There have been several articles and TV news stories about women deciding to keep pregnancies in spite of the extreme possibility of dying due to illnesses and deciding not to get treatment. For the most part these women are making this choice due to religious beliefs and the belief that abortion is murder… This has brought all sorts of people out of the woodworks with comments either praising such steadfastness or criticize these women’s intellects. There are no stories about women that has made both decisions, until now.
I have a cyst on my heart. My doctor didn’t believe it was cancer but was more where it is located. Further tests and treatment had to be put on hold when I started a new job and had to wait for new insurance to kick in. Then a miracle happened and I found out I was pregnant. I had two older children but had been deemed infertile for many years and had gone through fertility treatments. I spoke with my doctor over the phone and due to his advice decided to have an abortion. I have always been pro-choice and the decision itself was an easy one. To me it made perfect sense; I had children already that needed me which was the biggest reason.
I did weep for the life lost but I hide it because I knew how so many people would react. How some would say I had no right to mourn. Over the next 5 months I kept getting sick and the doctors kept saying it was infections due to my chronic kidney stones. I tried to explain over and over that in the 12 years of having them, I had never had infections. I didn’t fight too hard because I thought maybe it was happening because my depression was affecting my immune system. Then suddenly the real reason came out; I had appendix cancer. It was all removed and I was just starting to mend when I got another shock.
I was pregnant again. I didn’t believe the doctor because I was on birth control! But apparently the meds I had been on had made it stop working and no one had thought to warn me of this. Now I had 2 doctors telling me that abortion might be the best option. Now the reasons were not only that a pregnancy could weaken my heart, cause me to have blood pressure issues, have a heart attack, stroke, and death but also the added complications that my abdomen wasn’t fully healed from the surgery which could lead to all sorts of other problems.
This time I decided to keep the baby…
I obviously didn’t die and was lucky enough not to have a stroke or heart attack but I did have issues. I almost had a miscarriage, pain for almost the whole 9 months, edema in both legs, high blood pressure, digestive issues, and yes my heart was weaken by the labour. I have to now be more mindful of what I do, eat, drink, etc but I am alive and I have a beautiful, healthy little terror who has taken over the entire household.
I don’t regret either decision. They were both the right ones at the time for me. If I had to choose again, I can honestly I don’t know what I would do. I do know that I judge other women for their choice.
By D.K. Miller