The Daily Mail published a troubling story this week about an Irish mother who says she regretted not aborting her twin boys.
Jeanne Measom, 51, of Dublin, Ireland, has six children including her 8-year-old twins, Jude and Rowan. The twins are her youngest, and their conception was not planned.
Measom said she and her husband, Guy, had just welcomed their son Charlie into the world when they found out that they were pregnant again “by mistake.” Measom said she was 41 and breastfeeding at the time and she didn’t think she needed to use contraception. She said they struggled to conceive Charlie, and she thought she would never get pregnant again.
Early in the pregnancy, the thought of an abortion crossed her mind, but Measom and her husband decided against it. Other than morning sickness, Measom said physically her pregnancy with the twins and their birth went smoothly. Emotionally, however, she struggled with the thought of having to care for two more small children.
Just 10 days after Jude and Rowan were born, Measom said she felt very frustrated and began to regret that she hadn’t aborted them.
“Instead of the warm fuzzy felling of love and pride I’d felt with my other children, regret burned inside me,” she said. “I asked myself what had I done. Had I made the wrong choice in not terminating the pregnancy? I felt guilty even thinking about it.”
As time went by, she said she still did not feel emotionally attached to her twins. She even admitted that she did not fully bathe them for a year, she just cleaned them with wet wipes.
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Her thoughts turned even darker around the twins’ first birthday.
She remembered: “… I sat in the car with them, listening to both of them wailing and thinking, ‘I can’t do this anymore.’ Staring at them in the rear-view mirror, dark thoughts rushed through my mind: I could give them up for adoption, or I could kill us all … They were just fleeting thoughts – thankfully, but I felt like I was drowning. I desperately needed help.”
Measom did not mention postpartum depression, which affects a number of women after they give birth; but it could have been a cause of her morbid thoughts. Therapy and treatments are available for women suffering from postpartum depression.
Measom said she lacked support as a parent of six children. She said she decided to be honest about her situation and share her story to raise awareness about how parenting women often struggle, and how they need better support.
“Rowan and Jude are eight now. I love them – of course I do. But there were days when they were younger that I honestly regretted having them,” she said. “That might make me sound like a bad mum. I beg to differ. I’m an honest mother and the truth that no parent of multiples likes to admit is this: having twins is unrelentingly hard work.”
Honesty is important, and so is support for moms and their children. However, Measom’s public admissions about her twins could negatively impact their lives.
Children often are affected by abortions in their families, psychologists report. Several post-abortive women have shared what happened when they told their children about their abortions. Their children often responded with questions, wondering if their mothers had considered aborting them, too. Child Psychologist Dr. Philip Ney has done extensive research on the matter. He said these children often experience fears and insecurities and wonder why they are alive and if they are wanted. Ney said children can experience symptoms of depression, anxiety, shame, guilty, self injury and low self esteem.
One cannot help but wonder if Measom’s twins will be affected similarly when they learn that their mother regretted not aborting them.