Ebony S. Muhammad (EM): Briefly tell me a little bit about yourself and about the relationship you were in at the time of the pregnancy.
Shawn Jenkins (SJ): I am currently, 28-years old and I am an executive at an investment firm. We were engaged at the time of the pregnancy.
EM: How old were you both at the time of the pregnancy?
SJ: I was about 21 years old and she was around 24.
EM: Tell me about the moment you were informed of the pregnancy and the thoughts/feelings that you experienced? Did you feel capable, afraid, excited, etc?
SJ: The moment I heard about the pregnancy, I was super elated. Although, I felt a bit young to have a child at that point in my life, I welcomed the feeling of being a father with open arms.
EM: What was the discussion like after the results were relayed and when the question of abortion came up?
SJ: It was a difficult discussion. I was happy for the pregnancy; the emotions she displayed were completely opposite. The discussion went nowhere, because she seemed to have made her mind up before she even spoke to me about it.
EM: Understanding that you did not want the abortion, what was her reason for going through with it? How did this make you feel? What was going through your mind? Was there a long deliberation or was it cut and dry of what she wanted to do?
SJ: Her position was that we were both too young and unprepared. Honestly, I do not think she wanted to be in a relationship with me. I was devastated because we have gone through much together in the previous years of our relationship and I was ready to do what was necessary for us.
In my head there was much confusion. I didn’t really agree with her decision, but I respected it because it was her body and ultimately a heavy burden on her. We talked about it for about two or three days and she went to the clinic.
EM: Were you present with her at the clinic? What was that experience like?
SJ: Regardless of what my personal feelings were I made sure to accompany her to the clinic. It was a cold moment. I sat in the waiting area holding back tears and praying that she’d come out saying that she wasn’t going to go through with it.
EM: What, emotionally, did you experience after the abortion was done and the loss began to set in? Did you and the would have been mother continue to communicate afterwards?
SJ: I recall walking with her through Manhattan and tears coming out of my eyes. I was in deep pain wishing I could turn back what just happened.
EM: How has this affected you in the relationships that followed this experience? How often does this incident cross your mind?
SJ: It is has made it hard for me to become emotionally attached to women following that experience. I began focusing more on work to lessen the chance of having to go through that pain again. I think of the incident often, almost weekly.
EM: What misconception would you like to clear up as it relates to men and fatherhood?
SJ: I would like for it to be known that men do care. Even though much burden is on the woman, a loving mans deepest desire is to share that pain.
EM: What did you learn from this experience? What was the most positive aspect of this lesson for you?
SJ: Sex is something that can wait. It is a very hard discipline to control. I work every day to control my urges until I have found the right person – a woman who will take the responsibility of not just having sex, but to raise a child together- to become a family. That is the biggest lesson I’ve learned from this.
EM: Thank so much beloved.