Shawn's Story

I'm 37 years old. I just had my 3rd abortion a week ago today. After the 2nd, I swore I would never, ever do that again.

The first time, I was 18. And couldn't have happier. But my boyfriend and I were young and had nothing to offer a child. My parents said it would be the best thing... an abortion. So I shut down all my emotions, and did it. Less than a week later, after a lot of complications, I had to have the procedure done again since I learned I had a twin pregnancy. I was devastated. I cried for months, mourned for at least a year.

A few years later, I married someone else and we had a son. A happy, healthy 11 lb baby. But I had got involved with drugs prior to my pregnancy. I was arrested and looking at prison time. My husband was a complete jerk during my pregnancy with our son. Considering the legal issues I was facing and the fact that I could not imagine having another child with such an immature jerk... I did it again... and had an abortion. The only opportunity my son would ever have to have a real sibling. It took me 10 years to mourn and regret what I did that 2nd time!

My son is now 15. I missed out on 2 and a half years of his life since I went to prison for drugs. It was hell. I saw him every weekend... even ended up having shared custody and primary custody for a while. He now lives with his dad, based on a mutual agreement made years ago. He's doing great. We all are for a divorced family. But looking back on that 2nd abortion, I swore for 14 years or so, I would NEVER have another abortion. For about the past 2 years, I said, "No more babies... I'm done. I look forward to the day I can be a grandmother."

But I'm with someone else now. He is 15 years older than me. But the most wonderful man I could imagine. He puts me on a pedestal. He has had 4 children with 3 different moms and feels like he has been a failure as a father. About 6 weeks ago, we learned I was pregnant. Something neither of us wanted. But we were very irresponsible in our preventative measures.

Now I was faced with the hardest decision of my life. I have a 4 year college education. I make good money, own 2 homes. The one I live in has an extra room for a child. I have a beautiful yard for a child to play in and 2 great dogs that love children. My job would allow me to work from home a day or two a week. But having a child goes against everything I planned for my new future. My boyfriend is 52. We would be 38 and 53 when the baby would be born. I estimated December 8, 2002. What a beautiful date.

But my boyfriend says he thinks more about dying than about siring another child. His youngest daughter is 14. When she was younger, she used to cry because her parents were older than all her friends. If I had a baby with her dad, my boyfriend, people would mistaken him as his child's grandfather.

I was so confused... I couldn't decide what to do. I said I would go to the abortion clinic but didn't know for sure what I would do. I went there... shut off many feelings. Broke down and cried several times. I could have kept the baby without him... as he could not promise me he would stick around. I know he would have though. I make him very happy. He does everything to make me happy. But I wanted to make the choice with him. I wanted his support if I was to keep the child, but I could not convince him in the 4 weeks or so before my scheduled abortion. And I could not convince him of in the 2 hours before the moment of going into that awful little room.

We sat outside... we could hear the protesters on the other side of the privacy fence, chanting, "Hail Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death..." I was screaming inside to God... please drop a bomb or something to convince me to go home. Don't let me do this... I don't have the strength to walk away on my own.

The nurse came outside and called my name. I went to that little room. I got undressed, from the waist down. He was right there with me through it all. The nurse came in... then left and came back with the oxygen. I lost it... I cried, I was screaming inside... "I want my mom!". The nurse asked if I was sure I wanted to do this. I said, "NO!"

They never sent a counselor in with me. They didn't make me leave and come another day! I still had 5 weeks before they considered me at 13 weeks. I had plenty of time. Why didn't they help me? Why did they let me do it that day, in that state of mind?

I'm so sad... I'm so regretful for what could have been. My boyfriend had a vasectomy the day before my abortion. That was our decision and our agreement. So we would never have to make this kind of decision again. His sperm count is not down to zero yet. I may be fertile... I don't know. I want to undo what I did but he doesn't want that. He's thankful to me for not making him be a father again at his age. But I'm still sad. Will I ever get over my regret? I want my baby back.

Is there ever the perfect time in our lives for having a child? Time to me is never perfect... Money is never enough. I wish I would have thought through it more. I wish I would have taken the time to visit old friends I haven't seen in a long time... who have little children in their thirties. But I didn't... I was feeling pressed for time. As the more time that went by, the more attached I got. I was confused, I felt fat already and uncomfortable in my clothes. I wasn't married. Didn't want to get married... But would love to hold another big, fat healthy baby. I knew, with this one, there would be no arguing, no divorce or custody issues. I would be with this baby each and every day of its life. But its life never came to be... I'm still so sad... I feel I made the wrong choice.

I believe in Pro-Choice... but why aren't those clinics given more counseling requirements. Why couldn't they be forced to make me wait another day or week? Perhaps I would be a very happy expecting mother... Now I'll never know whether or not I made the right choice. I'm still so sad.

In memory of my little one... conceived on or around March 8th, 2002

27 April 2002

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"Interdependency between women is the way to a freedom which allows the I to be, not in order to be used, but in order to be creative. This is the difference between the passive be and the active being." -Audre Lorde