Roar will publish a first-person story about abortion, “My Abortion: A Daily Story,” every day for at least 365 days. The following story is an excerpt from My Abortion My Life, a project of Preterm, a nonprofit health clinic in Ohio. Carol, a woman living in Australia, talks about making her decision in the context of her newly blended family. Read more of Carol’s story here.
“I am 42 years old, partnered, and mother to two beautiful boys aged 11 and 9. My partner and I had been together for around a year, living together for about 3 months. My partner also has two children, the same age as mine. Our lives prior to meeting have been mirrored in so many ways, down to our respective marriage break downs occurring in the same week (2 years prior to our meeting). We knew the moment we met that we were going to have a serious relationship, despite the fact neither of us were purportedly looking for that, introduced our children within a few weeks of our first date, and yes, moved in together very quickly in the end, although it felt very right for all of us.
The six of us had just established a good routine – we have all four kids with us most days – and all learning to live together well, when I discovered our contraceptives had failed and I was pregnant.
The decision to have an abortion was fairly straightforward for us – neither of us was excited about the idea of going back to babies, we felt we were past that and, in our early forties, wanted to enjoy the freedoms having older children allowed us. We love our weekend “off” from kids twice a month, we love the lifestyle we are building together for us and for our children. We didn’t want to go back to small children, sleepless nights and all that babies bring into the household. We also felt that it would put unfair pressure on the children we already have, who have been so wonderful about blending our families and genuinely like one another.
Everything was going well and we were not interested in rocking the boat. We discussed having the baby, and in all seriousness, we probably could have without undue hardship. I do believe that if we had decided to have the baby, things would have worked out fine. It was just not the life that we wanted for ourselves, and we also had some concerns regarding the health risks to both me and the baby given my age.
I also had some concerns about a pregnancy at this stage of my life – how would my body cope? I was already exhausted at only six weeks pregnant, could I even contemplate doing this and worse for another eight months, not to mention coping with a baby for the next few years?
We had discussed accidental pregnancy in the past, and had both agreed that we did not want more children and were confident in our contraceptive choices to protect us. These hypothetical conversations, however, do not count for much when faced with the reality of an actual pregnancy. Our discussions came back to the same place each time however: this was not for us…”