I’ve always known that I don’t want children. I am absolutely sure of it and it’s always something which I’ve insisted on when asked or questioned about my willingness to procreate. I’m not interested in the responsibility, time, effort, commitment (economic or otherwise) nor the strain that this may put on my body at all. Still, this doesn’t mean I don’t love kids. I’m a dedicated and happy aunt, the one that everyone goes to or depends on to find a last minute solution to random problems and I’m also the kid in the family who happened to get her life together in the least conflicting or complicated manner. Where my sister or brother chose to dedicate themselves to forming families, I put the same energy into myself and being happy with myself.
In the last couple of years, I have had a few health issues and my doctor and I discovered that I am almost infertile. I should clarify that this is not because I do not ovulate, but because of several deformities and scarring in my uterus due to complications with Endometriosis. My chances of getting pregnant are less 30% with treatment. Now, As I said before, I do not want to be a mother. Not now, not ever. This was disconcerting because I didn’t know what this meant for my health but as far as having children was concerned, I rationally accepted it and moved on.
That was until last year, I got pregnant.
It sounds like a miracle, right? I was terrified. How did this happen? The chances were so slim and somehow the timing worked out? I hadn’t used protection with my long term partner, partly because my physician instilled the idea in my mind that I would never be able to become pregnant naturally. She tried to congratulate me, tell me it was a miracle, tell me I should be thankful—after all, there are thousands of women with similar problems who would kill for my miracle. When I told her that I understood but I was adamant about getting an abortion, she refused to give me any useful information. She said I was being ungrateful and that a woman should never reject a gift from god, much less a woman in my position.
I was nearly 17 weeks when I was finally able to get an abortion and I had to drive 7 hours, miss 3 days from work without pay, spend money on a hotel and the procedure to do it. In the midst of all this, I confided in my best friend of 15 years who rejected me. She has been struggling with PCOS for the last 6 years and has undergone countless procedures unsuccessfully. I tried to explain that having children was not in my plans- she countered with adoption and even offered to adopt my baby. I explained that I was not in a place in life where I could put my life in any kind of disarray- mental, physical or emotional- to deal with that. I explained that it would be too complicated and in the end, I did not want that journey.
After she rejected me, she told our close circle of friends, the ones from high school that still kept in touch—not many speak to me anymore.
While the people who know try to convince me that my pregnancy was a miracle and I should have embraced it, I know that it was an accident, caused by carelessness and my own choices. I chose to get an abortion because regardless of the circumstances, having children was not and is not for me.
I have spoken to a new doctor now who has been very supportive of my choice, and even told me that I had spared myself several health complications by getting the abortion. I doubted myself so many times before I did it and now, as I work towards my PHD and look at the life I built, the life I have nurtured and cared for, I realize that I made the right choice. I do not regret it, I am not depressed nor did I suffer any negative side effects. After all, who knows what is best for an independent 30 year old woman? Herself.