Skip to comments.I tried twice to abort my baby - but I'm delighted I failed
Posted on 07/01/2007 10:05:33 PM PDT by AVNevis
Paul Robinson has much to be thankful for. She lives in a £500,000 house, drives a Mercedes and has two beautiful children - Ryan, nine, and Tara, five.
She is also glowing, for beneath her fashionable smock Paula, 40, is pregnant for the third time with a healthy new baby.
But beneath this seemingly happy picture lies an unpalatable truth: shockingly, Paula has twice tried to abort this most recent pregnancy.
Indeed, having survived such an assault, even Paula now refers to her previously unwanted child as a "little miracle".
But the story of how this tiny dot has fought to cling to its chance of life is only one part of this harrowing and in some ways inspiring story.
Because for Paula, a wealthy divorcee, this pregnancy has not only changed her life, it has had far-reaching consequences.
For it has fundamentally challenged her own views on one of the most contentious issues of our time - that of a woman's right to abortion on demand.
It is a subject which remains at the heart of a fierce national debate. Last week, the Mail reported how this week doctors voted for a controversial change in the law that will make it easier for women to get early terminations.
The British Medical Association voted to scrap the need for two doctors to approve a woman's request before the 12th week of pregnancy, raising ethical concerns over abortion becoming little more than a lifestyle choice.
Paula herself tried to end her pregnancy twice in the first trimester.
She says: "I feel so guilty and ashamed that I tried to kill my own baby. But although I've been through a terrible experience it has been a totally humbling one, which I believe has made me a better person.
"I used to think of an unwanted pregnancy as just a bundle of cells that you could get rid of without too much hassle. Now, I feel many women, just like me, do not think deeply enough about what they are doing.
"It's only now, having gone through the process of having a termination, that I realise why you hear all the time about women who - often years later - regret terribly having an abortion.
"I just feel incredibly lucky that after everything I've done, my baby is still alive and I will not have to live with that regret."
Until Paula, a former fashion model and exprofessional show horse jumper, fell pregnant with baby number three, she had never been in the unfortunate position of having to cope with an unwanted pregnancy.
Her first two children, Ryan and Tara born during her eight-year marriage to Philip, a 36-year-old property developer, were much-wanted.
"I so desperately wanted children, and Ryan was very much a planned baby," she says. "When Tara came along four years later, Philip and I both felt our family was complete."
However, in August 2003, the marriage began to crumble. "After Tara's birth, which was a long and difficult labour, I suffered post-natal depression, and Philip and I began rowing.
"Eventually, to my dismay, he left and 18 months later we divorced.
"Of course I was devastated, and would never have chosen for my children to be raised without their father at home, but sometimes couples just can't work out there problems and there is no option but to separate."
Paula remained in the family home in Stockton-on-Tees with the children, who saw their father regularly.
Then, in 2005, while on a night out with friends she met Jonathan, who owned an electrical contracting company.
"We clicked straightaway," she says. "He was good-looking, fantastic with the kids and I really thought I'd found the perfect man," she recalls, "within months we felt committed enough for him to move in with me and the children."
Life seemed great. "Jonathan was well off and over the next two years we enjoyed holidays to exotic places such as Mexico," she says.
"We discussed having children and although I felt happy with my two, I didn't want to deny Jonathan the chance to have a baby.
"We both dreamed of moving to the countryside and building our own home.
"Jonathan particularly wanted a son and because I was getting older, I even looked into having my eggs frozen, ensuring I could still give him children well into my 40s.
"However, we had decided to wait a while. I was building up my business buying and selling horses and his business meant he travelled all over the UK, so we wanted to wait. Consequently, I was taking the Pill."
However, in January this year Paula forgot to take her Pill for a couple of days. "As soon as I checked my packet I realised my mistake - in fact I was concerned enough to go to my chemist for the morning-after pill, which I took," she says.
So, when her expected period didn't arrive that month, she wasn't unduly concerned.
"A friend who'd taken the morning-after pill said it had mucked up her system completely and she'd also missed her first period so I didn't think anything of it."
However, within a couple of weeks, Paula began to notice the tell-tale signs of pregnancy. "My breasts were tender and I began feeling sick. Finally, I bought a test from the chemist and to my shock it was positive."
Though it had not been planned, Paula thought Jonathan would be pleased. "The more I thought about it, the more I felt it wasn't a disaster - it had just happened earlier than we'd hoped."
But nothing could have prepared her for Jonathan's reaction.
"He was away on business and I immediately rang him on his mobile. However, I'd barely told him when he simply put the phone down. It was the worst possible reaction I could have imagined.
"Worse was to come - when, a few hours later, he rang me back, he simply told me coldly I should get rid of it and he would pay for the abortion.
"I felt totally devastated. It was so unlike him and just beyond explanation."
