When I had first found out I was pregnant, I couldn't believe it. I knew there was a possibility, but we always used protection.
I called my boyfriend of almost four years at the time and told him that I needed to meet with him ASAP. When asked, so scared and worried, I told him why. After taking the test again at his house, he came in the room to see the result. I just lay on the bed and pointed at the stick on the table. He sat down saying he thought he was going to throw up. He said that we had many choices, but I told him we didn't. We couldn't have a baby! His parents were too conservative to tell and he didn't want me to tell mine.
At first he wanted me to know that we had choices although I knew he didn't want me to keep it. A day later, all he wanted to do was hurry and find an abortion clinic to get rid of it. We both cried a lot and I finally told him that I just wanted my mom to know. He freaked. I ended up telling her and I told her about how I didn't want to keep it. My mom was supportive and told me that it was my choice. She said she would find some information for me. After finding a place, I dragged my feet for a day before calling to make an appointment.
Talking to my mom more, she made me believe that I could actually have this baby and raise it. She told me that my father and she would support me in whatever I chose. Hesitant, but thinking she was right I told my boyfriend that I was 'kind of thinking about maybe keeping it'. His reply, "What? I thought we already decided what we would do. I mean, it would be nice to keep it, but we can't raise a kid." And then began freaking out again that I was changing my mind. After that I knew I didn't want him involved with this child. Adoption was not a choice in my mind because I knew that if I carried that child in me for nine months, delivered it, and held it, I would never give it up. I was already becoming attached to it a week after finding out about it.
My mother and my boyfriend came to my college to take me to my appointment for the abortion. When we arrived there were protesters waiting for us outside our car and they were trying to persuade us from our obvious choice. I just walked straight into the clinic with thoughts racing through my head. I was 22 years old at the time and many of the other girls there looked younger than me. I talked to one who was only 15 years old. She didn't understand why I was there.
I filled out paperwork and my boyfriend and I paid about $500 because I wanted the sedative. Blood and urine samples were taken, I saw a picture of my baby (my choice), I talked to a counsellor and then I was given my sedative. I thought my mom or boyfriend would be in the room when I was having the abortion, but they didn't even tell me when it was to be done. I had no idea why I was being sent to another room. (Later my boyfriend told me he was upset that he didn't get to be there, but I know now that it would have made it even harder on him.)
I was worried at first because I thought that I was so nervous and worked up that the sedative wasn't working and that I would remember the whole procedure or that it would hurt. It kicked in and I felt as though I was in a drunken trance. I knew what was going on and was talking, but didn't feel much and it seemed very quick. I was then sat down in a chair for about thirty minutes to ensure that my bleeding wasn't too heavy. Then I was given vicodin, antibiotic, and a pill to slow down the bleeding. I was sent with paperwork and told to make another appointment. As we left I ate a snickers bar because I was not allowed to eat so many hours before the procedure (due to the sedative). I threw up in a bag in the car and had to have my boyfriend pull over so I could continue to throw up. I think this may have been a reaction between the food and the sedative but, who knows, it could have been the entire situation.
At first I felt terrible about the situation because I had begun to get excited about possibly having a baby and every song or sign about abortion or babies in general would send me crying. I began to get more comfortable with my choice and would happily talk about babies and get excited when I would see baby stuff at the store.
This bothered my boyfriend a lot. It didn't make him angry, it made him depressed. He also works around children five days a week and has always loved kids. A few months after this, he continually began telling me how bad a choice it was and how he cries a lot about it. I'm sorry for him, but I have found a way to deal with it (it has been five months and a week, so still early). He hasn't talked to anyone but me about it, and now he tells me how horrible WE are for this. I try to explain my (and our) reasoning to him, but he always argues back that we are murderers. It makes me angry because when I had said I might want to keep it, he freaked!
I didn't know when I was pregnant so while on vacation (and pregnant) I drank alcohol with friends one night to the point that I got sick. I was afraid this had affected the baby and I told him, "I would feel so horrible looking at that child's face every day, knowing that they had birth defects because I had been drinking while I was pregnant." His response was, "I think it would be better to have a tough life than no life at all." Easy for him to say since he doesn't have to be the unmarried girl running around pregnant, getting the looks and comments that she's a whore. He doesn't have to continuously explain to others what the situation is with her, doesn't have to deal with the pregnancy all alone while in college and working, doesn't have to be the one ultimately responsible for the child, doesn't have to be the one whose father says, "You were in your senior year of college ready to graduate and you threw it away", doesn't have to be the one giving up her future plans because she was stupid, etc. His parents would have expected us to get married too and that was not going to happen. Even though I felt as though I loved him and he told me he did, he had cheated on me twice in the past and I didn't trust him enough to ever marry him.
When I went back for my check up to make sure that I was healing properly, I had to go alone. Again, the protesters were out there and this time there were more of them. I couldn't ignore them and I lied and said I was going in to get info for a friend. They asked me if they were too late and to come talk to them. On my way, out they flagged me down again and gave me a DVD and brochures. It took five months before I looked at the info and I felt fine. I went through a stage after dealing with the abortion where I just wanted to have a baby (and be in a stable relationship). Prior to being pregnant I vowed NEVER to have children and really didn't ever want any. After the abortion it was the total opposite. All I thought about was meeting a great guy, getting married, and having kids! It has finally ceased. I am back to my old self and am not planning on having children any time soon! I just wish my boyfriend could find a better way to deal with this issue. Note: I was pro-choice before having the abortion; I never thought I would have to use it. After the abortion I am still pro-choice, but I will never use that choice again.
Editor’s note: Thanks for telling us your story…What strikes me most about your story are the two sets of feelings you seem to have – one set that says, ‘I am attached to my baby’, ‘I love babies’, I want a baby’, ‘I wouldn’t have another abortion’ and another set that says, ‘I am pro-choice’, ‘I felt fine when I looked at the DVD’, ‘I have found a way to deal with it’ and ‘we had good reasons’.
I think you may be really struggling to uphold your decision but think you’re fine because you can watch a pro-life DVD and look at babies happily. How far did you do these things to test yourself? Perhaps you’re just hoping that you’re OK.
You also sound really angry with your boyfriend for changing his mind when you needed him to be positive about the pregnancy at the start, so that you could possibly continue with it. There seems to have been some confusion between you and your real feelings never got fully expressed or heard before you went ahead. Anger is a very natural emotion after an abortion and I wonder if you are receiving the support you need to work through it.
It may help you to contact Optionline on 0800-395-HELP and talk your experience through with a trained advisor so that you can check whether things are OK with you emotionally or not. Looking after yourself in this way is a positive step after an abortion, so please get in touch and begin to explore your response to your abortion with someone who is trained and experienced. We’ll be thinking of you.