When you have your child, it's supposed to be one of the happiest days of your life. However, for some mothers, an unplanned pregnancy can be traumatic, leading to a downward spiral. There could be many factors causing a mother to feel this way, whether it be a broken relationship, a forced conception, or financial barriers. There are so many things that could make a mother feel unsure, but they are never talked about. We always want to focus on the happier stories of women excited to be mothers.
But what about the others? We read through the stories on Reddit and found the most heartbreaking and interesting stories about mothers who had to carry a baby they didn't want. The content was edited for clarity.
“This Stuff Can Ruin Your Life”
“My old boss-turned-friend had kids with an abusive husband that she did not want. She said he would hide her birth control and violate her, make her take pregnancy tests in front of him and other really godawful crap. After the 2nd kid, she eventually did a pack-and-run and lived in shelters for a while, divorced him via the newspaper (basically put a notice in the newspaper – using older state laws to circumvent having to see him in court). She also gave up custody of the kids to her in-laws (surprisingly good people despite their abusive son) and still had a sort of ‘aunt’ relationship with them.
I have no doubt she cares for her kids and tried to do her best, being in her very early 20s. But it was very clear that if she could do it over, she would not have gone through with the pregnancies. She got pregnant later in life with her now-very stable, lovely husband. But she had an abortion. Because in her words, ‘this stuff can ruin your life.’
Really just sad all around.”
“I Might Do Something Horrible”
“A very sweet and religious woman I know would go on like 3 tinder dates a day. Breakfast, lunch, dinner. She didn’t drink or anything. I think she was thinking this is the way to find a husband in the USA, I’m not sure. She met a dude that she ended up hooking up with after one drink. It was completely out of character for her. She ended up pregnant.
She was in an excruciating 2-day labor with no meds. Guess the guy’s parents are religious and forced him to be with her. They’re polar opposites and are miserable. She won’t eat a Dorito because she ‘can smell the GMO on it’ and the GMO chemical would get in her milk… but kept sneaking shots. Guess she’s drinking now.
She followed me to the bathroom once and calmly said ‘I do not want this baby. If I have to keep him, I might do something horrible.’ I felt for her, but there’s nothing I can do besides offer to watch him anytime she needs a break and be there for her if she needs a friend. I feel bad for everyone involved. They all seem so miserable. I tried contacting her close friends about the severity of what she said to me, but I don’t think postpartum is taken seriously in Hispanic cultures or American really until its too late.”
She Had To Learn To Love Him
“I was in an abusive relationship. I lost everything due to him. My family. My friends. My home. I was stuck living with him controlling every part of my life. Intimacy wasn’t consensual. In the end, I ended up pregnant. I wanted an abortion. He said if I abort then he’s kicking me out. I had nowhere to go. No one to talk to. So I kept it and pretended to be happy.
At first, I resented my growing bump but at least the abuse wasn’t as regular right? Then my midwife reported me to social services due to his criminal record. I guess she knew. When my son was born, social services took me and my son away. We lived with a lovely family for months. I proved I could do right for my son. I got a restraining order on my ex. He stopped turning up to a contact center to see his son because I wasn’t in a relationship with him anymore. He lost control and he hated it.
Three years later, here I am with an amazing partner I’ve been with for 2 years who treats my son as his own. An absolutely amazing toddler who brightens my day every day. And lots of family support. He’s saved my life in more than one way and I’ll be forever thankful for him. Just a shame how he was made but we’re safe now and I couldn’t imagine my life without him. I struggled to bond with him at first. I sunk into a deep depression after he was born. The huge life change so quickly was stressful. But I don’t regret having him now.”
She Didn’t Want The Baby Or The Bills
“The woman who didn’t want her pregnancy was my mum, and the baby was my sister.
My sister was/is severely disabled and has been in pain every day of her life. Her personality is clearly that of a very independent woman, but she’s stuck in a body that won’t even allow her to walk without assistance. She can’t drive, go to school, or jump on a trampoline. She’s confined to a wheelchair and has few friends.
My mother’s much-loved career was over the moment she found out my sister was disabled, and we all knew it. I grew up in a very poor household as a result, especially since all my father’s income was going towards hospital visits and treatment for my sister.
My mother still wishes that she had had that abortion. The situation isn’t fair to anybody involved.”
Everyone Told Her It Was Traumatic
“When I was 21 I found out I was pregnant when I went to get birth control. My boyfriend who was 22 and I used protection, but that doesn’t always matter.
We both agreed to get an abortion, but when I went to the clinic they said it was too late.
I went over to my boyfriend’s later that night and told him the news. His parents were telling us that adoption was an option, but no matter what choice we choose it’s the right choice.
