I never had unprotected sex but at 17 I was pregnant
Right here goes my story... I was 17, I'd been with my partner (who I'm still with 6 years on) for around a year,maybe less. I always use contraception even now, no condom, no sex. My mum was a single parent for a lot of my upbringing and I have always had it drilled into me about using protection and teen pregnancy. It is not something I have ever taken lightly, I am honestly terrified at the thought of pregnancy, even now.
I don't remember actually missing the period. I was very very thin, probably too thin, so when I noticed my boobs getting bigger I knew something was amiss.
I never have unprotected sexI remember buying the tests, feeling cocksure that it was just to stop me worrying, that I never have unprotected sex, there was no way I could be pregnant. I peed on a lot of sticks, I bought loads of tests, didn't want to trust the cheap ones, so went out and bought branded ones too. When I realised there was no getting round it, the feeling was like, when a bus or a lorry or a train whooshes past. Loud and blurry and whooshy and I couldn't get my bearings. Then it felt like the train or lorry or bus came again, but this time it hit me. I was in a weird denial. I knew I was pregnant, I knew that I believed it, but I had some weird swagger and bravado and faux nonchalance about the whole thing in my head.
What I was going to do changed more than once before I had my terminationNearly changed on the hospital bed.
I remember distinctly telling my mum. I was in the bath and there was no denying it, on my scrawny frame you could already see the pregnancy. I felt like I had to ring her while I was naked so I couldn't deny it. Like the evidence was staring right at me, just incase I bottled it. An unnecessary precaution as, as soon as I said the immortal line 'Mum, I've got something I need to tell you' She knew.
People assumed I would terminateI've always felt as though I was humoured. Like people let me prattle on about options whilst having their own choice they were trying to silently urge me to make. Like politicians, covering all the bases, but covering theirs more, whilst trying to pretend they're not.
The majority of the people who knew assumed I would terminate. I assumed I would want that too.
I wasn't ready for any feelings that weren't 100% in favour of abortion. So when they came at all, I was shocked and the depth of emotion I felt scared the shit out of me. Nobody tells you about the feeling you have when you find out you're pregnant.Not the REAL feelings. There's the official line you give and then there's what you're REALLY feeling, even if it's against your will. So, even though I knew, or thought I should know, that to terminate was the only option, I had secret feelings. Those feelings were what made me change mind so often. A decision which was cruel and devastating for my partner.
I think changing my mind and being unsure is the second most unforgivable thing I've ever done to him. The first isn't the abortion itself. The first is something I struggle to come to terms with. Right.. the first is that deep down, in my heart of hearts I know, that whatever he could have said to me, I was always going to do what I felt was the best choice for ME. Its that fact that eats me alive. It's a hard fact to face that I'm that selfish. I know I tried to bear his feelings in mind, but the self preservation instinct was stronger.
If I'd decided to keep her (for the longest time I felt she was a he, but now when I think of it, it's a her)it would've been because thats what I thought was best for me. That devastates me. I'm not cruel, I'm just incredibly selfish. I wonder about her. I wonder what she would look like. I wonder how my life would be. Pregnancy is always sold to young women as a sin. You mustn't get pregnant, they say,you've got you're whole life, don't ruin it. I honestly wonder if I do have children, whether I will be able to enjoy the pregnancy, as it's always been a dirty word.
She would be 5 now, this month. She has blond wavy whispy hair in my head. She's wearing a little blue dress and white ankle socks. She's always just out of reach. I feel bad if I forget to feel bad about it.
The actual procedure was hellWe almost missed the train, it remained unspoken but I felt we both thought this was a sign. We ignored it. I ignored it. The goo and the stuff that comes out of you for weeks afterwards. The pain. The fact that you feel as though you're not allowed to grieve for him/her. The scan was one of the worst moments of my life. I wanted to keep her then. But I felt she was a he then, so I wanted to keep him. The indignity of that day and the mental scars burn me. The pain is like background music, ever present in any memory of that time. The game of hangman the old me played on the way there. The sandwich, the first meal the new me ate. I talked to her when she was inside me. I wish I hadn't.
Editor's CommentThis is a very painful experience for you, and 6 years on it still sounds as though you think about your life before and after the abortion. You have taken the first big step in telling your story and admitting to yourself and others openly how you really feel and how this event is still affecting you. It takes a lot of courage to open a wound like this, but I do think you can be healed. You have taken the plaster off and it is still festering underneath. It may take some radical surgery to get the poison out and allow the health tissue to grow back, but it can happen. There will always be a scar to remind you, but the pain can go. Please ring the national helpline 0300 4000 999 to get some information about post abortion help and support. There is a programme called 'The Journey' which helps you to work through the painful emotions you are feeling.There are also independent centres in many areas who have trained post abortion counsellors who would be able to walk this journey with you. find a centre for post abortion support in your area. a>my
This story was sent in on 17/07/2010