Our lives were devastatingly difficult enough to manage at that time, I cannot even fathom how much more difficult it would have been had I continued the pregnancy.


August 31, 2018

It was August 2010. I was 34, my husband was 33 and my daughter  was just turning 3 years old. We had a beautiful home, steady well-paying jobs, and after years of trying, we had finally given birth to our gorgeous and healthy daughter in 2007. Life was good and we had it all… and my husband had another woman in another state. And then I got pregnant.


To say life was complicated at that time would be an understatement. My husband’s mistress was also married but in an open marriage. When my husband approached me about the idea of “opening” our marriage up too, he actually brought up the subject over our lunch date at a local restaurant, saying, “she and I would like to have sex with one another and her husband knows and is ok with it. We just need you to say it’s ok.” Talk about being the last one to the party. I consented because, hey, that’s what intellectual, mature people do, right?

A week later, the “other couple” came to visit us. They stayed at a hotel and we got a room for ourselves in the same hotel that night. Then we swapped spouses. I say that like it happened in a pre-arranged, perfectly executed and negotiated plan. That’s not exactly the case. Even though I knew the situation and the players, I was nervous and thoroughly self-conscious. My husband chose this woman over me and I had to politely entertain her husband. If the other woman’s husband hadn’t come onto me that night, I would have spent the night drinking and crying, questioning my worth as a woman and as a wife.


So when he, (I’ll call him Jack for clarity) followed me into my hotel room and started to kiss me, I felt like I wasn’t just spouse swapping, I had won. I won Jack’s attention and affection and this certainly wasn’t just because his wife was fucking my husband in another hotel room. No, Jack wanted me, I told myself. Not out of convenience or lack of anywhere else to sleep that night… Jack wanted ME.


I won’t go into details about the next morning and how awkward it was or how angry I got when I could taste another woman’s sex on my husband’s lips… no one needs to read that. In the month that followed, my husband and I decided we wanted more of the other couple in our lives. I certainly wanted Jack and my husband certainly wanted Jack’s wife, so we began to think about ways to rearrange our lives, move closer to Jack and his wife, sharing our homes and our bodies and our child’s upbringing. Looking back, it feels like we were joining a cult, but maybe we actually were the cult. A 5-person cult.


I’ll cut to the chase, I ended up realizing I was pregnant just one month after sleeping with Jack. I hadn’t even considered the possibility, as my husband and I had to pursue fertility treatment to get pregnant with my daughter. I honestly didn’t think I could just “get” pregnant, the “old-fashioned way.” Jack’s wife freaked. They had been trying for years to get pregnant with no success. One single night with Jack and I was pregnant? She had to be questioning her worth as much as I did that first night with she and Jack.


Doing the math, we realized I couldn’t have conceived during my one night stand with Jack. The pregnancy was my husband’s, but that didn’t make the situation any easier. As soon as I saw the positive pregnancy test, I called my husband at work to tell him the great news. “I’m pregnant again!!” There was silence on the line. “We’ll talk about it when I get home.”


But when my husband came home, he had had a change of heart. He was excited, thrilled to have another child and immediately took me to an expensive dinner to celebrate, where we agreed to name the child Teagan if a girl and vowed to keep thinking of a name for a boy. I was ecstatic. I couldn’t wait to be visibly pregnant again and to give birth again.


That was the first day after we knew. The second, third, fourth and so on days were the exact opposite. My husband was depressed and angry, constantly low on patience with our daughter and me. He kept coming up with reasons we shouldn’t have the baby: money, needing a bigger home, a larger income and more childcare.

He wore me down. I was still excited about the pregnancy, but I knew he was right… we couldn’t have another child in the environment we were in at that time. Both of us had one foot in and one foot out of the marriage. It just didn’t seem feasible, so I set up an appointment at the abortion clinic.


The day of my procedure, I wasn’t upset. I had come to terms with the necessity of our decision and was emotionally ready. One lone protestor stood outside the clinic, yelling at me as I walked inside. I don’t remember what she said on my way in. The procedure itself was fairly quick but definitely painful but I thanked the doctor for taking the risk every day and delivering this vital service to women. He grunted and mumbled something unintelligable in response. After recovering a bit, we left the clinic, no longer worried about the future.


On our way out, the lone protester again yelled out, “remember you’re still a mother… of a dead baby!” I smiled. I turned to her and said, “you’re right, I am a mother and now I can go home and take care of my child without this weight hanging over me.” My husband pulled me away and I waved and smiled to the protestor woman as we pulled out of the lot.


We initially told Jack and his wife that I miscarried. It seemed easier that way. Eventually, the truth came out after several drinks one night and it turned out to be the death blow to my marriage and my relationship with Jack and his wife. Within a month, my husband had left my daughter and I twice. He never came back the second time. We divorced shortly thereafter.


I realize now that no matter how much I wanted that pregnancy, I didn’t want to be a single mother with a toddler and a newborn. Our lives were devastatingly difficult enough to manage at that time, I cannot even fathom how much more difficult it would have been had I continued the pregnancy. I don’t regret the abortion in the slightest. In fact, I am confident I made the right choice at the right time for the right reasons. I’m thankful that I was able to make that choice and I will never take that for granted.


I wish I could have made a different choice at the time, but I’m glad I made the choice I did. My abortion was not shameful or horrible… it was a crossroad that like all others, required a hard decision and had its pros and cons. A crossroad that eventually led me to the woman I am today: grateful.

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