My boyfriend wanted to give the baby up for adoption, but I didn’t. So, in the end, we agreed to keep her.
After finding this out, my boyfriend’s parents said they thought we made the wrong choice, which was absolutely infuriating. They’re good people, but saying that, especially after we made the choice, especially after they said whatever choice we made was right, was aggravating.
We were told she was due June 30th, but she ended up being born a month earlier. I went to the hospital because I thought my water broke, but they said it didn’t. Which was bull.
The next morning I’m in the worst pain of my life. I thought it might be constipation so I tried to poop. A foot came out of me.
My phone was in my room, so I had to waddle back to get it so I could call 911. Luckily I live 2 minutes from a hospital, so the ambulance got there right away. I ended up having a completely natural birth.
The actual birth didn’t hurt as much as I thought it would. But the labor pains were the worst thing in the world.
Actually, I take that back. The worst thing in the world was all of the nurses and doctors telling me how traumatic my birth was. Let me decide for myself!
My daughter had to stay in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) for a few weeks after she was born. She had some breathing issues and a bruised leg but was healthy other than that.
After she was born my boyfriend moved in with my parents and I. Everybody loves her more than anything.
Even though she was an unwanted pregnancy, she is very much a wanted child.”
There’s Always Two Sides
“She was at the clinic actually on the table, her family and the dad (who was no good, he didn’t stick around) had been begging her not to do it, at the last minute she decided not to.
She always said having the kid ruined her life. She was precarious mentally and emotionally with no support system and being responsible for a child just dragged her down. Her daughter emancipated herself at 16 and basically hates her mom.
So yeah, I mean, these stories from women ‘I had an abortion and now I regret it’… there’s another side too.”
No One Knows About Her Dark Past
“My mother had a pretty severe substance abuse problem, which ended up killing her about a decade ago. We grew up on a reservation, so there weren’t many options for jobs or income. My mother’s issues were expensive, and with her unstable state of mind, it resulted in her paying her daughters out (including me) to pay for her nasty habits.
The first time I got pregnant, I was 13 years old. I had no idea what was wrong with my body since no one ever explained or taught anything to do with reproductive education to me. When my mother realized I was pregnant, she would force my brothers to repeatedly punch me in the stomach, and force-feed me strong drinks until I miscarried. Abortion and healthcare were not available for us, and my family is Roman-Catholic and did not believe in abortions.
This happened about 3 more times, until one pregnancy my mother could not make me miscarry. The baby came out deformed, with barely functional brain activity. I hated that baby – every time I looked at him, I resented everything about his existence. He died at 3 months.
I left home, and it has been nearly 15 years since this all happened. I have a great job, an excellent education, and an amazing group of friends. No one currently in my life knows anything about any of this. All they know is I don’t get along with my family, so I choose not to associate with them.”
“Sometimes, You Make A Choice And Spend Your Whole Life Regretting It”
“I’m a child of this situation.
My mum got pregnant with me while training to be a surgical nurse in the army. She does not know who my Dad is. I have an older sister (4 years older) who was adopted out. Because of this, she didn’t feel she could adopt me out. Abortion was denied by the strict laws that govern it in my country.
Her partner took me in as his own and they never told me I wasn’t his. I found out on my own at 17 when I worked out my blood type didn’t line up with either parent. My mum is A positive so is her entire family, her partner (Dad) the same.
I’m O positive. I spoke to my GP before confronting my mother to double check my findings. He confirmed I was my mother’s. He had assisted with my delivery before the Nurses Amendment Act passed and midwives became majority care providers for maternity. When I confronted my mother she burst into tears and said
‘Sometimes, you make a choice and spend your whole life regretting it and having to face that choice.’
My mother is severely mentally ill in my opinion. She was in an orphanage until age 2. She acts like friends and families are toys in the nursery, and has no interest until someone else shows interest. It’s taken me years of therapy (and two suicide attempts) to adjust to the idea that she did me serious damage via emotional neglect.
Mum is the reason I’m pro-choice despite being a practicing Catholic (worth noting that religion is not why she didn’t obtain an abortion).
Some people are too messed up.”
“I’m A Warrior”
“I didn’t want my second daughter. I was with a jobless, compulsively lying boyfriend who had no interest in improving or changing. I had been attacked in court by my ex-husband (with the help of my mother) two years before and lost physical custody of my older daughter. (It’s a long, sad, boring story that I don’t really need to fully detail here. Basically small towns are corrupt, and ‘impartial’ mediators aren’t always impartial. I did nothing wrong except for choosing bad partners and being cursed with an abusive parent). I was essentially homeless, without support except for my piece of crap boyfriend, and desperately trying to make things better.
