The wife who's aborted two babies - because she's too selfish to share her husband
It's a shocking confession. But Rowena is utterly unrepentant - and even insists more women should follow her example
- Rowena met Roger when she was a teen and knew he was the man for her
- They married when they were 21
- Both agreed they never wanted to have children
- So when she fell pregnant on two occasions, she had abortions
- She says she would hate to share her husband's affection
- She also believes remaining childless is why their marriage has lasted
- Believes mothers often have failed marriages as they put children first
No regrets: Rowena, now 49, doesn't wonder what life might have been like if she'd had children
The symptoms were horribly familiar. My period - which normally arrived like clockwork - was very late. Waves of nausea had begun to wash over me. A test taken in the family bathroom confirmed what I’d guessed: I was pregnant.
Yet rather than rejoicing in the news that as a happily married woman of 30 I was expecting a baby, I was devastated.
For the second time in my life I was faced with the question of what I wanted more: a baby or my husband's undivided love. And again, the decision was simple. Ever since I met Roger, I'd known I didn't want to share him with anyone else, not even our child.
That's why both times I have become pregnant during the three decades of our marriage, without hesitation I have had an abortion: once at 21 and then again nine years later. Do I feel guilty? Not at all.
While others might accuse me of callousness and of being selfish and cold-hearted, I have no regrets because I believe the result of those two terminations has been an incredibly happy marriage.
Quite simply, we have enjoyed the most wonderful, loving, adventurous life together, while I've watched friends with children struggle to maintain their marriages, not always successfully. Their problems, in my opinion, have been caused by putting their children first and their husbands second.
I can put my hand on my heart and say I have always put Roger first, as he has with me. I believe we owe our long, fulfilling and deeply affectionate marriage to the fact we chose to remain childless.
The day Roger walked into my life is still so clear in my memory. It was August 1982 and I was a 17-year-old student at secretarial college, riding on a bus into Bournemouth town centre for a night out with my sister.
Roger, an A-level student, bounded aboard and the course of my life changed for ever. Our eyes met fleetingly - his were clear blue - and something turned over in me.
I turned to my sister and said: 'That is the man I am going to marry.'
Roger got off the bus before I had a chance to approach him, but I felt sure that I'd see him again. And when I spotted him two weeks later on Boscombe Pier with his friends, I made a beeline for him.
I invented a party to 'invite' him to, but on the night in question there was, of course, no party.
He arrived at our meeting point and quickly realised it was just us. And that was how we both liked it.
The bond between us was obvious that first night. We had so much in common - we shared the same sense of humour, the same love of Eighties music and fashion, and we didn't stop laughing together. We simply loved being around each other and couldn't bear to be apart.
From that first date, girls' nights out without Roger lost their appeal. I didn't want a separate social life from him because as well as being boyfriend and girlfriend, we were also best friends. We simply didn't need anyone else.
My friends could see I was smitten, but I know many questioned whether I was wise to invest myself so completely in this relationship.
Just the two if us: Rowena believes her marriage to Roger has lasted because they didn't have children
Indeed, I was aware of the burning jealousy that consumed me every time we were apart. I worried that he was so handsome he would be a target for predatory women.
While Roger insisted I could trust him - and he never did anything to make me question him - I found it impossible that others wouldn't find him as irresistible as I did.
We moved in together three months after we met. Hasty? Perhaps. Hastier still was Roger's proposal, soon after, when we were just 18. He bought me an engagement ring after saving up three weeks' worth of wages from his Saturday job at a garage - totalling £45.
Yes, we were very young, but we were eager to leave home as we both had testy, uneasy relationships with our parents.
Not that they tried to stop us - they wouldn't have been able to keep us apart if they'd tried. We were so infatuated we felt certain we were doing the right thing.
Roger was asked to leave sixth form college because he was always with me and never there. We moved from one grotty bedsit to another until we struck lucky and found a lovely flat to rent.
Even though Roger managed to get a job with our landlord, who ran a pest control company, and I was grooming and training horses in a stableyard, our finances were stretched. We often had to work six days a week to make ends meet. But we had each other. We were happy.
Finally, in 1985, three years after we met, we married. We were both 21.
After five days of rain, the sun shone on our wedding day. Our friends and my family came, but we didn't invite Roger's parents because we never saw them. They still disapproved of us being together.
The nods, winks and innuendos started on our wedding day, with people alluding to the family we were sure to create.
'Enjoy her while you can,' men guffawed, giving Roger a manly, conspiratorial slap on the back.
We'd just smile at each other knowingly and say nothing. For we'd already had 'that' conversation. I can't remember who initiated it, but we were wrapped in each other's arms one evening when the subject of children came up.
I already knew I loved Roger far too much to have children with him and, thankfully, he confessed he didn't want them either. A baby, we agreed, would change the blissful dynamic of our relationship.
However, a few months after our wedding, I discovered I was pregnant. I was horrified: I'd been careful about taking the Pill, but it must have failed. I felt cheated and furious.
That feeling of protective, maternal love people talk about didn't happen. I saw the pregnancy as a mistake, something neither of us wanted. An abortion felt like our only option.
