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Abortion is rarely discussed openly in India, even within families, and there are too many misconceptions about it. This real life story of a mother who chose abortion will get you thinking.
This incident happened 4 months ago. I do not know this lady who I met in the clinic, neither does she know me. But I have a big problem. I keep hunting for stories, looking at incidents around me that make me think, that make me understand parenting, and that make me understand another mom’s situation. And so out of curiosity, I again enquired into this lady’s story.
I had been to a clinic to collect my thyroid reports. Since the counter person asked me to wait for some time, I sat on a couch when I noticed a very impatient lady sitting beside me. In fact, she was very restless and unable to sit in one place. She was moving around like a pendulum. And above all, her 5 year old was all around, jumping and playing. She jumped on me all of a sudden and started laughing. That was when the mother turned towards me and started apologising.
I told her that it was okay and then said gently, “Please don’t mind. But I find you very tense and restless. I am no one to ask you, but if you feel comfortable, you can share your story.” She immediately held my hands and said, “I just had an abortion at 5 weeks of pregnancy. Post termination, I had my ultrasound and I am waiting for my reports. My husband works abroad. Though he supports me in every manner and he knows about this abortion, I am scared. I stay with my mom and she is unaware of this. What if the abortion has not been successful? I just cannot think of a second baby”. Her name was then called for reports. She immediately opened it, read the report, hugged me tightly and said, “It’s over. No pregnancy.” What relief I could see on her face!
“Great. But tell me one thing. Why were you so afraid of this pregnancy?” I asked her out of curiosity.
“You know, I am 36 years old. I left my first job to take care of my baby. My husband supports me always. He works abroad. Raising a child all alone is very tough along with managing a job. I still tried managing, till she was 3 years old. He left to go abroad when she was just 6 months old. Though I have maids to help me, still, my body did not support me much. All those nights when I was awake for my child, all those days running after her to make her have her food, then running to office and then managing the kitchen, wardrobe, and medical… it is really tough, yaar. Now when my daughter is 5 years old, she has fallen in a routine, I get some time for myself, to look for a job, to exercise, go out for a movie, or even dine out. Very soon we will both be joining my husband abroad and I shall start working again. This is the reason I terminated this pregnancy. I cannot go through all that again. And at this age, I know that I will not be able to take care of a small child. I do not know if I am right or wrong. My husband is with me and he understands. All this time of abortion, my daughter was with me and was a big support. I was very tense but now I feel relaxed.”
“Hmm…” was the only word that I could utter.
“I do not know why I narrated all this to you. But, I am feeling very light and happy. Can I know your name?” She asked.
“Rohini…” I said.
“Thanks for listening to me.” She stood, held her toddler, waved to me, and went away.
That entire day and till date I have been thinking of her and her story. Was she correct?
Yes, she was in her own way. She knew her limitations. She knew what she wanted and how to manage it. Abortion does not mean that a mother does not love children. But what she said had a point. She is a mother but was not willing to be a mother again.
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A ‘thank you’ makes a lot of difference in the way any woman in your life sees herself in your eyes. It might even mean the world to her.
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It will mean the world to your mother if you answer her calls. If your sister seems lost give her a hug and assure her about her strengths. Tomorrow, there might come a day when you would have to make your daughter feel empowered with few words of wisdom every now and then. For the children to feel wanted and loved, you must be able to spare some quality time with your wife and be present in the moment.
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