The amazing Toni-Ann Price and Leo (3).
Toni chose to terminate her first pregnancy in 2009, just before her 29th birthday and it's a decision that brought her a lot of grief for a very long time. She had been loosely involved with someone when she learned she was pregnant and was very scared about what to do. Toni-Ann didn't want to end the pregnancy but her partner at the time was adamant that he didn't want to have a baby at any point in his life and he was unwilling to have any discussion about options or possibilities. Toni considered having the baby on her own and allowing him to be involved on his own terms or not at all, but he said no. He didn't want to have any role or any responsibility, but also told her that he couldn't live knowing his baby was growing up and living life without his involvement. Her former partner put immense pressure on her and made threats that he couldn't live with any decision other than an abortion. Because she cared about him and was worried about what he would do, she decided to have an abortion.
"It ruined me. I cried for months on end. I hated myself for being so careless and not being strong enough to stand up for what I wanted and for what I knew I could do for myself and for my unborn baby. I hated myself for putting him before myself and my baby - for giving so much weight to the feelings for someone who clearly didn't have any feelings for me. I was in a constant state of grief for a long, long time."
Once Toni-Ann was able to begin to mentally heal from the abortion, she realized how desperately she wanted to become a mother. She never thought she wanted children but two years after her abortion she reconnected with a special person from her past got married and decided to have a baby.
Pregnancy was a bit rough for Toni-Ann, mentally. She says that the scars from her past decision were difficult to shake and the struggle exacerbated anxiety and OCD tendencies that she already had. Physically, pregnancy was typical but she was met with fear at every stage that something would go wrong. While she had numerous fears about pregnancy, Toni-Ann was never nervous about giving birth. She knew it was inevitable and things went well. Her water broke the first day of her maternity leave at about 10pm in the evening and Leo arrived the next morning. Labor was mostly calm with an hour or so of pushing. Toni-Ann admits that she began to struggle at one point and begged her doctor for a cesarean but they were able to help coach her through pushing and she did it!
Toni-Ann has struggled with some postpartum anxiety for which she takes medication but she's doing well today and says that still can't believe she gets to be a mother to Leo.
Toni has struggled with her weight in the past but has never felt more confident than in becoming a mother. "This is the body that brought my son into the world - created him, then carried him everywhere and kept him safe, and then delivered him into this world - and I'm so proud that I was able to do that and honored that I was able to do that for him. Would I like to be slimmer or less jiggly? Sure! But that's just not my focus right now" Toni struggled to celebrate herself while pregnant and is excited to take the time now to focus on herself and her beautiful boy.