Family secrets: “My mum had three abortions”

When I was a little girl, I can vividly remember my mother being sick and bleeding at home in bed. I don’t remember my age, but I know that it frightened me. When I thought of this, I always had a feeling that it happened more than once when Mum was ‘sick’ and my father was away working! My mother’s sister who lived in the next town was visiting. I can only remember her visiting our home, twice in our ‘old’ house and once in our new house. We moved houses just after my eighth birthday.

Years later when I had become a grandmother, my mother confided in me that she had an abortion when I was little. The shock was enormous and to say I was horrified is an understatement. In fact, I found an immediate rage growing inside me, one that meant I could barely speak to my mother. I couldn’t think of what to say – I was stunned. Certainly I must have hid it well, because perhaps encouraged by my lack of response my mother went on to say, “Well actually I had three abortions”.

I was dealing with my parents’ separation at the same time as us six kids were planning their 50th wedding anniversary celebration. Did my father know? It’s a wonder they were married so long when based on such deception! The secrets! I can’t really explain how this made me feel. I was a mature woman and life experience alone should have meant I could handle such news.

Being the eldest of six children I often think of those missing siblings. Were they brothers or sisters? How old would they have been? Which side of the family would they have resembled? But worst of all, when I think of my two sisters and three brothers, I wonder which of them wouldn’t be here if Mum hadn’t aborted the babies.

Our whole family would have been different, I could have been the eldest of nine children but perhaps I would still have been the eldest of six. Regardless, I often feel a sense of grief and wish those other siblings were here to know.

These Not Born Yet siblings never had a chance to give voice to anything! So thank you for caring for babies Not Born Yet!

By Jennifer


Posted on

November 8, 2016

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