Roar will publish a first-person story about abortion, “My Abortion: A Daily Story,” every day for at least 365 days.
Today’s story comes from ELLE, and its column published on October 16, 2014, “I Had an Abortion: Real Stories from Real Women.”
J is a 66 year-old doctor. Already a mother of two, she felt she had “no internal resources left for another child,” and decided to have an abortion. This is her story.
Dr. J., 66:
Both of my abortions happened in my late 30s or early 40s, when my kids were under the age of ten. They happened two years apart. I felt annoyed when I found out. It just felt like a hassle. I knew I was pregnant extraordinarily early in the pregnancy. I went to the obstetrician who delivered my two children to get the abortions. He was able to do it in his office. He just did a medical D&C. Quite frankly, I never thought I’d end up getting an abortion. I mean I was surprised that that would happen to me because I was careful, but birth control fails.
I knew immediately I did not want more kids. It was really tough for me to be a parent of young children. I think that’s the hardest thing for me personally, that I ever did. Much harder than medical school and all that. For all the big things, I think I was suited to be a reasonable parent. But for the day-to-day of a child between the ages of 2 and 6, I was very ill-suited. Because I desperately needed internal space. And you don’t have it with a kid that age. When I got pregnant for the third time, I was already stretched to my limit. And actually my husband said the same thing. I was surprised, because I thought caring for little ones was more bothersome to me. But we started talking about it, and he felt the same way. We felt we had nothing left to give to another child. Now, if we’d had to, we would have made the best of it. But we had no internal resources left for another child. That’s how we felt.
I think medical school forces you to just put medical issues in a box, and medical problems in a box, and to be able to disengage emotionally. Like when my mother-in-law had Alzheimer’s. And I think that’s how we felt about it. These days, every once in a while I think–we’re so involved with our adult children, and they give us so much pleasure, and we’re so proud of them–that it would have been nice to see who these other people would have been. But that’s it. It’s truly not a saga in our lives. It’s not even a chapter. It’s a blip. Which probably would enrage somebody who’s pro-life.