Some years ago I was in a relationship with a girl and at one stage she assured me she was 'protected'. This deceit led to an unexpected pregnancy. Prior to this relationship I would have been overjoyed to take a girl as my wife and have a family with her (although being able to provide for a family was a deep concern of mine), but given that this particular girl had come and gone from this relationship with me in a rather whimsical manner, I was somewhat apprehensive. Anyway, I felt a duty to take responsibility for what had happened and I offered to "do the right thing".
She declined my offer. I accepted this in part out of a sense of relief, and in part because I was raised in a culture of 'women's rights' and in particular the right of a woman to own and control her body. I later came to completely reject this for reasons I will soon explain.
Her rejection of my offer led to us going to a clinic and walking past protesters - whose message I had much sympathy for, but I felt powerless to even consider. After sitting waiting for a short while with the distinct sense that everyone who looked at me did so with the judgement: 'look what he has done to that poor girl', the whole affair was concluded (at my expense). The relationship did not last much longer.
It was only later I came to view this whole affair as my paying someone to murder my child. Let me explain why.
From time to time throughout my life I wondered about this child. For some reason I felt the baby was a girl. I wondered how old she would be. I wondered what she would look like, what her personaility would be and what our relationship would have been like. But my current strong views were really formed after a dream.
Before the birth of each of my three children I have had a dream of deep personal significance. I had one before the birth of my first son, then again before the birth of my daughter Millie. But the dream I am writing of now occurred before the birth of my second son, when my daughter Millie was around two years old.
In my dream I was at a kind of family gathering. However, I was really only aware of two people there. My daughter Millie and another girl - around 18 years old - whom I felt was also my daughter. I felt as though we had known each other her whole life, and not only that but I felt a strong love for her. Millie and her were together the whole time, and at one stage they were sitting on the floor, backs against the wall, when I started to wonder why Millie called me 'Dad' but my other daughter never did. It was at this point, and with this thought in mind that I awoke from the dream. On waking I pondered the dream and it occured to me that the girl in the dream was the same child that had been aborted 18 years earlier. It also occured to me that even though we had never known each other in this life, she existed in another, spiritual dimension, and that we had some deep, unexplanable spiritual connection. Then it struck me hard that the reason she never called me 'Dad' was because I had not been a father to her. In fact I had failed in the most fundamental duty of a father - to protect his child.
So I felt a deep sense of loss and sadness. Loss of this child and my relationship with her, and sadness as I had such strong love for my other three children. I also felt regret - regret that I had ever accepted the idea that a father has no rights regarding the life of his child (especially when it resulted from a deception) and regret and dissapointment with myself for my failure to protect her. And I wonder how I will be able to face her in the beyond, although I came to understand from my dream that she has forgiven me. Despite this I feel I will forever have a sense of shame, and of loss. And I am now firmly convinced that the act of conception is no frivolous matter.
"For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them." Psalm 139:13-16