I was on the Depo shot, so I didn’t have a period. I found out after 23 weeks (one week after the legal abortion deadline) that I was pregnant. I was crushed. I was just starting to make a bit of forward progress to dig myself out of the hole I had been in for 2 years, and suddenly I was way deeper in the hole than when I had started.
After abortion was ruled out, I wanted my baby to have a better life than I could give her, so adoption was the next option.
The only adoption agencies within a reasonable distance were Christian. I’m an Atheist, and a lot of the adoption restrictions imposed by the agencies didn’t sit well with me (adopting parents had to be straight, married, Christian couples, among other things).
I had a friend who had been struggling with infertility for 7 years and had been through failed fertility treatments. She and her husband had ruled out adoption because it was too expensive (they are by no means poor, they’re comfortably middle class, but adoption is expensive). They had recently become foster parents, but their hearts had been broken a few times when attempted adoptions fell through. They seemed like a perfect solution, so I called my friend and explained the situation.
We met up a few days later to discuss things. I brought my older daughter with me for the visit (boyfriend was off doing… something, who knows). Everything looked like it was going really well. They were willing to do an open adoption so I could have a relationship with my baby, even if it wasn’t as her parent. I was starting to feel pretty optimistic, even if it wasn’t an entirely ideal situation, I was making the best of it.
Then the boyfriend decided he wanted to keep the baby.
He promised he would get a job, he wanted to be a family, blah blah blah. Typical lies from a selfish child. For some reason, I gave him a chance. (Spoiler alert: he didn’t change.)
Fast forward to the baby’s birth.
My boyfriend’s mom (who I will refer to as BM) was elated to be getting her first grandchild, and wanted to do everything she could to help (she was one of the few good points in this whole disaster).
I was exhausted from working my tail off for the past few months as a waitress to save money. I went into preterm labor 3 times, developed preeclampsia, had to be hospitalized a few times, etc. I was so ready to be done.
My boyfriend hadn’t changed anything, and oh yeah! He told me a day or so before the baby was due, we didn’t have anywhere to stay after the baby came because no one wanted a newborn around. Also, he hadn’t been working (I didn’t have the time or energy to babysit him to make sure he was doing what he said he was doing, I was too busy working myself to death). He had no money saved.
I was in a crappy situation. I hated my boyfriend so much and felt so bad for this beautiful baby girl we had just brought into the world. No one deserves to start living like that.
We ended up going to live with BM and my boyfriend’s dad 2 hours up north, in the middle of nowhere.
I stayed there for 8 months, looking for a job, and trying to make life work. I had one job interview that whole time.
I’ll fast forward through the next few years, but they were hard as heck. I ended up moving to Chicago (about 3 hours away) to stay with a friend because that’s the only place I could go. My friend had a couch I could crash on, and I took it.
It sucked being away from my babies. I talked to my older daughter frequently, sent her letters and care packages, visited when I could, and had her visit me when she could. My ex-husband was super uncooperative (and still is, but that’s not what this story is about), so sometimes I would go weeks, one time, months without seeing my older daughter.
BM was the baby’s surrogate mother. She constantly sent me pictures, called and checked on me, sent money if I needed it, etc. She really stepped up where her son refused to, and I will be eternally grateful for her; she really is an amazing woman.
This whole time, my boyfriend was living with his parents and the baby. He got a part-time job at a grocery store. He got fired because he lost his temper and attacked a co-worker. Classy.
Eventually, I couldn’t take the distance anymore and decided I had advanced far enough in my job to transfer back home. (I worked at Starbucks, had been promoted to shift manager, on the track to be a store manager).
I finally broke up with the boyfriend (even though I had hated him since before the baby was born 3 years before this point).
Things went south again shortly after I moved back home. I was fired from my job (don’t feel like going into details, but I still feel it was unfair. Whatever), homeless again, and I really had nothing but my girls to keep me going.
It’s been 2 more years since then. I have a great boyfriend, got into a subsidized housing (no kids allowed in my building though, so it’s not a permanent solution… but I’m not homeless anymore). We’re saving up for a real apartment. I see and talk to my younger daughter whenever I want, even though she’s still living up north with BM.
Now my ex-boyfriend eventually moved in with his grandparents another 2 hours away from his parents and our daughter. He rarely talks to her but fills her head with confusing hate every time he sees her. We deal with it the best we can. We just love her and are working our butts off to build up from the wreckage and have our family together finally.
There’s a ton more that I didn’t cover here, but you get the gist of it.
So I guess my answer to how things are going? They’re going…. okay.
Things have been worse, but I’m a warrior, and I finally think that I might survive and see this disaster to the end.”
