My husband and I were very recently married. I was having trouble using various birth control and my doctor told me there was a study for a new type of birth control called a cervical cap. I participated in the study. One day after making love, I could tell that the cap was not in place correctly. I am not sure if I had put it in wrong or if it had gotten knocked out of place. But I soon realized that I was pregnant.

We were just not ready to have kids. We were young and just starting our careers. There were also many stressful things going on in our lives at the time. About 6 months before our wedding, my mom suffered from an aneurysm which left her partially paralyzed. While we don’t know for sure, her three-pack-a-day cigarette habit as well as meds she took probably contributed to her illness. She was taking – or supposed to be taking – meds for mental illness. My mom was most likely bi-polar but never diagnosed as such since I grew up in a small Midwestern town in Iowa and in a time when no one talked about these things. Two months after our wedding, my mom tried to take her own life. I was there when she woke up from the coma. When she realized she had failed she was only full of anger at all of us. I will never forget the look on her face. Over the next months, my mom called me almost every day telling me she was going to kill herself. (She eventually did succeed about a year later.) It was during this time that I became pregnant.

I decided to have an abortion. It was very early stage. I have never regretted the decision. I think having a child at that time would have really strained our relationship as we were still getting to know each other and so much else was going on. Since then, we have had two lovely children who are happy, well-adjusted, and on the path toward success. My husband and I will celebrate our 26th wedding anniversary this year and our marriage is strong and loving.