I had my first abortion when I was 17. I wanted the baby and so kept it a secret for a long time.

I had my first abortion when I was 17. I wanted the baby and so kept it a secret for a long time. I had been promiscuous. My mum was hardly ever there and, plus, she had her own problems, but I knew she would go mad if she found out. In the end I told her because it became impossible to hide my bump. All she really seemed to care about was the fact that there was no father. I asked her if she would support me but it was clear what she wanted. I kept putting the appointment off. I remember being in tears and trying to think of any way I could have my baby. Maybe if I went to college, stopped going out? I was prepared to do anything. Everyone told me abortion was the best thing. By the time I had my abortion I was nearly 20 weeks. I would have thought a doctor would not let this happen. After all I didn’t even want to but no questions were asked and I went for a two day stay at the clinic. I remember before I went down for my first part of the abortion I was sure I felt it kick. I told the nurse and she said it was just my stomach. I told my mum after the nurse said it wouldn’t have been, but how would they know? Afterwards I got worse. I drank in the day crying all the time, wondering what my baby would have looked like. The only time my mum ever spoke about this was to say I had done the right thing, but I felt I didn’t. A year later I was pregnant again. I told the father who didn’t believe it was his. I wanted to keep it but my mum hit the roof when she found out. So I moved in with friends, moving home to home. My mum didn’t agree and told me so. Eventually she came round after a lot of trouble. Although I know she didn’t want me to be a single mum at 18, I went to the scan and had antenatal appointments. So why did I find myself at the very same clinic at 14 weeks? I remember wanting to scream, 'No!' Just before I was put to sleep I remember seeing a girl run out of the clinic and wishing I was as brave as her, wishing I could have the guts to stand up for my own baby but I didn’t. I did what I was supposed to do. Afterwards I binged on food. My mum caught me and went mad. I remember when I got back from the clinic, I had a massive anxiety attack and didn’t know how I was going to get myself through it but I did. I numbed myself and drank more and more. When I was 21 I had a miscarriage. This time I was with someone who would be there in person but not emotionally. I remember being sad when I had a miscarriage but pretending it was ok. I stuffed my feelings away and binged on food for two weeks afterwards pretending in my head that I was still pregnant. My mum seemed impatient with me this time although she came with me to the hospital and so I thought this meant she 'was being there' for me. My relationship broke up soon after as he reminded me what I couldn’t have. I then started to take drugs heavily in the years that followed - cocaine and ecstasy on top of anything else I could get my hands on. I became bulimic, pretending I was having fun but really I was dying inside. I met my next boyfriend when I was 25 and within two months we agreed to have a baby. I came off the pill and was really happy - finally I got my dream. It didn’t happen though and I went back on the pill because I slowly started to realise his behaviour towards me was bad. I continued an on/off relationship with him for a few years. I couldn’t let go because I thought who would want me? So I put up with his behaviour, my eating disorder and drink and drug problem and carried on. My friend had an abortion one time. I went along with her and then a few months later, I found myself lying and telling my boyfriend I was pregnant. He carried on giving me drugs but the way he treated me changed. He was more loving towards me. I lied again and told him I had a miscarriage. I then cut off from everyone. I started to rebuild my life and stopped drinking so heavily and stopped taking drugs. I carried on binge eating and although I didn’t realise at the time became very depressed. I bumped into my ex and before I knew it I was back to square one, except this time I fell pregnant. My mum hated this bloke and I was too scared to tell her I was back with him as she told me it was her or him. He behaved the same as her - aggressive and nasty to me, so I went and had an abortion. I was six weeks and so didn’t feel pregnant. I didn’t allow myself time to question whether I did the right thing. I just did. After that, all I could do was stay in bed getting up only to snort coke and drink. I ballooned in size, was always depressed and my panic attacks went through the roof. I was even snorting painkillers by this point. I didn’t value myself at all. I stayed with my boyfriend and whenever I tried to talk about it, I cried. He told me not to. He felt I had taken his choice away from him, but how would I have coped? I found myself being promiscuous again and a year later was pregnant again. I wanted to keep it and protect it. However, I found out I was further gone than I thought which made it another man’s baby. I didn’t care. I still wanted to keep it. I looked into maternity and everything. He told me he and his family would not welcome it. I didn’t even want a boyfriend - just a father for my baby like I never had but he gave me the money for an abortion. A man who didn’t have a lot of money was so desperate to get rid of it. He gave me his week’s wages and holiday money. I couldn’t be bothered to fight anymore. My mum and I were not speaking by this point and I felt so alone. The only time my mum would 'support' me was to drive me to the abortion clinic. My dream of a baby was gone. I numbed myself and cried for days and days. I even got as far as the operating table then jumped off. I wanted to keep it, but my head told me I couldn’t. How could I support a baby on my own with no family? I was in debt on my own and had just been attacked by my ex-boyfriend. He had smashed glass in my face and threatened to kill me. Did my baby deserve that? So the next day I switched off and got through. I went home and laughed with my friend and moved into a new flat over the weekend, but every night since I have thought about my baby. I cry myself to sleep and my life feels like it is in tatters, yet on the outside you would think I’m ok. I struggle to believe I’ll ever be able to have a baby. I’m disgusted with myself for not having the strength to see it through. I wish I had someone to speak with, I wish I had a nice boyfriend, not the one I have. I want a baby, a baby that will feel loved. I think I’ve ruined any chances of that though. I feel I’ve had my chances and ruined them all by the time I’m 27. Editor’s note: Thanks for sharing your story with us…you have certainly been through a great deal in your early adult years, things that have hurt and damaged you in that time. None of the things you’ve done to try and make it feel better have worked, have they? You now sound so sad and hopeless; as if there is no possibility of a positive future for you. There is, but it requires you to reach out for real help and support, acknowledge truthfully the effect of decisions you have made in your life, turn around and go through healing processes that may take some time. Are you willing for that? If you are, then visit your nearest centre for post-abortion support to begin this journey. The centre will not be able to help you with all the aspects of your story, such as any addictions you might still have, but they will point you in the right direction for what you need. There is real hope for you. It’s your choice to reach out for it and come out of this dark place you seem to be in. We'll be thinking of you.
This story was sent in on 09/04/2008 and it's been viewed 3,587 times.

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