Monthly Archives: November 2013

Shell

If only…

I cried from the moment I arrived at the clinic until long after I left the clinic.  The details of that day are mostly forgotten but what I remember most is how I cried.  Every time I allow myself to think about it again I cry.

It has taken me 20 years to realise that I need to voice the pain that emanates from this experience in order to grieve and heal properly.  It occurred to me a few days ago that it is 20 years since the baby I terminated was conceived.  I was 29 years old and already had three children, the youngest of whom was 3.  I had been separated from their father for a little over 12 months and had been in a new relationship for about 3 months.

I realised I was pregnant straight away and went to the GP who had supervised my other pregnancies to confirm the pregnancy.  By the time I saw him I had already made the decision to terminate because I just could not see how I could possibly go through with the pregnancy.  He arranged the procedure for me and I wasted no time thinking about it, just wanted to get it over and done with.  It was about 2-3 weeks before Christmas 1993.

I told no one other than the doctor, my boyfriend and a trusted girlfriend because I needed someone to mind my 3 year old while I had the procedure.  My boyfriend had already been through this once before with a previous girlfriend and assured me that he felt it was the right decision.  He drove me to the appointment and paid for the procedure and picked me up when it was finished.

If only I hadn’t been so concerned about the disapproval of my family and what people would think of me.  I had grown up in a Christian family but had turned my back on God as a young adult, married a non-Christian and went about living my life the best I could, making up my own morals and standards along the way.  This led to my unfaithfulness to my husband, a sexually transmitted disease and eventually the demise of my marriage because I felt that I could not have behaved that way if I truly loved my husband, therefore we would all be better off and happier if I left.  I could not bear to think what my family would think of me now if they knew how irresponsible I had been and that I was now unmarried and pregnant.

If only my boyfriend had actually cared enough to stand by me and been willing to support his child.  I had established that in those first months he hadn’t actually realised we were “in a relationship” and at that time was still not entirely sure he was prepared to make any sort of commitment to me.  Because I could not count on him being there for his child in the long term it didn’t seem like a good idea to bring this child into such an uncertain future.  He did make a commitment to me (of sorts) and we bought a house together but our relationship was never stable and eventually 3 years later we broke up.

If only the situation with my ex-husband was more amicable and I wasn’t under the constant stress of trying to get along with him.  Despite my unfaithfulness he had still wanted to make our marriage work but once we separated he made it his life’s work to make my life a living hell and continued along in his bitter and twisted way until he died of cancer 7 years later.

If only one of these scenarios had been present instead of all three I might not have made the choice I did although my concern for what other people thought of me was certainly a huge factor.

I never believed I was doing the right thing but the “only” thing.  The alternative – to keep the baby – and bear the shame of that was such an unbearable thought I could not even begin to entertain it as a possibility.  At no time did I ever think I was not “killing my baby”.  It was never a clump of cells, it was always my baby.

My boyfriend delivered me to the clinic but had to go back to work and planned to pick me up later on that day.  I had no one else with me.  The only thing I remember is speaking with someone briefly who I’m guessing must have been a counsellor.  I remember her asking me if I was sure I wanted to go through with the procedure and just continuing to cry but feeling so strongly that there was nothing else I could do.  If only I had said I wasn’t sure…I was so determined to go through with it no matter how bad I felt.  I remember taking off my clothes and putting on the hospital gown.  Then I remember waking up afterwards and more crying.  Then sitting in the waiting the room until I was picked up and just crying, crying, crying, crying…………….

Because it was a secret for so long I didn’t talk about it to anyone and just got on with the business of life.  I was dealing with continuous conflict with my ex, behaviour problems in my eldest child and relationship issues.  The year that I remarried was also the year my ex-husband died suddenly and unexpectedly from cancer.  From there things went from bad to worse with my son and in subsequent years all three of my sons were affected by addictions to which they are all still affected by.

In 2005 I walked into my local church and surrendered my life back to Jesus.  I am confident that I am totally forgiven for everything I have ever done, or will ever do wrong, in my life.  Over time I have learnt to forgive myself for the choices I have made.  I have shared my story in church and know the power of bringing things that have been hidden out of the darkness and into the light.  A beautiful friend has shared a vision of my child growing up in heaven and that brings me comfort.  However I am still coming to terms with the grief of that loss that was unacknowledged at the time.  My baby would be 19 now..

Michelle Deeply regretful

 

I want to start by saying that I do not think abortion is wrong. For some women, the decision to abort comes easily and some women can and do lead normal lives without lifelong regret. I am not one of those women though which is why I ended up here.

