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Ever since I was 15, I’ve given my period a silent party in the bathroom. Every month, sometimes a little tardy but there nevertheless, I let out a big breath, a sigh and a whispered ‘yessss’.
So when, 10 years later, I was left waiting, party-poppers at the ready, I worried. Halfway through an important meeting I felt an overwhelming wave of nausea, and I knew. Four tests over a couple of days were vague, but I knew.
As I took myself off to the doctors, I wished someone was holding my hand. I knew it was the best thing to do, but I needed someone else to say it too. But no one else could. The internet labelled me a murderer and told me that I was killing a human being. I felt sad and cold, as if I had committed the largest atrocity.
It’s not the guilt for what could have been, the small life, but the pain that I feel for those missing out. Those couples whowould be thrilled at the surprise and give a cheer of their own, those who pray for their time, or have to have long andpainful procedures. Instead there’s me, on the way to the gym, toying with holiday plans and kitchen renovations in my head, telling the doctor I can’t have a baby.
It kills me that I wouldn’t be letting out a sigh of relief this month … but neither would any of those couples above. I wish I could magically pass it on, rather than have to just draw aline and say STOP.
What gives me the choice, where others have no option but to pray? Where are their choices?
It doesn’t make me sad that I may have stopped a potential life, but what does is that some people don’t have the choice.Why should some girls be forced to have a baby at the same age that I had my first boyfriend? When some ladies can’t choose between motherhood, or a career (or indeed doing both). When some feel they have to run away or find illegal and dangerous help.
It doesn’t upset me that I won’t have this child, but what does is that there are people out there who can’t because they can’t get the help they need. We are grateful for the NHS and other services that can help should we choose to have a child. Why should we be able to pay for multiple rounds of IVF, when others can’t get an ovulation test when they are choosing to try for a family?
We are lucky to be able to choose to have, or not to have, a baby. Whether or not I made the right choice is a matter which is much less important than the issue of allowing women, and couples, the ability to choose at all.