Submitted by: Ashley
I feel obligated to preface this story but stating that I am a loving mother with a happy little boy who brings me so much joy.
I found out I was pregnant unexpectedly in May, and my husband and I were both floored. We had unofficially decided that we were complete in our family. Before having our son I miscarried and that experience triggered a lot of anxiety in my next pregnancy. Fortunately, we had a healthy boy and we were so so happy to be parents. Very quickly after my son was born I began struggling with postpartum, anxiety and depression. It took me a long time to get out of that, and it tested my strength and marriage.
Now nearly 4 years later I have a loving marriage and a beautiful family. My husband and I never felt the urge to add to it, and were beginning to discuss him getting a vasectomy, but then I found out I was pregnant. The joy and excitement that I felt with my first two pregnancies was replaced by total fear and anxiety. I wasn’t ready to have another baby, the world was undergoing a global pandemic, and most of all I feared what another anxiety-riddled pregnancy and postpartum depression could do to the family that I loved and cherished so much.
We grappled with this decision for a week. I even made an appointment and then canceled it, but in the end we both came back to the decision that this was the best thing for us as a family. I had a medical abortion and the staff at the planned parenthood could not have been any more kind. What I couldn’t get over was how many women were there. I had felt so alone in this decision, but there were so many women going through this. Afterwards, I felt – and still feel – such guilt. We have a loving home, good jobs, we are good parents but somehow we just couldn’t go through with this pregnancy.
My biggest fear is that this will be something that haunts my husband and I for the rest of our lives. We are both seeking therapy and doing everything we can to move forward, but one month out, it still weights very heavy on our minds and hearts. My rational mind tells me that this was the best decision for my family, but it just hurts so much. I want to go back to that feeling of joy and content that I felt just a few months ago. I also have this overwhelming urge to make amends somehow.
I’m hoping sharing my story helps with that. Before I found this site I would desperately search the internet for stories from other moms so I didn’t feel like I was the only mother who had done this. While I need to work through my own pain and feelings towards this, it helps to know that I’m not alone and I want other mothers struggling with something similar to find stories that look like their own.
I know one day I will be ok. I have to be for my little boy who deserves a happy and healthy mom it just feels so overwhelming in this moment, but I have hope.