The couple on their wedding day: They have had a blissful relationship
Of course, there were other reasons for my aversion to having a family: I worried that a baby would ruin my figure and I'd lose the interest of my handsome husband, someone I felt was in another league to me when it came to looks.
Roger didn't need any convincing, so a week later we went together to a private abortion clinic. There were no tears or nerves as we strode in. He stayed by my side the whole time. Yes, it was a horrible thing to go through, but neither of us wavered from our resolve. Afterwards, we felt nothing but a shared sense of relief that we could go back to our blissful life as a couple.
Naturally, we vowed to be more careful about contraception. I didn't want to have to go through such an experience again.
As my 20s progressed, I carved out a fulfilling career training horses. In the winter I managed a hunting yard and in the summer I taught at a riding school.
My boss mentioned that 'We could work something out for you to have a baby', but I was adamant: Roger and I were enjoying our child-free life too much.
I wasn't prepared to compromise his attention. We enjoyed a fulfilling sex life and both of us were bringing in regular money, enough to buy our own flat. Why would we want to spoil everything by having a baby?
My desire not to have children was only strengthened watching our friends start their families. I saw how it changed the dynamic of their relationship: the gentle shared looks, the hand-holding, the desire. All seemed to evaporate the minute the woman had a baby.
Too many times I watched friends turn into tired, irritable lumps, with only half an ear tuned to their husbands, their attention fully taken up with their babies. Not me, I swore. I would never do that to Roger.
Once, when a friend was ill, we looked after her baby and watching Roger play with the infant, tickling her to make her laugh, I could see he would make a lovely father, but I still didn't like the idea of sharing him with anyone else, even our own baby.
And I was lucky that he didn't feel any inclination to have children either. He's never once said that he's had second thoughts.
Then, at 30, I was dumbfounded to discover I'd fallen pregnant again. I couldn't believe the Pill had failed for a second time.
To say I was angry is putting it mildly, even more so as I'd begged my GP to refer me for a sterilisation five years earlier.
Relationship strain: Rowena says she's glad a baby never came between her and her husband (posed by models)
He'd flatly refused, insisting I wait until I was 40, as he was convinced I'd change my mind. Now, faced with the prospect of another termination, I reignited my campaign to have a sterilisation.
He once again insisted I should wait another decade. But this horrified me. I didn't want to have to worry about the Pill failing again or the toll further terminations might take on my body.
I didn't want anything to risk what Roger and I had.
So, when I underwent the second termination, I also had my fallopian tubes clipped - effectively sterilising me and preventing me from becoming pregnant. We kept it between us, knowing that our families might not understand.
I was calm having the abortion. To me, it wasn't a baby. While I was in more discomfort following this procedure than the first one, I felt nothing but relief when I was discharged from the clinic.
Unlike friends with children, our 30s passed blissfully by: we never had to worry about the school run, putting money aside for financially crippling school or university fees or driving one of those hideous people carriers full of squawking children.
I watched friends who started families, regardless of whether they could afford it or not, and saw how their once loving unions splintered. Usually the wife stayed at home, her attention fully focused on their offspring, while the husband - feeling neglected - created a new social life for himself and inevitably ended up meeting someone else.
Meanwhile, Roger and I became closer and closer. Four years ago, we moved to Scotland, where we bought a smallholding.
By then we were in a comfortable enough financial position to also buy a holiday apartment in Nice, in the south of France.
We enjoy far-flung holidays each year - from Brazil to the Maldives - and have been able to add to our growing menagerie of animals. I've also been able to indulge my love of designer handbags: I have dozens.
Until now, only a few people have known about my abortions: I've chosen who I share this information with very carefully. I knew many friends would get angry with me, especially those who were not able to have children themselves.
Of those who do know, some tell me sadly what a great mother I would have made, while another pulled no punches by telling me I'd 'committed a great sin' by not having children.
Every morning, as Roger and I stroll around the smallholding together, still hand-in-hand after all these years, my heart flutters at those blue eyes that had me captivated all those years ago.
I ask myself: 'How did I manage to end up with him?' My desire for him is still as insatiable as it was all those years before.
Thirty-three British women have had nine or moreterminations
Roger has always made me feel safe, happy and loved. How many women can truly say that about their husbands?
We're both 49 now, so we are far too old for children even if I hadn't had the sterilisation, and I am going through the menopause. But I am still sure that I did the right thing.
I never think about the two babies I aborted or what might have been. I certainly don't ever think how old they'd be now or what they'd be doing.
Do I have any regrets? I have to be honest and say that just once I did think about what life would have been like if I'd had children.
Twenty years ago, I was holding my best friend's daughter's hand as we crossed a road. Feeling this hot little toddler's fingers entwined in mine, I was suddenly overwhelmed by maternal feelings.
For a split second I wondered if I'd been wrong, that motherhood would be wonderful.
Then I thought about the implications - it would mean sharing Roger with someone else - and I shook the thought away. I can honestly say I have never thought about it since.
My only misgiving is the fear that Roger may die before me - how would I possibly cope without him? I'd have no one to comfort me.
It's something I simply can't bear to think about.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2703260/The-wife-whos-aborted-two-babies-shes-selfish-share-husband-Its-shocking-confession-But-Rowena-utterly-unrepentant.html#ixzz38NzFs792
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