• Break the Taboo Malta

Story 22 – 23.06.2019




“I am a single mum and back in 2016 I was not only single, but also unemployed. I was unexpectedly fired under probation with no prior warning whatsoever. I also have two elderly parents fully financially dependent on me, so I am a sole provider for four people in my family.

I started dating an ex-colleague; he seemed to be totally in love with me. He was talking about how our children should meet one day and make friends (his daughter lives abroad with her mother). He also used to say his dream is to have three daughters.

I was delighted that I finally met someone right for me. Till a day came when I started having very strong pregnancy symptoms around 10 days before my period was due. It all seemed way too early, but I could swear it felt the same way as it did when I was pregnant back in 2012. Nausea, almost throwing up in a fish shop (and I LOVE the smell of raw fish), fatigue, tiredness.

Obviously, no test in the world could determine a pregnancy so early on. The guy suddenly started avoiding me, I was trying for days to meet with him to tell him about the symptoms. Finally we met literally for an hour before his flight.

He told me he doesn’t want a relationship and slammed an envelope with €2000 in it - “Sort it out” he said and “Good luck”.

This was the first time my then three-year old saw me cry my heart out. I cried non-stop for an hour while driving home. She was consoling me. I told her “Mummy has a stomach ache”. She was hugging and stroking me, telling me it will go away and that she is here for me.

I kept crying for days as I always wanted two kids, and thought it was finally coming true.

I spoke to my parents, and they said there is no way I could afford keeping it and still provide for the rest of the family. I booked a ticket abroad, and booked an appointment at a fertility clinic. An ex of mine helped me out with the tickets and insisted I send the €2000 back to that jerk. Which I did, with a roll of toilet paper in a kids shoe box wrapped in Christmas paper. It felt liberating.

I arrived at the clinic, and before the nurse even admitted me for the blood sample and a check up, she said “Keep it”. I nodded, let’s do the test first…

That was Friday. On Monday I scheduled another appointment to possibly take an abortive pill under medical supervision. And on Sunday my period started.

I will never know whether it was a phantom pregnancy or not. Whether my body just played a cruel trick on me because I wanted it so badly. Or whether I had a very early miscarriage because the egg failed to implant properly.

I do know one thing for sure though – That despite what I PERSONALLY WANTED, and that is to have a second child, I also had and still have a moral, ethical, emotional and financial obligation towards two adults and one child and THEIR life, THEIR happiness mattered more than my personal desires to have two kids. So should that test have turned out positive, I would have terminated.

Life is not black and white and there are not enough princes on white horses for everyone. Mine came, maybe not a prince and without a horse, but a man who would be delighted if one day I show him a positive pregnancy test.

Not everyone is this privileged though, many women aren’t. I definitely wasn’t three years ago. No judgement. No shame. No guilt.”

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Break the Taboo Malta is an initiative to end abortion stigma in Malta by sharing real abortion stories and experiences.