After the birth of her fifth child, Mrs. M. (39) promised her husband to return to work. He longed for a life without crying and nappies, as he said. They had never been away on holiday together. Their youngest turned four. A quieter life had seemed guaranteed, until the unexpected happened.
Mrs. M. would definitely have been open to having more children. Out of love for her husband, however, she was prepared to give up having more. She started seeing a psychologist, hoping, through therapy, to learn to cope with her desire for more children. However, despite using birth control, she was pregnant again. Unlike all the other times, she couldn’t be happy because her husband was completely against it. Not knowing which way to turn, she asks for help from the SAMC.
To the counsellor she gives a detailed account of her difficulties. Her husband is putting her under extreme pressure. He finally wants his peace and quiet. He is angry and threatening, and pushing her to have an abortion, especially when he has been drinking. He also puts forward material reasons not to have an even larger family. Finances are just too tight, while the house and car are too small. Not knowing what else to do, she has made an appointment for an abortion.
The counsellor discusses all aspects of the situation, asks to see paperwork, then explains how the SAMC can stand behind them so the family will manage to live with a sixth child. But the mother feels torn.
Over the next few days, Mrs. M. can’t be reached. Shortly after the date of the abortion, however, she informs the counsellor that she is still carrying the baby. She postponed her abortion for a week. She is not doing well, and her health is suffering. She is likely too old to be pregnant. Her husband is under strain, isolating himself and distrustful. The counsellor reminds her about her offer of financial assistance. «Can I have that in writing?», asks Mrs. M., as well as «Would I have to pay SAMC back later?»
A few days later, Mrs. M. informs her counsellor that she has placed the confirmation from the SAMC, which assures them that they wouldn’t need to pay anything back, in a place where her husband would always see it. «That is a ray of sunshine» he said once and after that he opened up somewhat, just enough that a decision in favour of their child could gradually prevail. Days and weeks passed. Suddenly the idea of an abortion is out of the question. As the pregnancy progresses, Mrs. M.’s health improves. A week before her due date, she gives birth to a cute and healthy daughter.
The SAMC begins covering the baby’s costs. The mother of now six keeps the counsellor up to date: she was so thankful she had been able to talk with someone in her darkest hours. «That someone could bear me – if you hadn’t been there, I would have had the abortion», she admits. «Our daughter is our sunshine.» Even her husband, who had so insisted on an abortion, is thrilled with the baby. When he comes home from work and spends time with her, he seems recharged. She has never seen him like this with any of the children. She still can’t forget that she had thought of an abortion. She can only hope that her child never hears about that. She is just so happy to be the mother of this baby.