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Dublin: 4 °C Sunday 17 November, 2019
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We all have dreams as young girls. Having a termination is not one of them.

I never knew all the things that could go wrong with a pregnancy… until they happened. Life can throw your dreams upside down.

Anonymous

WE ALL HAVE dreams as girls. We grow up with fairytales, dreaming of a happiness regardless of life’s circumstances. We play at being mummy, dressing up in mummy’s shoes, trying on lipsticks, serving tea from colorful plastic tea sets.

Girls move through the years with ideas of what they will be when they grow up. A teacher, a scientist, a designer. Girls chatter about who they’re going to marry and how many children they’re going to have. They are excited and dreaming of a happy future.

But life can throw your world of dreams upside down. And as girls become women they come face to face with life-altering decisions that they never dreamt of.

I never knew all the things that could go wrong with a pregnancy

I am new to this world. I have lost three babies in the space of two years. Two silent miscarriages and a termination for medical reasons (TFMR) for a fatal foetal abnormality (FFA) in between. My world of dreams is truly upside down, along with my husband’s. I ask on a daily basis, ‘Why?’ I never dreamt that life would put me in that situation. I never dreamt that I would be faced with the diagnosis of a FFA or the option of a termination. I never even knew all the things that could go wrong with a pregnancy until I met others in the same situation.

While I believe that a large percentage of the population support the decision my husband and I made, a small percentage of the population play the ‘woman feels guilt later’ card. This is a cruel tactic to use against women and couples who have had to make this awful decision – and there is no denying that this is an awful decision to have to make. It is the hardest decision that people will ever have to make and is not one that is made in haste. So while there may be those who feel guilt, for many, though they live with the fact that they had to make this decision, they know for the rest of their lives that it was the right one. We have no regrets about the choice we made for our daughter and for us.

My husband and I were catapulted into a world that we now accept as the ‘real world’. This is a world where life is not perfect, where you realise that not all of your dreams come true and you mentally fight on a daily basis to accept the world you live in. We never thought when we started on our baby journey, that terminating a pregnancy was something that we would do.

But we did. We did it for her and we did it for us. We did it to spare us all from further suffering and we have no regrets. We delivered our baby girl in the maternity section of a hospital with no intervention other than tablets to bring on the pregnancy.

It’s easy to judge others when you have never walked in their shoes

We are not criminals. We are not murderers. We are not satanic. However, these are the accusations we have had to shield ourselves from over the last couple of years.

It’s easy to judge others when you have never walked in their shoes. I never before considered termination as an option until we were faced with a FFA. Couples in these circumstances are heartbroken, they do not need the condemnation of those who have no experience of the circumstances nor those who chose to continue with the pregnancy under the same circumstances.

I have never been raped. I can’t begin to understand the trauma of a rape victim. I am not in a position to judge her on the decisions she makes should the rape result in pregnancy.

I have never been suicidal. I have felt really, really low and I didn’t want to live anymore after the three losses. I went through a period where waking up was the worst part of the day but I got through it with the help of my family. I never planned to take my life. I can begin to understand the trauma of what leads there but I would think that I’m still not close enough. I am still not in a position to judge a suicidal woman on what she does with her pregnancy. There are husbands and families that have been left to survive without their wives and mothers because they were not able to get through their pregnancy.

This is real life. It’s complex, it’s painful, it’s cruel and it’s heartbreaking.

The ‘pro life’ campaigners sprout such hypocrisy in relation to supporting life but they are not ‘pro-life’. They are pro condemning myself and my husband. They are pro condemning those who are suicidal and those who have been raped. They lack compassion and support for women and couples whose dreams have been crushed. They live in an ‘ideal world’ where everything should be as they wish it to be. They have an idealistic impression of reproduction while some of us through no choice of our own have been catapulted into the ‘real world’ and have had to face things we never dreamed of.

Girls never dream of being raped.

Girls never dream of a fatal foetal abnormality.

Girls never ever ever dream of having a termination.

The author wishes to remain anonymous.

A fatal foetal diagnosis is nobody’s fault – the deliberate lack of support by the State is.

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Anonymous

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