Women over 40 who find themselves unexpectedly pregnant

I am part of a growing group- women over 40 who find themselves unexpectedly pregnant. From 2000 I have been a single mother of 4 children after my husband left me to live with his secretary.
My children were aged 7 years down to 4 months. I had also miscarried twice during my marriage. Slowly I rebuilt our lives but it was not until 2008 that I felt brave enough to have a full relationship.
In summer 2009 I met a lovely man and we had a great time. I even got whisked off to Paris.

My world began to collapse

The only cloud was that due to smear test abnormalities contraception was tricky. We thought we had been careful enough until just after Christmas I found out I was pregnant. My world began to collapse. My partner made it clear that he did not want a baby. He was nearly fifty , with childen aged 26 and 21. That part of his life was over.
I have never believed in abortion, but I could not cope with the idea of having another child on my own. I visited my GP and a clinic. My termination was arranged for mid January. I stopped sleeping, had panic attacks and my work began to suffer. My GP said I only had to be strong for a few more days and I would be ok. My partner took me to the clinic. Everything was disorganised and it became clear that they were running behind.

I felt that a part of me died with my baby

My termination which was meant to be at 10 took place at 2.30. As it happened I was crying, screaming silently and felt that a part of me died with my baby.
When I went to bed I wanted to sleep but never wake up because I knew I was going to struggle to live with what I had done. The fact that I had children already meant that I knew exactly what I had lost.
My partner felt relieved it was all over. But for me it was just beginning. By mid February I was still not sleeping, wanted to cry a lot and had some very dark thoughts.My state of health was affecting my work but I couldn't tell my boss what was wrong because she would not understand.

My GP told me I was depressed

Mothers day was dreadful. I was expected to celebrate with my children but felt such a fraud.All I had ever wanted was to set a good example for my children but I felt such a failure. Two weeks later my partner and I separated. He can not cope with the pain I am in, and his responsibility for a part of it. Tomorrow I am going for a cervical check. I will be lying on a bed with my legs in stirrups and do not know how I will retain my composure. I can not believe I have made such a mess of things. I have some very sympathetic friends but only one knows the whole story. I worry that I would lose friends if the others knew.

Editor's Comment

It is very painful that you made this decision because of your partner's reaction, and then ended up losing the relationship. Abortion was something you felt uncomfortable with and had never felt it was right for you, so going down this route was always going to be a very painful choice for you. I can understand your fears of single parenthood again, and its a huge commitment to bring up a child. The choices you had were both very difficult and I am so sorry that this has been so damaging. It is sad that you were not given some counselling when you were thinking through your decision. I do think that seeing an advisor for post abortion counselling would help you to work through some of these very difficult emotions you are going through. If you would like to access this service follow the link to find a centre for post abortion support in your area.
or there is an Online service if you don't have a centre near to you
for post abortion support.

This story was sent in on 22/04/2010

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