My name is Sam. I enjoy hiking; I used to do quite a lot of hiking. I usually go with a friend of mine. Last week, I spent the night on the local hills, wild camping. I like the fresh air, it makes me feel healthier as well as mentally because there’s all that time to think and no worries. It’s nice to get back to basics. I also quite enjoy the opposite to that gaming and watching films, mainly science fiction films.

I have a daughter who is two and half years old. I like taking her out to the park and out and about, the meadows. She likes getting out. She doesn’t stop talking, she is always telling me off for no reason. I don’t let her be in charge though.

Going back about 4 years, I was about 18 years old, and had moved down south to do an engineering apprenticeship. My parents had got divorced before I moved and I didn’t react well to that.

I started going out with Charlie, who was my cousins’ friend; I met her at my cousins’ birthday party in a pub.

She often cheated on me, causing our relationship to become rocky.

I had been with Charlie for a year when she suddenly began to bleed heavily and bad cramps- so she went to hospital as the doctor suspected it might be a miscarriage. Her mum turned up, and the doctor confirmed it was a miscarriage. I didn’t see her for three days afterwards. We were both very upset. I had to not let it get to me so I could stay strong for her. We were not offered any counselling or help to get over this. We wish we had been.

In the months to come, Charlie cheated on me and I cheated on her to get back at her. I was working in Subway training to be a supervisor and was under a lot of stress. I met Phil there who went to church. He became a good friend to me.

In May 2007 Charlie was late. Charlie told me she was concerned she might be pregnant and so I bought her a test. I asked if she could do it with me, but she didn’t. She came round to my house and showed me the positive test. I felt happy, but then I started to worry about her having a miscarriage again. Charlie said she was ok about it: we talked and decided to keep the baby. So we started to prepare ourselves for it, going into Baby shops, looking at baby books and prams etc. Charlie seemed fine about everything. We had told close friends and family, some of them were excited and supportive. Others weren’t, like my mum, who said,

“She needs to drink a lot a gin and scrub lots of floors!”

Even with the comments we were still decided that we would go through with it, or so I thought, until one day out of the blue, Charlie turned up and said,

“I want to have an abortion.”

I felt unhappy about it. I thought it was the “wrong” thing to do. It made me feel sad that that’s what she wanted but I told her I would support her and be with her the whole way through, but made sure she knew I didn’t agree with abortion. I felt like I didn’t have any choice in the matter- she told me I didn’t have a choice.

We went to the doctor’s and the doctor asked if Charlie was sure this is what she wanted. After Charlie said she was, the doctor told us that the waiting list was long and they would have to book her in quickly. The doctor booked her in to an NHS clinic so she could have a scan to see how many weeks pregnant she was.

We went to have her scan. In the waiting room, I felt anxious and nervous. The room was full of women. Every room we went into, all the uniforms, everything, was grey. No posters or bright colours. When it was Charlie’s turn I went in with her. Charlie lay on a bed to have her scan; there were two women in the room. Charlie was crying and didn’t want to see the ultrasound. She turned her face away from the monitor and looked at the wall. One of the nurses said,

“We’re about to do the scan now. You can look away now.” I said,

“No, I want to see,”

I was thinking it was going to be one of the worst decisions I’d ever make. I saw the image of my 11 week old baby; the head was obvious and she had a round body. I felt very depressed; I knew that looking would affect me for the rest of my life, but I just wanted something to remember as my child.

“Why is this happening?” I asked myself.

After the scan Charlie was asked if she would like to have a 10 minute counselling session, which she accepted. I was not allowed to go in with her, but she was only in there for 5 minutes.

Charlie was very upset so I didn’t feel I could tell her how I felt.