I’ve decided to have an abortion. It was a very difficult decision, but I know it is right for my partner and me and he is fully supportive. We have a 6-month old, we are completely financially strapped, and having a baby was so out of the question for us right now that I actually had an appointment to get an IUD inserted 6 days after I peed on the stick.
The decision is made, the procedure is rather straightforward, and I’m not worried at all… until the moment I have to leave the clinic after my abortion.
I’m most afraid of how I will cope emotionally after the all is said and done. I’m sure I’m doing the right thing for our situation, and us but I don’t handle emotional stress well.
My first pregnancy was plagued with severe antenatal depression and I worry how that will play in.
For all of you going through infertility treatments and struggling with all the emotions that go along with that, I’m so very sorry and I don’t mean to be insensitive.
Have any of you been in this situation?
How do you handle the inevitable emotional fallout after an abortion?
Did you regret it?
Because, oh my goodness, I’m so scared I’m going to regret it. Choosing abortion is, in part, choosing the path that will be the least psychologically damaging for me in the long run. But I’m still so scared.
When I was 15, I had terrible ovarian cysts so my doctor put me on birth control. Not that I needed it – I wasn’t sexually active. It was great. No cysts. When I was about 19, I decided to go off the pill. I was taking them but didn’t need them as I still wasn’t sexually active. I knew it couldn’t be great for me so I just stopped taking them.
And then, I never got another period.
After about a year, I went back to my gynecologist and asked about it, whether it was strange or not. He said it WAS very strange and that it did happen occasionally. I may never get another period and may, in fact, be infertile. He told me this very solemnly and with great empathy. He was a good man.
But me, well, uh, I was ECSTATIC! Infertile? Please. Thank you, god. I was never the kid who planned the wedding and the babies and the names. I had three younger siblings I didn’t really care anything about (now I do). I loved to party and this was before the HIV/AIDS epidemic. (YEAH..I know, I said it. This was mid to late 70′s. Figure out how old I am)
I was trying to be an actor and was living a very vagabondish life. I worked about 10 different jobs so I could live and enjoy my life and sexuality. And then one day I felt different. I went to the clinic and yes, I was pregnant. This was after not using birth control for 6 or 7 years. It was a very easy decision for me to make and I had an abortion. I have never regretted that decision.
I lived my life. I used birth control (not the pill, the sponge… remember the Seinfeld episode when Elaine hoards them?)
And then I met Tom. We were friends, fell in love and got married. I realized that, in fact, I did want to have a family with him and that it was going to be wonderful. My life and expectations were turned upside down by the love I felt for Tom and it was so exciting and fun. We were older and after a year of trying, we started dealing with infertility. I was fine. Tom’s motility was low. No boxers or hot tubs. My eggs were a little old. We did inseminations. (Did any of you ever ALMOST make love in the quiet room with your legs in stirrups? To make it more personal? I KNOW you did!)
About a year later, during an insemination break, I became pregnant. There were little lines on the test and it was so exciting! We told everyone. It was amazing. We went to check in and have an ultrasound and hear the heartbeat and well, you all know… there wasn’t one. It was ectopic. I sobbed as they took me in for my D&C because I wanted this baby that I never wanted. This was a little “me and Tom.” It was heartbreaking for both of us.
The next step was IVF. I became a science experiment. I’m not sure there are enough words to convey how much I hated the process. I was going crazy from the hormones, the daily shots of Lupron and the shots Tom gave me (though, I think he got a little pleasure from it). I had eggs harvested and there were a lot. Not many were viable though. There were enough for a transfer and enough to freeze for the next baby.
So we followed protocol and did everything right. There was no baby. It was heartbreaking. Because for the faintest minute, they thought there was a baby… but no, there wasn’t.
We did it once. That’s all we needed. I looked at Tom and said I didn’t want to be a science experiment anymore. I wanted to be a mom and I was already 38 years old. We moved on to adoption. We were together on this decision. He didn’t need a clone and neither did I.
I am so grateful I was with Tom because someone else may not have seen it that way. And that would have been OK but a problem for us. And with Tom it was not a problem. We moved together to the adoption process and that will be my next post.
Because that was a barrel of laughs, too!
I saw the lights on the ceiling. I felt the tear. The nurse held my hand with saintly love as I sobbed. A part of me died in that moment, a ripple through the eons.
I was 21 and a newly graduated nurse when I went through my abortion and had landed a prestigious hospital job. My mum was accidentally pregnant at the time at 40 with my brother who I later helped to deliver with the midwife (after I had undergone my abortion)
I freaked out. I couldn’t move back home in a small town with a pregnant mother. My boyfriend said he wasn’t ready for a child and we couldn’t afford it (I later discovered he was wealthy and had not been honest with me). He was living far away at the time going to university.
As he slept in my room one night at the nursing quarters against the rules of no men, we were discussing what to do. I got caught with him in my room and I was kicked out by the nun. Pregnant, I went to house hunt by day after my night shift work. The nun who found us gave me one week to find a place after I begged her. I was scared. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t tell a soul.
My boyfriend booked a hotel for the week as I was homeless and I went through with the abortion. I didn’t want to go through with it but I was so scared, alone and overwhelmed. I always said I would have a child if I accidentally became pregnant, but I just didn’t realize what it was actually like to be in that position.
The first doctor I approached rejected to care for me due to his religious beliefs so I had to hunt for a doctor who would.
I went to get counselling afterwards and was paired with another religious man who rejected me so I had to keep searching for help. I gave up.
I went back to work and it was a very hard year. I saved a few lives and I decided to work in hospice to become more familiar with death. I nurtured people through their losses.
