When I was 22, I got involved with an older man who was separated from his wife (living separately as well). Within 2 months, he asked me to marry him, be the mother of his children, and wanted us to live together so we got an apartment just over the border in New Hampshire.

I was living at home and was anxious to move out. I was also taking birth control pills which were causing problems, so he said I could stop taking them and I had gotten the cup like device (forget what it’s called) to insert prior to sex. Within the first month, he wanted sex and then held me down when I told him I needed to insert the device and tried to get up. It seemed the more I fought him, the more aroused he got. I also knew that I was ovulating as I would always get cramps when I did. I became pregnant. Then he told me I had to get an abortion. I didn’t want to, but he insisted that because I had just started a new job (where I met him) and because he was not divorced yet, that I had no choice. The abortion clinic I went to just went along with this. I DIDN’T KNOW AT THE TIME THAT I DID HAVE A CHOICE. After the abortion, I met a woman who told me about the Welfare programs that she had to use when her husband up and left her – pregnant with 3 small children. About 4 years later, I began to hemmorage the 3rd day of my period while I was at work (had gotten a new job closer to home at as a bank teller). I ended up in the hospital where my doctor informed me that I had blood filled cysts all over my ovaries and wanted to do surgery. After I woke up, he told me he had cut them all, drained them, and lanced them and that the reason it happened is because I had a thick membrane on my ovaries that wouldn’t allow the eggs to break away during ovulation. He also said he had cut wedges in each of my ovaries and left them in … because he knew I wanted a baby. BUT I’d have to get pregnant with 3 months before these incisions healed … and that this type of surgery never worked a 2nd time. I was really upset because I did not want to stay with this man … he was messed up and was causing me too much stress. The doctor apologized … said he assumed it would be OK as we had been together 4 years. I didn’t have to convince my partner. He ‘raped’ me again soon after surgery while I was still sore and impregnated me again. Then he told me to get another abortion!!! But this time I knew I didn’t have to. I had good insurance with my job. Meanwhile, my parents (about an hour away in Massacusetts) had their house up for sale. They wanted to move to Coast of Southern California. I was heart-wrenched because I would be able to go with them if I wasn’t with this man and since my mother stayed with my father all those years despite his abuse (she had his 6 kids), my mother pretty much told me to work it out. When I was 3-1/2 months along, I began to bleed, and I ended up back in the hospital. I was dilated to 4 cm … on the verge of miscarrying … and this was going to be my only shot at having a baby. I was 26 going on 27 years old. The same doctor did what is called a ‘circlage’. He tied my cervix to try and keep it from dilating. He sent me home and said that if I didn’t stay in bed for the rest of the pregnancy, I may not carry past 6 months if at all. I also had to take a drug that would stop contractions. My partner picked me up from the hospital, and after I requested we stop at the pharmacy, he refused to go in for me. Then he dropped me off at our apartment and left for his friends’ house. When I got into the apartment, I discovered there was no food in it … and he had our only car … which was in my name. I fell apart. I called help lines at 2 a.m. asking for assistance and could not get any. The next morning, I called my parents again. My mother said she would talk to my father. Then she came back to tell me that I could come for 2 weeks while I recovered from surgery. I had to ask my partner to take me there. Within that 2 weeks the 1st in a series of miracles occurred. After 2 weeks on the market, their house sold. They hired a moving van and got packed up quickly to go. They were going to send everything with the movers and fly out there to where my older sister had gone before them and rented a 2 bedroom house. I begged them to please let me go with them. The 2nd miracle – they said yes, and a plane ticket was bought for me, too. While the doctor had said no sitting or being in a car unless I had to use the bathroom or go to a doctor appointment, he said OK, go. He referred me to a specialist out in California. The downside, was no-one could go up to New Hampshire to get any of my things and all I had was a suitcase for 2 weeks worth of necessities. The next miracle is that I carried for a full 9 months and gave birth to a healthy 7 lb, 9 ounce, boy.