41 PM on November 7, 2008


You certainly do not have to tell BDoF. Not now, not later, not ever. And I don't think you should. Not now - you don't need that on top of everything else. And not ever - your child, if it arrives, will not need that either. Obviously some people will tell you the kid has a right to know it's father, but from what you describe there's too much danger there. Look after yourself and the kid by keeping the secret. I'd say "it was just a one-night stand and you lost touch." Forever, to everyone. Burn this thread.

Good luck, and happiness to you.
posted by anadem at 8:34 PM on November 7, 2008


He was obligated to use a condom to avoid this whole situation for himself

It takes two to tango have unprotected sex.

You're under no obligation to tell him a thing.

I disagree. I thhink a woman's body is her own damn business, but once the baby is outside her body then genetically, legally and morally, it is 50% BDoF's child. just because she is the female parent and has the luxury of choosing to lie, doesn't mean she necessarily should.

She's given us indications that BDoF would make a less than stellar father, his mental health is bad and he appears to surround himself with abusive characters who depress him further. However she's also indicated that if he learned about the pregnancy his first reaction would be to move across the country and try to create a home for it. Plus she thinks an independent third party would award him custody over her.

Cutting him out may still be the right thing to do - I don't have enough information from her post to judge - but it's certainly not a decision that should be taken lightly, which is why I advised her to wait and do some thinking. I don't think she's obligated to tell him until the baby's born, especially since it may not even be born given her medical history.
posted by the latin mouse at 8:48 PM on November 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Response by poster: Many thanks to everyone for the input, wow. Responses to questions:

1. Is abortion off the table?
Pretty much. I'm pro-choice... for other people.

2. Do you want to keep the baby?
At this point, in this situation, another miscarriage would be a relief. However, if it doesn't happen, then yes, I would.

3. What if you simply never told him?
That would be extremely difficult. For one thing, while I'm okay with the idea of not telling him until I'm sure there's something to be told, I am not okay with the idea of keeping something that huge from him forever. Furthermore, it would be nearly impossible to keep a secret like that from him. We've been friends since high school and know many of the same people. To pull it off, I'd basically have to move to Siberia and never write home.

4. Why are you in such a crappy situation at home?
The thing about my crappy situation is that large parts of it are temporary. Basically, I signed up for a few-year slog through the Swamp of Crap, never expecting to have to push a stroller through it. One event -- the selling of my mom's house in another state -- will completely change the picture. I won't have to work so much to pay two mortgages, bills, and taxes... my mom will qualify for disability... I can pay off all the debt... I can fix up the house we actually live in... and I have pre-arranged with my father to buy his little cabin Way The Hell Away and give it to my crazy brother to live in. Blammo... no debt, no four jobs, no psycho brother. Living with my disabled mom isn't my ideal baby-raising situation, but she's getting better all the time and is pretty self-sufficient as long as I keep her supplied with food, meds, and hobbies. I don't think she'd be a danger to a child; she's incredibly attentive and sweet to our pets and helps out with taking care of them.

5. Babydaddy of Fail Suxxors Like Whoa
Well... sort of. He has many, many good qualities. Ironically, one of the major things that attracted me to him was that he was such a great dad, although his lengthy depression has pwned that to a large extent. He's on medication, he's seeing a therapist, and I think this move will really help him... it's not inconceivable that he could be Awesome Dad again.
posted by iliketrafficlights at 8:48 PM on November 7, 2008


Response by poster: Oh... and just to clear it up, I think he could only successfully sue for custody if (a) I hadn't gotten rid of my brother yet (b) I didn't go low and bring up the polygamy, psych problems, etc.
posted by iliketrafficlights at 8:57 PM on November 7, 2008


Wait until he had moved and is settled and then tell him. Preferable in the 3rd trimester or soon after the baby is born. It's one thing not to move, it's another to move back to somewhere you have just left. If he is angry after the fact, just tell him that you honestly thought the chances you wouldn't have a miscarriage were very, very low and you didn't want to compromise his relationship with his existing child on the less than 1 in 10 chance he would be having a second child.

And if this pregnancy does come to term, accept his help seriously. You don't have to do this all alone and you shouldn't do this alone. But don't worry about the father until the baby is actually viable.
posted by whoaali at 12:05 AM on November 8, 2008


But I have to tell him sometime, right?