Many hard, lonely years accompanied me with multiple instances of sexual assault and trauma I started to have difficulties coping. I always comforted myself with the idea that losing a child to help others may be excusable as a choice but when I left my career, in those last days I sat down by my friends nieces side who was losing her new baby that had just been born. It was dying in her arms and her tears dropped on that babies face. I watched that baby die as I said goodbye to my career. She didn’t know of my past and now I hear she wants to be a nurse. The chain continues.
My whole family said I was always the mothering, nurturing type and I would have the most kids. I am childless and not married. Tortured by bad memories. Too lost for words.
You don’t forget but you learn to live with it. Its a silent shame for me but I see now with my history of abuse I needed to feel some control over my body. I don’t feel it was the answer now, and in retrospect I would like to say I had all this courage to stand up to this invisible community who bad mouthed people but I was a young vulnerable frightened girl. While I was being accused of being a baby murderer I was saving their lives in hospital.
I think now about it more in philosophical ways. The things we should terminate in our minds and and how a new beginning can start for us to live a happier life. My God believes in redemption and love.
Upstate NY, 1985
It was taken away from them. Just a seed in the beginning of a life forming to join this world.
A decision. She wasn’t ready. Not in her plan. So scared, but no decision to be made. Outcome predetermined; not to start.
So it was ended. They had no chance to join this world. Left to find another possibility for the loss was cold.
She could feel it in her hips. The pain was held and rocked till the grief was pushed thru every pore, wrung out thru sorrow ’till she could find space to breathe.
Why is it so hard to let go?
Why does it wash over you decades in time?
They were crying out to be saved, but she didn’t hear.
I am so sorry to have left you. I wasn’t ready to carry a soul.
It’s all consuming, the process of growing up. Staying aware, but willing to feel the piercing joys and sorrows that you have endured. Sometimes it’s so cold. She was just learning how to share gold, black & pink.
Still stiff, I’ll learn how to relax and breathe.
–and I forgive you sweet melissa. U meant no harm
–then why does it hurt?
– because you feel deeply and that is a gift to cherish
I feel the blood in my body and hear the ink on the page. I’m still learning to see clearly and that is okay.
–thank you. I am grateful
– U are always welcome. my gifts are bountiful
– I forgive you. come fly with me
I can’t believe it has been 15 years since I meet him. There are days it feel like it was just yesterday. I knew his past – his Dad killed himself when he was young and he rebelled. He still did things that you would expect a troubled youth to do, but that stuffed seemed to stop once we started dating.
I can’t really complain about the first year and a half of the 3 years we were together. We were a normal, young couple in love. Everyone thought we were a happy couple. Then I got pregnant. It wasn’t planned, but I was young and “thought” I was in love.
That’s when you started telling me how worthless I was. It’s also when you started to hit me. A punch in the arm here. A shove there. Then you started with my stomach. Told me I was stupid and I wasn’t going to have this baby. You forced me to have an abortion, which in hindsight I am glad I did, mainly because I think if I had carried this baby longer, You would have made sure it didn’t survive.
I was no longer allowed to see my friends. I feel into a deep depression and was heart-broken when you broke up with me. What to do with all of this new found freedom? Take a trip with my BFF of course! Well, once you got wind of that, you had to have me back. Could it be the rumor that I was planning on moving with her to Florida, start a new life? Foolishly I agreed to meet you for lunch. I let you make me think you were truly sorry and wanted me back.
Things only got worse. I had a curfew, had to sneak out to be with my friends, could only do what you wanted me to do. The beatings and verbal abuse got much worse the second time around. I remember the time I picked you up from work at one in the morning in the city and you beat me in my own car because I was listening to a mix tape of songs that my favorite cover band played. A stranger came up to the window as you were banging my head into the car window. He said he was calling the cops and told me to get out of the car, that he’d help me. You stopped hitting me long enough for me to drive away, only to start punching me in the legs the whole ride home.
If I loved you enough, you’d stop, I told myself. You told me how much you loved me.
You were only doing this because it’s what your Dad did to your Mom.
I started sneaking out to go out with one of my BFFs. I started having fun again, feeling like myself again. I cheated on you. I found a great guy, at my favorite hangout, who I had known since high school. He worshiped me. He told me how smart, beautiful and fun I was. It gave me my confidence back.
I got the nerve to leave you. I made sure to do it when everyone was home at your Mom’s house.You proposed to me, told me you’d already asked your Mom for her engagement ring your Dad had given her. I took all my stuff out of her house and moved right in with my new boyfriend. I lived 10 minutes from you for 3 years and you never knew.
To this day I live with the scars you left me, physically and emotionally. I have been on and off anti-depressants for 10 years. I have panic attacks when I am reminded of a bad beating. I freak out when my husband tries to kiss me (like if I am leaning up against the counter & he blocks my way out). I feel trapped, yet I know he would NEVER lay a hand on me.
Luckily I found REAL love with my husband. I told him EVERYTHING you did to me and he still loves me. I am damaged goods, but he loves me anyway. You told me if I left you NO ONE would want me. I can count on one hand the number of people who know what you did to me, but I need to get it all out.
I was a silly, young girl who believed I could change you. I now know, that you were the one who changed me. Not because you loved me, because what we had WASN’T love.
You made me stronger, no I made me stronger.
I survived the hell you put me through.
I am infertile.
We have been trying to have a baby for years to no avail. I will spare you the details, but I was approached by a potential birth mother who is a friend. She is pregnant, doesn’t want the baby, was going to have an abortion and decided she didn’t know if she could go through with it. She asked if we might be interested in private adoption. YES, oh YES, it would be a dream come true.
I did it. I got my hopes up against all logic and warning from everyone.
I got a text today that says she is not going through with the pregnancy. I am so sad right now. I am heartbroken at the needless loss of a life that could be my baby.
Where do I go from here?
I had such a tight lid on this I never let myself feel this hope or dream.
I let the lid off and now I am devastated.