My abortion didn’t work, I’m so glad. Keira is my whole life...
CUDDLING her precious daughter, mum Chelsea Harmsworth is the picture of happiness.
Yet these delightful photos should not exist as Keira, three, was never meant to be born.
Chelsea made the agonising decision to have her aborted at 10 weeks but, incredibly, the procedure failed.
Yet when Keira was born months later Chelsea instantly fell in love with her.
Chelsea says: “ Having an abortion was the hardest decision I’ve ever made and when I discovered I was still pregnant I was shocked and angry.
“I burst into tears, I couldn’t believe the abortion hadn’t worked. But as soon as I held Keira in my arms in the delivery room, she melted my heart.
“I fell totally in love with her. She has brought me such indescribable joy.”
Chelsea got pregnant at 16, four months after starting going out with Keira’s dad’s Richard Woolls, a 19-year-old plasterer.
Chelsea, now a 20-year-old university student, had been on the pill and was horrified by the positive pregnancy test. She says: “I always wanted children eventually, I never wanted to be a teenage mum.”
“There was no way I could bring up a child. I was still living at home with mum and neither Richard nor I had any money.
“I didn’t see how I could go to university and study for a career with a baby.”
After much agonising the coupledecided to abort the baby and Chelsea, about 10 weeks’ pregnant, had the procedure at Colchester General Hospital in December 2006.
Chelsea became tearful over the next few weeks but she was relieved it was all over.
She began taking the pill again and enjoying her student life of parties and nights out.
“Now I look back in horror. I was still pregnant but carried on as usual – like any other teenager.
“ I went out and over Christmas had a few drinks too many.” But by March 2007, Chelsea began to feel unwell. “I wasn’t over eating, I noticed I’d put on weight especially round my tummy.
“I felt tired and washed out and although I’d had a period after the termination my cycle was all over the place.” She took another pregnancy test and was stunned when it was positive. The next day she went to see the GP who had previously referred her for the abortion.
She says: “As soon as he felt my tummy, the colour drained from his face. A few moments later he brought a nurse into see me.
“She explained I would need another scan but the abortion obviously hadn’t worked and I was still pregnant – about five months. She said I could have another termination but her words were a blur. It was such a terrible shock.”
Worse was to come. “At the scan a few days later doctors said I was 21 weeks’ pregnant. The doctor said I could still have a termination but as I was so far on, I would be induced and go through labour.
“ By then I’d felt my baby move. Seeing her on the scan, with kicking arms and legs, made her even more real. I knew I couldn’t possibly face such a late abortion.
“I felt sick with worry and incredibly angry. I was very worried the abortion might have damaged my baby.
“As well as that, I had taken the pill and hadn’t watched what I ate or drank or had any antenatal care.
“Telling my parents was the hardest part. I felt so ashamed and disgusted with myself. I felt they were disappointed I was going to be a teenage mum but they were supportive.”
Two months later Chelsea and Richard moved into a flat and in the July, after a long 24hour labour and a day after her due date, Keira was born naturally weighing in at 6lb 11oz.
Chelsea “She was laid on my tummy and as soon as she looked up at me, I fell in love with her.”
But Chelsea soon realised something was not quite right.