Speaker's Age: 39
Story Told In: 2013
Picstitch

I grew up in a big family-- the oldest of five. I figured out pretty early on that I only wanted one child. My husband and I had a baby, and were always careful with contraception. But it happened. I got pregnant. I knew I did not want to have a baby, but having the abortion was still a painful and sad experience.

I called my doctor. "I'm pregnant..." The receptionist came back with a cheerful "Congratulations!" I hung up and found the information for Planned Parenthood.

The guilt was the worst. It's not as if we could not afford another baby. It's not as if my marriage was on the rocks. I JUST DIDN'T WANT ANOTHER BABY.

I thought I did not know anyone who had an abortion... we were all educated, we were all responsible contracepters, we were all kind and decent human beings... but once I shared my story, women came out of the woodwork. It sounds horrible, but I was actually GLAD that my friends had abortions. It made me feel less alone. Less selfish. Less guilty.

I had some inner conflict because I had experienced a miscarriage of a wanted baby. I felt guilty because I had a friend who was desperately trying to get pregnant. So I felt like I was "throwing a baby away." Also, I worked as a doula. I was around happy pregnant ladies and supportive partners all the time (those are the folks that tend to hire doulas). I love pregnancy, I love birth, I love babies, I love being a mama. But I was done. DONE. One and done, as they say.

I don't know what I'd do if I got pregnant again. At this point it would be almost impossible, because my husband got a vasectomy shortly after the abortion. I pushed him to do it because I could not cope with the possibility of accidentally getting pregnant again.

I never regret having an abortion. It was absolutely the right decision for me and for my family. But I do still get sad thinking about the baby that could have been.