I have grown up believing that a woman is incomplete unless she becomes a mother. But after a first-hand experience with my own body, I strongly feel that the choice of being a mother depends solely on the woman.
My husband and I had mutually decided to take some time out for ourselves and our career before our first child. Excited about our new married life, both of us forgot all about family planning. My husband and I had unprotected sex which resulted in my pregnancy, two months into our marriage.
I was saddened by this unplanned pregnancy. I decided to consult an old friend who had just delivered a baby. She was expecting good news but I told her clearly that I wasn’t mentally prepared or financially ready to take up the responsibility of a child. She suggested that I was clearly thinking out of my mind.
'What do you mean by not being mentally prepared? Everything will fall in place once you deliver a baby,' she said. According to her experience, to strengthen my relationship with my in-laws and my husband, I should have delivered a baby.
We lived in a joint family and my mother-in-law kept asking me if I had missed my periods. To avoid any further questions, my husband devised a plan. We decided to tell everyone that I was feeling sick and had to visit a doctor. My husband took me to a nearby clinic and we decided to go for medical abortion there.
With a female doctor’s advice, I started to take the pills prescribed for medical abortion. The medicines led to some discomfort and cramps in my stomach. But it also led to the feeling that everything would be fine.
However, four days after having taken the medicines, I still hadn’t got my periods. I went back to the clinic to discover that the medical abortion was unsuccessful due to some complications.
Not giving up
I asked my doctor the reason for my unsuccessful abortion. She said that in some cases, medical abortions fail. Unfortunately, I had to go through one of those. I was confused and stressed all over again.
I thought to myself whether I should really abort my first child and take away my right to be a mother.
I was also worried about the problems I would face in the future to deliver a baby because of this abortion. I expressed my fear and anxiety to my doctor. This time, she sent me home with another set of medicines, assuring me that it will lead to a successful abortion.
Summing up courage
I was preparing myself for our unpredictable future. My mother-in-law started getting suspicious as soon as she noticed a pattern in my sickness. I wanted to tell her clearly what I was going through and I tried convincing my husband, to sum up the courage. We also decided on telling her that having a baby is completely up to my choice.
Finally, my husband condemned this idea by saying that we would land ourselves in family trouble by disclosing our intentions. He said that it would lead to fights in our family and that my mother-in-law would never allow us to have an abortion.
One last step
The very next day, I discussed this topic closely with one of my senior colleagues. She advised me to contact an NGO that specialises in dealing with issues related to abortion.
I booked an appointment immediately. They advised me to opt for a surgical abortion and within five hours the foetus was removed from my body. All the emotional, physical and mental strain I had been facing drained away with surgical abortion. I moved ahead to realise that not every abortion brings grief, guilt and pain.
I do love children and I want to be a mother in the future, just that, back then I wasn’t ready. I will certainly decide to be a mother in due time, but with careful planning.