I always have been.
Sure there are some exceptions. Like rape or a child conceived out of incest. I still don't think that I would personally go ahead with it, but I can understand that some women may choose to.
My second baby was planned, wanted and loved (as was my first). We were so excited! Our family was finally going to be complete. The first few months were very similar to my first pregnancy: pretty easy. A bit of morning sickness and a good dose of tiredness but nothing out of the ordinary.
And then our world crashed.
Tests revealed that bub had been exposed to a condition that was very likely to cause severe fetal abnormalities. We were faced with potentially having a baby who could not feed himself, who would never talk, who would never run around giggling his little heart out, who would not hear the lullabies I'd sing to him.
Our doctor did not know much about the condition. He said that we needed to consider our options and that a termination of pregnancy was one of those options.
We went home devastated. We cried and cried and cried.
In me, was this precious little being, whose heart was beating, and we had to decide whether to let him live and potentially have a severely disabled child or take away his life. Stop that little heart beat.
I'd seen him on the scans. I saw his little nose, his hand held high above his head. How could I let them take him away?
But when faced with the reality of having a child who could never care for himself, who would be like a baby for all of his life, who would have no quality of life, who would sit there, drooling, watching his brother run around kicking a ball, I did consider having an abortion.
It broke my heart to even imagine killing my child. Because that was what it was to me: I was going to kill my child because I didn't want to have to deal with him. He was relying on me for his life, and I was going to take that away from him. The doctors were going to put me to sleep, go in there and suction him out. Would he feel the pain? Would he scream? I didn't know how I was actually going to go ahead with the procedure. The guilt was going to destroy me. I didn't know how I'd ever live with myself after that.
But it wasn't just me I had to consider. It was the impact it would have on our couple, and more importantly, on our son. Would he be neglected because of all the attention that a special needs kid requires? I know plenty of kids have special needs siblings and cope quite fine but at that moment, all I could see was my son playing on his own because mummy was busy with his little brother's many needs.
And what about my baby? Would he want a life of sitting in a wheelchair, in nappies forever, being fed through a tube? And what would happen to him when we were too old to look after him? Would he end up in a home? Would his brother visit him?
I imagined meeting my child one day, and having to explain to him why we had chosen to do away with him. I was broken.
At the end of that week, after many tears and sleepless nights, we chose to keep the baby. We couldn't go ahead with the termination. We would take our chances. The doctors said that he may be ok, and we held on to that.
And I still am.
Especially when abortion is used as a means of contraception.
But when faced with reality, I considered it. And I can now understand why some would choose to have a termination in those circumstances. I personally couldn't go ahead with it, but I know the heartache. I understand the pain of having to make that choice. And I will not judge again.
Part 2 of this post coming soon: the stress of the pregnancy, the endless tests, and our baby.