18 years ago, when I was 28 and he was 53, I met a man I was immediately crazy about...


“18 years ago, when I was 28 and he was 53, I met a man I was immediately crazy about. Our age difference wasn't a factor, we just really hit it off. I had recently stopped using Depo shots and hadn't yet started another birth control method, I was not sexually active right then so it wasn't an issue. I asked him before we had sex if he was fertile, and he laughed a little and said no, and I knew he had no biological children, he and his first wife of many years had even adopted a daughter, so I accepted this (devoutly Catholic, older, well respected) man's answer and didn't inquire further.

Fast forward 6 months, we've just moved in together, and I had to sit down with him and ask, "so what EXACTLY did you mean when you said you weren't fertile?" Yep, I was pregnant. Barely, but for sure. He said he'd lived with a girl for 2 years in his early 20s and she got pregnant by another man soon after they broke up, then when he and his first wife had no luck they both were tested and he was told he had a very low sperm count and it was highly unlikely that he'd ever sire a child.

Together, we decided to abort. We did not know one another well at all and we knew that given our age difference and other factors (I'm not Catholic was just one of those issues) that it was unlikely we'd make it as a couple and he had 2 older stepchildren that he'd raised as his own (they called him dad and were toddlers when he married their mother) and his daughter by adoption, I had a then 10 yo son, and it just wasn't on my radar to have another, I was barely making ends meet at that time.

We later did marry and had a total of 15 years together before he died of cancer 3 years ago, and he never again accepted communion at his church because of our choice. I don't think he regretted it though. We talked about it once in a while and even how much we'd have loved a child together, but there was so much on the negative side of the board (not least among them that we both had to work) and he mentioned being 71 or 72 when it would have graduated and how awkward he'd have felt as a parent so old. We also later found that it was impossible financially for us to increase his life insurance due to his age (he had enough to pay for his burial, luckily) so I'd have been trying to support a 15yo on little income when he died 3 years ago, and college now would be totally out of reach unless the child had been able to obtain scholarships.

We had to drive over 200 miles and pay $500 (a lot of money 17 or 18 years ago) and the Dr. said I was about 8 weeks. There were no waiting periods then, thank goodness, as that would have added quite a bit to our already considerable costs.

I just get so weary of "bitch, you should have kept your legs shut". That simply isn't always the case. We did everything right, discussed it beforehand, were cognizant of our responsibilities, were both (conservative!) adults, did not for many reasons want more children, took what steps we deemed necessary based on our particular circumstances, and yet it happened via a quirk (my extreme fertility and his low sperm count).

And YES, I did offer to have DNA testing done, I looked it up and called about it even before I told him, it was about $300 and could be done even if we aborted and the price was the same if we had a live baby. He declined.

We did not take this decision lightly, we did not sugarcoat it in later years, we did not have heavy regrets about it, and as things turned out, we were right. He died 2 months after being diagnosed with cancer 3 years ago.

No matter what you think of me or him or our choice, you should be aware that responsible, adult, aware people can become unwantedly pregnant despite the best choices afforded (had either of us a SINGLE CLUE that I might become pregnant we'd have bought condoms to use until I obtained birth ccontrol), and I thank goodness that we were afforded the choice to NOT bring a child that we really didn't want and had done everything we knew to do avoid into this world.” —Anonymous

#birthcontrol #prochoice

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