I have always felt uneasy about termination

I found out I was pregnant when I was about 6 weeks gone. It couldn't have been worse news - the baby's dad was just a fling (I loved him but knew he didn't feel the same and certainly didn't want to settle down), I was living in a foreign (Muslim) country where pregnancy out of wedlock was a criminal offence, and I'd just lost my job. I flew home to my mum's where she had got me a lot of reading material about abortions. I decided that it would be the best thing as I was in no position to bring up a baby. It wasn't really what I wanted as I have always felt uneasy about termination. I respect the choice other women have and would never judge anyone for choosing to terminate, but I'd always thought it was something I could never do. My mum made it very clear that she thought I should have a termination. My only option would have been living with her, but she told me this wasn't an option at all. So I was pregnant and had the support of absolutely no one. I saw a nurse at an NHS clinic and she arranged a scan to see how far gone I was. By this time I was 9 weeks. I looked at the scan and saw my baby. I think that was the point that I really made my mind up. I asked at the clinic if any counselling was given prior to the procedure. She told me that they offered counselling after termination only. I felt this was stupid as if you were worried about making the wrong decision, what good was it after the event?? She did give me a contact number of a local NHS counselling practice that specialised in talking to women unsure about what to do. I went along a few days later and had a chat with a lovely counselor. She helped me draw a chart which pointed out pros and cons of keeping my baby. We decided that the biggest issues were my lack of job/money and the fact the father wasn't going to be around. She asked me how I would feel if I terminated my baby and then won the lottery the next day. I said I would be devastated as money would have meant I could keep it.

She pointed out to me that my reasons for getting rid of the baby were all circumstancial and that circumstances can change, sometimes very suddenly.

I still had my abortion booked but knew I wasn't going to go through with it after that. When the day came, I called the hospital and told them I wouldn't be coming in. They wished me the best of luck with my pregnancy. I'd already told my mum that I wasn't going through with it. I told her I was having the baby with or without her support, that I'd rather have her support but I didn't need it. We had a very tearful conversation where she told me that she'd never turf me out on the street and she would always support whatever decision I made. She is now the proudest Nana I know. I also told the baby's dad that I was keeping it. As predicted, he went crazy at me, but he was in another country, what could he do? I began to tell people. They all thought I was nuts. I registered with my midwife and began to really look forward to becoming a mum. I began to work freelance and actually managed to make some good money - things didn't seem as gloomy as they did a few weeks ago. I was 29 and living back with my mum, but I didn't care. I knew it wouldn't always be like that. At my 20 week scan I found out I was having a boy. I sent the pics to the baby's dad. Then something remarkable happened. He called me and told me that he was making a mistake, that he loved me and wanted to be a father to our child. He quit his job and flew home to be with us. It crossed my mind to tell him to do one, but he had as much right to be a parent as I did. I felt we owed it to the baby to at least try. Obviously things were not all plain sailing - we struggled financially for a while. We were both shell-shocked when our son arrived, but what new parent isn't? But this was all two years ago now. And we're expecting our second baby in a few months! Every time I look at my son I thank God that I didn't go through with ending the pregnancy. He is the absolute love of my life. He is also absolute proof that if you want something enough and you fight hard enough, you can always make it through. The right decision isn't always the easy one.
It was a Care Confidential Crisis Centre I went to to talk things through. I can't thank Care Confidential enough.

Editor's Comment

What an amazing story. It was truly remarkable that the father of your child had such a change of heart.
I think the key to your decision making was your comment that you had always felt uneasy about termination as a choice for you personally. If you had chosen termination you would have had to go again a strong sense that it wasn't the right choice for you. I am pleased that Care Confidential were there for you when you needed that support in making your decision.

This story was sent in on 27/07/2012

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