I’m a twenty-two year old single mother of a beautiful two and a half year old girl. She is my joy. Last week I had an abortion and I am still battling with feelings of guilt and relief. When I found out that I was pregnant with my daughter at nineteen I was overwhelmed yet excited. I had no realization of how much is involved in parenting, especially when you are doing it alone. My daughter’s father lives in another state and does not have much of a relationship with either of us. Honestly, he could probably care less about us. It hurts… a lot.
My daughter is the joy of my entire family. But it was not always that way. When my family found out I had gotten pregnant during my freshman year of college all I heard was how disappointed they were. My dad and grandmother even stooped so low as to proposition me. They offered me my own apartment, one year of rent free living and a new car if I decided to have an abortion. I told them to go to hell. At that point everyone, except my mom, turned their backs on me. For seven months I was ignored by my family, they showed me how ashamed they were of me and my decision. That hurt a lot too. My parents constantly fought over me being pregnant and living at home. The only support I had was my mom and my best-friend. I cried everyday.
This time was different though. Although I never really had a relationship with my daughters’ father and my current boyfriend and I have been together for roughly (emphasis on the rough) six months. I know that I want to settle down eventually with him, but thoughts of this baby terrified me. My boyfriend is currently in school and between jobs, I am in school and barely surviving on the meager salary I receive weekly. I knew that the financial obligations associated with having another baby was one that he and I were not at all prepared for. Initially, I thought that we could do it, he’d get some job somewhere, I’d cut back my credits at school or take another few semesters off, we’d move out of our parents’ home and move basically to the slums of my city. Then it hit me, “I can’t do this, not now.” I’m six credits away from receiving the Associates degree that I’ve been working on for four years, and if I take any more time off I’ll probably never go back. I won’t be able to provide for my daughter in the matter in which she deserves. I struggle everyday and constantly go without to provide her with the basics. I definitely would have been cut off by my family who is my only support system regarding my daughter. Then scariest of all, I’ll potentially be the single mother of two children by two different absentee fathers.
I still feel guilty because I feel that my decision was somewhat selfish, but I know in my heart that having another baby now was something that I truly was not ready for. I was afraid of the abortion, the actual procedure and how I’d feel afterward. Now that it is over I feel relieved. I have forgiven myself and I know that God has forgiven me. Now that I have gone through this experience I know that it is time for me to start doing some things differently in my life so that when the time is right I’ll be ready. This experience, although initially I did not think it would, has actually brought my boyfriend and me about ten times closer. I did what I felt was best for everyone involved, and I believe that I did the right thing.
February 22, 2007
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