I am 28 years old, unmarried. I have a BA in Biology. Basically science-oriented. Someone who should be able to make smart decisions, right?
I am 28 years old, unmarried. I have a BA in Biology. Basically science-oriented. Someone who should be able to make smart decisions, right? I was raised Catholic but have been agnostic for the past 10 years. I always wanted children someday in the right situation with someone I cared deeply about. I had recently had a conversation with my sister that I didn't think I would get upset if I became pregnant. Apparently I was way wrong.
I found out I was 5 weeks pregnant on April 1st of this year. At this point I automatically shut down all emotions and went into logic mode. Scientific training at work here. I was living in a new city away from my close friends and family. I was working two part-time jobs and barely getting by on my own. I was renting a room in my friend's house. Having a baby would jeopardize my getting to stay with her. I couldn't handle the possibility of needing to rely on welfare. I had just started dating the father and naturally freaked because I barely knew him. He made close to the same income as me. Instead of calling him up right away and telling him I scrambled around to find a clinic and made the appointment which was in two weeks on the 15th because I had to wait to get another pay cheque.
On April 4th, I decided to tell the father. I had been so scared to tell him. He responded better than I had imagined he would. He was upset that I didn't call him right away and that I had made my ultimate decision without his input. He gave me a hug a told me that it would be alright and that unfortunately he had been through this twice before. I felt awful, yet for some unexplainable reason I couldn't effectively convey that. I told him he had a right to share his input but he told me that my decision was made and he understood that we weren't ready for this yet. After all, we had only been casually dating for the past 5 weeks. Yep, I got pregnant the first time we were together. According to him we were still ok and he still wanted to date me.
The day before the appointment I went over to his house maybe hoping that he would make a last minute plea to change my mind. Maybe I was hoping that he would get upset and call off the relationship. I just wanted to feel something about all this. I think I was most annoyed that I felt nothing. He reiterated that this was probably for the best and I left for my appointment two hours away in another city. When I got to the clinic everything finally started to sink in. I was going to be terminating a life. HOW COULD I HAVE EVEN CONSIDERED THIS? But what could I do? I was already at the clinic, had already signed the consent form. They have you talk to a counsellor before the process and she told me what I was likely to experience. I was going to take a pill, go home take another pill and it would pass. I WAS NEVER INFORMED I HAD THE RIGHT TO CHANGE MY MIND. I never realized that was an option this late in the game (if you can call it a game).
They did an ultrasound to find out how far along I was because medical abortions can only be done in the first 8 weeks. The told me I was 7 weeks and 3 days. (Really not making me feel any better.) I also caught a glimpse of the picture on the monitor. There was really something growing inside of me. I still didn't realize I could change my mind. Then came the point of no return. I was given the pills. The nurse asked me if I was ok. I lied when I told her I was. It was too late anyway, right? So I swallowed the pills and left. Now there REALLY was no changing my mind.
The ride home was uneventful. I was too emotionally shut down to care or truly comprehend what I had just done. That night I went home, my roommate asked me if I was ok and I let her in on what was going on. We aren't really all that close so I didn't discuss it any further.
That night the pain was unbearable. The worst I have ever felt in my entire life up to that point. I actually passed out from the pain. When I woke I went into the bathroom and the pregnancy passed. I remember looking at it and telling it how sorry I was. Then I flushed the toilet. I felt so completely alone. I have never told anyone the details of my experience. My own family still doesn't know I was ever pregnant. I continued dating the father but things changed. He never asked me about the experience and I never told him because I wanted it to be as painless as possible for him. He was a drinker and his drinking got worse. I started to drink when I was around him. He was never mean to me and treated me great. Every now and again we would cry together about it, but always when we were drunk. Last week he finally ended the relationship because he finally stopped drinking and had an epiphany that he wasn't happy which just happened to be on what would have been my due date.
I have finally begun to let myself feel things again. I have gone through every range of emotions in the past week. I want to hate myself for making this choice, I want to hate him for not making me think through this. (If he was so against it, he had two weeks to talk to me about it and possibly help me change my mind), and I want to hate the clinic for not informing me I had the right to change my mind, even after arriving at the clinic. I feel very sad about what I did, I feel jealous about all my pregnant friends. I'm angry, sad, pissed, jealous, and oddly slightly relieved all at the same time. I was told this is normal but I can't sleep, can't concentrate. I wish it could have been different. I wish I had never been in that situation. I was well informed. I knew the science and the reasoning behind my choice. What I didn't know, what no one can ever tell you, is how you are going to feel. Emotionally I have destroyed myself and someone I came to care about greatly.
Please don't do what I did and make the choice alone. Find someone to openly talk to about the issue. Remember: Until you swallow that pill or lie down on the table and are unconscious, YOU CAN CHANGE YOUR MIND. I know it is very scary. There are people out there who can help. Adoption is also an option. Thank you for your time.
Editor’s note: Thanks for sharing your story with us…It seems you have realised, along with many others, that often the ‘head’, logic or rationality is often the first thing to kick into action when you suddenly find out you are unexpectedly pregnant. All the difficult circumstances present themselves and the whole situation seems so overwhelming. Now your heart is where the pain is coming from – all the emotions such as grief, anger, guilt and sense of loss. You’ve been trying to numb them so that you can cope, but the only way to deal with pain is to go through it and find ways of relating to it healthily. You really need some support. Talking to someone who understands what it feels like after abortion either at a centre, on the helpline, or using Online Advisor can help you.
This story was sent in on 16/12/2008
I became unexpectedly pregnant just after my 17th birthday despite having used contraception.