I am 26 and have a beautiful four-year-old daughter. She is the light of my life and the making of me as an adult and a mother. I was 22 when I had my daughter and completely alone, unemployed and virtually homeless due to frequent earthquakes in our region. I am also the oldest of 8 children and the choice to terminate was taught to us as frankly inconceivable and immoral, not to be discussed or even contemplated.

After 4 years of parenting, building a life for my baby and a career for myself, I found a ‘casual’ fling had resulted in a second pregnancy. To say I was devastated would be the world’s biggest understatement, any attempts to discuss the fact that I would be parenting alone still…and now again with what would be 2 kids just ended in statements like ‘you’ll make the best of it’ or ‘I’m so happy for you’ (how can your true friends or family give such empty and blase sentiments when they can clearly see your struggling with the idea?). Any attempts to discuss termination with my parents was met with a hand virtually in my face and an all enclosing statement of ‘you know that’s not even an option’. Well, why not? The timing was awful, the father pushing for termination (rather nastily I might add), the loss of my income and my business, parenting 2 alone, 1 year left before school for my daughter and the fact that I had ALWAYS maintained after my 1st that I was done, fulfilled and happy with what I have already. My parents told EVERYONE! My daughter, siblings, friends, the fathers parents the works. no getting out of it now it seemed.

I slipped into the blackest days I’ve ever experienced and I decided to discuss my wish to terminate with a very old and close male friend including the moral dilemma and the fact that my wee girl knew and was overwhelmingly keen on being a big sister. I deduced that this was no longer a moral decision but a logical one and decided to get the ball rolling with my GP. My friend was there every step of the way including bedside support person at the hospital, I had to lie to my family and say I miscarried to avoid being ostracized. My daughter is very fragile about discussing mum ‘losing the baby’ and I grieve for her loss. I feel selfish and guilty about my choice but know I would have only resented my 2nd child and that is not the kind of mother I am or want to be. It’s not been a week yet since I made the choice to terminate and I am only now feeling anything other than relief. It only hurt a little and the bleeding stopped soon after as I was only 7 weeks, 3 days along but I’m losing sleep, cry often and sometimes forget I’ve done it.

I know I will live with this choice forever and I also feel it would be easier to heal if I didn’t have to keep the truth from my family and know I will disclose this to my daughter when she is old enough. Thanks for reading and I hope you go peacefully through your own journey. xo