Fatima Boutaleb
The Interim

This is a story that happened to me while I was pregnant with my twins. It happened while I was studying computers at a private institute. My husband wasn’t working at the time. We had three kids together. We had been in Canada for three years. It was very hard for us to start a new life in Canada, coming from another country with different ways of life, different traditions and culture. Anyway, the real reason for this story is to send a message to any family or a single mum: if you have faith, be strong when it comes to take a decision in regards to your family. Or else before making any decision, talk to somebody who has your own values. Don’t be afraid, because there is always hope.  Maybe your story is different from mine, but I think the main thing we have in common is that at a certain point of life, we were desperate and needed help. Please, all women and teenagers out there, instead of killing, or I should say ending, a pregnancy or a life, think twice. This little human being inside you is just waiting for a chance to be out there and to help you get back your joy, happiness and a smile.

I know that sometimes, as women, we think that all the doors are shut and there is no hope, but later on, when time goes by and you get older and wiser, you will recognize that either you made the mistake of your life or else that the child, who is now grown up, is a blessing from God.  This is a message to all of you. Stop. While I am writing, I have tears coming down because today, I am blessed with wonderful twin boys. My life has never been filled with as much joy as now. So, here goes my story. I have been through what you are going through.

As I started to say before, I was taking a computer course to enhance my skills to get a job when I got pregnant. The pregnancy was a difficult one and in the early stages, I was quite sick. The guidance officer at the school noticed my studies were suffering. He called me in his office and when I told him I was pregnant, that my husband was out of work and that we already had three children, he said that the only way to be happy was to end the pregnancy and then all my problems will go away: I would no longer be sick, the money we were getting from unemployment would be enough and all our other problems would be solved.

But that was all lies. If you can’t solve your problems, it is not because you are pregnant. There are so many things going on in your life, but having a baby is not going to make them worse. It sounds like I am exaggerating, but believe me, the reality is that the baby you are carrying today may be the prime minister tomorrow or a prophet or a minister or a priest. We never know.  The guidance person gave me a phone number to attend a clinic for counseling. I made an appointment and when I arrived, a lady at the clinic advised me that having an abortion will end all my problems. She also said that an abortion was fast and easy, that what I would feel would be mild compared to the sickness and discomfort of a pregnancy. I said that I thought I had come to a place where I could get help with my present situation and with the financial problems we were having at the time, not to a place where they were advocating abortion. In fact, I learned at this time it was an abortion clinic. The doctor’s wife was quite annoyed with me and the doctor was quite angry with me.

They were looking at me as if I had dollar signs written all over me. They were so cold, as if ending a life meant nothing to them. So I left. While I was waiting, I had time to observe what was going on. Not one of those who had undergone the abortion came out with a smile on her face; in fact, they all came out crying. Those who had someone with them had a hug, but it seemed that it could not erase the horror of what they had done because they were still crying. This was in contrast to the smiling faces of the employees.  In spite of the fact that my pregnancy was very difficult — I had high blood pressure and pregnancy- induced diabetes — the birth, which all the nurses and the doctors in attendance were expecting to be a C-section, was normal. The babies, though born at 34 weeks, were in the best of health.

One social worker came to see me after the babies were born and offered me “something more helpful.” She told me, “I am here today to see how you are doing,” and when she saw my little angels she added: “I actually have found a nice place for your babies.” So I asked her who would be the lucky person who was going to take care of my babies better than I. She said, “You know, it’s only my brother.” “Oh really, so your brother will take care of my babies better than I?” I looked at her face and said, “Do you see how I look now?” She said, “Oh you look gorgeous!” “Am I?” I asked, then explained, “That’s because I am blessed with two wonderful babies. Now, can you please excuse me? I have so many things to do. I am a busy mum now and I don’t have any time for you.”

In conclusion, I would like to add that the blessings that these babies brought are continuing. I met a couple who are helping find a job for my husband and who are offering us moral support. I attribute this to the blessing God sent me with the babies.  Please, you women and young adults who find yourselves in an impossible position because you are pregnant, try to find social workers who are not biased against babies and who believe in life. There are too many out there who have only one solution: get rid of the baby. Do not take that for an answer. Do not let them push you into a decision you do not want.