I have been pregnant a total of eight times. I have three children at home, ages 17, 15 and 6. I am raising them in a loving, supportive and financially stable home. Now.

I had my first abortion when I was 15.

My boyfriend, 19, and I did not practice the safest of sex. The pullout method is of course, terrible. When I finally had the courage to tell my mother, I was only about 10 weeks along – she made an appointment for an abortion right away. There was no questioning this decision. My mom had my oldest brother at 15 – she was surely trying to protect me from repeating her life.

My second abortion was when I was 18. I was dating a crazy ex-con. I was scared to tell him I was pregnant. He was happier than I’d thought he’d be. But when he went on an abusive rampage and destroyed my car and beat up an ex-boyfriend I happened to run into at a party I learned the real make of his mettle. At this time I also found out he had a severe drug problem. I had this abortion in secret and told him I miscarried.

The third time I got pregnant, I was in love. I was 20. I thought this one was right. I told my mother and she, again, insisted I was too young and strongly encouraged me to have an abortion. I did. My boyfriend was broken. He was very pro-life. I felt terrible. His ex-girlfriend had a child by him. She also did not give him any rights as father, refusing to even put his name on the birth certificate. I knew he would be a doting father but she wouldn’t let him anywhere near the child – she moved to another state and everything.

Less than a year later, I was pregnant again. Same boyfriend. This time, I did not tell my mother until I was five months along. My son is now seventeen and an amazing human being. I can’t imagine the world without him. Me and the father parted ways, but we have an amicable relationship.

My next child was born three years later. I was five months pregnant when I learned her father was a convicted child abuser. I was flabbergasted. He hadn’t exhibited violence toward me or my son. I tried to make it work with this man. We had a daughter. She is now 15 – the world would be a darker place without her.

After about three years with my daughter’s father, more terrible things started to come out about him. He was looking at questionable porn on the computer (lolita!). He was a philanderer – I wouldn’t have sex with him without a condom. The one time I did, I got pregnant. I had that abortion in secret as well. We separated less than amicably.

For the next few years I practiced celibacy… until I was drugged at a party. I didn’t figure out I was pregnant until it was too late to abort in my state (I was 14 weeks). I was considering flying to another state but changed my mind. I carried and gave that child up for adoption. I met my current husband when i was pregnant – he stayed in the relationship and gave me moral support in my decision.

Five years later, happily married, we decided to remove my IUD (see, eventually I learned) and my husband and I made a very planned son. He is now six, and perfect.

The choices I made in my past were all integral to the success of my current self. I have zero regrets.