My first pregnancy was not the result of a one night stand, rape, a carefree night of drugs and alcohol. It did not happen with ‘the wrong man,’ or when I was too young, unemployed, financially or emotionally unstable. In the words of the doctor ‘what do you mean the timing is wrong?’ Long term loving relationship, supportive partner, both employed in well paid, stable jobs, physically healthy, late 20’s, the means to support and love a child – I could tick all the ‘I’m at the perfect stage to start a family’ boxes.
I had no excuse to choose an abortion.
But I did. I chose to terminate my 8 week and 5 day pregnancy for reasons that when I repeat them sound fickle and selfish. I wasn’t prepared. It was too unexpected. I was just getting started in my new career. We still wanted to travel (again). We still wanted to get to know each other (more) before we had children. I didn’t want responsibilities. I didn’t want something to depend entirely on me. I didn’t want to have to live with the consequences of an accident for the rest of my life.
‘You will live with the consequences for the rest of your life which ever option you choose,’ is what she told me.
She was right. I will never forget. I had to make the decision the day after I found out I was pregnant in order to have the option of a medical abortion. My partner was overseas at the time. My parents were also out of the country. I told my partner and a friend over the phone. And I took the second set of pills at home alone.
My friend told me I was ‘strong’ and ‘brave.’ My head told me it was the right thing to do. But my heart remains uneasy. My heart tells me a braver woman would not have closed her eyes and told the nurse she wanted to proceed with the termination, when she saw the tiny smudge that was a life inside her on the monitor. A stronger woman would have taken what life threw at her and listened to what her body was telling her was right. A less selfish woman would not have immediately seen a baby as the end of her life as she knows it; she would have tried to make it work.
Do I regret my decision? No. Was it the right decision? Maybe, maybe not. It was the option I chose and I am learning to live with it. Do I wonder about what might have been had I chose to keep my baby? Always.