One and Done – I did not want another baby

by Jessie

September 27, 2021

Buckle up, this a big one, and it comes with a bit of a red flag as a hard read, because it was a really fucking hard write that has challenged me with a pretty rare sense of discomfort. I have talked openly and honestly about some pretty tough shit in the past, yet I have never shared anything with such caution, consideration and care. This has downright been the hardest thing I’ve ever experienced, and while it is incredibly fucking hard, I am speaking out because this shit is silent and full of shame and stigma and if I can send a lifeline to someone who may be feeling as lost as I have been lately, then here it is.

I am very aware this could cause discomfort and unpleasant feelings for others, for that I apologise. I have seen the struggle and heartbreak of infertility and baby loss in the lives of people I love, and while this is my life and my decision, I am extremely conscious and considerate of how this could feel like the biggest kick in the cunt thing to do, particularly to openly speak about it. Please understand I don’t at all mean to cause any unnecessary grief or stir things up for you through sharing this, and I do caution you to consider not reading on as I really don’t want to make anyone feel shit through my honesty and vulnerability.



Family of three + the dog.

We love the life we are able to have with just us, and our hearts have been set on this for some time now. The postpartum period has been a real ride that has challenged us in ways we never expected, and as our baby boy approaches one year old, I am still in the throes of finding my feet and just beginning to truly enjoy motherhood

We are often stretched with time, and that time is flying by at a pace that I can’t stop to catch a breath. Some days I feel like super mum, some days I feel like I’m drowning and I just don’t have the capacity to hold two under two without crumbling. I simply don’t wish to stretch ourselves any further, for risk of snapping. We have chosen to give our boy a happy, healthy home and parents, rather than a sibling.

I’ve always been a believer in what’s meant to be will be, but I also believe in being able to choose and change that when what comes our way just isn’t right for us at that point in time – and this, while being the most devastating, confusing, confronting, conflicting decision I have ever had to make, was absolutely the best and right one for our family at this point in time.

Having a baby in my arms throughout it all, has been the hardest and most hurting part. I know what it is to grow and birth and hold love in my arms, and I know pretty closely the 9 months of excitement, from seeing those two lines to tracking every millimetre of growth to the size of a comparable vegetable.

It has been difficult to disassociate emotions from everything that was exciting this time in pregnancy just a year ago. I have had to focus my attention on the beautiful baby I have here with me and not on multiplying cells.

I have been so grateful to be looked after so lovingly by our medical system. To do this all alone through a global pandemic and level 4 lockdown, I couldn’t be more thankful for the beautiful nurses and doctors who held loving eyes behind face masks and reassured me I was a brave, beautiful woman and mother, and that abortion is an extremely healthy choice to make in life.

We are truly lucky to be held safely here in Aotearoa, not tucked away in unsafe procedures and shame from the law, not met outside a clinic with picketboards and abuse, however we still often come across many barriers and judgement within the system and process. To the one nurse who proceeded to tell me to “give her the baby” and that patients’ decisions to terminate make her sad, if you ever read this, your comments, while valid to you, they really fucking hurt. I left that building feeling smaller and guiltier than I had already been making myself feel, and I hope this and the complaint I have made can help you to see and understand how incredibly tough this time is for women, and that you will never make anyone feel this way again.

People like to make conversation, its just what humans do, but sometimes it’s so easy to forget how shit some small talk is, and how small it can make someone feel. I’ve had 11 months of the “Must be time for another” bullshit….I am not ready for the onslaught of “you’ve got your hands full” and “two under two, wow you’ll be busy” from people passing by.

Quite simply, I did not want to have another baby. Not now, if definitely not ever, and I have never felt the urge to be so self critical and afraid of how a decision would impact the entirety of my life, and how scared I was of how this would come across to my peers and the world. As I sit and see mamas of multiple babies, people with less time on their hands, people with incredibly full plates, all hauling ass and soldiering on like incredible superwomen, it was so hard to not feel like I was copping out, quitting and taking the easy way out….. I tell you, it wasn’t fucking easy, but I had to find the balance of which “hard” I could handle, and to stop and remember that this was my life, and that my family was the only thing that mattered.

I looked for solace, and I couldn’t really find it. It’s not until you dig in deep, dark secretive spaces that we can find someone brave enough to say “hey, I’ve been there” and those three words shake an instant ounce of weight, guilt, shame and uncertainty.

So here I am, proudly, unashamedly shouting my abortion.

I am proud of myself, I am proud of my partner, and I am proud of us as a team being able to make this bloody hard call for our baby boy and our future as a family. I am proud of what this experience has bought me – strength, love, resilience and respect in my own decisions.

Pro choice is something I have always been, throughout dreaming of a backseat full of carseats and little backpacks, I always thought it would be a path I would never travel down. Now that I’ve been there, it’s given me a very impartial view and understanding of what it truly means to be in charge of our own bodies, and that no-one else should have a say in what goes in and out of our vaginas and bodies.

We still live in a pretty slow and backward place in society where this decision is always focused on the cells or baby, and not often about the woman and how this decision, whichever way, impacts her life and well being for the rest of forever. This should be the first and most important thing to consider. To every woman who has made this choice, I see you, and I salute you, brave, strong woman.

We bought those cells home, and we held and honoured our decision we made with love, and we grieved and we cried, and we CRIED some more, and we gave them the send off and aroha they deserved in the earth with our boys’ placenta.

We did not make this decision lightly and while it was truly right for us, that didn’t and doesn’t take away any of the grief and pain we held and hold in our hearts, and saying goodbye and thank you has helped us grieve, grow and begin to move forward and focus all of our love into the baby boy we hold here in our arms.

I guess what I’m saying is, this stuff is big, but it’s brave and beautiful in a right of its own and we don’t have to be afraid or ashamed to share these stories of ourselves and our lives if we don’t want to be. For sharing these stories saves and supports others, and that’s way more fucking important than whatever the naysayers think.

Here’s to love and the incredible magic that is our human experience.


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