It's been over a year now...
I can't pin point exactly how I was feeling; scared, happy, sad, confused but very excited all at once. It was an amazing feeling knowing that I had created a new life with the person I loved so very much. I felt Special. The time came when I could no longer hide from my partner the fact that there was something I had to say. When I eventually found the courage to actually say "I'm pregnant," my whole life seemed to crash around me. My partner wasn’t happy, and said that we had no option but to opt for an abortion as this was the best thing for both of us.
I sat in disbelief, as I listened to what he had to say. I cried for hours and hours while thinking about what I wanted to do, and how I felt about the situation and decided to tell my parents. They were ecstatic, and an abortion wasn't an option. They vowed to stand by me and support me all the way, no matter what my decision was, but I had to face reality, and I would have to raise the child alone because my partner wasn’t prepared to "ruin" his life by bringing a child into this world.
He couldn't remind me enough how I would be a single mother, and my child would grow up without a father, as he wasn’t prepared to be involved at all, and if I decided to have the baby, he'd have nothing to do with me, or his unborn child and I would be totally on my own.
Every day seemed to roll into one from here on. Soon enough, I was in the doctor’s surgery, alone, planning a termination. All along I knew it wasn't what I wanted. I didn’t want to go through with this, but the constant reminder that my child would be fatherless and the damning phone calls telling me NOT to change my mind led me to it.
After a few consultations with a doctor, he advised me to have an early medical termination (which would involve taking tablets) as I was still early on and it would avoid general anaesthetic. The day came, the day I was going to be responsible for killing the child I had always longed for. After weeks of torment and constant bullying from my partner and his family, the life growing inside me for 10 whole weeks was ended.
The treatment I received by nurses in the hospital was unacceptable, but at the time all I wanted to do was go home. I was put onto a small ward with several other girls in the same situation, but we were treated like dogs. Not one nurse showed any consideration for any of us and it felt like we were a burden to them. The hours passed and so did the child inside me. I'll never forget looking into the bedpan beneath me, and seeing the life I had terminated. I cried uncontrollably as I passed it to the nurse and begged for the pain to stop and for her to let me go home. Since that day I haven’t once mentioned what happened or spoken about my experience until now. I’ve hidden my feelings and kept strong for others not to see how much I am actually hurting inside.
A part of me died that day, and I will never forgive myself for cracking under pressure and giving in to the bullies!! It's been over a year, and only now when I was diagnosed with depression I have been able to let the feelings of hurt, anger and guilt out as I sought some professional help to deal with this. My first counselling session is next week.
My message to others is PLEASE consider everything before making a big decision like this. I am going to have to live with this regret because I let others bully me into something I didn’t want at all. It’s your body, you decide.
Editor’s note: Thank you so much for finding the courage to share your story. It is not unusual to hear women saying that they have an abortion against their own wishes because they lack the support of their partner. In fact, many do it in the hope that they will be able to keep the relationship, but this is often in vain. I’m so glad you have taken those first steps towards recovery through counselling. It will be painful as you embrace the reality once more of what happened, but going through pain is the way to healing. Suppressing it makes things worse. We’ll be thinking of you. Perhaps in time you can come back and share the story of your recovery?