I don’t think that my negative experience means all women should be denied their own right to live their lives as they see fit. I am however sharing because I don’t know what else to do and because some women may identify with my experience and I would hope it reaches them before they go on to make a decision that will mark their lives forever.

My abortion is rather recent. It has only been four days but my pain, sorrow and regret are immense. I was 9 weeks and 4 days when I terminated my pregnancy. I had thought about my options for a little over a month. I wanted an indefinite amount of time to decide, mostly because I didn’t actually want to decide.

Unlike a lot of stories I have read here I was given all the information about my options. I found everyone to be helpful and no one lied to me about the difficulties of abortion. Once at the procedure I was reminded that abortion was permanent and that it was not an easy choice.

My decision to abort was not much of a choice. I was co-erced by my partner into aborting.

I had already bonded with my precious baby, and I already loved it more than life itself. I knew abortion would ruin me. When my baby was taken from me a piece of me died along with it. I have an injured soul that will never heal. I pleaded with my partner many times. I even gave him a get out of jail free card. But he didn’t want any of it. He just didn’t want to have offspring anywhere out there in the world at this moment. I tried to put myself in his shoes to understand him and I can sympathize.

But I loved my baby so much already I just could not imagine living without it. Mostly I scheduled the procedure to show him I was at least trying to see if I could go through with it. Overall, this was just such a tough situation. On the one hand, I wanted my baby. On the other, I knew my partner would hate me for keeping it. I also didn’t want him to hate my baby. I didn’t want to ever have to explain to my precious child that his/her father just didn’t want him/her. It’s so hard having to make a decision that affects more than just myself.

I had in my hands the life of my child, my own life, my boyfriends and our families. It wasn’t a decision that affected only me. It was all too much for me to consider. In any case, I knew deep in my heart that abortion was not something I wanted to do. I went to my appointment, my boyfriend accompanied me. I was pretty sure that at the last minute I would panic and decide to keep my baby. But I was sedated and given pretty powerful pain medication that prevented me from thinking rationally. I don’t remember too much about the procedure. It started before I even realized it. I was supposed to say something at the very last possible moment. That way my boyfriend could at least see I tried. But those powerful meds made me lose the ability to do this.

By the time i’d realized what had happened it was too late to take it back. I didn’t feel the real effects until the next day once the drugs had completely worn off. I was devastated. I still am. I am broken. I don’t know how to cope. Part of me wants to die. Living without my lovely baby seems like a terrible existence. I don’t know where to go from here. I do know that I will never be the same again. I write this because I think it can be therapeutic but also because I want women/girls who can relate to my story and use me as an example.

If you feel a deep intimate bond with your baby, abortion may not be right for you. It won’t be easy and you won’t come out of the situation the same. I can’t do anything to bring my baby back. Abortion is permanent. I read somewhere that we’ll never regret the children we do have, but we’ll regret those that we never let live. This has remained with me. .

Caroline

I’m so sick of being told how I should or shouldn’t feel about my abortion. I remember being told by the clinic that I might feel a bit teary for a week or 2 but that would be normal, then I’d just be relieved like everyone else.  When I rang them 6 months later because I was STILL teary they said that was unusual and wouldn’t be from the abortion, making me feel like there was something so wrong with me.

So I buried the lot for 5 years and never spoke about it to anybody.  Nobody really cared anyway.  It’s supposed to be this common cool thing to do, but nobody ever talks about.  When I did tell a friend about a year ago, she just burst into tears and said she couldn’t talk about it.  She’d had one too.  Turns out I’m not the only one who still felt like crap.

There is not something wrong with me for feeling sad about the abortion, or even feeling bloody angry like I seem to do a lot more now.   I went to the clinic expecting to talk things through, but they had no information for me about what else I could do.  They also talked about how every week I waited it would get more expensive.  I didn’t even know what I wanted.  How can you know when everything feels like your life is falling apart?

Then I hear and see these ridiculous, ugly abortion radicals screaming about wanting free abortion on demand like it’s a right to do whatever you want and it shouldn’t be a right.   The fact that it’s so damn easy and treated like just a ‘right’ is why I ended up there but it isn’t easy and you shouldn’t be allowed to make up your mind there and then without knowing what else you could do and you shouldn’t be told there is something wrong with you when you’re supposed to be sad or even angry.

My sister lost a baby before I had an abortion and everyone expected her to be sad and they said sorry and bought her flowers.  I couldn’t tell her about my abortion.  But how come her baby was worth all that and I’m just supposed to crawl in a hole and shut up?  She didn’t want her baby more than me.  She just had a better job and a husband!

So sick of it..