Emma’s Story: “You don’t need to end the life of your baby to get past the darkness and back towards the light.”

I always expected that the day I would find out that I was pregnant would be the happiest day of my life, but in reality it was the exact opposite. I was single, fresh out of college and still living in my family home. As I stared down at my positive pregnancy test it felt like I was semi-conscious in a nightmare, everything I had worked so hard to achieve was now seemed worthless, I couldn’t breathe.

I often think if I had local access to an abortion during that time, I could have easily made a decision that I would have regretted later.

My pregnancy was extremely difficult emotionally, I had so many worries about what the future would bring and how I’d cope as a single mother. I cried myself to sleep most nights because I felt I wasn’t ready to be a mother. I’m so thankful that the 8th Amendment was there to stop me making a quick and wrong decision when I was feeling my worst.

On the 27th of October at 6.20pm my gorgeous baby boy Rossa was born (all 9 pounds 2 ounces of him), people describe the whoosh of love you’re supposed to feel when your baby is born, I did not feel this love until the middle of that night when my mam had gone home and the nurses went away, it was just me and Rossa… I looked down at him and all my fear was gone.

Rossa has transformed my life, I am a better person because of the love I feel for him. He has brought such wonderful healing and happiness to my heart. So many doors and opportunities have opened because of his life, I’m exploring career opportunities that I’d never thought of before him and I’ve made so many good friends and lost touch with the bad ones.

It’s surprised me how much joy Rossa has brought my family too. Without the 8th amendment not only might the life of my child have been ended but the life of someone’s nephew, grandchild and even great grandchild.

I am the sole carer and provider for Rossa and although being a lone parent has its difficulties it is extremely rewarding, my life has a total new meaning and I’m a happier person now than I was before my unplanned pregnancy.

Like any journey into motherhood mine has its up and downs, I can’t sugar coat it because it’s tough at many times but I know it is worth it and I can get through anything life throws in my way because nothing is harder than dealing with an unplanned pregnancy.

I know so many loan parents didn’t have the family support I did. We need to work together to ensure every parent has a support system. We need to change our attitudes towards crisis pregnancies. When I told most of my friends I was pregnant not one said congratulations, instead they said things like “what are you going to do?” No one should be made feel ashamed for their pregnancy.

I want women who may be in a similar situation to know that you don’t have to end the life of your baby in order to get through the darkness and back towards the light.