I have a daughter with my husband who is a year old this week. I am pregnant with the second and found out it was a girl and am considering an abortion at 21 weeks.

By anonymous on 13/07/2008
Many people would not think my story is a "crisis" and in fact, many would not even understand the situation I find myself in, thereby earning myself an unwarranted label.

I am happily married and in my late thirties. It is our third anniversary coming up but I've known my husband for eight years. I have a daughter with my husband who is a year old this week. I am pregnant with the second and found out it was a girl and am considering an abortion at 21 weeks. The reason is because I do not feel mentally stable enough to have another girl.

To put that last paragraph in context, I do not have a relationship with my mother. She is a violent and mixed up person and I have no contact with my brother or half sister (we share the same Mum). Growing up, my father worked away a week at a time and my relationship with my mother was terrible and got worse as I got older. When my parents divorced, I was put in a children's home and then fostered out. Since all that, I concentrated on trying to be a confident person and went about a career and I succeeded as a lawyer. I always thought that I would never have children because I was too scared about bringing them up and the scars that have been left behind, despite counselling. I managed to look after myself - having responsibilities like children was a completely different matter.

I was pregnant by my husband seven years ago when he had "split up" with me, although we were still regularly in contact and obviously having sexual relations. Within three days of him knowing I was pregnant, I was in a private hospital having an abortion at 6 weeks, even though I begged him to think about it and to go to counselling together but he said he did not want children outside of a marriage and neither with someone he didn't see himself settling down with. Since then, we got married but just before we married, he told me he wanted children, which I've always known and I had to think long and hard about willingly committing myself to this. (The other was unplanned but I still wanted to consider all options to make sure the right decision was taken, even if we still ended up having the abortion at the end of it but this time, things were different). I always thought it would be ok if we had boys.

Apart from the normal difficulties of raising children, I did not have the issues that I have following my relationship with my mother. When I found out I was having a girl the first time at 16 weeks, I considered abortion then but I thought if I had a boy the next time, it would be balanced out. If I had difficulties with my daughter, I would still have a son. Besides, I made the commitment to my husband.

I have my worries about my daughter - the issues are not at this age but later, so it is constantly on my mind, even though I love her so much. To find out I am having another girl is too much for me to cope with. I didn't have an earlier scan for sexing because I really thought I was carrying a boy. My husband knows my thoughts and we are constantly arguing. He does not want me to abort the child because he sees it purely as an abortion based on sex when I see difficulties, both mentally and emotionally, that would affect me and even my children and I do not want them to feel what I feel. I do not want them to be afflicted with my problems and issues.

I also feel that he cannot see my view and simply saying it as black and white as that is as bad as his decision to have the early pregnancy aborted just because we were not together, without even having time to consider and talk about it. The way he also talks about this current situation makes me feel he cannot support me if there are difficulties when the children grow up as he cannot understand how I feel and I am worried that I will be on the outside of a family looking in, as I was when I was growing up, being labelled by my family as mentally unstable or things similar to it. Therefore, it makes it more difficult for me to make a decision to choose to keep the baby - we have no other support or family. It's just us.

Having read the abortion procedures for this stage, I don't know if I can go through with it because of what it entails and how I feel about that. I also feel if I continue, I will live a life of misery and resentment and worry for the forthcoming years, always worried about what will happen to my family because of me. I don't regret having my daughter but I regret trusting my husband to the extent that I thought his support would see me through the difficulties and on that basis, I committed to the marriage knowing I would be giving him children.

Whoever reads this, try to understand that I didn't want children because of me being a damaged person and therefore, not the best mother material and given what I went through growing up, all the abuse and mental put downs because of my mother's own insecurities, I wouldn't want that for my children in any shape or form, even though I know I have to accept that no mother is a perfect mother. I also never wanted to deprive my husband of being a very good father, which he is, and maybe it was selfish of me to marry him because he could have been a good father with someone who would make a much better mother.

Editor’s note: Thanks for sharing your story with us…the overwhelming sense I have from your story is how much your whole life is based on fear. You are being lived by your past and you are constantly imposing it onto your future – and your children’s futures - without any real grounds for doing so. Yes, you have suffered in the past and you need healing for many aspects of that, but it doesn’t have to rob you of your family life now.

In your fear, I can glimpse the love you have for your husband and your children, but it’s getting washed away or drowned out by your fear. It seems you are trying to work it all out in your head, desperately wanting to maintain some sort of control over life so that it doesn’t hurt you again, but this is impossible. Avoidance is not the best way to deal with life, nor pain. Avoiding having another daughter will not release you from potential pain – it will add actual pain to your life.

Please contact your nearest pregnancy support centre as soon as possible, ring the helpline or use Online Advisor to talk it through with someone you can trust, who will be kind and compassionate and who understands these issues. We’ll be thinking of you.

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