I was a divorced mother with 3 kids and my youngest child who was 9 at the time is disabled with learning disabilities and autism and has always been difficult to look after. My older kids were in school and life wasn’t easy – I work full time to pay a mortgage and give my kids a good standard of living. When I found out I was pregnant, I had just come out of an abusive relatiship with a man whom I had been with for just over a year. This had been my first serious relationship since getting divorced 5 years earlier. The ‘father’ abused substances and was rarely in a job and looking back, the only reason I entered a relationship with him was because I had low self esteem and he wouldn’t leave me alone. I didn’t believe at the time I could do any better and I was lonely.

I made an agonizing decision when I was 7 weeks pregnant and I had attempted to reconcile with him for the sake of the baby, but he was being continuously abusive towards me and my kids. I couldn’t continue with the pregnancy as I knew that I’d have to be on my own and move away to get away from him. Looking after 3 kids, 1 with special needs, working full time and being in a lot of financial debt, I knew that I was kidding myself and wouldn’t be able to cope.

I have never felt so alone in my life, my mother told me that she wouldn’t help, my grandmother offered to help clear my debt but only if I went through with the abortion. I had nobody.

I considered adoption but I knew that once I had the baby I wouldn’t be able to go through with it. I love kids and desperately wanted my baby but I knew that I’d be risking my own sanity and the quality of life of my other 3 kids if I kept the baby.

On the day of the abortion, I ran out of the hospital ward crying before I had the operation, but realized I had nowhere to turn, that I’d likely lose my other kids to my ex-husband and my home due to the debt I was in. I had no choice.

I went back through to the ward and was constantly sick with pregnancy nausea and nerves. I only got myself together when a young girl in the bed opposite was sobbing her heart out and I guess I took on the role of mom to try and make her feel better.

I realized then that I had to be brave and go through with it. My abortion happened when I was 11 weeks and 4 days pregnant.

I know I made the right decision for my kids lives as well as mine. It was the hardest decision I ever had to make and to be honest I sobbed every day for the first 2 years after I lost my baby and have done so every other day since. It’s been 7 years.

I bought a memory box and wrote a letter to my baby saying how sorry I was and I also bought a Mizuko Jizo Buddha ornament to remember my unborn baby. This helped me heal a little in time. The Mizuko Jizo is believed by Japanese culture to help aborted and miscarried babies go from the river of life to death safely.

I’m approaching 47 years old and my daughter is pregnant with her first child and whilst I’m excited about being a grandmother, I privately feel guilt and sadness about my own baby whom I wanted so badly, but I know that no matter what anybody else says, I made the right decision for my family and nobody knows how they will feel and what they will do until they are in that position. Until that point in life, I never thought I’d ever have an abortion; it is a private and painful decision for anybody and whilst I’ve found it difficult to live with, I feel a bit better with each passing day.