She sank into a depression. "I was totally distraught," Paula recalls, "I couldn't believe the situation I found myself in as a mature woman.
"I hoped he would come round, but every time I spoke to him it was the same - he told me I had to get a termination. He didn't even come back to the house to get the things he'd left here.
"As the weeks went by I realised Jonathan was not the man I thought he was and while I longed for him to walk through the door and say he had changed his mind, he never came back.
"When I rang him, his phone became 'unavailable'. Slowly I realised my perfect gentleman, when faced with the realities of a pregnancy, had bolted.
"I was left on my own, already a single mother, with another baby on the way and I just couldn't see how I would cope.
"The thought of going through pregnancy and birth on my own - maybe enduring another horrendous birth like Tara's and suffering from depression afterwards - was terrible.
"It sounds snobbish," she confesses, "but I felt incredibly guilty and ashamed about my pregnancy and I feel there is a dreadful stigma to having children from different fathers.
"I come from a wealthy background - my parents are both wealthy farmers and I grew up on an estate of more than 200 acres. Being pregnant like that made me feel like a cheap tart.
"I haven't been brought up to have children as a 'single mother' and I couldn't see how I could give birth to a child who has no father around.
It also just didn't seem fair to bring a child into the world in those circumstances.
"Practically, I also worried how I would provide for a third child.
"Once he failed to return, I had no idea where Jonathan was living and he changed his numbers, so getting maintenance already seemed fraught with problems. And, looking at the future for myself, I wondered what other man would want to take on someone like me?
"The more I thought about it - the more I came to the realisation I had only one option - a termination."
Paula didn't rush into making a decision. "I spoke to my GP who referred me to a counsellor. I also rang Life, the anti-abortion organisation and even the Samaritans.
"The counsellor and the Samaritans just listened. But although the woman from Life tried to point out that my third baby could still have a loving home with its siblings, nothing could convince me not to go ahead with an abortion."
Paula booked into a private abortion clinic near her home and after a scan confirmed she was just under eight weeks pregnant, handed over the £465 payment.
"I could see the baby's heartbeat on the scan," she says, "and I couldn't stop crying. Whichever way I turned I felt guilty - guilty if I had a termination, guilty if I brought a baby into the world in such circumstances, and guilty for stupidly getting pregnant in the first place.
"I had to leave the children at home with someone else, and my mother came with me for support and we both sat there sobbing together."
Doctors gave Paula the abortion pill, a powerful concoction of drugs that works by blocking essential hormones to the baby, inducing a termination, usually within hours.
"I took the first pill in the clinic," says Paula, "and was to take a second pill two days later at home. Staff explained I would probably begin to bleed within hours."
However, within two hours of taking the pill, Paula became violently ill. "I couldn't keep anything down and showed no signs of an abortion beginning," she recalls.
The following day she was so ill she went back to the clinic.
"The doctor explained I'd had an unusual reaction in which the body rejects the pill and because I'd vomited so much it wouldn't have been absorbed properly.
"I felt absolutely traumatised that it hadn't worked and after all that suffering and anguish I was still pregnant. I was too unwell to take another pill, but the doctor said I could have a different type of abortion done at their clinic in Manchester."
So the following week Paula went to Manchester to try once more to end her unborn child's life. "Doctors there said they could suck the foetus out, doing this termination under a general anaesthetic," she says.
"Once more I had to steel myself for this ordeal and kept telling myself that it was the right decision. I got ready for the operation, but then went for the scan that they legally must do before going ahead.
"This more advanced scan revealed my pregnancy was over the limit of 12 to 13 weeks for the procedure they'd planned. I couldn't believe it when the doctor broke the news they couldn't go through with it.
"I was sure they must have got my dates wrong but they were adamant they wouldn't perform the operation."
Instead, to Paula's horror, the doctors told her she would have to travel to London for a two-stage procedure where they would induce labour and then remove the foetus during an operation.
She would probably need an overnight stay. Inevitably, she was thrown into turmoil at this almost farcical situation.
"By now I had seen my baby's arms and legs waving on the scan. My baby was fully formed and even I marvelled at how it had grown so quickly into this perfect little human shape.
"The sonographer estimated I may be as much as 14 or 15 weeks pregnant, and it seemed perfectly healthy and looked remarkably happy considering I'd already tried twice to destroy it.
"Suddenly it felt as if I would really be killing my baby. My mother obviously felt the same way. 'You could always give it up for adoption,' she murmured.
"I went out of the room. 'I'm sorry,' I said to the nurse as I walked out of the clinic. 'I just don't think I can go through with this.' It was both the hardest and easiest decision I have ever made in my life.
"Overcome with emotion, I came home and wept. I put my hands on my tummy - already I could feel the bump and was overcome with guilt at what I'd tried to do."
