Monthly Archives: October 2012

Margy

I had my abortion in 1961, before it was legal.   I was 19 and so totally terrified that I am surprised I remember anything at all, or perhaps it is that I was so fear stricken that it has imprinted itself so firmly in my mind.  Contrary to what I often hear described, my abortion was not in a dirty kitchen or in someone’s backyard.  Nor were the abortions of any of my 3 friends, who all had abortions in those years.    I’d always thought the term ‘back alley’ was about the secrecy of attending those physicians out of hours, under cloak of darkness.

Not that it matters.   It was all very clean.  Very quick.   Very quiet.  So quiet in fact that it wasn’t even necessary for me to speak.   I am not sure I’d have been able to if given the chance.   My 32 year old married boyfriend organised it.   He said he’d organised 2 for his wife and it was perfectly safe and that I wasn’t to be bothered.

It was in a doctor’s surgery in Melbourne.   I couldn’t go until 9pm.  My boyfriend took me to the door, handed the woman at the door an envelope and she took me inside.   She quickly explained what would happen.   She told me that if I ever spoke about it, I would likely go to prison and force hundreds of other young women silly enough like me to have to face up to the consequences of their behaviour.

The doctor never even looked at me.   He spoke perfunctorily to the woman, who I assumed was a nurse, but may have even been his wife.   It was by far the most excruciatingly painful experience I have ever had.   Even the births of my 4 children years later did not compare.

As I was dressing to leave, the woman gave me some pills she said I had to take for 5 days.   If I didn’t take them I might get an infection and die and even then I was never to tell what I had done.

I never saw my boyfriend again.  Not ever.   I used to look for him at the train station where we used to meet each morning on the way to work and he was never there.   I don’t know what I expected.

I married 3 years later.  I gave birth to 4 beautiful boys, all grown now.   None of them know about my abortion.  None of them know the terrible dark tragedy of my soul.  None of them ever will.   I have loved my boys.   Loved them as much as I could with so many pieces of my heart shattered.   Loved them in spite of the one I would never hold, the one I betrayed, the one I longed to hold more than any other.

There is something very wrong with allowing one’s child to be taken so forcefully from within the protection of one’s own body.   There is something very wrong with what I read about abortion, as though it is a nothing, almost a rite of passage for young women, as though it is meaningless.   I don’t believe this for a moment.   I never have.   I didn’t walk out whole from that doctor’s surgery.   I have never been whole since.

I feel so very very sad for women today, that abortion is available around the next corner.    There is nothing to stop them today.  There are so many lies told to them about how their lives can only be richer, more worthwhile if they rid themselves of their children.   Nothing could be further from the truth.

My boyfriend was a policeman.   That’s how he knew where to find that place.  I wish he didn’t know.  Even knowing that I may not have married, I may not have had my boys, I may have had to beg, borrow and steal to make a life, if I hadn’t gone to that place, I wish I hadn’t gone.

I wish I had spoken up.   I don’t want sympathy.  I don’t want platitudes.  I want time to turn back so that I can run from that place, from that man who promised me the world, run so fast that no demon dare try to steal my precious child.    That can’t happen.   Now I just wait for time to turn and I wonder and I hope, that if there is a God, that I will be forgiven and that my child sees my heart..

Lee

Thank you for this site.  I saw it talked about on twitter which is funny ‘cos I was following someone who said bad things about it, looked and then I couldn’t work out why it was a problem.  I hope you do just put my story up without changing it like you said.   Someone said you change the stories.  Anyway.

I had an abortion 10 years ago ‘cos I didn’t want to be a single mum.  I was 25 and figured I had plenty of time to have kids.  When I went to the clinic, I wasn’t really asked a lot of questions.  They treated it like it was pretty routine but noone in the waiting room looked like they were there for something routine.  I don’t remember anyone asking me if I thought about it or wanted to know what else I could do.   The only thing they said about how I would feel later is that I would be relieved and be able to just get on with things.

This was kind of true for a while.  My best friend had already had an abortion and she wasn’t worried about it, so I didn’t think I should be.   About 2 years after, I rang the clinic because I was feeling bad and having some bad dreams about it and they said they could give counselling later if I needed it, but they just said it couldn’t be the abortion because it was too long ago and I shouldn’t blame the abortion and find someone to help me work out what it was.

I finally got the courage to ask my best friend about it and she said that she didn’t really want to tell me how bad she felt because she didn’t want to pressure me of make me feel bad.  So ffs, we both sit around feeling like crap about it and keep smiling so we don’t pressure the other one.    Makes no sense to me.

