Tilly

Tilly

Babies we were told to abort : Tilly 

Novelist Tilly Bagshawe 32, lives in London and Bel Air with her husband Robin a banker 48. As well as daughter Sefi now 15, she and Robin have a son Zac, 27 months.

 W_CP_Babies abort_Tilly - Babies we were told to abort,...
 Tilly with daughter Sefi

From the moment I met Mark, aged 15, I was besotted. He was charming, sporty and gorgeous. When I was 16 we started sleeping together. We used condoms but it was a bit hit and miss.

In the Easter holidays before my A-levels, my period was late. When my pregnancy test showed positive I was horrified. I couldn't be a mother I was going to Cambridge University in the autumn. I rushed to the phone and rang Mark. We had a crisis meeting in which my cool boyfriend became a blubbering wreck and begged me not to go through with it. But his weakness gave me strength and I told him I'd sort this out for myself. A huge protective instinct had kicked in. I'd have this baby, come what may.

My parents were shocked, but vowed to support me. Everyone outside the family was against me, though. When I went to see my doctor he suggested an abortion. I retorted, "I have no intention of getting rid of this baby," and he asked me how I could possibly go to university and enjoy my "bright future" and social life. I repeated that I was keeping my baby. I was at a Catholic boarding school and they made me feel terrible, too. When I sat my A levels I was escorted to and from the exam room to spare the girls any "moral contamination". I managed to get three As and then decided to take a couple of years off. When Sefi was a born a few months later we all fell madly in love with her. I hadn't heard from her father since I was four months pregnant - he just couldn't deal with. But from the day she was born I just stopped caring.

Eighteen months after her birth, Sefi and I went to Cambridge and the university was incredibly supportive. I missed out on the social life, and it was hard when I got a pressurised job in the city after graduating nut I managed. And now, when I look at the lovely girl Sefi's become, I think of my GP's so-called advice. To me it would've been wrong to end an innocent life just because I'd been an irresponsible schoolgirl.

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