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.



3 Responses to Sandra

  • Kate Cann says:

    Dear Sandra
    Thank you for being honest and sharing your story with us, and with other women who find themselves in similar situations.
    I’m sorry you were not given the information and support you needed. It is obvious it has impacted your life in some quite negative ways, but sharing this is perhaps a way to a newer and better chapter in your life. You have made some really important statements in your story that show you are not trying to blame anyone else, or dodge away from what happened, but that you are trying to work out how it happened and how you feel about the abortion and yourself now. Can I encourage you to continue this positive path, and get some counselling if you feel like it, to help you sort through how you are feeling?
    Please know that we respect you and your story. Your story shows how important it is for women to be given all the information they need, in a way they can understand it. “Nobody talked about what else I might do” is not presenting you with options and giving you a real choice.
    I hope you find healing and peace for yourself, and you have made a good start by talking about it. :)

  • Teresa says:

    Hi Sandra. Your story is so sad and so very real. What you say is true – that feeling bad about your abortion doesn’t come from ‘the community’ but from within, it is called ‘natural law’ and it is written in all of our hearts as a guide for us to know from the earliest age what is right and what is wrong. And I say that with love and gentleness, not judgement and condemnation.

    It is so important that ladies like you tell your story and call for the changes you write about – the each girl had ALL the options explained to them, that abortion wouldn’t ‘fix’ their problem, but would just make their BODY unpregnant but their heart would break.

    Your statements “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?” are so very powerful and I will encourage all young people to read your story so that they may not go over the Broken Heart waterfall.

    Know that God is always there for you, even if you don’t believe in Him. He is holding your little one safely in His arms. Praying for you… Love and God bless, Teresa

  • Mal says:

    Thank you for sharing your story, Sandra. I experienced something similar, where I acted without thnking – I had a condom fail with my boyfriend and immediately went to the GP the next day for the morning after pill, because “that’s what you do when that happens”. I had read about it heaps of times in magazines. it wasn’t until after I had taken the pill that I realized that if I had conceived I had basically had an abortion. While I don’t know if I was actually pregnant, I did that way too automatically, just taking pill so I don’t get pregnant, rather than thinking through that if I am pregnant, the pill will kill my child — I did not fully think understand what it was I was doing, and I don’t recall the doctor explaining it more. I was 18 then. I am 33 now, mother of 3 and married to my then boyfriend.

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