Anyway.   I’m still not married.   I do want kids, but I don’t think it’s going to happen now.  That’s what’s hard.   That I never thought of that abortion being a kid.   Now I know it was.   I think some people would say that’s ‘cos you guys told me that or some radical prolife hater told me that but that isn’t true.   I just know.   And my friend knows.   And all my friends who had kids know.   Why are we throwing these baby shower parties for them if it isn’t a kid?

If I couldn’t have had an abortion like I did, just walking in, I wouldn’t have.  Life would have been pretty different.  Probably better..

Renee, loss of a brother

My Experiences as the Sibling of an Aborted Baby:

My name is Renee, and I am the oldest of 5. Sadly, I’ve never met the youngest, a little boy (brother number 3) named Joseph Michael. He died by abortion when I was only 10, although I didn’t find out ‘til nearly 11 years later. My poor mum had to keep that secret for so long L I’ve known for just over 6 years, and am really struggling with it. I’ve come to the point where I realize that a lot of the issues I have, are made much worse by what I went through regarding the abortion. While I have always been more of an internalizer, this is becoming harder, and I am starting to seek out healing. Easier said than done, I am discovering, as most post abortion support groups only have programs for the parents. It is sincerely my prayer that more awareness will be brought to the suffering of the siblings. My siblings and I have had to silently deal with the pain of hearing people speak ill of women choosing an abortion. We know firsthand that sometimes it is done in a desperate time, and to spare the baby from a life of suffering.

My mum was widowed in June of ’94, at the age of 30. I was 10, and the youngest, at the time (baby number 4), was only two. A few months later, she met a man, and became pregnant unexpectedly. I know very little about that time for her, as I was very young, and had no idea that my little brother was growing in her belly. But we were living with my grandparents, and I don’t know how they would’ve handled the news. Also, maybe my mum didn’t feel capable of caring for yet another baby, who the doctor said may have health issues (from what I believe). While she knew it was wrong, she believed that the baby would be better off in heaven, free from suffering. While I hate that my mum (and brother) went through that, I admire her greatly for all the strength she has shown. She now understands what some of these women are going through, when they consider abortion, and has used her experiences to help them choose life. She also has used the pain she feels over my brother, to help those mourning the loss of their own babies, aborted or miscarried. I pray for the strength to one day be able to reach out to other siblings like myself. I have actually tried to avoid the pro life movement, at times, mostly for two reasons: one, it makes me think more of my brother, and the horrible way he died, and two, I am very defensive of my mum, and am afraid that some of these people will judge her harshly. I also don’t want her to have to deal with any extra sadness or regrets. But as I said before, she is a very strong woman.

I have heard it said by quite a few people that my mum should keep the abortion secret. What about her reputation? In their view, it will make others decide to follow her, and do the same. Or turn against her, and stop trusting and/or respecting her. Well, I can speak for myself, my siblings and at least one very dear friend, that the exact opposite is true!! I hate that she had to bear that by herself for so long, and am so grateful that she told us. It has made her a more compassionate, sympathetic, less judgemental person. It made me listen more when she was talking about pro life things, or prayers and sympathy for the abortive ones, knowing that she’s actually been in their position. She has come so far. I am also thankful she told us, because although we ended up going through unexpected mourning, we as siblings are now more aware of the horror of abortion. All these years I never knew we were personally touched by it.

As I said, finding out caused such shock and grief. I remember the night that she told us, we were all talking in the living room, because she said she had something important to discuss. I remember my heart started pounding, more and more. We were shocked to discover that she had been pregnant after the fourth baby. Our dad had died, and there were only four of us children with her, so where was the last one? Did I have a sibling given up for adoption, that I could possibly reconnect with (as went through my head at times while watching or reading about it), or did she miscarry? Abortion never crossed my mind, because we knew she was so against it. But she admitted that that is what happened. I did not give into the tears that threatened, as I have always been very guarded with my emotions. Very quickly the four of us went up to her and hugged her. Comforting her and assuring her that we loved her. We found out a few things, such as the father, and the date. Apparently, the anniversary was only a few weeks away. In just a few weeks, valentine’s day to be exact, it would be 11 years since that horrible event. Apparently she chose that night, because going out, then, would not likely arouse suspicion. Years later it brought me such pain to think that that night before she left, when I gave her a hug, I also hugged my little brother inside, but the next time I hugged her, it was just her alone. L How sad she must have been. And how innocent and unaware I was.

