I had an abortion 10 weeks ago in July 2008. I was 8 weeks gone and felt at the time it was the right decision, given the circumstances.
I went to a clinic and had a scan which confirmed that I was nearly eight weeks pregnant. The doctor told me that if I wanted to go ahead with the abortion he would do it on Monday (this was Thursday) and that was that. He was one of those people that you felt you didn't question or argue with. In Germany, the law only allows terminations up to 12 weeks so I felt I had to make a quick decision.
Over the weekend I called a couple of helplines as living in Germany meant that my close friends and family were in UK and I felt that I was completely alone. The ladies I spoke to were very sympathetic and listened and gave me the advice that I should think very long and hard that it was the right thing to do. One lady said she felt that I was rushing into the decision and to take more time over it. My mum, sister and a close friend all told me I was doing the right thing, I wasn't sure but felt I wasn't strong enough to do it alone so I had no choice but to go ahead with it. During this time I heard nothing from my husband which just made me feel that he didn't care about me, our son or the baby.
The night before the termination I cried all night. I didn't want to do it but still felt I had no other choice, a friend came to the clinic with me for support and I'm so grateful to her for that. I broke down in the waiting room and nearly didn't do it but still felt I wouldn't be able to do it alone. I placed my hand on my stomach and wished that the baby would forgive me and understand why, then I went into the theatre.
All the staff in the theatre were very nice to me, I remember a nurse holding and patting my hand as I went off to sleep. The next thing I remember was coming round and just feeling a horrible pain in my stomach and feeling empty. I had to have an Anti-D injection as I'm Rhesus Negative and just felt numb. That feeling didn't leave me for weeks afterwards.
As time has gone on, I regret not giving myself more time and doubting my ability to do it alone. I should have listened to the advice that lady gave me. I still don’t know if it was the right thing to do. At the time I felt I had no choice but now I can’t help feeling that I should have had the baby. There's not one day when I don’t think about it and I cry most days over it, but it’s something I'll have to live with and I hope in time these feelings will get better. I guess I feel guilty for that baby and the person it would have been. I worry that the guilt will never go away and I'm not sure if I could ever have another baby without feeling guilty for the baby I didn't have.
My husband came back two weeks after the termination wanting to try again but will not talk about the termination at all. It’s like it didn't happen at all. I still feel like I can’t talk properly to anyone about how I feel now. I hope by posting my story it will help someone having doubts to just make sure they take time and not rush into things like I did.
Editor’s note: Thanks for sharing your story with us…The pressure of your circumstances was very difficult, wasn’t it? It sounds as if you felt unsupported and overwhelmed with the thought of having another baby alone and did what you felt was best at the time in the urgency of your situation. Now your heart response is one of guilt and regret, mainly, it seems, because you didn’t really have the time to consider your deeper feelings before you had to make a decision.
There is support available for you online through our Online Advisor service and our post-abortion recovery programme called The Journey. It may also be that the helplines you phoned in Germany could offer you the support you need locally and face to face, if you prefer.
A second issue for you, of course, is the conversation you both need to have about the abortion. It’s the ‘elephant in the room’, isn’t it? We know it’s there but it’s not mentioned. This is not healthy and will be a huge barrier to rebuilding your relationship. It can’t just be swept under the carpet. At the right time, relationships counselling from a trusted source might be helpful. We’ll be thinking of you.