My pregnancy was planned. I was excited and scared to be a parent. About a week after the 12 week scan, we got a phone call saying that we were high risk for t21. My partner and I were shocked. I am under 35. I had been taking prenatal vitamins for six months beforehand, given up caffeine, alcohol, etc six months before as well. Done everything you’re meant to.

We were told it’s just a random chromosome error that just happens. It was then a panicked, horrible few weeks of more tests to confirm. I knew I couldn’t keep it. There are so many physical and mental things with this diagnosis. Our lives would be turned upside down. A healthy child would turn our lives upside down. But this was another level I didn’t think I could handle, and my partner felt the same. The child’s suffering was also a massive factor. Would they live past their first year? What would their life be like? Would they spend most of their childhood in the hospital? Get childhood cancer which is common for this condition? Early Alzheimer’s in their 40’s? Etc. So many unknowns. Grey areas. Might happens. The doctors couldn’t tell us how bad or good it could be. It just felt like this massive gamble on the kids’ potential suffering and quality of life, and ours. Even the ‘best case scenario’ was hard to wrap our heads around. This was something that would cause one of us to give up our career dreams to look after it, and let’s face it, it would probably end up being me. I couldn’t relate to all the seemingly happy ‘rocking an extra chromosome’ parents I read and saw online. It was too much.

To be honest, before we found out, I was having secret doubts about being a mother period. But this. It was so hard. A hellish nightmare. Torture. Excruciating. And so, so isolating. It’s been about two months and I struggle with what ifs, shame and guilt and all the rest. But I do not regret it. I have always been pro-choice, but never thought I would need an abortion. I respect all of you who have shared your stories. Thank you so much. This is my story and how I felt about it, and I think it is totally fine that other people’s stories and feelings are different. We all have our own reasons and experiences for needing this. Choice with our own destiny is something we should all have no matter what. Our bodies, our lives, our choice. And there should not be any shame in that.