Angela Carless mirror.co.uk Businesswoman Trudy Perry, 49, wanted to be a mum but fell pregnant at the wrong times. Here she tells her story "As I approach my 50th birthday, I can’t help looking back on my life and the choices I’ve made. For while many women of my age are doting on grandkids, I’ll never know the joy of seeing my children with babies of their own. In fact, I’ll never know my children. While I can picture all five of them as if sitting on a wall in front of me, none of my babies were even born. Each of my pregnancies ended in abortion – not because I didn’t want to be a mum, but because I wanted motherhood at the right time with the right man. My eldest would now be 34, but I never just wanted a baby; I wanted a family with two loving parents. Sadly, despite marrying three times that set-up always eluded me. And if I couldn’t have it all, I chose not to have any of it – a decision I’ve paid a high price for. I was 15 when I became pregnant to my first boyfriend, Wayne, 16, in October 1978... Thankfully, my GP took charge and arranged an NHS abortion... In February 1983, Mum accompanied me to a private clinic in Cheltenham for my second abortion. By then I was 20 weeks pregnant and sporting a definite bump. After the abortion a middle-aged nurse said they’d been twin boys. Mum and I left the clinic in tears. The guilt was horrendous. I’d now had two abortions but lost three children. Perhaps there was some excuse at 15; much less so at 19. Even now, 30 years on, I’m overwhelmed by sadness when I think about it... Now 24, I was old enough to know better but again it was the wrong time and the wrong man. I had an NHS abortion at 10 weeks without telling the father. I had my fourth termination in March 1992 at a private clinic. This time, I was 28 and 18 weeks pregnant. Of all my abortions, this is the one I regret the most and I wish I’d been brave enough to go it alone. Heartbroken, I left New York for Boston where I met Arthur, a divorced garage mechanic. Gregarious and attractive, I loved his good humour. Four years later, on March 8, 1996, he became husband number two... I was now 32, Arthur was 41 and though he told me he did not want children – he already had two daughters with his ex – when my biological clock started ticking at 34, I hoped he’d change his mind. I secretly stopped taking the Pill but it didn’t happen. Every month I was in tears when my period came. It felt like a punishment for aborting my five children and I was filled with self-hatred. I thought I was evil and abnormal and I was jealous of Arthur for having two children while I had none. Eventually, I confessed to him: “I don’t think I can be happy without a child.” But he was adamant he didn’t want to be a dad again. Though we loved each other, we agreed to part so I could try to find my baby-father. Sadly, I never did. Although I married my third husband Joseph, 46, a nuclear power station worker, on Christmas Eve 2001, the marriage foundered. Eventually, in October 2002, I returned to the UK, where I threw myself into my career. Now on the cusp of 40, I was resigned to being alone. But life hadn’t quite done with me and at 41, in November 2004, I met my current partner Graham. Divorced with two grown-up children, he could light up a room with his smile and make me laugh until I cried. Quite simply, he was the man I’d been searching for. But in a bitter twist, Graham, then a motorcycle courier, had already had a vasectomy. The irony isn’t lost on me and while I wish I’d met Graham, 52, when I was younger, he is the love of my life and accepts my past without judgement. I’ve learned you have to live with the choices you make. While I am embarrassed that I’ve had three husbands, I’m not ashamed of the abortions. Life is not perfect and while I am sad that my children were never born, I feel so lucky that I have finally found the man who is perfect for me." to read more click here: mirror.co.uk
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