Can’t Unsee

Note: The Exhale Pro-Voice After-Abortion Stories Hub includes people’s stories of their experiences and emotions, exactly as they have written them in. We do not edit these stories at all, and the content that follows this message is exactly as we received it. We know that people’s experiences are complex, and these stories reflect the many emotions they may be feeling after their abortions. From relief to grief, and everything in between, and all at the same time, we’re here for you.

Submitted by: L

My worst fear happened. Last night I took misoprostol. I had taken mifepristone the day before, and even though I was feeling really uneasy about it, I felt it was already too late to back out.

I cried before and took the pills. A few hours later and I started bleeding. I was on and off between being okay and sad. I sat on the toilet for over 2 hours because my biggest fear was seeing the embryo (7.5 weeks). I eventually became too sore and got up. I soaked my pad in 10 mins and when I went to change it, there it was…. and I felt everything inside me shatter. I haven’t slept since. I can’t stop crying. I wasn’t able to talk to anyone about this, and have kept this decision to myself.

I feel so alone, and I can’t get the image of the baby out of my head. I don’t know how to face the future, or cope with any of this. I’m hoping to find solace on this website.

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7 responses to “Can’t Unsee”

  1. Katrina

    You’re not alone! I’m so sorry this has been hard for you. I feel the loneliness too. I had my abortion 6 months ago and I went the procedure route. I didn’t see anything but I felt everything leave my body. I’m so glad you reached out because you are not alone. I really hope you find peace.

    1. M

      I’m so sorry you too are going through this. It is a very lonely, isolating and difficult thing to go through. I too, took the pills in July this year, it was the most excruciating, bloody and psychologically damaging thing I have ever gone through to date. I’m 36, it was my first pregnancy and I was 5 weeks and 2 days. I had so many complications that I ended up having to have a surgery 5 weeks ago….all that time I was waiting for it all to pass naturally but actually praying and crying every hour for a miracle. I don’t know to this day why I could have gone through with it, I’d never ever thought I would do this. I have been told that shock and hormones created a shift in my moral code somehow , I don’t know, it doesn’t make it easier. The guilt, loss and longing are like nothing I’ve ever felt. I have regretted it from the moment I felt my 5 week embryo rip from me. I want you to know that you are not alone and shouldn’t be, please reach out, even if it is to strangers like us, make sure to talk and if you can, to professionals like therapists. We are lied to about all of this, if I had any understanding this is how I would be feeling, I would never have taken the tablets. The depression and anxiety around the fact that I should be 17 weeks pregnant now, that I will never meet my first child is debilitating I really hope that it eases, for all of us. This isn’t living. Be kind to yourself and please reach out, I’m happy to talk to you, anonymously if you prefer.

  2. a

    I feel your pain deeply – you’re not alone. Sending lots of love from California.

  3. A.

    I am so sorry. I also had an abortion a few days ago and the regret is unbearable. I couldn’t sleep or eat while pregnant and was constantly depressed. I was hoping that all that would go away and that I would be able te be back to normal afterwards. But I’m not, I think I feel worse now because I can’t turn back time. How can we find peace? I am hoping that by sharing our story on this site and getting support from each other we can overcome this. Stay strong!

    1. Kathleen

      I know what you mean about feeling awful while pregnant and just wanting to feel like yourself again….and then realizing that it’s not possible “to just go back to the way things were.” I just have to rely and trust that I followed my intuition, that I did what was truly for the best. Judging what I did in the past through this lens now isn’t helpful for my healing. I’m realizing so much of the healing is reframing my thoughts and that all this guilt and regret isn’t serving anyone. It’s definitely a day by day process.

  4. Marie

    I’m sorry you’re having a tough time coping. I went the pill route as well and it’s not easy. I didn’t see the embryo like you did, but I felt it as it left me. It’s a feeling I’ll probably remember for the rest of my life.

    I can relate to the feelings of loneliness. It’s an isolating experience. I’ve only told two people, but it’s such a difficult topic to talk about- there’s the stigma surrounding abortion, people usually have strong opinions, and there’s the fear of judgement. Plus, COVID makes life more lonely.

    The loneliness and emptiness I’ve been feeling has been one of the hardest parts.

  5. Kathleen

    I experienced this too. Like you, I was 7 1/2 weeks. I had that huge “gush” and went to the bathroom, there it was, all on it’s own separate from the blood and tissues. I touched its tiny arms and legs and the fully formed hands were what really shook me. This was 6 months ago and for a while the visual image really haunted me. I still “see” it but not as often and it does get a little less raw over time. I also saw a therapist afterwards for several sessions which really helped. Otherwise, my husband is the only other person who knows.

    I’m glad you found this space and hope you can continue to find support and solidarity here. You are not alone here.

    Sending love,

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