When I found out that I was pregnant, I was in shock at first.

When I found out that I was pregnant, I was in shock at first. I had slept with an old boyfriend one time earlier in the year and I wasn't careful and ended up falling pregnant. I felt scared and I was too afraid to tell any of my family or friends about it, especially not the father. At the time I think I was just panicking as I didn't want a baby at this stage in my life. I know that sounds really selfish but I just couldn't imagine myself bringing up a child and I knew what I had to do. I went to the doctors and arranged to have an abortion, which happened in March this year. I felt sick thinking about what was going to happen and I was really worried in case anyone found out about it. I did end up telling one friend before I went as I couldn't keep what I was doing a secret any longer. They offered to come with me for support, but it was something I felt I should do on my own at the time, which I now regret. It was horrible when I saw the baby on the ultrasound scan before the abortion and I can still picture the image in my mind today but I just tried to block it all out as if it was happening to someone else. I will never forget the feeling when it took place. I knew at that moment I was killing my child. It wasn't really painful but I did feel some cramping, which is just like bad period pain for a few days after. When I went home I went to bed and cried myself to sleep. Initially I felt down about it and also a bit relieved that the whole experience was over. I thought that I would be fine and just tried to get on with every day things and went back to work the next day. However, as more time has gone on since the abortion I have been feeling really bad about it. I feel ashamed about what I have done and I feel guilty about it every single day. I often feel upset and tearful and I feel like it is always on my mind and in my thoughts twenty four hours a day, like I can't escape from what happened. Maybe this is my punishment for what I did. Around the time the baby would have been due to be born I also started having horrible dreams about being pregnant and feeling really happy and then the baby would get hurt in the womb. Even though it has been really painful, I think that I made the right choice and if I had to make the decision again I think I would still go through with it but with more support as I had no idea that it would affect me emotionally as much as it has. It is definitely not something to be taken lightly and you need to give it a lot of thought. I just hope that my child forgives me for what I have done and that it loves me as much as I love them. Editor’s note: Thanks for telling us your story so honestly – it is obviously still a very painful memory for you even though, at the same time, you feel it was the right choice. The feelings you describe are reported by many women – initial relief, shame, guilt, tearfulness, feeling upset, being preoccupied all the time, bad dreams, to name but a few. You are in two minds, really, aren’t you? Your head is still saying it was the right choice, and your heart is expressing the pain of the reality of it to you in your dreams and in your feelings. It’s important that you don’t just bury the feelings and try to make your choice ‘work’. Talking to an experienced advisor can really make a difference to you and I want to encourage you to visit a centre, or ring the helpline or go on Online Advisor when you’re ready. You’re in our thoughts.

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