Sep 022010

18 months ago, I gave birth to an angel. She is the most wonderful thing that ever happened to me, and I can’t imagine my life without her.

When I was six months pregnant, I found out my husband was having an affair. I tried so hard to “fix” it, but the marriage had been over for many years. As a result of the stress, my pregnancy was an extremely difficult one, and my daughter was born five weeks early. When she was two months old, I told my husband to choose – me and the baby or the other woman. He chose the other woman and moved out.

My daughter and I have moved out of our four bedroom colonial in the suburbs, and we now live in subsidized housing in a cute little neighborhood. We have very little – I work, and my ex is good about child support, but there is very little room for extras. Thank God for the generosity of family and friends; if it weren’t for them, we often wouldn’t have fresh fruit or be able to turn the heat on at night.

I met a man after my husband moved out, and we dated seriously for many months, but I knew he ultimately wasn’t the man for me. Of course, just as the relationship was dying, I became pregnant. With no health benefits, the fear of another difficult pregnancy consumed me. I was barely hanging on financially and emotionally as the single mom of one child; how could I handle another one? After much introspection, I decided to terminate the pregnancy.

I am lucky to live in a state where the local abortion provider is housed in the most wonderfully welcoming and accepting place. On the day of the abortion, I clutched a picture of my daughter as I entered a refurbished old home that was carpeted and wallpapered in welcoming shades. The receptionist was so kind, and everyone I saw gave me a genuine smile. Each procedure – from counseling to blood work to the actual abortion – was done with a gentle, respectful, and accepting attitude. I was calm and at peace with my decision; even the doctor who performed the abortion asked about my daughter’s picture, commented about the weather, and asked my how my holiday shopping was coming. I was in good hands.

The procedure itself was not painful – uncomfortable, but not painful. I was able to work that afternoon with almost no discomfort or cramping, and my morning sickness disappeared almost immediately. The antibiotics did not cause any side effects (except a nasty yeast infection) and I immediately felt better physically and emotionally. My bleeding started four days later, and was similar to a normal period. I hated having to wear a pad instead of my usual tampons, but that was a small price to pay.

While I was in recovery, I sat next to a young girl whose mother came to support her during an abortion. I told the mother how much I respected her for coming with her daughter. She looked at me with a smile and said, “Everyone makes mistakes. When you’re a mom, you do whatever you have to do for your daughter.”

That’s the kind of mother I want to be. I am just grateful that that I live in a country where that decision is between me and my God, and is not decided by my partner or my church or my government. Thank you, Roe v. Wade. Thank you for bringing me peace.

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