British mom Emma Howard said she felt like she had to choose between her life and her unborn baby’s when she was diagnosed with cancer in 2014.

A single mom of four born children, as well as her unborn child, Howard decided to take her doctors’ advice and have the abortion, the Mirror reports. The 34-year-old said she made the painful decision so that she could continue cancer treatments and have more time with her four older children.

“It was an awful decision but I had to make it because otherwise I would not have been here,” she told the Mirror. “I was told that I had months to live – at best a year – and I wanted to stay around for the kids that I already have, that was what was important at the time.

“The baby never really had a chance from the start – my heart wanted to have Gabriel but I had to use my head and listen to the doctors,” Howard added.

At 17 weeks of pregnancy, Howard aborted her unborn son, Gabriel, according to the report. She said she buried him on Feb. 6, 2014 with a few close friends and family; she did not tell her other children.

“I had to have that time to grieve but I feel guilty for having to give up on Gabriel – it torments you,” Howard continued. “But I had to sacrifice Gabriel for the other four children and that treatment has given me another two-and-a-half years with them so far.”

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