Behind closed doors: Pro

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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.

Categories: Becoming a Mother, Health
8 interesting thoughts on this


  1. Posted July 23, 2014 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Yes, this is all so, very complicated. But after being one of “those couples”, after never imagining it would be us… and now being on the other side, blessed with our long-awaited, beautiful daughter.. I reached the conclusion that there are no choices, not in Biology. It’s just one big giant lottery and like Forrest Gump said, you never know what you’re gonna get. Yes, there is birth control, and that, along with information, starting early, and support, both medical and psychological should be readily available for those who need it and seek it at any age, regardless of who you are. But you can only do so much, accidents happen, even when you take care. And also, infertility happens even if you are “doing all the right things” and there is “no reason” for this happening to anyone. Because there is no reason , and there are, sometimes no choices (you don’t get to choose if you are going to be the super fertile girl who gets pregnant at the oddest moment of the cycle) .And you don’t know until you know.

  2. Cat B
    Posted July 23, 2014 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    A great piece anon, thank you. There should be no moral judgement attached to any decision a woman makes, of her own free will, when it comes to her body. Particularly when it comes to choosing whether or not to progress with a pregnancy.
    I ‘m really touched by your empathy with couples who experience infertility, particularly given my past experience. However desperately I wanted a baby in the past and to be pregnant, I’ve no doubt there are scores of women, like you, equally desperate not to be pregnant. We’re all human, all different with vastly different lives, circumstances and priorities. No right or wrong, that’s just how life is. But the ability to empathise is surely what brings us all together.
    I wish you all the best.

  3. Posted July 23, 2014 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    This is an interesting piece. I completely agree choice, as far as we can have choice over what our bodies do! I personally know a lot of people at my age (just out of uni) where they are still on the stage of thinking a baby would ruin their life. I think some parts of PSHE have a lot to answer for with improving sex ed, equality of responsibility. But also in creating this feeling of guilt and fear if you are genuinely considering having a baby…

    Sorry for going off topic a bit. Thank toy anon for your post.

  4. Fee
    Posted July 23, 2014 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    I am very much pro-choice and don’t think you should feel bad in the context of couples who are struggling to conceive – I think it’s natural but they are definitely two separate issues. I think this is one of those things that you have to take out of the wider context sometimes- like ‘wasting’ money on frivolous things when other people are below the poverty line (that’s a rubbish analogy but I hope it makes the point!).

    Wishing you all the best in the future x

  5. Posted July 23, 2014 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    I am so grateful to live in a time and a place where we have this choice. I’ve never had to use it but there have been a couple of times in the past when I know I would have.

  6. Steph
    Posted July 23, 2014 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    Thank you. My best job ever was as a patient advocate at a clinic that performed abortions. I worked with hundreds of women who were terminating pregnancies. What they all had in commom was that they were pregnant and couldn’t or didn’t want to carry a pregnancy to term. Now I am in my forties and have struggled with infertility. I have been told by people who I thought were friends that maybe I can’t have children of my own because I helped kill so many babies. I don’t believe that. Life is wild and wonderful and full of surprises. What makes it bearable is that we’re all in this together. Empathy makes the world go round, along with love. And sometimes you read something like this post and you realize that, yes, there are other people that get it.

    • Posted July 25, 2014 at 7:59 am | Permalink

      I cannot believe someone would say that to you!! You helped people have the life they wanted, that’s something to be applauded not shamed. You deserve happiness.

      • Steph
        Posted July 29, 2014 at 7:55 am | Permalink

        Thank you for saying that. I couldn’t believe it either.

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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