Kirsten Hay wants struggling young moms to know that there are people willing to help when they feel all alone.
But today, the Scottish mom said she loves her son, Oscar, so much and cannot imagine life without him. She said she and Oscar are doing well because they received good support from people around them.
Hay said she learned she was pregnant with Oscar when she was just 19 years old and not ready to parent. At about 12 weeks of pregnancy, Hay said she had an abortion; but the procedure failed and Oscar survived. Hay did not describe the abortion in detail; she may have taken abortion drugs, which are less effective later in pregnancy.
She described having dark thoughts throughout her pregnancy and into the first few years of Oscar’s life. Hay said she did not bond with her son when he was born, and her doctor diagnosed her with postpartum psychosis.
“I started to have these hallucinations and really vivid dreams about jumping off a cliff and I’d be holding Oscar,” she said. “The worst one was I would jump off a bridge and then hold Oscar under the water. I tried to kill myself once. Just thinking about it now makes me feel sick.”
Hay said she was hospitalized twice when Oscar was an infant. But because she sought help, she eventually recovered. Now, she said she feels “so awful and so guilty” for ever thinking about killing her son.
“I can’t imagine my life without him. He’s a happy wee boy, and his imagination is absolutely wild,” Hay said.
She shared her story publicly to encourage other struggling moms to find help.
“I never ever thought I would get to where I am but that’s why I would encourage any mum feeling even a little bit of what I was to not just dismiss it as baby blues, speak to someone. …”
Hay said women need to know that there is support available for them and their babies.
“I felt so scared and isolated but I want other mums to know they are not alone.”
Killing an unborn child is never the answer to a family’s struggles. Instead, the struggles themselves — whether they be finances, relationships, a career, education, or physical or mental health – are what should be fixed.
Pregnant and parenting mothers face many struggles, and ministries and pro-life groups have set up thousands of programs to help them across the world. Pregnancy resource centers, maternity homes, adoption agencies and many other services are available to help women and children. Programs offer everything from baby and maternity clothes, to assistance with food and housing, to scholarships and child care, to counseling and emotional support.
These programs exist so that every mother and father and every child has access to the support they deserve.