Two months after a horrendous medical abortion, I was numb, a zombie

I found out I was pregnant at 22. I had been on the pill for a number of years and was in a stable relationship with my fiancé. We owned our own home and were busy planning our wedding.

I suffer from rosacea and had seen a dermatologist for treatment. Part of the treatment was a 3 month course of antibiotics, so I came off the pill as it wouldn't work anyway and I thought I could use a break from it.

My fiancé and I used condoms. One month, the condom slipped off so I got the morning after pill. My period only lasted 2 and a half days after that, but a pregnancy test was negative.

The next month, the condom split completely

I washed myself out and got the morning after pill.

Three days later I went back on the pill.

Two weeks later, I took a pregnancy test to make sure the pill had worked. It was positive. I nearly fell over in shock - how could this have happened? I did everything right!

I came out of the bathroom and called my fiancé into the kitchen, and said "We have a serious f*cking problem!" I was so mad that it had happened.

We sat down in the dining room and just stared at each other. He asked me what I wanted to do, and I just said "We can't keep it. I have college, a job, we need a bigger house, we're getting MARRIED in 15 months, I've started horse riding again, I never wanted a baby, I've only just come around to the idea of doing it in 10 years!" He agreed with me, although I think we were both still in shock. I called my Mum straight away and just started sobbing.

I don't think I had any idea where my head was. I took the test on a Friday and on Monday had an appointment with the Doctor. I think I just had it so straight in my head.

We'd been out on Saturday and one of our friends said "So, when are you guys going to have kids then?" we just said "After the wedding". Neither of us was going to admit to a pregnancy because we had both decided there would be no baby at the end of it.

The doctor referred me to Marie Stopes, who booked me in for a consultation 1 week and 2 days later.

By conception AND period dates, I was almost 6 weeks pregnant at this point. When they scanned me, they said they could confirm the pregnancy but could not see a foetal pole. It was likely that I was too early.

I explained my dates and they said it was possible I would miscarry, but they would re-scan in 2 weeks.

I spent the entire 2 weeks thinking I was going to lose the baby. I continued to horse ride, and smoke, and drink.

I did look up details on babies forming online, and childbirth videos, but each time we discussed it we made the same choice.

When I went back for my scan, they confirmed a foetus was present, and made me 6 weeks. It made NO sense, from my dates that would have meant I fell pregnant the date I took the test. I knew they were wrong, thought there must have been something wrong with the baby.

I think I was in shock, as I was expecting to be told there was nothing there. I felt like I only had an hour to make my decision, as then they gave me my first tablet.

I would never do it again

Two days later I was in hospital to have my medical abortion. It was absolutely horrendous, and I would never do it again. The pain was what I expect the beginning of labour to be like. I was shaking and being sick from the pain. My experience wasn't great - nobody checked on me and they didn't discharge me until 4:30 despite being told I could go at 1, but I was relieved it was over.

Two days later I had a mini breakdown

I was sitting in the bathroom sobbing, saying over and over "I want my baby back". I think it was my hormones dropping that caused that to happen.

I kept my original pregnancy test - and still have it - because I wasn't ready to let it go. It would be like pretending my baby never existed.

I got back to normal life after that. I said stupid things like "I'd be feeling the baby move by now" or "I'd have a bump by now" which just made my fiancé angry.

A few weeks ago (about 2 months after my abortion) everything came to a head. I was numb, a zombie. There were no words for it. I couldn't be on my own. If I was left alone, I'd feel like I was going mad. I'd go to bed at 8pm just so I didn't have to think. I had no feelings about anything. I didn't love my fiancé. Like, I KNEW I did, deep down, but I couldn't feel it. I didn't care what happened to me. I was never happy, or sad. At work, I was normal, but at home it was like the lights were being switched off.

Sometimes, my fiancé would come home and talk to me and I'd realise I had tears on my cheeks, but didn't know I'd been crying.

My fiancé's sister came over following a crisis call from my fiancé. He didn't know what to do anymore. He went out, and we sat and talked and got drunk. It just all came rushing out. I sobbed all evening. I literally could not stop crying. I was bright red, gasping for breath, and just cried and cried and cried. The hard thing was understanding why I was so sad.

The abortion had been right for me, so why was I so messed up?

After a few weeks of letting myself "feel" again, I now feel better. I feel like I've moved on and accepted what I've done. It is easier, but it hasn't gone completely. The only thing left is sex - I can't do it. It makes me feel sick, I have no libido, I have no desire to get intimate. Last time we attempted it, I cried afterward. I know I am "Me" again when I can have sex again, I just don't know how to bring myself to do it. I'm getting married in 10 months, and worry I'm doing the wrong thing if I can't get past this.

This story was sent in on 12/10/2010 and it's been viewed 1,974 times.

Editor's comment

You have had a very intense reaction to what seemed like a very sure decision. Decisions are sometimes based strongly on material factors and circumstances, and we push emotional factors into the background. I wonder if your heart was starting to tell you that you were hurting inside, and the pain had to come out. The fact that you started looking at baby development online makes me suspect that there was another voice speaking to you from your heart questioning the decision you were making. You may benefit from post-abortion counselling to try and get to the bottom of why sex is so difficult now. Please follow the link to find a centre for post-abortion support in your area.

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