I'm 23 yrs old and have only had an abortion three days ago.
I had separated from a long term boyfriend of two years around November and in April I began to get to know a new guy. We'd been dating and going out for around three to four months. He had told me that he had a child already of five years back in his own country and I was ok with that. Children come first, no matter what, and he obviously loved his daughter greatly and supported her as much as he could.
Things between us seemed to flourish and we really began to enjoy getting to know each other. However, one day he called me to say that he was not happy and wanted to go back to his own country. He told me that he had a great job opportunity and he also missed being close to his daughter. Although I was upset I understood as I knew he would be happier. We decided to end things but still enjoy the little time we had left together as friends.
At first I thought that I was coming down with the flu, as I began to feel extremely dizzy at times - usually if I was hungry - and I also felt really tired all the time. We had a joke about pregnancy but I didn't really take it seriously. But I began to wonder when the last time I had my period was. I realised that I was two weeks late and usually I’m quite regular. So I bought a test - still never really believing - and took it the next morning. When I saw the two red lines appear I went into shock. How could this happen, why now, what am I going to do???
My flatmate was brilliant; she sat me down and made an appointment for me at the doctor’s. I called my mum in racking tears barely being able to stammer out 'the test was positive!' The first three days I just wandered around in shock, thinking about what I was going to do. I began to confide in a few friends and my mum and although everyone kept saying that they 'would support me whatever my choice', I heard the underlying note of 'but what a shame'.
I spent three full weeks going to the doctor’s having blood tests and urine samples done and I kept thinking about what I was going to do. Your heart and your head tell you two very different things and it's confusing as you don't know which one to listen to! Through this time the guy returned to his country (knowing about my pregnancy) and I haven't really heard much from him since, although I always knew that if I decided to keep the baby I would do so on my own. I looked at all sorts of ways that I would be able to cope and manage financially on my own to raise a child. I looked at the help from the government (which isn't very much, if at all in Spain), help from friends, how I would work (as I currently work in a bar - big no no for having children!), childcare expenses and everything else that I could think of to be able to have the baby on my own. I realised that in the end, I kept coming up against brick walls.
I was neither emotionally nor financially ready to raise a child on my own. I kept thinking of the moment you gave birth and feeling all this burst of love and then looking up to share that amazing miracle with your partner but finding no-one there! I saw couples with babies everywhere on the streets all looking happy and I began to think, 'that's how it should be! A happy family working as a team, sharing the good and the bad.' My decision was a long thought out one. I had to think of one possible way that I could manage to have the baby for me to realise that it was just impossible at this time in my life.
My decision to abort came after a LOT of soul searching. I was then ten weeks gone, getting cravings and avoidances to foods and beginning to show slightly. But I knew I was doing the right thing, not just for me, but for the child that would have been. I couldn't have given them the life that I want to give my child.
The abortion was very scary. I have never been in hospital or had any kind of surgery, so it doubled my nervousness. The staff were all really kind and help me through it. I did feel empty afterwards, but I know that in the future I will be able to have a proper family: a partner who wants the child as much as I do and has proper financial back-up.
Although it's been a sad journey for me, getting through this has made me stronger. I now have a career goal and aim in life. I know I want children in the future, and I want to be able to support them. I'm going to do a Teaching English as a Foreign Language course and begin to teach English to primary school children here in Spain. I know that if I work my way up in life then when the time is right, the next time I’ll be able to call my mum laughing to tell her I’m pregnant instead of crying and whimpering 'what am I going to to?'. Having a baby should be a happy time, not sad or problematic. I would advise all, though, to think very hard about the decision. Make sure that you are a 100% sure of what is best. I've come out of the experience stronger and more prepared to make my life better for the next time, because I know there will be a next time. I will be a great mummy in the future, so I’m working hard now to make sure that I can be! Good luck to everyone out there who has to face this decision. It is NOT easy.
Editor’s note: Thanks for sharing your story with us…It seems you made your decision very reluctantly, having hoped to be able to provide for your baby and make it work, but feeling in the end that there was no way of being able to do that. Your circumstances closed in around you, forcing you into a logical decision rather than allowing you to follow your heart’s desire. It's still very early days for you, but it seems that your way of coping is to let this experience fuel your energy for making things better for the next time you fall pregnant…This may be helping you to offset the emotions of loss and grief you feel at having to make a momentous decision that you didn’t really want to make. Your heart may still need some tender loving care to help you come to terms with what has happened, particularly if your plans for the future do not materialise in the way you think they should. Unfortunately, we don’t have the levels of control over our lives that we would always like. If you ever feel the need for support, you can use online advisor if you use a British postcode to register. Someone sensitive and understanding that you can ‘talk’ with might be more helpful than you think right now. We’ll be thinking of you.