Elizabeth's Story

I had an abortion in 2001.

I did this for a number of reasons but the initial one was that the baby had Downs Syndrome and severe heart defects. I did not want to go through all the pain and suffering that it takes to bring a delicate child like that into the world. I couldn't go through watching it die.

I had thought my feelings were perfectly resolved on this matter until two days ago. I recently got engaged and was having dinner with my Fiancee, his father Brian and my future sister-in-law and her baby. We got onto the topic of babies and we were laughing and joking when Brian made a throwaway comment to my Fiancee "You would probably just throw a baby away and start again with a new one".

I left, went to the toilets and had a cry, because that comment hit me in the gut and started making me think is that what I have done. Have I thrown away a baby, because it wasn't perfect and determined later on I would just grow a new one.

I know Brian didn't mean it - he is known for making stupid comments. However, after talking to my Fiancee late back at our hotel, he said to me that I shouldn't have reacted. Also he said that I wasn't thinking of his feelings at all and everyone would have to walk on eggshells around me forever.

Some good came out of that chat. Mark (my fiancee) had never vocalised his feelings on the matter before and it made me feel better to know that it had been as painful for him. I think he got so angry with me, because he didn't want to think about it and wanted it forgotten forever. But I can't do that. That is why I'm sitting at home having taken a day off work which I can't afford to do.

I keep thinking on a basic level that what Mark had said to me is the worst thing anyone could have ever said. And, if he truly believes all of that, what hope is there for us?

I can understand it, but I feel emoitionally battered.

So my question would be, am I in the wrong? Should I not react to comments like that for the sake of my fiancee or should I sit down with him and try again to get him to understand?

July 2004

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