That Valentine’s Day was hard, but so refreshing in some ways. Between my dad’s death and then, I noticed that she made an extra effort to make it a pleasant day for us, AND THOUGHT SHE DID IT TO SOFTEN THE BLOW OF NOT HAVING OUR DAD AROUND. WHEN I REALIZED THE PAINFUL SIGNIFICANCE OF THE DAY, I STARTED TRYING TO MAKE IT A SPECIAL, PEACEFUL DAY FOR HER. What stands out the most from that night are two sweet memories. The first is that mum made us a yummy cake for dessert. And on it were 6 hearts. 1 big, and 5 small. A mama surrounded by her babies. For the first time ever, mum was able to admit that she was a mother of 5. She didn’t have to ignore my brother that night! And we were comfortable with it too. The other sweet memory associated with that night is that we decided to play the lottery, and being aware of a new heavenly intercessor, we asked Joey to pray for us, and we won $10!! The most money we’ve ever won in the lottery! Thanks, Joey! Now multiply that by a small million please! ;)

For a while after finding out, I had such a deep sadness that I could not identify at first. I felt like I did when I lost one of my nursing home friends, but nobody had recently died. What was up? Then I realized it was my brother. I was grieving the loss of a little sibling, that up until then had not existed (that I was aware of). How strange. How could I possibly feel so strongly for someone I never met, or even knew about? As I mentioned before, I am not an emotional person, so these feelings were extra unappreciated. I felt stupid for grieving 11 years later. He was long gone, I shouldn’t feel anything. But, that’s not how it works. Over time, I felt that sadness less frequently, but still, 6 years later I feel twinges at times. I have also, at times, felt completely at peace with our situation, and at other times, have seriously forgotten about him. That, I believe, is often a defense mechanism.

Whether I am thinking about him or not, I noticed that I am more sensitive to some things than I was before. For example, I feel pain/jealousy seeing others becoming big brothers and sisters. I experienced that three times, only, and never will again. I am also very sensitive to my youngest brother being complimented, etc by mum. Feeling like he is getting the bulk of the attention, because he is the last “baby” she’ll have. Deep down, I know it is false, but it is still a frequent struggle. Another struggle is forgiving/moving on. When I first found out about my brother, I can’t remember much about how I felt about his father. As I’ve gotten older, though, I have felt so betrayed by him. We loved him like a stepfather for quite a few years. How dare he try to take care of us, and help raise us, when he didn’t even keep his own flesh and blood alive. This was especially hard for me to come to terms with, because I, too, was conceived out of wedlock. But my dad did the right thing, and married my mum (before I was born). It just feels strange. Why was I okay to keep, but my brother wasn’t? I have made great progress in this area, but still have need of more healing.

This is only a small bit of my experiences as a sibling of an aborted baby, but I am sharing this in the hopes that others can be comforted knowing that they are not alone. Or perhaps a sibling like me will be in denial, and reading my story, they will realize their need for healing, and get it. My prayer is that we can feel at least some of the peace that our siblings do, as they await our arrival in heaven. What a nice meeting that will be, and while we had the misfortune of being separated on earth, we will have all eternity to catch up! J To any parents reading this, please give your kids the benefit of the doubt, and tell them about their lost sibling(s). It may strengthen your relationship as it did ours. You shouldn’t have to keep your baby(ies) a secret. For those who are not directly affected, I thought I would give you a small idea what we are going through, in case you happen to connect with us. All who read this will be in my prayers. God bless and peace be with you. Thanks for letting me share my story..

Meg

‘It was only on Saturday that I even heard about your organisation. Until I went to the symposium I didn’t know there was help out there for people with unexpected pregnancies. It is too late for me now and I suffering with guilt, shame and loss. I feel like a terrible person who does not deserve forgiveness. Before I did it, I rang a ‘counselling’ service. They didn’t tell me about you, they only said I would have to wait weeks to get in to see a counsellor in Sydney. I went to another counsellor and they didn’t suggest you either. They told me to got a doctor, which I did. His advice? To have an abortion, because the alcohol I had been drinking had probably damaged my baby and it would be my fault if I brought a child with a disability into this world. They didn’t give me any other option.

You have to get the word out there to other people so they do not suffer they way I will suffer the rest of my life. I feel like I have lost all my happiness in life. I have lost myself. I am not whole anymore. I am missing a big piece of me.

Every day I have flashbacks to the clinic. I am depressed; I drink; I am jealous of other mothers. I cry a lot; some days I can’t make myself go to work. I am so angry and in so much pain. People everywhere should be told that lots of women who have an abortion don’t do it because they have a choice. They do it because they believe they don’t have a choice.’

These are the things that should happen to prevent what happened to me from happening to anyone else.

