Most days I sat crying hugging my belly and wishing there was some other way...
I am 40 this year and already have two children aged 11 and 8. Last year I left my loveless marriage and moved in with my perfect partner whom I have known for years and am very much in love with. He also has three children aged 11, 8 and 7 who stay with us every other weekend and for school holidays. The arrangement is fine if a little stressful as five children at any one time can be hard and all his boys are a handful.
We both agreed when we entered into this relationship that our child rearing days were over and we would not be having any of our own to add to the equation, logistics of car space, money, time, patience etc. So when the unexpected happened, both quickly agreed that a termination was the only solution. However, since coming to that decision immediately, doubt and upset constantly plagued me. Most days I sat crying hugging my belly and wishing there was some other way and at other times acted like a robot resigned to my fate.
Last Thursday my termination was arranged and the night before I went through hell, crying and feeling very resentful to my loving partner, blaming him for our circumstances and the decision. When we arrived at the clinic, I was scanned, which I was totally not prepared for and during that time cried constantly for the baby I was carrying. Also, the last time I was scanned 3 years ago was when I found out that I had miscarried my third child.
We were told that the foetal sac was too small and that I would have to come back in two weeks time for a termination. I was 5 weeks pregnant and am 6 weeks now, with the termination booked for a week on Thursday. I was distraught. How can I be made to carry my baby for another two weeks knowing that it is developing all the time and go back to that horrid place and go through it again?
The only thing that has come out of the extra two week wait is that it has given me a chance to try to understand my feelings, and given me a little more time to make my decision. My partner and I have talked more about the pregnancy and as a result of this and I no longer feel resentful to him as I know it is hurting him as much as me. I have contemplated keeping the baby (sorry, it hurts me to call it that) but every time I consider it, I always end up at the same point. I did not plan this, I did not want another child, and sadly don’t think that I could cope. I think my feelings of complete despair and upset are a mixture of what I went through during my miscarriage and also my natural mothering instincts. So at this point I have decided still to go ahead with the termination.
If you are in a similar situation to me, the one thing I would advise is give yourself time to make your decision. Although it didn't happen in the best of ways for me, it has given me a chance to try and come to terms with my decision. If it had gone ahead last Thursday as planned I don’t honestly think I could have coped afterwards. Now I just hope, unless I change my mind again and my emotions get the better of me, that after next week I might be better able to deal with life afterwards.
Editor’s note: Thanks for sharing your story…Yes, it’s good to have time to really think it through and be sure about your decision. I’m also very glad that you have reconciled with your partner as it’s so important to be together in this and not standing apart with the ‘problem’ between you.
You are keenly aware – because of your previous miscarriage and your mothering instincts – that this is not an easy decision. For you, as well as many other women, your head and your heart seem to be in conflict. What’s logical (we can’t afford it, we’re 40, we’ve had our kids, our car’s too small) conflicts with the instinctive (it’s a baby, ‘how can I let it grow and develop for another two weeks?’, hugging your belly). Something in you now wants to get out of this paradox, this tension, this uncomfortable dilemma.
The key thing to ask yourself is whether you are now building a wall around your heart to try and seal in painful feelings, hoping they will not surface again. It takes a lot of energy to sustain that and it may not last. For some women, the wall breaks down and emotions such as grief, regret, sense of loss and anger begin to surface afterwards.
You said that your feelings are mixed up with your previous miscarriage which makes me think you may already be vulnerable to these kinds of emotions as both miscarriage and abortion are forms of baby loss. However painful, it’s time to look at this with the eyes of your heart as well as the eyes of your head, so that you can be sure that you have acknowledged every part of yourself that has something to say about your situation.
Talking it through with someone who understands - at your nearest centre, on the helpline or on Online Advisor - may help you at this time.
You’re in our thoughts.