Sarah’s Story

I’ve always wanted children, and I plan to someday have children. But the father, the time, and my financial situation were terrible. At the time I got pregnant, I was living in a tiny one-room flat, working nights and barely feeding myself. Was this how I wanted my baby to grow up? No. It’s not that I didn’t want this particular baby; it’s that I wanted more for him or her. I don’t think my abortion signifies a lack of caring for my unborn child. If anything, it demonstrated the sacrifice of a loving would-be parent. At the same time I got pregnant and kept it between my boyfriend and I, my older, married, stable sister got pregnant and joyously told the whole family. I was happy and excited to be an aunt, without seeing her son as a “replacement” for the child I was choosing not to have.

My biggest regret was never the decision or the abortion itself, it was my own mistake in getting pregnant. I somehow assumed that I was above that kind of problem, more responsible, more adult at 19 years old, and I was disappointed in myself for a long time afterwards. What can I say? Things happen and a woman can’t feel guilty when they do, even if the consequences were preventable. My much older boyfriend was the one who made me feel irresponsible and immature when I went to get a medical abortion. The clinic was short with its patients, the pain was awful after I got home and began to bleed, and I had no support- my family did not know, my boyfriend wouldn’t discuss it, and he wouldn’t let me talk to anyone else about it. If I had known then that there was nothing to be ashamed of and no reason to keep it to myself, I might not have had such a bad experience. I finally reconciled with myself when I discovered that he had already been through the same situation- at the very same clinic, no less- with a previous girlfriend. As I said, things happen, and I’m not the only one.

And then, shortly before my older sister was to give birth to my very first nephew, it happened again. As infallable as I still thought I was, I’d slipped up with the pill. I was mortified and afraid to tell my boyfriend that I’d gotten myself into a tight spot again within a year. This time, though, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I loved my sister’s baby before he even arrived and was afraid that once I saw him, I’d desperately want to keep my own- even if my boyfriend would not be the best father. I told myself that as long as I made sure to get an abortion before I saw my nephew being born, I’d probably be okay.

My nephew was born two weeks early. It was before my scheduled abortion.

Is this where I’m supposed to break down and say that seeing him for the first time made me have a change of heart? And that I finally realized how precious life is and couldn’t go through with the abortion? Because it didn’t happen that way. When I saw the tiny little boy who looked just like my sister, and felt my love and pride overwhelming me, I knew that there was no way I could love someone so much and not be able to give them everything they deserved out of life. Someday I will be a mother- but I will have my children when I want to, and with whom I want to share them, and then, they will have everything that they deserve.

Yes, after holding my baby nephew, I had another abortion. This time I had full sedation and never felt a thing. The new clinic was wonderful and I found the support I needed. By the next day I was back up and waitressing, so relieved to have gone through with my decision. My boyfriend (of three years, now) thinks I see my one-year-old nephew as a “replacement” for the babies I didn’t have, as I spoil my sister’s son unmercifully. But I know that there will be children for me as well, in good time. In my time.