I can look back and picture myself on that night now but it’s like an out of body experience as it was, without a doubt, the worst night of my life so far.
I was alone in the flat I shared with my best friend and I remember not even having the strength to stand. I rang my friend who could barely understand the words I was saying before I hung up. She came home to find me shrunken into the sofa and wrapped her arms around me.
She reminded me I could still have an abortion. But I didn’t want to hear it. I was already attached to the baby growing inside me, but now I was alone. I spent the night wide awake repeating the mantra ‘I cannot have this baby, I cannot have this baby’ before calling Marie Stopes first thing in the morning.
I went to the first appointment they had and remember standing in front of the reception woman crying as she asked whether I had a partner. No, not anymore. They did a scan to make sure of my dates and I asked for a print out of the ultrasound. A request that clearly shocked the nurse as she asked if I was sure, but yes, if I was going to have an abortion I was going to make it is hard as possible on me.
I walked down Brixton Road looking at this little bean and crying. And I knew there was no way that baby was going anywhere but home with me.
2nd May 2007 – 16 weeks pregnant
To my Tiny Dancer,
Today I told Dan, your dad that I didn’t want to hear from him while I was pregnant but that I would contact him once you were born.
I spoke to him on the phone last night and it was simply awful. It was awkward and uncomfortable; the guilt was tangible. I could feel it creeping down the line – he hates being faced with the reality of the situation. He’s buried his head in Bournemouth beach and refuses to come up for air. He even admitted he found it hard talking to me.
I said that I didn’t want it to be weird between us when we talked and he said it wouldn’t be when everything was settled and right. How does he ever think anything is going to be right again? I also told him that if he knew he didn’t want anything to do with you or me (I’m sorry) then he had to be honest and not scared to tell me be because I deserved to know where I stood. He said he would and that he’s always been honest with me.
What a shame he can’t be honest with himself and all the people around him. He’s not back with his wife but he told me they were friends and he’s seen quite a lot of her. Does he say these things on purpose to hurt me or does he simply not have the capacity to know that they will hurt me?
He’d also been in London that day working and he didn’t even have the decency to ask to see me, to check how we were doing. It makes me so angry. I mean deep down burning angry, like I want to hurt him so badly just so he can feel even a tenth of my pain. He is so rude and self-centred and immature. He’s six years older than me yet has the maturity of an actual six year old.
I don’t know any man I my life, past or present, that would treat the mother of his unborn child that way. He is possibly the greatest disappointment of my life. I just hope he isn’t yours.
Enough is enough. I can’t feel like this for the rest of my pregnancy. I want to enjoy it. It’s supposed to be exciting and wonderful and I’ve spent so long being sad and stressed. But not about you. Never about you. I always knew I wanted you. You should know that. You may be half of him but you’re half of me too, you’re in me, growing and I will always love you.
So, telling Dan not to contact me was like me taking back the power, the control over my life. I think it’s the only way I’m going to find some peace of mind. This stress can’t be good for either of us and I hope it’s not hurting you. I told my mum what I had chosen to do and she surprised me by saying it was the right thing.
When mum says something is okay it instantly settles my mind too. I hope I can give you the same safe, secure feeling when you’re older and looking for advice. She thinks if this goes on I will grow to dislike your father for the way he treats me and that in turn may affect my feelings for you.
I just know if there is any chance of a friendship between us I can’t keep hearing the hurtful things he says and witnessing his complete lack of regard for us. It’s really scary though - shutting that door for such a period of time but five months is not so long in a lifetime.
The hardest thing is taking the high road. Living beyond reproach, as it were. When he told me how ‘friendly’ he and his wife were I was just thinking well, that’s because you haven’t told her about your affair with me and the fact that I’M CARRYING YOUR UNBORN CHILD. And it made me so angry (again!).
Why should he get to swan about down there acting like God’s gift, everyone’s best pal, when I face my responsibility every single day? He should have to do the same. Last night I wanted to tell his wife. I collected up all the cards and notes he’d written to me and I was going to post them to her. Just so he HAS to face up to reality - but I thought twice. And I thought about you.
I don’t want to do anything that might affect your relationship with your father at any point. I don’t even know if there will be a relationship, but I have to work to the rule that he is your father and you and he both have rights in regards to that.
My mum put it simply. She said that if I ever wanted Dan in my life in a happy way I have to be patient, but if I don’t care then I can do as much damage as I like. If it was just me to consider, I’d do the damage. But it’s not and I don’t ever want to regret my rash behaviour. So I’m letting him come back to reality in his own time. And plenty of it apparently.
It’s hard though, really really hard. But whatever he does deep down he knows the truth and it will always be there at the back of his mind, that fact that you and I do exist. I think he’s having problems working out how he’s going to make the two worlds meet; his life down there in Bournemouth and me and you.
He doesn’t want to be the guy that walks away from his child but at the same time you’re not here yet so he’s not dealing with it at all. But he can’t keep you a secret forever, I won’t let him, I promise.
Right now he’s not worthy of either one of us but I did see so much good in him at one time. I hope I see it again. To be continued…
Veronica's been sharing her pregnancy diaries with us - read the first extract here...