Feeling Like a Failure

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.

Feeling like a failure.

I was so excited after months of trying to get a positive test!

It had been many years since my last baby and I wanted one more. I worried about HG as I had had it with my previous pregnancy in my 20’s. I knew it would happen again but I felt I could power through it, like I had before. I had 3 hospitalizations with my previous, weight loss, lasting until 16 weeks. I thought I was prepared. I bought b6 candy, took my vitamins, ginger tea, and sea bands in preparation.

Then, overnight, at 5 weeks 4 days, excitement turned to fear and dread. Hyperemesis reared its ugly head once again, only this time worse, and earlier. I went from excitement to complete despair. I lost five pounds in a few days, and many more in the following days. Bedbound, nauseous, dizzy, dehydrated. Despite the strongest medications and IV rehydration I felt miserable.

Because I had experienced a previous HG pregnancy, intrusive negative thoughts of months of hospitalizations, weakness and starvation consumed me. I could not work. I stayed in bed feeling so hopeless and miserable. I had to keep my bedroom door closed because the smell from my kids making food would make me sick. Standing up to go to the bathroom would make me sick. What misery. My kids missed me. I missed my kids, I missed my health. I am usually extremely healthy and active.

I have a demanding job and am the sole household income. I worried about exhausting my sick leave and being on disability, receiving partial income so early in the pregnancy. Joy gave way to despair and all I could think was that I cannot live like this for months. I cannot do it.

My Nurse Practitioner was understanding and did not try to change my mind, I felt sick verbalizing the request for termination, but I felt so desperate and hopeless for relief. I chose medical termination at 7 weeks 6 days. Only my husband knows. The whole experience was painful and traumatizing. Within two days I felt stronger, I could stand up without puking and hang out with my kids, I could eat and drink again. I felt immense relief initially. My husband and kids were so relieved to see me back to my normal self. Except I am not feeling like my normal self.

It has now been two weeks and I feel so sad, so regretful. I’m so angry at myself, I am so sad. I feel like a failure. I feel weak. I am ashamed. I love my kids, I loved my baby. What kind of mother am I? I should have been willing to suffer. I should have been willing to sacrifice. I can’t stop these negative thoughts. Why did I have to be so sick? Why couldn’t I have a “normal” pregnancy.

I will always regret this decision and I don’t know if I will ever forgive myself.

Submitted by: Anonymous

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2 responses to “Feeling Like a Failure”

  1. K.

    You did what you thought you needed to do to survive. I can tell this decision was not one you wanted to make. I made the same decision 8 months ago, for different reasons but ones that had to do with me and my other kids as well.
    Sending much love to you!

  2. Elise

    HG is life shattering and effects your mental health profoundly. I’m so glad you came here to talk. Holding all of those thoughts in your head is just so hard. I just want to say you are loved.

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