I was 41 years old and having an affair...

"I was 41 years old and having an affair. I knew the baby was my lover's, because my husband and I hadn't had sex in a year and a half. I already had a grade-school age son and a preschool-age daughter. My husband is almost 20 years older than me and has erectile dysfunction. I have a high libido, and got involved with a friend of mine who is 25 years younger than my husband.

I didn't think I could get pregnant, because my husband and I had a really hard time getting pregnant. We spent thousands of dollars on fertility treatments and acupuncture and finally had my son. Then we tried all that again for a second, and it didn't work. So we adopted my daughter. I didn't bother using birth control with my lover because I was so convinced I was infertile.

I was floored when the stick said "positive." The first words out of my mouth were "I am such a f**king idiot."

My lover was a wonderful lover, but very immature and had mental health issues stemming from his military service. He was unstable and I knew that having the baby would blow up my life and tie me to him forever. I felt a strong responsibility to my two children. In the end, I did it to protect them. I hid it from my husband, but now he knows everything, and I've ended the affair.

I feel so sorry for girls/women who've had to walk past protesters or travel for hours to get abortions. As a professional woman, I simply went to my OB/GYN, the same wonderful doctor who delivered my son. She was compassionate and kind and told me I am certainly not the first 40+ year old woman having an affair to come to her for an abortion.

The procedure itself was 10 minutes—easy and painless. I was given Valium and a shot of Demerol, which had me so out of it I just have a fuzzy memory of it. One of my best friends held my hand and helped me visualize myself in a meadow playing with my two children while my doctor used the vacuum. I got an IUD put in a week later.

The emotions I felt immediately after the abortion were relief and empowerment. Being pregnant when you don't want to be is a nightmarish feeling. For 18 days, I felt infected, and I just wanted it out. So the abortion, which took place when I was at 7 weeks, brought immense relief.

I was a women's studies minor in college, and I am a feminist. I felt strong afterward. I had exercised my right to choose and make the best choice for my family. That lasted for about a month. I was on a high. Then came the crash. It was like I finally let myself have all the emotions about it. I went through a very dark period where I was depressed and upset. My two best friends were really there for me.

It's been a little over a year now, and things have leveled out. Some days I don't even think about it, some days I'm at peace, some days I'm sad. I'll never understand the unfairness, that I couldn't get pregnant when I really wanted to and then was able to easily conceive with a different partner. Infertility really messed with my head, and the abortion has too, but I can't say I regret it.

I can say that I'm so grateful my abortion happened at my doctor's office within a hospital, just like a regular check-up. No clinic. No protesters. No 4-hour drive across state lines.

Every abortion should be like mine. No one should have to endure hardships to make an already difficult decision worse. I never, ever thought I would get an abortion. I was raised evangelical Christian. In high school, I wrote an anti-abortion position paper. But I found myself needing one at age 41. And I'm so grateful for the safe and compassionate care I received." —Anonymous

#gratitude #caringforotherchildren #relief

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