I had five children already when I found out I was pregnant. I was working a very low paid job and struggling to provide for my existing children. We would huddle under sleeping bags in winter, all sleeping around the range as I had no money for oil. It sounds desperate when I say that now, but I tried to make it seem like an adventure for my kids during those cold winters. We made the best of a bad situation. I would make excuses for why my kids couldn’t go to birthday parties, as I couldn’t afford a gift. Money was very tight. Poverty was one of the reasons I didn’t want another child. I have no family support as it is and I honestly didn’t think I had the mental strength to face having another child in the circumstances I was living in.

My boyfriend and I had never lived together, never planned to and he had always said he didn’t ever want kids so that was another reason. Neither of us wanted a child. (He had been on a waiting list for a vasectomy for over a year at the time).

We were using contraception when I got pregnant. I don’t know how it happened to be honest as I was very careful – I was so afraid of pregnancy.

Previous Pregnancies

My previous pregnancies had been difficult and had caused huge strain on my body. In the last two I had major problems with veins in my vulva, the veins were literally coming out of me, they looked and felt like a bunch of grapes, it was excruciatingly painful and made even walking difficult. My midwife said I really shouldn’t have any more children as it would be too great a strain on my body.

Because I was so broke and had no support there was no way I could travel to England. I ordered abortion pills online and spent a week freaking out about them being stopped at customs. It was terrifying to think that my entire life (and my 5 children’s) was hinging on one envelope making it into Ireland. Thankfully it arrived. I had to take time off work as I wanted to take the pills immediately. It was all pretty simple and easy as I was only a few weeks pregnant so it was just like a slightly heavy period.

I felt so relieved when it was over. Like I had gained control of my body again. I don’t trust Ireland with my body. If Irish politicians had their way I would’ve been forced to carry the pregnancy to term against my wishes. There’s something incredibly wrong about that.

This story was submitted anonymously.

3 abortion pills Mifepristone and Misoprostol

Artist: Gemma Cagney

Audio: Aimee Gallagher

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