Thursday, October 24, 2013

Aunt Wants Motherhood, Baby Of Her Own - Not Teen Niece And Her Problem Pregnancy

Dear Tazi,

I have been trying to get pregnant for several months now without much luck. I had an abortion as a teenager, and I am afraid that it may have left scar tissue in my uterus. My gynecologist reassures me that this is not the case – that the amount of scar tissue is no more than one would expect from any D and C, be it post-abortion or post-birthing, and that I should not blame myself.

My older sister’s daughter “Regina” is now a teenager herself, and is pregnant. My sister is bemoaning this fact, like a baby is a curse and not a blessing. She is hassling Regina into having an abortion, but Regina is refusing. My sister has threatened to kick Regina out of the house, and Regina has asked if she can come and live with me and my husband, since we have an extra room. She has no idea that the “extra room” is the one we were hoping to turn into a nursery for our own child…someday.

I want to do the right thing and be there for my niece; I don’t want her to face future fertility problems from a teenage abortion, but I am not sure I would be able to stand having a baby other than my own living in my house. Not right now…it would be too painful. My husband says he understands my feelings, and he will leave the final decision up to me, but he thinks having my niece live with us would be good for me. He believes that mothering Regina will fill the void I am experiencing and relieve some of the stress I am putting on myself. Regina is awaiting my answer and I don’t know what to tell her!

Hoping To Expect

Dear Hoping To Expect:

Letters involving infertility always break my heart; to want a baby and not be able to have one is one of life’s greatest miseries. As I am sure your gynecologist has told you, a couple is not considered to be infertile unless they have been trying consistently to conceive for at least twelve months; that these things can take time sometimes and that stressing over a lack of conception can actually lower the chances of conceiving.

You do not say how old Regina is; just that she is a teenager. If she is under the age of 18 your sister may not have the legal right to kick her out of the house and could be charged with child abandonment. Regardless of the legalities, morally your sister is in the wrong.

Since you are unsure of how you would feel having Regina and her baby living with you, I suggest that you try having her stay with you for a weekend. During that time you can welcome her into your home and lay down the ground rules that would exist if she is to live with you full-time. The House Rules could be a combination of things that are for the good of the home as well as for Regina’s future. I suggest Rule #1 be that she stay in school and graduate high school, followed closely by Rule #2 – no alcohol and no drugs. A baby needs a healthy, educated Mommy if s/he is going to have a chance in life.

You may discover that having Regina around actually increases your stress levels, at which point you need to be honest with her and tell her that you are trying to conceive without much luck, and having a pregnant woman around the house is doing a number on you emotionally. Offer to help her reconcile the differences she is having with her mother and/or to help her find a place to stay. There are a lot of organizations, both religious and secular, that cater to the needs of pregnant teens, including Problem Pregnancy which has offices in New England, and may be able to direct you to offices in your area - wherever that is.

You may also discover that caring for Regina is the outlet you need for your motherly yearnings and that your stress levels decrease when you are with her and preparing for the arrival of her baby. Although I cannot say that you will conceive if you do this, reducing one’s stress levels can help make that happen.

I wish you all the luck in the world! Please write back to let me know how things turn out for all!


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with Bachelors degrees in Communications and in Gender and Women's Studies. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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