I Wouldn’t Call it Regret

I’m a 48 year old woman, wife and mother of two wonderful children who are now young adults. When I was 34, I was a single mother, struggling to work, finish graduate school, and get sober. I feel like I had been a good mom up until my 34th year when I suddenly left a stable marriage and took up drinking heavily.

Because I had my kids so young, I rationalized in my mind that I never had a young adulthood. I had a few short-term relationships, one of which resulted in a pregnancy. I found out within days of missing my period because I was scheduled to have surgery. I had broken up with the man who got me pregnant. I grew up Catholic and never in a million years thought I’d be in this position. I was 34, not a teenager.

I spoke with my doctor and asked what he thought about abortion. He said personally he thought it was ethical if done very early on a pregnancy so not to cause pain to the fetus. That stuck with me and I had my abortions few days after that conversation! I felt it was the best decision at the time. I didn’t want to have another child while raising my own children who were 12 and 8 at the time.

For the most part, I know I made the right decision and was grateful for a safe medical facility to have it done. Last week when I was leaving my doctor’s office, I drove by some women with signs that said “Pray to end abortion” and “I regret my abortion.” That made me really sad and I’ve been thinking about my abortion ever since. Even though now I’m very happily married, I’ve been going through horrible empty nest syndrome and rethinking my choice. If I hadn’t had an abortion, I’d still have a 13 year old at home. Maybe it would have been another daughter. My own daughter isn’t close to me like she used to be. So, in my head I know I made the right decision for the place and time but since seeing that damn sign, I’ve felt a sadness. I wouldn’t call it regret but definitely sadness.

-Donna

Note from Mabel Wadsworth Center:
If you need someone to talk to about your abortion experience don’t hesitate to reach out. Here are a couple great resources:

Exhale: 1-866-4-EXHALE
Exhaleprovoice.org

Backline: 1.888.493.0092
Yourbackline.org