Marianne's Story
"My 23rd birthday"

I am 22 years old, I live with my fiancée in a 2 story condo in a decent part of San Jose, CA. We both have good jobs in the bicycle distribution industry and consider ourselves doing well for a couple of kids in their early twenties. We live check to check, but we get by pretty comfortably.

For two weeks he was telling me that he thought I was pregnant. I had been feeling lightheaded, my breasts were sore and my clothes were getting tighter. I told him that he was crazy.

The morning of Jan. 21 he emailed this concern to me again. I called him and told him to meet me at home on his lunch hour and we would take a test. I wanted to prove to him that he was wrong. It turned out that I was wrong. I didn't believe the test so we took another. Both were positive. I cried. I couldn't believe it. I didn't know to be happy or sad. My whole life and the way I saw the world changed in a matter of two minutes.

First we decided to keep it, then he changed his mind. Two days later, we were keeping it. We talked about names. We talked about what it would look like. He said it just couldn't have my curly hair if it was a boy. He said he thought we would have a girl. He changed his mind again. We went back and forth for 6 days.

I had an ultrasound the other day. I saw my baby. It is 2mm long and 5 weeks old. This is the best thing that ever happened to me, how could it be the worst thing at the same time?

I finally came to terms with the decision. I realized that we can't provide for a child in the way that we would like to. I wouldn't be able to go back to school this fall. I won't be able to quit working and stay home to be a mom like I want to. I don't want to live check to check with a child. I don't want to need anything for my baby. We could not give our baby the care it deserves right now.

This is the hardest decision I have ever had to make. I never thought I would ever have to do this. I can't stop thinking about it, I can' t stop crying.

I have an appointment on February 8. I will be 8 weeks pregnant by then and I will also turn 23 that day.

27 January 1999

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"When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us."
- Helen Keller