Submitted by: Stella
Hi all, thanks for this space and your courageous stories. I’m still struggling to process after my abortion about three weeks ago. I’m 44 and it was my first pregnancy. It was an extraordinarily difficult decision. I had very much wanted children earlier in my life and actually tried to be a single mother by choice with a friend’s sperm several years ago, but it never took. After moving on and accepting and feeling peace with the fact I would not be a mother, I finally met a great man, we have had just over a year together and have been building a very free and independent life, with a focus on travel and contract work abroad.
To my surprise I fell pregnant at 44, which I just did not think was possible for me after previous failures and having never been pregnant when younger. People were calling it a miracle baby. My partner and I tried so hard to embrace this, actually several months with prenatal care and ultrasounds. But finally when it came down to having to commit to this choice I found I could not. My partner is 51 and was deeply conflicted and concerned about taking this on at this life stage. I know more and more people are now having children in their 40s and 50s, but actively parenting young people into your 70s is not for everyone.
I feel this was the right choice for us as a couple, committing to what felt best for this deeply promising romantic partnership, something I have been searching for for years and years, was a big part of my motivation for the decision. However I am also sad and having thoughts about what could have been. I feel I am not just letting go of my only potential child, but also my past self and identity as someone who wanted and tried hard to achieve this, and now has let it go.
It all feels a bit like a surreal cosmic joke. So much to process, and such a strange brief touch with motherhood, so far from the fantasies I had in the past and even with this pregnancy when trying to embrace it.
I am trying in particular to let go of feeling like I stopped something that should have been. On the other side we were very worried about developmental challenges and our ability to honour the full needs of a child as we age.
I have come away from this experience with a greater appreciation for the unknowns and mysteries of life. I do hope I made the right choice, though am not even sure what that means exactly.
Thanks for listening.