No Regrets.

by Colleen Scarlett

April 6, 2021

I had my first child at 16. It was an oopsie,  but despite the circumstances,  I chose to have her. I had always wanted a lot of children, and I did indeed go on to have seven. But believe me, I have always been staunchly pro choice. I chose to have those babies and I have no regrets.

When my youngest was 2, and my oldest was 17, I began midwifery school. My first year of studies, I got pregnant.  I knew the very minute I peed on that stick and it came up positive that I was NOT going to carry that pregnancy.  No. HELL no! I was DONE having babies. I told my husband, and he totally agreed. We were DONE.

I made an appointment at the nearest clinic the next day. My husband had to work, but my best friend came with me.

The staff was kind, the procedure was a piece of cake. The recovery was easy. The worst part about it was not being able to drink anything until the anesthesia wore off. The cotton mouth was intense!

“Can I just have a sip of water? I won’t swallow, you can ask my husband ” I joked in my post anesthesia high. The nurse let me rinse my mouth and spit it out.

After I was discharged, I felt relief. No, more than that. CELEBRATORY. And very,, very hungry.. My friend and I drove straight to a local rib joint and I ordered a full rack of ribs and I have never tasted anything so good!

To be honest, I forget about it all the time because it was such a mundane, routine act of self care at the moment. Kind of like forgetting when my last pap smear was.

I have drove a few friends to clinic for their abortions, and celebrated with a delicious lunch if they felt up to it. I’ve only had one friend who expressed some doubt, and I asked her, do you feel bad about the abortion, or do you feel bad about NOT feeling bad?

After some thought, she replied, I guess I feel bad because I feel relieved, and I feel like I’m supposed to feel shame or guilt, and I don’t.

As a midwife now, when I’m counseling people who are thinking about terminating a pregnancy,  I do try to explore those emotions. Are you feeling conflicted because you think you should be feeling guilty or ashamed, and you don’t? It’s surprising, to me, how much “what will people think” weighs in on the decision. Even when the pregnant person is positive they do not want to be pregnant.  And I try to remind them that the only justification they need is simply, “I do NOT want to be pregnant”. That’s it. No other reason.

I truly feel, for me, that if I had not had my first, if I had given in to the pressure to terminate my first pregnancy,  I would feel horrible about it to this day. Not because abortion is wrong, but because it would not have been MY choice. I am happy and confident and comfortable with MY CHOICE to have had my kids, and I feel no different about my choice to end that last pregnancy.

Remember that our stories are ours to tell. We’d love to hear your story too!