I was not in a state to continue the pregnancy

By anonymous on 09/07/2012
I am a soon-to-be-graduated college student, in a committed relationship since my second year at university. My partner and I plan to marry once we both receive our degrees. This past winter, I went home to visit family for the holidays, and started to worry when my period was over a week late and I was not experiencing any of my usual PMS symptoms. I have experienced delayed periods before, due to stress or travel, but this felt different.

I took a pregnancy test about three days before Christmas. It was positive. I took it at night and did not mention it to anyone for two days. When I went to my mother, I explained that I had resolved to terminate the pregnancy. She burst out crying, and for the next couple days I weighed my options and decided I could keep the baby. I called my boyfriend, who proposed to me immediately. I am not particularly well-off, but I have a remarkable support system and could have raised the child. But I also began to get extremely ill from the pregnancy and I became emotionally volatile and couldn't sleep at all, and stopped eating altogether.

My mother became very concerned. I became more and more emotionally erratic. I had frequent thoughts of suicide, for no real reason at all. My boyfriend was worried by how weak I seemed every time we spoke on the phone. My family and I decided that, with my history of depression, and my intense PMS and periods and susceptibility to hormonal imbalances, I was not in a state to continue the pregnancy.

I resolved that if I couldn't get the termination done before six weeks, I wouldn't do it at all. But I was able to book an appointment locally almost immediately. I researched vacuum abortions in contrast with medical abortions, and although I initially leaned toward the medical option, I was worried about follow-up appointments (I had to be healed in time for school).

I went in for an ultrasound and they gave me pills to take in preparation for an appointment the following day. I was seen by one nurse and one female doctor. Both women were extremely polite, respectful, courteous. I appreciated their professionalism so much. My mother sat with me throughout the procedure. It was very quick, but truly uncomfortable. I'd experienced a pap smear before, so I was familiar with the discomfort of having someone poking around down there. But this was really a yucky feeling. The doctor used a syringe, I think, and it was the longest fifteen seconds of my life as she pumped it. Afterwards, I was faint, and had to be rushed to the toilet, where I sat shaking and puking.

I was relieved afterwards, though. I had been so sick, and now I would get better. They gave me Vicodin and antibiotics. The pregnancy symptoms (nausea, constipation, sleeplessness) continued for about a week and then dissipated. I remained emotionally volatile for about two months, but it has been more than six months now and I am stabilized. I have since been put on birth control to help regulate my system, so that when I am ready for a pregnancy, it won't shock my body so much.

For a while, I wouldn't go a day without wondering about my decision. I come from a spiritual, religious family, and I think the guilt came most from not regretting my termination, despite how much I want to have a child with my boyfriend someday. I grappled for months with the idea that in a few years we would have a child whose older sibling was aborted. Recently, I have also realized that I could have perhaps pursued herbal or natural remedies for my depression during the early stages of the pregnancy. But I was the sickest and weakest I have ever been in my entire life during those couple weeks, and I was scared out of my mind, and I am grateful that I am now able to finish my education and create a stable home for the child I will have one day.

Editor's Comment

It must have been very hard for you feeling so unwell and it sounds as though your family helped to make that decision because they could see you were so ill and unable to cope. I can understand that you are feeling regretful and wondering if you could have tried to get through the pregnancy. When you decide to plan another baby perhaps you will be able to talk through your previous experience and get the help and support you need to deal with possible depression and sickness.

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