Today marks two years to the day since your mother, my wife, decided to end your life over my objections. I don’t even know if you were a boy or a girl – but I chose the name Alex for you (as it can be a boy's or girl's name). Alex, I wanted you to live, to be born and to join our family and meet your two sisters. I wanted to meet you, to see you grow up and live your life.
My wife, out of fear, denied you that opportunity. She was scared. She was in a tough place at work. She had only been there for a year, having moved from a job she loved but had outgrown. Her boss was promoted to a new role shortly after she started, and his replacement made her life a living hell. She was bullied relentlessly and ended up with an anxiety disorder and fears of engaging in self-harm.
However, at the time she found out she was pregnant with you, she was well on the road to recovery with the help of a psychologist. She was applying for jobs. She’d had interviews, referees had been contacted.
But she was scared she would not find another job and would end up ‘stuck at home with three kids under six’ and that the ‘stress of having three kids would drive me suicidal’ – even though her treating psychologist had said there was no such risk.
I tried. I tried so hard to save you Alex. I tried to rationally examine the situation with my wife:
• We were financially stable, very well-off, even. We had more than a year of our salaries in cash savings, so we wouldn’t struggle for money even if one of us didn’t work for a year or more
• We had family and paid support (an au pair, who was great)
• We had a large house with a spare bedroom for you.
• You would need at most only six weeks off work (if she had another c-section) if that is what you wanted
• I have enough leave that I can take 6 months off work to raise the child at full pay, or 12 months at half-pay (which we can have afford) so you can go back to your career
• The impact on your career will be minimal, you are leaving her bullying boss and job.
• My mother (with whom she got along with fantastically) had recently retired and would help us out in a flash, and lived just down the road.
But it wasn’t enough. I tried. I tried to save you Alex, I really did. I tried to explain to my wife that we could afford to have you, that her career would progress, that she would find a new job, that she wouldn’t become suicidal (which her treating psychologist had also told her wouldn’t happen), that we could do this.
But I failed. She chose to end your life out of fear. I am so sorry I could not save you Alex.
Please forgive me.
Alex, I am also angry at the clinic that enabled my wife to end your life. Where we lived at the time, abortion was only available where there was a substantive risk to the mother or child, including socio-economic risks (i.e. poverty), domestic violence or medical/psychological risk. That is, there was not abortion-on-demand. There had to be a "reason" related to a risk.
No such risks existed.
We were a loving, financially secure, church-going family. Despite her fears, there was no risk to you Alex, or to her. I am angry that the clinic simply listened to my wife’s fears and didn’t even bother to ring her doctor or psychologist, or simply make her wait a week and see a counselor. Maybe if they had, they would have refused to kill you on the grounds you were not at risk, and nor was there any risk to your mother.
But that didn’t happen. On 27 November 2017, my wife ended your life, despite me pleading and begging her not to. I am so sorry I failed you, Alex. I wanted to meet you, to hold you and see you grow.
Two years on, the pain remains. I have come to understand that my wife was truly scared, that she truly believed she couldn’t cope, and that her mental health would have deteriorated had you been born. But I also know, deep down, that she was wrong, and it was wrong to take out those fears on you, Alex, and to end your life.
Alex, I love you. I hope that you are with your stillborn cousin Daniel in heaven, along with my grandparents and your grandparents on your mum’s side. Alex, I hope you can forgive me for not saving you, for not finding the right words to persuade my wife, your mum, to keep you and not end your life. But, mostly, I hope that you will forgive your mum for what she did out of fear.
Not a day goes by that I don’t think about you, Alex. Your sisters have often expressed a strong desire for another sibling – a sign I take that our family is not complete, and you, Alex, were meant to complete it.
I also pray that God will forgive me for failing to save you, and will forgive my wife for her weakness that ended your life. I also pray that our marriage will heal over the years to come, and that one day, your mum, my wife, will find it in her hear to apologise, not for hurting me (which she has) but for ending your life. I hope she repents and asks for your forgiveness God.
I also pray for other married and partnered men who find themselves with a pregnant wife or partner who is questioning having the baby, or scared, that they find the words I didn’t, to save the life of their children. I pray that more men who have had their unborn children killed over their objections find the courage to speak out with grace, humility, and dignity, to give a voice to the pain that I felt, still feel, and want no other man to go through.
Most of all, I pray that God takes my little unborn Alex into His kingdom and protects Alex in a manner I could not and failed to. I love you, Alex, and miss you every day.