At 39, I discovered that I was pregnant. I felt so scared.
I was scared about what everybody would say and think, scared about what the children would say and terrified about how I would cope. After weeks of trying to decide what was best, (with me trying to do what was best for my family and putting my own feelings to one side, feeling so confused and wanting to turn the clock back), I had an abortion at 11 weeks.
At the time of the abortion I kept changing my mind; the staff at the hospital kept giving me more time. I wanted my husband to take me home and tell me that we would keep the baby. (He didn't know what to do and, although he wanted the baby, he felt he couldn't put that pressure on me when he thought I didn't want the baby.) I thought he just didn't want the baby. We started off at the hospital as the first patient and ended up as the last.
The staff were very kind but I don't think they understood, or knew, what to say to me. I even got off the operating table and had the pessaries removed. I was cleaned up with a water solution as by now I had started to bleed, but somehow I couldn’t bring myself to leave, still with my baby. The fear was still in my mind. My mind was saying, 'You won’t cope; your kids will not be happy'. So in the end I went through with the abortion.
The moment I woke up I knew what a mistake I had made. I knew how much I wanted the baby, but it was too late. My life instantly became hell. I couldn’t sleep, didn't function. The kids didn't know what was going on. My husband, mother and friends didn't know what to do with me. I wanted to die; felt I deserved to die. After all, I had killed my baby.
I eventually started counselling, which covered a lot of issues in my life, but I needed help with the abortion issue. I knew what a mistake we had made. We had started to try to have a baby (not to replace the one we had given up, but we had discovered that the wanting a third child was still so strong. Would it be a mistake to try again, or a mistake not to? We were desperate and trying to fall pregnant but having no luck when, by chance, I came across the local Pregnancy Centre that I thought may be able to help with fertility problems. When I looked online at the number, it was CareConfidential. I had to get in touch. I sent an email asking for help as I didn’t know where else to turn. My life was in such a mess. I was not functioning and I was desperate. I got a direct response and then phoned to make an appointment.
Our first visit left me in no doubt that the counsellor knew what she was talking about, she knew just how I felt at the time of the abortion. That was the start of my journey to rebuild my life. Over the next few months we visited each week. At times I think my counsellor was quite concerned about me, the feelings I had towards myself and the deep regret that was with me. Gradually life started to improve. At the start of the journey, when all I did was cry and hate myself, I started to understand how I had made the decision, (although always regretting that could never change but slowly understanding the mistake that we had made). Fortunately for me, we have been successful in falling pregnant again and we are very much looking forward to our life with a baby due in August 2008. I feel very lucky.
The baby is not to replace the baby we gave up, but we understand now that it was something we wanted for a long time. I believe that had we been put in touch with CareConfidential at the time of trying to decide what to do, they would have helped me to see how much I wanted the baby. I wish the GP had put us in touch with them before we went through with the abortion as I think, through their support, I would have seen what was in my heart and had the strength to say I want this baby.
Abortion may be right for some but for many it's not and nobody tells you how messed up you may be if you are doing it for the wrong reasons. I cannot thank the two ladies at CareConfidential enough. They will always be in my heart as the two that helped me get my life back again. I would like to say I will always live with the regret of my abortion and if I could turn the clock back I would, but I am carrying on for my two kids, my husband and new baby. Most of all for me.
Editor’s note: Thank you so much for sharing your story with us…You were in such a fierce battle, weren’t you, between your head and your heart, and deeply ambivalent about what to do, almost to the point of paralysis at the clinic. Fear and shame were fighting it out with your heart’s feelings for your baby. Often in these stories, we read how women decide for abortion, sometimes agonisingly so, and then know immediately that it was a profound mistake for them. The truth of it can be so incredibly painful, can’t it?
It’s wonderful that you had the courage to walk ‘The Journey’ and have come through it with hope in your heart and healing for your soul; being at peace with yourself, and each other, once again. Thank you so much for sharing your story - it will encourage so many others who need to find hope again.
We look forward to hearing about your new baby in August!