Her Grandmother Forced Her Into This Mess
“My friend’s sister wanted an abortion badly. She was 19 and after a wild summer, she had zero clues who got her pregnant (she would meet guys online and hook up so she didn’t have last names for most guys and probably not real first names honestly). She was such a nice girl but she has autism and an IQ so low she’s legally mentally challenged and will never be able to live on her own and can’t really take care of herself or work. Her grandmother refused to take her to get one or pay for it and told her she’d burn and good Christians don’t abort. This went on till she was too far along to get one.
She didn’t do well at being pregnant, doesn’t help that her grandmother was letting her go out partying the whole time. She drank, did illegal substances and caught two STDs while pregnant. The kid’s a few months old now, and the grandmother refuses to let her try to find the dad (she knows due to her granddaughter’s challenges that the father would get custody and she’s a narcissistic witch that doesn’t care about what’s best for the baby just what she wants). The grandmother wanted to use the kid for a welfare check/food stamps, but it turns out she made too much so that didn’t work. So the baby gets the bare minimum (he’s fed and clothed but mostly has free clothes the grandmother gets by begging on Facebook).
I feel bad for her cause she didn’t want any of this. She wanted to get an abortion but her grandmother wanted a third chance at raising kids (her kids ended up on illegal substances and had kids before 18, she raised my friend and her sister and dated a child predator that she let violate my friend for years so he’d stick around, and now she has custody of my friend’s sister baby). Now the girl’s extremely depressed and doesn’t seem to be coping well with having a kid.”
“I Often Wish She Had Decided To Abort Me”
“My mother got pregnant with me in her late teens, by accident, and she kept me due to her religious views (after much conflict with herself). She never dares admit it to me, but I know that her pregnancy with me ruined her life.
She was a brilliant girl with a bright future ahead of her, and her pregnancy stunted her growth and development. She went from being a social butterfly and an amazing student to sinking into a deep depression that crippled her to the point of having to drop out. Her pregnancy essentially forced her into an unhappy marriage at an early age as well. Through all of this, she lost most of her friends, was estranged and shunned by most of her family, and -straightforwardly- lost her mind. She would later need to be admitted to a psych ward at 20.
She did her best to pick herself up and is now successful and strong as she may have become before me. The select few that know her closely know that she is half a person. Or at least half the person she could have been. I often wish she had decided to abort me.”
Her Friends Found Out The Truth In An Odd Way
“A girl we knew was in a position of carrying an unwanted child. She was pregnant but no husband or boyfriend we knew of. Everyone minded her privacy.
Out of nowhere, she lost her mind one night, we were out drinking and she showed up. No problem, she did this a lot but being pregnant she didn’t drink. But this night, she ordered a drink. Everyone sort of gasped.
Someone asked ‘innocently’ if she really should be drinking. She revealed that she was violated and that’s how she got pregnant, she was deeply religious so abortion was not an option, and she felt like maybe she should get wasted cause maybe she’d miscarry and that wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.
It was the most horrible line of thinking I’d ever been witness to hearing. She cried a lot. Someone else who was closer to her drove her home. She didn’t join the group again. I know she ended up having the kid. I have no idea how hard her ordeal must have been. Poor lady and I imagine a poor kid.”
He Had His Father’s Face
“I felt horrible. I was assaulted. It was traumatizing watching my body change and feel the child start to move and kick me. My friends kept telling me that it would change, that once I felt the baby move I would fall in love with it no matter the circumstances of its conception, but I never did. I was horribly depressed and thought about suicide quite often. I gave him up for adoption to a couple who are distant family friends, in a closed adoption. He’s going to be 8 this year. He looks just like his biological father, which was a valid fear of mine.”
They Weren’t Ready For Her
“My mom told me once that if she wasn’t religious, she would have aborted me, but she’s glad she didn’t. I’m the 3rd of 4 kids. I was an accident. My parents planned my older sister and brother, who are 8 and 6 years older than me, respectively. Then after me, they had my younger brother because they wanted me to have a sibling close to my own age. I know that my parents loved me but it was definitely stressful having 4 kids in the house. My parents struggled a lot. I can remember summers where there was barely any food in the house. My dad had anger issues, and often told me he wished he never had any kids.
My parents were very young when they had all of us and I guess they thought they could handle it financially and otherwise. They both went to vocational school for a job field that pretty much died in the early 2000s, which they weren’t expecting. They were also very religious and believed everything that happened was ‘God’s plan’ or something and that everything would work itself out. I’m not making excuses for them, just trying to explain what I think was going through their minds at the time.
But can I brag for a moment? I’m the accident but I’m the only kid who graduated college and owns their own home. I also have a pretty amazing husband. My little brother is my best friend and he now lives on the other side of the world with his beautiful wife. My older siblings are doing okay but they’ve had a lot of issues and I’ve definitely learned a lot from their mistakes.”