Maybe when the kid turns 18.
posted by flabdablet at 3:40 AM on November 8, 2008 [3 favorites]


I think you should tell him, not right now, but sometime after your first trimester (personally I would wait for the four month ultrasound all clear in case there is some medical reason you choose to abort). Since you have friends in common the news of your pregnancy will spread and he'll do the math and you will look like an idiot and a liar to all your friends and acquaintances: "But I thought you said it was some forgettable one-night stand and now you remember that it is your ex-boyfriend's?" I actually don't see the problem in telling him before the baby is born, sometime in your second trimester and after he has moved. So what if his family and ex-wife want to get involved. Don't let them. It is your life, you get to choose who has a part of it. Their drama with him has nothing to do with you and he shouldn't even mention it to you (specifically say: I do not want to hear about it). If he can't keep his mouth shut because he thinks you are his unpaid therapist and he is entitled to be an emotional vampire then limit your contact with him severely.

Since you are worried about him getting custody, the court will not look favourably on your concealing the baby from him, especially after he gets a paternity test to prove it is his. That is creating too much drama and frankly, your life has enough drama. I think it is time to start really thinking about your actions and the consequences. If the only reason he can get custody is because you choose to live with your brother then I hope you would choose to do what is best for the baby (either improve your living situation or give up custody).

Good luck with whatever happens. I am amazed at how much you are coping with right now. I think you will get through this too.
posted by saucysault at 8:19 AM on November 8, 2008


Um, saucysault, I can think of a number of very good reasons, all outlined in the poster's question, that she would want to keep the pregnancy on the downlow that have nothing to do with being an idiot and a liar. Sheesh.

Also, even with the clarifications, I'm worried about the poster's ability to create a good environment for herself and her potential baby. It sounds like there's a lot of maybes and hopefullys on the horizon. These things have a way of not working out on a timeline or exactly the way we want. I don't know, in my mind, sounds like triage is in order.

Tough stuff.
posted by amanda at 8:48 AM on November 8, 2008


I strongly support his decision to go; I think it's the best thing for both him and his kid.

So, his priorities seem to be 1) his kid, 2) him ...... n) everything else. This is as it should be, and maybe he's not so full of fail. My earlier advice still holds - wait til he gets his shit together and then tell him. It seems likely that his priorities will then shift to 1) his kids, plural, 2) him, 3) you, 4) everything else. This is also as it should be.
posted by desjardins at 9:56 AM on November 8, 2008


You probably don't need anymore advice. But just in case you're still checking this thread,
A) Do YOU want to have a kid / be a mom?
B) Do you have money / insurance to get a therapist (I have less than one fourth the drama in my life than you do, but I still go regularly. Keeps me sane.) to talk through some of this stuff? Askme is great, but a counselor might be better.
C) You need to take care of YOU and if that means keeping this pregnancy from Mr. Nutty and his fam, then that's what has to happen. If that means not keeping the baby, then that's what needs to happen. It's about YOU right now, and your needs. Because if you keep this kid, you need to be in tip-top shape, and the emotional drama is only going to add to the anxiety and stress you already suffer from your Regularly Scheduled Programming.
D) If you do decide that you want to have this kiddo, if you get a therapist, if you do or don't tell Babydaddy, more importantly is this question: are you able to provide for this kid? Sounds like you have a lot on your plate and a kid may either help you get out of that (sorry, ma, bro, & co., but I have to focus on my new family) or make things a whole heck of a lot more complicated and crazy (four jobs, mom, bro, and munchkin). I know you've thought of this, but I guess my two cents is that this lil Herm might actually help out a little, give you something different (and hopeful) to think about and focus on. By the same token, it might be not so helpful. But since you've gone through a number of miscarriages before, it seems like you'd like to be a mom, otherwise you wouldn't put yourself in those situations. This is a tough, tough question (or series of questions, really) and I suspect that a licensed counselor would be able to help you out a bit more than any of us.

Best of luck to you. Hang in there!
posted by cachondeo45 at 11:03 AM on November 8, 2008


Late to the party, but here's what I'd do: I'd get a good doctor, someone with no vested interest in the outcome aside from my happiness and keep my mouth shut until I knew exactly whether the foetus was going to survive (based on what I felt, and what the doctors advised). Maybe add my own health (both physical/mental) to the What Is Important list. If the dude is going to be a father, he has no control over the situation and doesn't sound like he's in a good place right now. If you're going to be a mother, you need to take care of the immediate situation, which he is not a part of. Don't feel bad about being cautious.

And I'm totally rooting for you, I hope the little thing powers through to the end. Take care.
posted by saturnine at 5:51 PM on November 8, 2008


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