I knew since the day I found out I was pregnant that I wanted to keep the baby,
Unfortunately when I told my boyfriend he finished our relationship. He said he felt too young and was not ready for a baby. He said he would support me financially if I did have the baby but did not want the full responsibility. A couple of weeks later I was admitted to hospital as they were concerned that I had an ectopic pregnancy. I lay in the hospital bed that night and prayed my baby would be ok. The next day I had a scan and everything showed up as normal. I saw my baby's heartbeat on the monitor and it took my breath away. I have never felt relief so strongly.
But underneath all the excitement there was emptiness. I missed my boyfriend so much it hurt. I should have been sharing these moments with him but instead I was alone. We met up after I was discharged from hospital and we spoke for hours on end about our situation. I realised that I was going to feel the way I felt in the hospital for the rest of my life if I wasn’t with him, feeling emptiness deep down, wishing I could share precious moments with him, feeling alone, and missing him, so I agreed to have an abortion.
My family were devastated with my decision. They warned me how I would feel after having an abortion but I kept telling myself and them that it is what I wanted. I was lying to myself. My boyfriend was with me every step of the way. He came to the appointment where I had the scan to determine how far gone I was. I was two days off ten weeks. The nurse left the scans on her desk; I had to force myself to look away. The same words in my head were going around and around: 'That is my baby. What am I doing?'
The nurse booked me in for an abortion just over a week later. During that week we never spoke about what I was about to do. I didn’t want to because I wanted to keep my mind set on it. The day came in December and my best friend drove me to the clinic just over an hour away. My boyfriend was with me too. On the way to the clinic I was laughing and trying to make jokes. It was my way of blocking out my feelings about what I was going to do. At the clinic my boyfriend and I spoke about all the things we were going to do after I felt better, like have an extra special Christmas as it was near, go abroad, maybe look for our own place but nothing he said made me feel any better.
My name was called and I followed the nurse upstairs. She briefly talked me through the procedure then got me ready to be put to sleep. As I lay on the table, I totally blocked out the reason I was there then I was put to sleep. I was woken up by a man in the recovery room; he was holding my hand. As soon as I came round, I asked him if everything went well. He said everything had gone to plan. Then I laid there for a while, listening to the girl in the bed next to me screaming to have her baby back. I have never felt my heart break the way I did at that moment. It was exactly what I wanted to do…scream to have my baby back inside me, scream so loud it could turn back time, but instead I laid there totally numb and hurting.
Since that day I have never been the same. I think about my decision every day of my life and every day I get angrier at myself for doing it. I can’t speak about this to people around me because I feel like I’m being a hypocrite. It was my decision and I believe I deserve the pain and guilt inside me.
Editor’s note: Thanks for having the courage to share your story with us…So many women seem to have to make the decision between their partners and their baby. It’s sad that fatherhood is often not embraced by men at the critical moment, and there are many reasons for this, not least the one given by your boyfriend. Quite a few women in these stories would have pursued a pregnancy given the support they needed from the father, but instead they felt they had to sacrifice one to gain the other. They go through with it, mustering as much denial as they can, numbing their own hearts, hoping it’s going to be OK.
You had such a positive response to your pregnancy and now your heart is in pain – the pain of guilt, loss, grief, anger, shame and regret. Worse still, you feel you have no right to talk about it or even express pain, having made the choice yourself. I wonder if you are still with this boyfriend. Unbearably, many women have an unwanted abortion only to lose their partner anyway.
It’s time for you to find healing. There’s a Journey of recovery waiting for you at your nearest centre. It’s kind and compassionate, not pain-free, but you will arrive at a better place than you are in now. Be courageous and call for an appointment.