It was breaking my heart knowing that, deep down, we weren't ready.

I chose to share my story because I hope that it helps at least just one person out there. I found out I was pregnant in September 2013... I'd missed a period, had really painful breasts and was spotting. So I took a test and it came back positive. My whole world fell apart - I felt a thousand different emotions, ranging from happiness to despair. I was torn between really wanting this baby and not feeling ready/financially stable to raise a child. I am 23 and in a happy, loving relationship of 3 years and my partner was supportive from the beginning. He told me he'd stand by me no matter what I decide, but that perhaps we weren't ready right now. I felt numb for weeks. I felt more and more attached to this baby, OUR baby, every day. It was breaking my heart knowing that, deep down, we weren't ready. But is anyone ever ready for a child? After crying and many talks, we decided on a termination. I hated myself, I really did and part of me still does now. We booked an appointment at the clinic and went together. They performed a scan, showing that I was too early to have any treatment and that I should come back a week later. That week was the worst - I grew even more attached to the baby and my heart was so torn. I really wanted this baby. I went back to the clinic the following week, where a scan showed that I was just 5 weeks pregnant. I decided on a medical abortion, took the tablet and went home. I had mild cramps and some light bleeding. I didn't know how to feel that day. Part of me felt regret, but I knew that there was no going back now. Another part of me (as selfish as this sounds) felt a little sense of relief. The next day I went back to the clinic, where the four tablets were inserted vaginally and I was given a suppository. I was also given pain relief (codeine) and tablets to stop infection. I went home and got into bed. I didn't feel anything for the first hour or so. Then I started to get cramps.

I don't mean to scare anyone but the next part was the worst pain I have ever experienced.

I was lying on the bathroom floor, crying, holding two hot water bottles to try and relieve the pain. I bled a lot, for a few hours, but luckily I didn't see any parts of the foetus. I also vomited and felt really nauseous throughout. I was pacing up and down a lot, from the bedroom to the bathroom, because I couldn't get comfortable or relieve the pain in any way.

The pain did eventually lessen after a few hours. I went to sleep and spent the rest of the day in bed. I bled on and off for about three weeks afterwards.
Emotionally, I felt numb for about a month after the abortion. I didn't discuss it with anyone and tried to block it out of my mind. That was the worst thing I could have done, because then it all hit me at once. I loathed myself, I didn't eat, I cried all the time, I was moody, I lost all interest in everything, I lost my sex drive completely and pushed my partner away. But every day, I feel a little better. It's not on my mind all of the time like it used to be.

I ask myself sometimes if I regret it.

My answer? In some ways, but not completely. I was able to make an informed decision on the termination and my reasons for it were justified. Saying that, I would never go through it again. I know that one day my partner and I will have a baby and we will give it all of the love that we have, when we are ready.
It still hurts, but I think it will always hurt.
Harder still, my sister has recently gotten pregnant and it hurts so much to see everyone happy for her and to watch her bump grow. I realise how selfish it sounds but I can't help but think of my own baby. **I think about how our babies would be similar in age and could grow up together.** But I realise that this is unhealthy and hinders my recovery. I just urge anyone who is going through this to talk to someone. A partner, a friend, a parent, anyone. It's too hard to go through it alone. Talking about it when you are ready really does help.

Editor's Comment

When termination is a very hard decision and you feel a bond with the baby you are carrying, it is often difficult to come to terms with the experience. Medical abortion also makes it all very real. Your heart expresses the pain, while your head is still telling you the rational things about your decision.
It sounds as though you are beginning to put your life back together, although your sister's pregnancy will be a constant reminder of what might have been. I think post abortion support would help you to be able to process these difficult emotions, and I agree that it is very important to be able to talk and not to bottle up your feelings. You can call the national helpline, log on to Online advisor, or follow the link to find a centre for post abortion support in your area.
This story was sent in on 02/01/2014 and it's been viewed 351 times.

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