I am 25 and have been married for 5 years. I have always struggled with depression since childhood ...

By anonymous on 01/10/2007
I am 25 and have been married for 5 years. I have always struggled with depression since childhood and following the birth of my son and miscarriage of another son 10 months later, I had a nervous breakdown.

I left my husband for 2 months when I left hospital. I was attacked and became pregnant, booked in for a termination twice but couldn't go through with it. Through that pregnancy my husband was very supportive and we worked out our differences and got back together. A few months later I had a daughter. My wonderful husband has taken her on as his own. She is now 2 years old and I find myself pregnant again and I don't feel I'm able to cope with another child.

There's the same ol' same ol' things like we can’t afford another child, our finances are awful, our house is too small, it'll give the children we have less opportunities in life etc, but leaving it so many weeks before the termination is carried out is killing me.

My husband wants to keep the baby. He doesn't see what difference one more makes, but he's not the one looking after them all the time. It's not his body being destroyed further and my mental health suffering. My children will be starting nursery in January and I felt this would give me the time I need to get counselling and hopefully come off these depression tablets that make me feel like a zombie.

I have been brought up to be Catholic. I'm terrified of the religious implications of a termination and the mere thoughts of considering one. I told my mum about the pregnancy today she was disappointed but thinks the best option for me is a termination.

I wish my husband could understand and support me. We've been through so much already and it's so hard to go against his wishes. I don’t want him to hate me for terminating a child he wants. I can understand his confusion on why can you keep a rapist’s baby and not mine, but I have never seen her as that, just mine and actually my husband’s because he is her father in every sense of the word. He was there at her scans and birth and every day since, he loves and provides for her. Since her birth we have never spoken of the circumstances of her conception but I know these thoughts must enter his mind.
I can see why ladies who have had abortions before ever experiencing motherhood have regrets but I would love the perspective of someone who has a similar position to myself. I really don’t know what to do. Any advice would be much appreciated.

Editor’s note: Thanks for writing in…There seem to be many layers to your story and you feel another pregnancy is just too much on top of all the layers that exist already, layers that you are ready to address through counselling.

I have a feeling that it may not be the baby you don’t want, it’s the circumstances, the difficulties of parenting again, the tiredness, the depression, the memories of past pain and abuse that you don’t want. You want time and freedom from pressure, you want to be whole, get the counselling you need and recover from all you’ve been through. You’ve been incredibly courageous and coped with so much.

When you attempted termination last time, you couldn’t go through with it. That tells me that perhaps deep down in your heart you weren’t comfortable with it. For many women, termination looks like the logical answer; one that will help everything get back to normal but it doesn’t always do that for women who are deeply uncomfortable with it. It has the opposite effect. In fact, it can worsen pre-existing depression problems and that is my concern for you. A termination may not bring relief – it may compound the problems you already have.

I want to encourage you to contact your nearest pregnancy resource centre and talk with someone about your pregnancy. It may also help you to contact the Life Centre that supports survivors of rape and sexual abuse on 01243 779196 on Sun, Mon and Thurs evenings from 7.30-10pm. You don’t have to wait to begin that process of counselling. Hope can start now.

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