I wish I had found this site before I did what I did. Even now, I can't say or write the word without cringing.
I have always been totally against abortion and have always had it fixed in my head as something I would and could never do. I'm still not sure how I went through with it - I think I must have been on auto-pilot that day. I had a surgical procedure at almost 11 weeks. I found out I was pregnant almost immediately- at around two weeks- I just knew. I wish I had seen the picture on the screen as I think that may have stopped me doing what I did, but I just don't know. I have two children already, am a single parent and would have remained so if I had had it, which was a major part of the "head decision" as to why I felt I couldn't have coped - even though now I feel sure I would have done, somehow.
It took me nine weeks, two visits to the clinic - (ran out the first time) - a visit to a counsellor - (which I found totally uncomfortable as it was over the phone, and was a man so just felt unable to talk to him how I wanted) and a visit to my GP, to be able to finally get myself through the door. I had told some of my close friends, but not the father, but everyone had such different opinions as to what I should do that in the end, I'm not sure whose decision I took - I don't really think it was mine exactly. I was initially so set on keeping it, then I seemed to suddenly change my mind and before I knew it, it was all over. By the time it came to it, I was so completely and totally worn down. I had this huge secret I was keeping from everyone; I hadn't told any of my family at all, and only a few close friends, yet I was being horrendously sick and trying to hide it- I was hospitalised with severe sickness with both my previous pregnancies, and this was worse still. I lost 10 lbs in three weeks. I was running totally on empty, not able to keep anything down, and vomiting all day and early morning, and late at night. I actually burst a blood vessel in my throat and was vomiting blood, it was that bad.
I just don't think I made my decision with a clear head in the end. I was so relieved at the thought I would feel better. I went on the day with my best friend. I had a surgical procedure because if I hadn't have been knocked out, I wouldn't have gone through with it. The whole thing is rather a blur- I was totally on auto-pilot, and was more concerned with the timetable of getting my girls to the breakfast club and getting to the clinic on time etc, rather than the reality of what was going to happen when I got there.
There were loads of girls waiting for the same as me in a tiny room- which I really found quite shocking. I was taken to a cubicle and told to change into a gown, then sat waiting for my turn. When it was time to go down, I was shaking like a leaf all over, but it didn't even cross my mind to back out. I don't think anything crossed my mind at all, I was just numb. I went in, lay on the bed and had a panic attack - they had to give me oxygen to calm me down before they could knock me out - I wonder if this was my body shouting "no" at me. I wish I had listened. Writing this is making me cry, but I hope it is cathartic in some way. I need to get it all out somehow.
When I woke, I had tears streaming down my face, and the nurse asked me why I was crying. I wasn't. I don't know where the tears came from, it just happened. When my best friend came to pick me up I stood up, and nearly passed out, then was sick about four times. I just think I felt like I had been through the mill a bit, and just wanted to be at home in my own bed. I went home, and actually, it was weirdly nice, I know that probably sounds bonkers, but I felt almost proud of myself for gathering the courage and going through with it. Doing something I had been initially dead set against to the point of even doing a mental inventory of the baby stuff I still had left from my first two babies. The relief didn't last long though. Within two weeks I was feeling totally devastated, crying all day, and sitting on here, reading other people's stories until ridiculous hours of the night, torturing myself with what other people did.
I tried to go for the Journey counselling sessions, but spent the first session sobbing and then dreaded going back the following week and doing the same, destroying what had actually been an okay week. Now I am in a really odd place. My brother's son, my first nephew was born three weeks after my termination, and I was terrified to hold him, went away and cried. My own baby would have been due only a few weeks ago and now I have just found out that my other brother's wife is expecting. I am transfixed with the thought that my baby should have been born in the middle of the two. Cousins, growing up together, and me able to join in with the "new mum" scenario as one of the family, rather than hiding this big secret from them. I am unable to get my head round the fact that this is something which will never be the case, and will be a constant reminder of what I should have had. I didn't think about any of this when I went through with it. I didn't really even acknowledge that it was really a baby- I called it "a thing" when the counsellor asked me on the phone. I know now that I was totally fooling myself, and if I had been honest with myself then I think I would have done things differently.
I haven't said anything about the circumstances as they sound so awful that I am ashamed. I was with someone, stupidly slept with someone else, and didn't know who the father was until the dating scan at the hospital - (I had several early scans due to bleeding and pain which they thought may have been ectopic, but which turned out not to be in the end.) If the circumstances had been different then I feel sure my decision would have been too. But I can't change it now. It is too late. I need to know how to move on with this as the thought that I am going to be haunted for ever is just too much to bear. I want to wipe what I did out of my head forever.
Editor’s note: Thanks for sharing your story…It’s clear that there were several circumstantial things that motivated you to end the pregnancy – a ‘head’ decision based on logic, as you have realised. But your heart was resisting that decision all the way to the clinic, it seems. To cope with that split between your head and your heart, you had to go into a numb state, but even then, your deeper feelings about what was happening were surfacing, weren’t they? All your instinct, conscience and beliefs were stirred, and now your heart is causing you pain: guilt, grief, loss, shame, self-punishment.
Relief is a common emotion afterwards, but it can quickly fade when denial breaks down and can no longer obscure what has really happened. Now you are feeling the brunt of that reality breaking in. To make it worse, it’s a secret that you are having to carry alone.
I’m so glad you went along to begin The Journey. Tears are a great place to start. Even if you say nothing, that’s fine. The reason you dreaded going back is because you need to take the lid off your pain and begin to release it – but that means you feel it. Having an ‘OK week’ probably means you kept it under wraps quite well – but that’s not healing. That’s more like pain management. I want to encourage you to go back and just allow yourself that special place to begin to unwrap your pain and learn how to resolve it. Yes, it takes courage, but there is hope for you and you will see the light at the end of the tunnel if you keep going with it. Have courage, go back. I know the centre will be pleased to see you. We’ll be thinking of you.