My first thought was that I couldn't go through with the pregnancy

I was 22 when I found myself pregnant the first time. My boyfriend was overseas for the week.

When I saw the results turn positive, I broke down and cried.

Since he couldn't be there for me, I turned to my best friend for support. My first thought was that I couldn't go through with the pregnancy.

I was so young, in the midst of getting my university degree, my relationship with my boyfriend was not stable enough, my traditional Asian family will not approve, we were not financially prepared... with all these reasons in mind, I called the hospital for an appointment the very day I found out.

I know that all those reasons are very selfish. It must have seemed as if I cared only about myself, my future, what others would think. 

But at the very root of my decision, I felt that if I wasn't going to be able to provide my baby the best I could give, I would rather not bring it into this world to suffer along with me.

My boyfriend came back after a week, and I told him that I had scheduled myself an appointment to terminate my pregnancy. He was FULLY supportive of that as we were both walking along the same path of life - uni students.

Honestly, I was a bit disappointed with his reaction as I expected him to have more feeling for OUR baby.

The appointment came and I went through the abortion alone

He had classes on that day. I waited all morning for the procedure to begin, and it was over in 20 mins.

I was put under general anesthesia, and I woke up as I was being wheeled out of the operating theatre. I remember asking the nurses what time it was and when I realised that all it took was 20 minutes to murder the life growing inside me... I cried and cried and cried.

I rested in the ward for a while, and when I stood up to reach out for my clothes in the locker to get ready to leave, I felt something warm dripping down my legs... it was blood.

I had walked to my locker and left a trail of blood behind me - despite wearing a pad. I started shaking and crying again.

My boyfriend was unable to pick me up from the hospital, so I flagged a cab and got on. While in the cab, I felt terribly lonely. I couldn't confide in my boyfriend how I felt (what would a guy know how it feels like to be carrying a life inside you?), and no matter how I tried to tell him that every baby has miraculous beginnings, he sees things from a scientific point of view and says things like "at 8 weeks it can't feel pain, how can you say you are hurting it?".

I ended up confiding in my cab driver - a complete stranger.

After the abortion, I kept bleeding for weeks. I went back to see a doctor, and she told me that I had remnants of my pregnancy inside me. Ever felt like a murderer who is such an epic fail that she can't even murder her baby properly? Yup, that's how I felt.

I chose to kill my baby yet I can't even do it properly, I must leave traces behind... they flushed out my womb again.

Things with my boyfriend returned to normal after that incident.

It seemed like after the abortion, we were bounded by fate. We couldn't leave each other no matter what. I had started having sex with other men, complete strangers, with protection of course. Somehow, when I did it, I felt better, knowing that I was harming myself and exposing myself to risks out there. Kinda like payback for a murderer like me. Deep down inside, a part of me wanted to 'punish' my boyfriend by doing that as well.

And then it happened again.

I found myself pregnant a second time

This time, I was about to graduate from university.

I had no idea that I might be pregnant until one fine day, I coughed just once - and managed to sprain my entire lower back so badly I couldn't sit without wincing in pain.

I made a trip to the doctor's for painkiller prescriptions, but left knowing I was pregnant instead. My boyfriend who accompanied me looked stunned upon finding out.

Immediately, he took out his iphone and started googling for private abortion clinics.

I was hurt when he did that. What's in me isn't a cockroach or a rat, it's a baby and it's OUR baby. Why? Did it repulse you so much you had to google for abortion specialists within 5 mins of finding out I was pregnant?

This time round, I wavered between keeping it or not.

My rational mind told me that I still was too young, my finances were really nothing, and besides, my boyfriend did not want to keep it. Yet, my heart whispered "Hey, it's your second chance at doing things right. When there's a will, there's a way. Look at the single mothers out there? How sure are you that your parents will not be supportive if you don't even TRY telling them?

When there's a will, there's a way...."

Yet, I made the heart-wrenching decision to abort

Deep inside me, I kinda knew I was just not ready.

The second time, we made an appointment with a private clinic.

I was put under local anaesthetic. During the surgery, it felt like I was riding a constant high... but slowly, the high begun to fade.

By the last 10 min of the surgery, I was feeling every ounce of pain I was supposed to feel as the doctor probed, poked, and vaccumed.

What made it worse was that when I looked down, I saw a black trashbag between my legs - so that's where my baby is ending up.

I kept crying again, and kept saying over and over again that I must be going to hell for this, I'm gonna end up in hell for what I'm doing.. God will punish me.

After the surgery, I was weak, but I still had to go for class.

The second time round left my body really weak. Within 2 weeks of the surgery, I ended up hospitalized due to my existing asthma condition and a really bad cough that popped some of the air vessels in my lungs.

I spent my boyfriend's birthday in hospital.

The day I was discharged, I went straight for an important exam for school.

All this while, for the 1st and the 2nd abortion, I have always tried to hide it.

At night when I'm alone, these feelings of guilt, disgust at my selfish actions and cowardly behaviour come bubbling up

I cannot say that I do not deserve to feel this way. I still keep the ultrasound scans of my babies as remembrance.

Recently, my sister found out she was pregnant. She was younger than I was when I found out my situation, yet she made the right decisions and got married. She lost the baby at 3 months tho. When I heard the news, I felt guilty all over again.

Lately, I have been trying to get myself pregnant again. I'm 24 this year. My boyfriend and I have gotten a house that will be built in 2 years time, and so we will be getting married 2 years later.

I have no idea why I would want to get pregnant again, I keep thinking about my babies that would be 1 year old and 6 months respectively.

Maybe it is guilt? Or the fact that I want to be able to make the right decision this time round. Either ways, I'm not sure if my reasons for wanting a baby at this point of my life are the right reasons. I have been holding a job for a year plus now.

Thanks for reading and listening.

This story was sent in on 23/11/2011 and it's been viewed 2,459 times.

Editor's comment

It must have been difficult for you to have a boyfriend who assumed you would terminate both pregnancies, without thinking through the options and getting information and help.

I can understand your anxieties about your family, and your education, but it still helps to look at the 3 choices, and work out how you feel about them.

It sounds as though you have experienced a lot of feelings that can happen after an abortion. Guilt and shame about choosing to end the pregnancy can be painful and crippling, and casual sex is sometimes a way of punishing yourself and others, when you feel you deserve to be devalued and used.

I would encourage you to try and access post-abortion support as I think you'd benefit greatly by working through some of the difficult emotions you are experiencing.

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