I married my husband on July 9th, 1988. I was 18, he was 19. Young, but so incredibly in love. In 1998, we welcomed our first child into the world. A little girl, so perfect and precious that I cried upon looking at her. Our second daughter was born three years later, and our son, four years after that. In 2009 we decided to try for one last child. We were hoping for another boy for our son to play with. But in December of that year, my husband began to get ill. He was slower, more tired than usual. We chalked it up to his increased hours around the holiday season, and left it at that.
By February, we knew something was seriously wrong. So he went in to get checked out. Unbeknownst to us, a tumor had been stewing in his pancreas. He was given at most eight months. Around that time, I too had begun to feel ill. Already frantic because of his situation, and terrified of leaving our children without any parents, I was checked out as well. I wasn’t sick, or dying. I was pregnant.
We have a mortgage on our house, a house that lets us live in an area of town with a good school and low crime. We now had medical bills, because a teacher’s health insurance isn’t amazing. We had the money that went to feeding a family of five, the expenses of three school aged children. Before the cancer, we longed for a fourth. Now, it was the most terrible thing anyone could have told us.
My husband and I talked it over. Were I to give birth, I would most likely need another C-section. I was high risk because of my age, already 40 years old, and had already had one with my last pregnancy. Adoption was not a possibility- half-black, half-brown babies aren’t the most desirable children in the adoption market. And me taking time off of work, or even taking time to take care of myself with three children and a dying husband just wasn’t feasible.
We decided to abort.
And, in all honesty, it is one of the best choices I have ever made. My husband passed away that August. My children still have their home, and even though making ends meet has been hard, with medical bills and reduced income, and we have even had to rely on a soup kitchen one especially bad week, we have gotten through this. I could not have done it had I had that baby. Abortion is often the most responsible option, taken by someone who knows full well what loving a child is like.
In conclusion, never judge someone like me for having an abortion, until you look at your three children and wonder where their next meal is coming from.
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