Cream colored feathers

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: Stella

Hi everyone, my love and support to you. I am in need of advice from those who have been there. I am struggling a year after my abortion with forgiveness of myself, and my partner.

I wanted a baby so very much for so many years — even tried with IVF using a friend’s sperm. After a real journey down that road, I felt ready in my early 40s to let the dream go.

And then I met a great man and of course, I got pregnant. At 44, him 52, a year into our relationship. We tried to embrace this big surprise. In the end, we could not.

But how could this be? A miracle, and I let it go? I tried to say yes to this child, my partner was willing, but not happy. He said he’d stay and support if I choose to have the baby, but this was a huge left turn from where he wanted to be headed at this point in his life. He expressed wanting to focus on our relationship, and that parenthood at this point could be a huge challenge to that. I too felt wary of our age, life stage, and related possible challenges. But I do feel I would have been better able to embrace this if he had been more positive. I can’t believe I did it sometimes. Wouldn’t he have come around once his child was here? He was not mean about it, just honest, he came to every ultrasound and doctor’s visit. We saw counsellors who encouraged us to make an honest, informed choice. Is that what I did? I tried to choose the life we were in, that had been making me happy for the first time in so long. Now I struggle with this, with letting this all go. Replaying the past.

In particular, it’s hard for me to see my partner with other kids. It feels he has been embracing everyone else’s children, and others’ experiences of motherhood, while he could not do so with me, with our child. We did discuss how we would focus on the children already in our lives, given the concerns that we could not fully support a new life at this time. He is convinced Covid and isolation would have been a breaking point. But I can’t seem to find rest and solace in this choice.

How do I forgive him? I do I forgive myself?

You deserve nonjudgmental
after-abortion support.

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