Wednesday, October 14, 2015

I Wouldn't Call it Regret

I'm a 48 year old woman, wife and mother of two wonderful children who are now young adults. When I was 34, I was a single mother, struggling to work, finish graduate school, and get sober. I feel like I had been a good mom up until my 34th year when I suddenly left a stable marriage and took up drinking heavily. 

Because I had my kids so young, I rationalized in my mind that I never had a young adulthood. I had a few short-term relationships, one of which resulted in a pregnancy. I found out within days of missing my period because I was scheduled to have surgery. I had broken up with the man who got me pregnant. I grew up Catholic and never in a million years thought I'd be in this position. I was 34, not a teenager. 

I spoke with my doctor and asked what he thought about abortion. He said personally he thought it was ethical if done very early on a pregnancy so not to cause pain to the fetus. That stuck with me and I had my abortions few days after that conversation! I felt it was the best decision at the time. I didn't want to have another child while raising my own children who were 12 and 8 at the time. 

For the most part, I know I made the right decision and was grateful for a safe medical facility to have it done. Last week when I was leaving my doctor's office, I drove by some women with signs that said "Pray to end abortion" and "I regret my abortion." That made me really sad and I've been thinking about my abortion ever since. Even though now I'm very happily married, I've been going through horrible empty nest syndrome and rethinking my choice. If I hadn't had an abortion, I'd still have a 13 year old at home. Maybe it would have been another daughter. My own daughter isn't close to me like she used to be. So, in my head I know I made the right decision for the place and time but since seeing that damn sign, I've felt a sadness. I wouldn't call it regret but definitely sadness.

-Donna



Note from Mabel Wadsworth Center:

If you need someone to talk to about your abortion experience don't hesitate to reach out. Here are a couple great resources:  

Exhale:
                1-866-4-EXHALE               
                Exhaleprovoice.org

Backline
                1.888.493.0092
                Yourbackline.org

Friday, October 9, 2015

From the Bottom of My Heart

Mabel Wadsworth Women's Health Center,

From the moment I first called to make an appointment to the moment I walked out the door afterward, I never once felt uncomfortable, unsafe, or judged. Instead, I felt safe, comfortable, understood, and respected. The attention that was paid to ensure all of these conditions was incredible and the empathy and compassion I was treated with went above and beyond what I ever could have anticipated, expected, or hoped for. An experience that could have been negative and horrible was met with such care and compassion that I felt completely confident and at ease.

I know it must be challenging at times to face the type of opposition that practices like this often do, so I wanted to make sure that you knew that this practice, and most importantly, the people who work there, provide a necessary service in a manner that positively impacts the lives of your patients. Without the support of the staff at Mabel Wadsworth Women's Health Center, I never would have made it through this with the confidence and conviction I have, no matter how sure of myself I may act. Everyone needs support in situations such as this and I was provided that from every member of the staff I encountered, which meant more to me than I will ever be able to articulate.

I am having a very hard time finding the words to adequately express the gratitude I feel, so I will simply say this -

Thank you from the bottom of my heart, for guiding me through this experience with such care for my physical and emotional needs and well-being, for offering me kind words of encouragement, strength, and compassion, for figuratively and literally offering me a hand when I needed it, and for reminding me that I am brave. I will be forever grateful for the care I was provided with at the Mabel Wadsworth Women's Health Center.

With all the sincerity and gratitude I possess,

Mabel Wadsworth Center Client