  • It should be mandatory in schools to understand about the real consequences of sex and the repercussions of unexpected pregnancy.
  • Counsellors everywhere should have to tell people about the other options out there and the emotional consequences of having an abortion.
  • If just one person had said they would help me or there was somewhere I could get help, I wouldn’t have done it (had the abortion). Everyone should have someone to help them.

 .

Sandra

Everything seemed pretty much straightforward for me when I got pregnant.  I was only seeing my boyfriend for a couple of months so I didn’t feel that committed.    It was exam time when I started feeling a bit queasy and at first I thought it was just nerves so I pushed through for a week or 2 before I realised my period was way late as well.   I’d been working and studying non stop and I just thought I was tired, nervous about exams and doing too much, so I ignored it for another week.

I told one of my friends I thought I might be pregnant and she told me the uni clinic had a great nurse who would help me without any problems.   I wasn’t thinking about what to do so much as I was thinking about how much I didn’t need the stress right then.   The uni year was coming to an end, the next year I had so much clinical placement to do that I wouldn’t be able to work so much so I had to do as much work as I could over the summer.     How was I going to do that if I was sick and pregnant?

So when I went to the health clinic and the nurse was really friendly and gave me a card to another clinic and said she sends all the girls there, they would take care of me quickly and I wouldn’t have to think about it anymore, I didn’t question it.   She rang ahead for me, gave me a standard list of stuff to take in, asked me if I’d had breakfast which I hadn’t because I’d felt so queasy and I went that afternoon.

They didn’t really ask me any questions, except they did say I’d nearly left it too late for it to be simple.  I felt a bit stupid and a bit reprimanded when they said  I was apparently already nearly 10 weeks gone and I had no clue.

They asked me if I was sure I wanted to have the pregnancy ended and I just thought of course I do.   Nobody said abortion.  I signed a paper giving permission, sat around for an hour or so and then went in.  I don’t really remember much.  There seemed to be a few people standing around and I was a bit embarrassed, but only one person really spoke to me.  I don’t even think it was the doctor, I’m not sure which one was the doctor now.

They gave me drugs so I didn’t remember anything.   I do remember sitting in this chair afterwards with some other girls in the room and some of them were crying.   I was a bit confused about that.

That night I was having some really bad cramps and I kept bleeding a lot and I was really scared.   Another friend took me to the emergency room where I waited for nearly 3 hours to see someone.   When they asked what had happened and I started to say where I had been that day, the nurse said ‘so you’ve had an abortion?’   She didn’t say it in a bad way, she was just asking I guess to write it down.   But when she said it I couldn’t even answer.   I felt confused again.   I kept kind of asking myself the same thing..’did I have an abortion’  ‘did I have an abortion’

Anyway, they gave me some drugs.  The bleeding wasn’t so serious after all.  They were all very nice about it, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it.   I had an abortion.   It sounds so fkn stupid now to say that I didn’t really know that, well didn’t really understand it I guess.  Nobody said the word.   I don’t remember anyone saying the word baby.   Nobody talked about what else I might do.    I just kind of rolled along with the next step without thinking anything.   Well I was thinking about how I needed to work and get through and stuff, but I wasn’t really thinking about being pregnant, about what that meant.

I wish I could say someone forced me, but I can’t say that at all.  I’m not an idiot, but I truly truly just wasn’t thinking.  I find it hard to believe that something so big could happen to a person and they don’t even recognise it.

Now I think what should happen is that someone should sit you down and make sure you fully understand what is happening.  I was so caught up in having to just find a solution and I was sick and I was worried about exams that I didn’t even ask any questions.   I don’t think I could have had any other surgery so easily or quickly.

Do I regret it?  When I saw this site I felt like I wanted to say something about it.   The whole thing was wrong.  It has been a bit more than a year now and now I’ve finished uni.   I imagine that I could have a baby right now and that makes me very sad.   I guess I wish that I felt like I’d made a decision but I don’t.   I feel angry about that.   I know that because I had an abortion, that I got through the rest of that year, and last summer and this year, but I don’t know if it was worth it.

The year has been awful.  I’ve been drinking a lot.  I nearly got kicked off my clinical placement.   I really did only just get through.  I did tell a few people what happened.   Mostly people were good about it.  I was surprised how many of my friends had the same experience.  It’s like we’ve all buried it so deep so that we don’t have to look at it.    If it was just a normal thing why would we do that?

I read the stuff about shaming and guilt.   I don’t think it has anything to do with the community or anyone else making me ashamed to talk about it.  I think it is a bigger deal than that.    I was pregnant.  I had an abortion.   I didn’t have a nose job.  I had an abortion and now I am not holding a baby.   Do I regret it?   yes I think I do, most of all I wish I’d understood it.

 

 .