Community Update

World Pulse Toolkits Available!

At World Pulse, we recognize the need for ongoing learning—for you and for your community! Our toolkits are all available here.

We are especially excited to share our signature Citizen Journalism and Digital Empowerment Curriculum. Start learning today!

I Choose The Child

Standing over the ledge of my mother’s house, for over a month I had contemplated ending my life. I couldn’t bear living without my soul mate. My pregnancy kept me from jumping off that ledge and was the reason I left my husband.

After living a fairy tale marriage for four years, everything changed when I got pregnant. My husband started spending time away from home and hardly talked to me. Since we lived in the Middle East and he was Arabic, I assumed he was planning to add a second wife as tradition allows men to have up to four wives.

One day when he was at home, I gently reached out to hold his hand. His quick withdrawal from me was something I couldn’t bear. I ran upstairs crying. He ran after me and tried to console me. I begged him to tell me what was going on and he said, “I can’t because if I do you will leave me.” I told him I needed to know and when he told me, I couldn’t believe it.

He was shooting up speedballs, a combination of cocaine and heroin. He showed me how he had hidden the drugs all over our home in places I would never look or couldn’t reach. I asked him to enter a drug rehab but he refused because of his family’s status. I then asked him to quit cold turkey and he tried. I couldn’t handle seeing him in pain and eventually agreed to allow him to continue his usage.

Then one day when we were getting ready to go out to dinner with friends, I realized I had to make the most difficult choice of my life. As his friend told him we needed to go because I was hungry, he said as he was shooting up “Not yet, Mary can wait.” I realized I had to choose between the life of my unborn child and the love of my life.

I chose my son. I learned that I could not love anyone before loving myself and most importantly before God. And as my friend so eloquently put it, “Sometimes God places two people together to unite their DNA for the greater good.” Every time I look at my son, I know I made the right decision. And I know God had a purpose for me so he ensured my own survival.


Jan K Askin's picture

I Choose the Child

Dear Mary,

I held my breath as I read your story. When I read the quote, "Not yet, Mary can wait," I let out my breath as this as the moment to make your courageous decision.

This is such a personal story; you are courageous again in sharing it more widely.

Your sister in the US,


Jan Askin

Mary Carter's picture

I choose the child

Dear Jan,

You're right, that was my defining moment. Looking back...I know it was the right decision and one that was facilitated by God to ensure that no obstacles stood in the way. He let me leave the country, even though, it was his first born child and the first grandchild to his Mother. For the first time in his life he defied his mother by allowing me to leave and sent me home under armed escort to ensure our safe return to the U.S.

There were a couple of times we tried to get back together but somehow there were always complications either at his side or mine.

In the end, I got the best end of the deal. I have a beautiful young man that has filled my life with love, hope and inspiration.

Thank you for your kind words.


Odi's picture

I Choose the child

My Love and prayers will always be with you,

Im lost for words i can only imagine how your heart copes with it all but I am Thankful to God He gives you the strength you need to live one moment at a time
Im proud of you.

your sister Odi

Mary Carter's picture

I choose the child


Thank you for your kind words. I am very blessed and thankful that God gave me the strength to continue, I honestly believe that if I hadn't had my child I would have never made it. He's the one that kept me in the game of life even during the hardest times when I thought I couldn't handle it.

Much love,


Frances Faulkner's picture


Dear Mary,

I love how totally clear you were in finally making the decision. You took yourself out of it and thought to the future of your child, and that was a strong, forthright and loving thing to do. Your son is lucky to have a fierce mother! I hope your ex-husband can find resolve for his addiction and that you find the all the support you need in your current community.


Mary Carter's picture

I choose the child


That's an interesting observation! You're right, I did take myself out of the equation! All I could think of was that my son was innocent to everything happening around me and that he deserved the right to live.

I heard that he did eventually go to rehab; however, when he got remarried he had a relapse during his honeymoon. The last time I talked to him was when my son was 5 years old, now he's 21. Ever since then we lost touch as he remarried and had another son whom he called Mohamed that is about the same age as my second child.

I was very blessed that I had a very supportive foundation, which was my family. They were very instrumental in helping me raise him, my new husband raised him as if he was own child and his family accepted him in the same manner.

We were and are truly blessed to have such an incredible support system that helped to finish strong in spite of the challenges we faced.

Much love,


sallysmithr's picture


I truly enjoyed reading your story and knew how hard it was for you to make that decision. I am a recovering alcoholic and addict and it is very difficult to make changes, however I know now that those changes are much easier with the support of my friends and family and not without them. I wish you and your son all of the best and hope one day your husband is able to get the help that he needs :)

Thank you so much for sharing!!

Sally Smith

Mary Carter's picture

I choose the child


I must honestly say that it was one of the most difficult decisions for me to make, but I know I made the right one. You are so blessed to have the support of friends and family. A strong foundation is what can help and gives you the strength to overcome any challenges that you may face. I'm so glad that you are a finding a way to accept the changes that you need to make in order to improve your life. Being down that road is quite difficult not only on you as an individual but the lives of your family friends.

I would hope that for the sake of his current family he did seek help but I really don't know. I only wish him the best and pray for his safekeeping. Ironically enough, I still love him as much as I did 21 years ago. How strange is that?

I send you my love and my prayers,


Amei's picture

Hello Mary

I am still overcoming my emotions after reading your post... I can totally relate to "choosing the child" ...When making challenging decisions I always felt to take myself out of the equation makes it easier to make the decision...and you have done the same...

All the best.

with love

Mary Carter's picture

I chose the child

Dear Amei,

You are a very wise woman. To be honest back then I didn't realize that I was taking myself out of the equation. I just knew deep in my heart and inner core that it was the right decision specially when it concerned the life of my innocent child. For some strange reason at that exact moment of realization, I saw a vision of my child not being born if I remained with my husband. I'm just grateful that God gave me the strength, tools and resources for me to make the right decision even though it seem so hard the day I made it and it changed my life forever.

Much love,


Magazine »

Read global coverage through women's eyes

Inside Congo's Growing Sisterhood

Inside Congo's Growing Sisterhood

Community »

Connect with women on the ground worldwide

Mkandeh's picture

Ebola: Sierra Leoneans feel like prisoners

Campaigns »

Be heard at influential forums

WWW: Women Weave the Web

WWW: Women Weave the Web

Programs »

Help us train women citizen journalists

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

Blog »

Read the latest from World Pulse headquarters

EMAGAZINE: Bridging Borders

EMAGAZINE: Bridging Borders

Partners »

Join forces with our wide network of partners

Nobel Women's Initiative

Nobel Women's Initiative