Where do I start? After trying for a baby for fve years and being diagnosed with endometriosis, I went through two IVF cycles, which both failed.

Where do I start? After trying for a baby for fve years and being diagnosed with endometriosis, I went through two IVF cycles, which both failed. Just as I was accepted on the NHS list (available at the time), I found I was pregnant naturally. I couldn't believe I was really going to have a baby, but there was my child, after a difficult birth. I was totally confused and stunned when I was told, when my baby was just over 24 hours old, that it was thought she had Down's syndrome. Two weeks of heartbreak and pain followed, looking at my baby and thinking she was perfect - how could anyone else think differently? Thankfully the test came back negative. A traumatic silent miscarriage followed three years later at 13 weeks. Two years later, after further tests and fertility drugs, I was pregnant again. This time I had scans every week as soon as a heartbeat was detectable, as I was terrified of losing this baby. Everything went well, including the birth, but at two weeks old I realised that my baby didn't seem to be able to see. After a whirlwind of appointments, a doctor announced to his colleagues 'It's an albino'. Stunned disbelief followed. I spent the next eight months doing everything I could to stimulate my baby's vision, to help her use her sight as much as possible. When she was three, her older sister was diagnosed with ADD and a year later her father had an affair with our au pair and left for five months. Things were never the same when he came back (I asked him to). Out of the blue, three years later (a year ago), and not having used any contraception for six years, I was stunned to realise I may be pregnant. When I tried to tell my husband, his reaction was 'Don't tell me you're pregnant, bloody hell.' Faced with this and the knowledge that I didn't want any child to be born into a probably loveless marriage; and the possibility of another disabled child (especially as I was 42 by this time), I felt I had no choice but to terminate the pregnancy. I had to wait through the Christmas and New Year period, pretending everything was fine for the sake of my children. On January 5th, 2008 I went to the hospital for the termination. The staff told us my husband could not be with me. He made no effort to dissuade them. As a result I went through the procedure and was alone for six hours. Eventually in July my husband admitted he didn't love me any more, and left at my insistence in late September. I know that if my husband had supported me and the pregnancy I would never have terminated. God forgive me. I am religious, but cannot even pray about this because I feel I did the wrong thing. I will never forget this baby, along with the two miscarriages and 11 embryos I lost. I just don't know how to be at peace about killing my baby after trying so hard for so many years to have children. Editor’s note: Thanks for sharing your story with us…it has been a very difficult and unusual journey for you, hasn’t it? Now you are approaching the first anniversary of your termination and it probably seems more painful as the time gets nearer. You seem to have experienced a major internal conflict, one that is causing you pain and depriving you of a sense of peace and well-being. Having said that, healing for your heart is possible and I want to recommend that you get in touch with your nearest centre and arrange to talk with someone. Our post-abortion recovery programme is designed to help you work through the emotions and move into a better relationship with your experience, one that enables you to be who you are really are, rather than incapacitated through guilt or grief. You can also receive help online by using Online Advisor. There is a way forward – you don’t need to be stuck in an unresourceful place. There is hope and healing for you. We’ll be thinking of you.

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