*Maggie's Story

Let's see. Where to start? When I was 15, I met a guy and by the time I was 21 we had 2 babies. Too young!!!! Off and on things were not great. I left him a couple of times, but by the time I was 27, came back to live with him and resume our family . Well at 32 I found myself pregnant again. I pretty much let him decide what to do, because I guess I always thought he new best, that I as too stupid to make the right choice. Or maybe that was just my way of letting myself off the hook.

I had an abortion. I remember falling to my knees in the parking lot after, crying, and saying to him that I'd never do that again. Soon I found a new job. With the kids older, I could work a full time job instead of the occasional part time hours I had done to be available for our children. Well, I found out I was good at my job and over a short period of time I was promoted, but most importantly, I gained a sense of self respect that I never had. I began to stand up for myself and not let him be the absolute authority on everything. Needless to say, that didn't go over very well. But I was determined not to let that stop me.

When I was 35, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and one of the medicines they put you on is methotrexate. I have been taking this stuff off and on for 3 years. In January I thought I was having a flare up. My dosage was upped but I didn't feel any better. I was tired all the time and thought my slight weight gain was due to prednisone. One night while driving home from work, I had a flashback of the past month or so. Kind of like in the movie the sixth sense when Bruce Willis realizes he's the dead guy. I was tired, my back hurt, I was gaining weight. I had symptoms of RA and from taking meds OR/AND pregnancy.

I thought there might be a slight chance I was pregnant, but mostly I decided to stop and get an EPT to ease my mind. Well, I peed on the stick, and sat there to wait. I don t know why I was so scared when my hand reached for the stick, it was like my body knew what my head wouldn't admit. I held the stick out at arms length, afraid to look. But even with shaking hands, I saw the little plus sign. Once again, I was on my knees crying. My oldest child, my son had just turned 18. My daughter was about to get her driver's license.

The man I had planned on spending my life with wasn't even talking to me anymore. I had decided to leave him when our girl graduated, only a year and a half away. I had a plan for the rest of my life. I would only be 38 when my kids were off to college.

I prayed the test was showing a false positive so any decision would be gone. It wasn't. So anyway, my rheumatologist said methotrexate is not a good drug to be on and sent me to my OB/GYN. He told me that methotrexate is used to help end early pregnancies and sent me to a perinatal Dr.

It seems these days everyone is afraid of getting sued that you just can't seem to get a straight answer. So I went on the web and found physician's websites to give me more info. Most say methotrexate may cause central nervous system disorders and all say not to take while pregnant.

I had decided to let the choice, if you can call it that, be up to test results. It was as though all of my close relationships were being challenged. My husband began once again to sleep on the couch and ignore me. My father-in-law accused me of doing it on purpose. My mother-in-law said she hoped something was wrong with the baby.

The only person who was there for me was, unexpectedly, my mother. She helped me to weigh all the pros (there was only one: love for a child) and cons (way too numerous too mention). Ultimately it was me who decided that the soul of this child deserves a better life than the dysfunctional one I would have brought it into. I will always love you, Owen. I'm so sorry. I wish we could have had a chance together. Maybe, if God lets me in, I'll see you in heaven.

10 May 2002

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"Imagine living in a world where there is no domination, where females and males are not alike or even always equal, but where a vision of mutuality is the ethos shaping our interaction." -bell hooks

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