The next day, Paula told Ryan and Tara she was going to have a baby and found herself resolved to keep the child.
Paula is now five months pregnant and after further scans and tests to check her baby's health, doctors have reassured her that baby number three is fine and unharmed by the trauma she put it through.
Although because of her age she could have further tests, such as an amniocentesis, to check for abnormalities such as Down's, she has decided not to have them.
"I am so pleased I have kept this baby and I really don't want to put it through anything else," she says.
"My baby is moving and I certainly couldn't consider terminating it, whatever the circumstances. Now I feel I have had an incredibly lucky escape.
"I used to think having a termination when a baby was so tiny was nothing. It seems to be so common these days and accepted among women.
"I know of friends who've gone through the same process and not given it much thought. I, too, imagined that after the abortion my life would go back to 'normal' - it would be over quickly and tidily.
"But now I don't believe you can simply put to one side aborting a baby, and I think had the abortion worked, then in years to come I may well have regretted it terribly.
"I would have constantly thought of what my child would have been like.
"What I saw at that private clinic also totally shocked me. I expected to see young girls on their own waiting in the abortion clinic. Instead it was like a cattle market - full of women of all ages - many with their husbands and partners encouraging them to go through with it.
"I couldn't help wondering why all of these women - many seemingly in relationships - were ending their pregnancies.
"I was shocked that it seems to be just so normal to have an abortion these days, and although the staff at the clinic were lovely, no one even suggested there may be a different way forward.
"It has changed my outlook completely. I still believe that women should have the choice to have an abortion if they really feel they need one, particularly when the baby is going to be seriously disabled, when it may be best for everyone.
"But I also feel there must be many women like myself who are in such shock when they fall pregnant, that they don't fully think through all the implications of what they are doing.
"Of course, I still feel guilty that I didn't want this child - I can imagine myself forever trying to make up for it when it's born - but I truly feel fate has taken a hand.
"My baby wanted life so much, it is meant to be. To me it is already a miracle baby."
The usual scenario - with results so predictable it's a miracle they always seem to come as a surprise.
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I have no idea why so many of my gender sleep around with guys they hardly know.
So, doesn’t she next get arrested for a hate crime?
“within months we felt committed enough for him to move in with me and the children.”
But not committed enough for marriage. What a twit. I feel bad for the baby that she tried to kill twice.
The information that is supposed to be given to them at least 24 hrs in advance, can come by phone or writing or speaking. Sadly, PP is using the call in process to run the clients through a recorded piece that I bet 99% don't listen to! They ignore it, lay the phone down, or focus on what's on TV while the recording drones on about the possible risks, side effects, damages. I think they need to hear it from a live person, face to face, and then be given 48 hrs for the information to sink in. A part of that same conversation should be the OPTIONS available to them, not just a brochure handed to them or mailed to them.
I haven't seen many 'supporters' going in with the clients. I see the tendency to 'drop and run' so the supposed 'support system' can dodge the truth of the matter, while the woman is left to go through the process alone.
It’s quite possible she’ll become even more committed to a prolife ethic -— no exceptions! -—when this splendidly biologically tenacious baby of hers is born. It took some courage for her to expose herself to possible public scorn and villification by telling her story so publicly.
Feminists for Life says “Women with unexpected pregnancies deserve to have unexpected joy.” I wish her the best. She’s acquiring wisdom...oh sister, aren’t we all!!
I hope you’re right.
Obviously the Lord, our Father in heaven wanted this baby to be born. What a story!
Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.
Pope Paul VI
So true. And it is amazing the risk women will put their small children in...she gave him 24 hour access to her kids!
“Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.”
Sounds like to me the guy was just a jerk. I don’t think the pill turned him into a jerk.
That's probably true, but the Pill plays an important part in this story.
Why was he living with her? Because he loved her, or because she was a human blow-up doll? From his actions, it appears that he regarded her as the latter. And the Pill makes this practically possible.
Of course, she bears some responsibility in this too for her lack of judgement.
Lovely story, but something doesn’t ring true. He was a wealthy “electrical contractor” who was away on business a lot and he changed all his numbers? Even his business numbers? Somehow, I don’t believe that.
I think he was pretending to be someone he isn’t and probably has a wife and kids stashed someplace else. The “numbers” she had were probably set up especially for his “night on the town sweeties” and bear no resemblance to his real contact numbers.
Perhapsit’s because of how the feminazis tell them repeatedly they can truly “have it all” without complications like those above. Why, just take a Pill. And if you do happen to get impregnated by the latest loser you’re sleeping with, well then just take another pill and “all is well”...
Reality truly has a way of waking people up, doesn’t it?
Another thing-I was under the impression that the UK has “free healthcare”-so why does an abortion cost so much there? Is the murdering of an unborn not covered, or what? Anyone know?