What I want you to know: I regret my abortion

What I Want You to Know is a series of reader submissions. It is an attempt to allow people to tell their personal stories, in the hopes of bringing greater compassion to the unique issues each of us face. If you would like to submit a story to this series, click here. Today’s guest post is by  an anonymous reader.

I am a happily married mother of three small children under age five. My husband and I both agreed we didn't want to have any more children after our third was born. Our family felt "complete" with her arrival. Three children is about all I can handle, since my husband works long hours and travels a lot too. I have had some health issues in the past, so we knew how blessed we were when our third arrived healthy. We talked about him having a vasectomy, but I have to remain on birth control pills for other reasons so we weren't concerned.

We are both Christians and are raising our children in the same way. We attended church regularly and our children are enrolled in Christian preschools. The only thing different about my beliefs than most of my girlfriends, is that I believe in the right to choose. I don't believe anyone should regulate my choices, although I have never had to make this decision before now. I just knew what I believed, and kept those beliefs private.

When I realized that my birth control pill as well as breastfeeding hadn't stopped me from ovulating and getting pregnant, I was shocked. We really hadn't had intercourse more than a handful of times since our daughter's birth. How could I be pregnant?

Between small periods of exitement and bouts of crying, my husband and I decided to talk to the doctor first before deciding what to do. This wasn't "our" plan. Our plan included three children and all the expenses that come with those three. I had started to lose some weight and buy new clothes (after five years of babies and nursing, you know how exciting this was!) I had given away ALL our baby things- swings, mobiles, toys etc. To make matters more difficult, one of our other children became gravely ill and had to undergo emergency surgery - the same week I had my ultrasound scheduled. We had to call our out of town parents to come and help babysit while we were at the hospital. This meant our time to discuss and figure out what to do was limited - we had family everywhere and we didn't want to involve them yet - if ever - in our decision.

The following two weeks are a blur to me. I don't know how, but I agreed to an abortion.

Between thoughts of being overwhelmed with the current three and the financial burden of a fourth child, I agreed. I agreed to taking pills and aborting our perfect little pea pod. It sounded easy, right? Take one pill and 12 hours later, insert two more pills vaginally. Done.

Now I can never go back. I will never be that person again. No one told me about the depression that sets in as soon as you do it. The daily episodes of crying, hating myself. Masking it all though because I clearly cannot tell anyone. How can I even consider myself a good mother when I killed one of my children?

I believe in the right to choose. Just not for me. I want you to know that I am sure I did it for some reason or other, to better my current children's lives. To be a better wife to my husband. To be the best person I can be, but I am not there. I don't know if I'll ever get there. I look at the ultrasound picture and can't stand myself. I nurse our daughter and cry about what could have been. I hope that one day I will be able to accept what I have done as the best possible choice for our situation, but I am far from there now.

So when you hear, see, or read about someone having an abortion, please don't pass judgement on them. Even though it may be best for their situation, they may be falling apart inside. I will never be the same person I was, for better or worse.

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