“I was 21 years old when I experienced my first pregnancy. I met a boy while I was overseas and it felt like love. He was exactly the kind of person I could see myself having a long term relationship with and he felt the same way about me. But unfortunately, I met him only a short while before I was due to return to Australia. He virtually lived on the other side of the world.
I stopped in at various places on my way back to Australia and noticed that I had gained weight and my breasts were much bigger and very tender. I knew that I was pregnant and when I eventually took the test, it was positive, much to my disappointment. I was too young to be pregnant. My parents wouldn’t understand, especially my father who was very strict.
I felt afraid and confused. I would love to have a baby, but I had no means to provide for it and I was enjoying my youth to the fullest. I didn’t want to let that part of my life be taken away from me.
I decided I would have an abortion. If I did that, everything would return to normal and my parents wouldn’t have to know about it. I would still have my freedom and be able to fully enjoy my youth. I couldn’t afford to have a baby anyway I kept telling myself. I didn’t want to be a single mother. It just didn’t fit in with my life plan. On the other hand however, there were nurturing feelings arising, thoughts of holding a baby and having someone to love and care for would keep invading my mind and emotions. Deep down I felt a tugging at my heart as I imagined how he/she was already forming in my belly. Was it a boy or a girl? I would be 42 by the time he/she was 21. What sort of personality would he/she have? What would happen if I decided to go ahead with the pregnancy? Where would I get help from? I felt lost in a dream state of confusion. This couldn’t be happening to me! But it was and so I found a clinic in the phonebook and made an appointment.
On the day I went to the clinic there was a man demonstrating loudly outside with a big sign saying something like “abortion is murder”. I think he may have called me a murderer, I can’t remember clearly. But it was the last thing I needed on that occasion. I was nervous and scared and, although I thought I had made up my mind, inside I was still really undecided when I went to the clinic.
I had a very short counselling session beforehand which really wasn’t very helpful, and then went in for the operation. I was conscious all the way through and could feel the pulling sensation as they suctioned out the foetus, my baby, my poor little one that wouldn’t experience the life set before it.
I told myself that it was the best thing to do. I didn’t tell my boyfriend overseas until after the event. He wrote back to me and said I should have told him. He would have married me and I could live over there or here, whatever I chose. But he was so far away and I knew I would never see him again. I felt bad for him. But I wasn’t ready for marriage and children, not yet.
Moving along to the present. Forty years have passed since then. I never regret anything in my life as I know I could only do my best at the time with the knowledge and understanding that I had. But I have had many times over the years where I wonder what it would have been like to go ahead with the pregnancy. How old would they be now? Would I be a grandmother? How would that little person have fitted into my life?
I now have two gorgeous boys who are teenagers. I love them beyond words and I believe I was meant to be a mother. I didn’t have my two boys until I was in my early 40s. However, I always wanted to have a girl. I wonder if my unborn child was that girl.
Everything did not return to normal after the abortion. I have always had an aching in my heart for that innocent baby. I remember a few years after, I went on a retreat with a group of women. I was camped alone out in the bush for three days and I built a little alter, sat in front of it and cried for hours, sobbing and moaning. Releasing some of the deep grief that had stayed with me.
Since becoming a Christian I have been freed from the guilt and grief that I felt for such a long time. I know I am loved and forgiven. I know that my little one is in the loving arms of Jesus and I know that I will get to meet him or her one day.
But even now at 60 years old I wonder how different life would be if I had my baby here with me. I wish I had’ve been more capable of making a mature decision at the time and it saddens me to think of how many unborn children never get their right to life.
The wondering never stops. It’s something you never forget and something you don’t really want to remember.”