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It Will Be Ok

by Anonymous

May 29, 2019

I am 40,  I have two children in elementary school and I am a supermom. My kids are my life; I’m a room parent, Girl Scout leader, team mom, on the PTA board, you name it. I work part-time so I can pick them up at school every day and cart them around to activities, appointments and social engagements. I love doing it all and I love them more than anything in the world, but do I enjoy every moment? No. They are good-hearted, well-intentioned kids but they are both headstrong, demanding, sassy and fight with each other relentlessly. Both have anxiety issues and one has high functioning Aspergers. All things that cemented me and my husband’s decision that two kids are plenty for us – we never wavered on a third the way many couples we know have.

 

I have always been careful about birth control and the timing of our kids births was about as planned as is possible. I tracked my cycles and took ovulation tests to achieve pregnancy when I wanted it. I know we are lucky for how smoothly it all went. I got an IUD after my second was born, but had it removed two years ago due to a pelvic infection. Since then it’s all been timing and it seemed to be working pretty well, especially since our sex life is not particularly active at this stage in our lives… happens maybe once a month at best. I was using my Fitbit app to track my cycles, which in retrospect is probably not the best decision I ever made. Shortly after my 40th birthday we had a frisky morning and I quickly checked the app which said I was 9 days past my fertile period of that cycle. Looked good to me! Little did I know my body decided to ovulate 10 days late. A week later I had a sudden realization my period was a couple days late and literally immediately following I felt a gut instinct I was pregnant. Being 40 and having sex only once in the past month during  a time I *should* not have been fertile my husband thought I was worried for nothing. I bought a pregnancy test the next day anyway and took it – it was negative. Great, I’m wrong, crisis averted, I thought. A few days later though my period still hadn’t arrived and I couldn’t shake that gut feeling so I bought another test. This one showed a very faint positive line. I called in my husband and we held it up to the light to see better. That is probably just the background line, my husband said. There is no background line! I told him. Any line is a positive. I tested again the following two days and the line got a little darker. Neither of us could deny it. After a long day at the kids ball games we tucked them in and finally talked. My husband said he could be happy and excited about a new baby, although he didn’t especially want one. He said he just wanted to support me in what I wanted. I unquestionably did not want another child. I did not want the morning sickness (I had it terribly with both kids), anxiety about miscarriage or disabilities, childbirth, breastfeeding, sleepless nights, potty training – I just did not want to do it again, much less have such a big age gap between the older ones and youngest. I did not want to worry about my current medications harming a baby’s development (I take Zoloft for anxiety/panic and meds for migraines).

On the flip side, aside from just “not wanting” a baby there wasn’t another good reason to terminate. I have a supportive husband, financial means to raise a child, close family nearby, good healthcare, etc. and I knew I’d love it unconditionally like I do my current children. I already loved it a bit, even knowing it was just a cluster of cells. But I did not want it and could not convince myself otherwise. I felt so selfish, and even immoral. I am and have always been pro-choice, but it felt different when it was my choice. I questioned when I believe life starts, do I believe in a soul at all, could I handle knowing 30%++ of this country will consider me a murderer? I take so much pride in being a good  and ethical person – would this change anything?

 

Well, I decided my “want”, my emotional well-being and that of my family superseded the ball of cells. I judge no one that makes this incredibly heart wrenching decision (or even if it’s an easy decision for some – I don’t judge that either). Yet somehow I still judge myself. My doctor did the ultrasound to confirm it wasn’t ectopic and date the pregnancy (5w3d) and I did a medical abortion at home. It wasn’t very painful for me, just uncomfortable and unpleasant and messy (physically and emotionally).  I’m pretty sure I saw the sac when it passed and I felt more curious than anything else at that point. I needed two days off work. I bled for another 9 days and then that was it. It was nothing and it changed everything anyway. I don’t regret it but I also don’t know if it was the right decision. It’s only been 3 weeks, I suppose time will tell, or heal, rather. I’m not depressed or even sad all the time, there is just a tinge of guilt following me around for now and maybe forever. I’ve talked to my mom and sister, two good friends and I have my husband to lean on as always. Maybe one day in the far future I will tell my children. Maybe not. But it will be ok.

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