Having my first abortion at 40

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: Sarah Marie

This could have been the worst thing that I have ever been through. I am in a blended family and have one child (5) of my own and 2 stepkids that are teenagers. We accidently got pregnant when I went off birth control. I calculated it to the date but still screwed up. How could I have done this?? I am too old for this to happen!!

I thought I was miscarrying and relieved I didn’t have to make a decision! My husband still didn’t realize why I was so upset and asked when I would get passed this. On the next ultrasound they said everything was fine. I am now 6 weeks. With my husband’s lack of support during my ‘miscarriage’, why would a pregnancy be any different? I was so relieved when I thought I was miscarrying to not to go through this. But that is not my fate in life. We are going this Saturday for the procedure.

I always wanted a baby brother or sister for my biological child. But felt that our house was at it’s capacity and felt that I wouldn’t be able to handle another child mentally, I had terrible post partum. The first pregnancy was all me, this time too would be all me. I told 2 close friends who told me to have the baby. But the more I thought about it, the more I knew I couldn’t handle it. I can’t even tell my parents because it would break their hearts. I feel like a failure, I feel unsupported and unworthy of love.

My husband and I agreed that we do not want another child (but it’s completely different when you are actually pregnant). He isn’t not working and we have so much debt right now. He doesn’t understand why this is such a big deal. He thinks I can just get over this and I’m heartbroken. I love my husband but he does not have the capacity to understand what I am going through. I am a vegetarian because I don’t like killing anything and I am going to get an abortion?! I feel like a giant hypocrite.

I had to tell my friends that I am miscarrying and now I feel even worse because I don’t want them judging me and I feel unworthy of their sympathy. I feel like the lowest scum of the Earth. I do not feel like eating or sleeping. All I do is scour the web for any validation of someone who has gone through this and are ok now. I am heartbroken. I feel like I have something living inside me right now and by Sunday I won’t. I don’t know how I am going to get through this all and pretend it’s nothing by Christmas.

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12 responses to “Having my first abortion at 40”

  1. Tina

    I am 40 and pregnant. I am terrified to have an abortion but I must. I am pro life and never thought I would even be thinking about abortion. My husband is not supportive and has asked me to leave. I have 3 other kids that I barely can afford. I feel so guilty. My carelessness caused this but I know I cannot provide happy healthy home for another child. I need to muster all the strenght I can to go through with this. And then I will leave.

    1. Kathleen

      How are you doing? I completely understand– I was always pro life….never thought I could have an abortion. Then I got pregnant at 42 (3 other kids) and something came over me, I was miserable, depressed, couldn’t look my husband in the eye and told him I wanted an abortion. I had one at 7 weeks. This whole ordeal just goes to show that you just don’t how you will react in a situation. The adamant pro-lifers who post hurtful things about abortion on facebook are so upsetting. We are in a terrible predicament– we don’t want a baby and yet we don’t want an abortion. Let us know how you are doing.

      1. Michelle


        How are you now?

        I’m in a similar spot you were in: nearly 40, 3 small children, primary income…and birth control failure. I am leaning towards termination because I don’t see how we can manage otherwise.

        Are you ok now?

    2. Emily

      Tina, I hope you are doing well. I am in a similar situation. It’s so very hard. My heart goes out to you.

  2. Alison

    Sarah, I am in a stable loving marriage, and at 38, with Polycystic Kvary Syndrome, I got pregnant. I had stopped the pill but I never got a period, and in my stupid youth, had never gotten pregnant when I wast careful. By the time I realized I was pregnant I was 8 wks. We had not wanted children, and nothing in me was excited about being pregnant. I made the decision to terminate. I did not make it lightly, I felt like I was taking a life, but at the same time, what kind of life would my child have if I was having these feelings? I decided to have the medical procedure – a round of pills that forced miscarriage. At that point I was 9 and a half weeks. I went back for the follow up, and, I was still pregnant. Now almost 12 weeks pregnant, alone in a Planned Parenthood, sobbing on the phone to my husband, I asked the doctor if it was still a viable pregnancy or if the medication had induced too much damage. She informed me that she had seen babies born after taking this medication, and it was not good. Because I was so far along, I decided to have the surgical procedure done right there, that day. Traumatizing doesn’t cover it. Besides the physical pain, while in the recovery room with three other women, I was curled in a ball still sobbing, and the other three women (two young, one about my age) were COMPLETELY blase. That was horrifying in itself. I recovered, I talked about it in therapy, I seem to have made amends with it. Last night I had a dream, I came across a baby – and I realized she was mine, she hadn’t been terminated, and she was healthy and happy. I was sobbing in my dream because I didn’t know how I was going to explain where she’d been this whole time. Even realizing just right now as I write this in April of 2020, I would have a one year old (I always felt she was a girl). I woke up and sobbed in the shower this morning. Then my husband said “Honey, look at the beautiful cardinal out back”. I cried quietly again. I know I made the right decision, and I know for the most part I will be okay. But I also know that there will be dreams, or situations, or things that bring it back up, and I just have to be okay with that. I wish you much love. Being a woman, a mom, not a mom, is difficult because of our emotional makeup.

  3. Diana

    I don’t know what I can say to make you feel better. I just did an abortion on Monday and this week has been hell for me. I do not have a supportive partner either and my endless crying seems annoying to him. I know it’s hard but I think the best way for us to go through this is to try not to overthink. Thinking about this too much is not gonna change anything but put ourselves in a worse place.

    1. Sarah Marie

      I had to cancel my first appointment I was too scared! I don’t know if I can go through with it. But I’m scared I’m making a decision just on his wishes and not mine. It sucks either decision will ruin us.

      1. Keely

        I feel the same way. I have my own kids and too pill at less than 5w pregnant, 12 hr after I took a home pregnancy test. I was on robot mode. It was out of body. I wasn’t emotional at all. And now I can’t stop crying (3w later). I wanted this baby. And now I cannot forgive myself. I am actually so shocked by lack of counseling at the appointment, no one was telling me to take time deciding or take a step back. I am appalled at my decision and I’m not sure I will ever find peace.

        1. Alana

          I did the exact same. 24 hours after I took a pregnancy test. I can’t stop crying and saying ‘what did I do?!” It had been several years since your comment. How are you feeling about your decision now? Any lighter?

    2. Madeline

      I feel your heartache. I feel the same pain and shame. Mine is scheduled for Tuesday. My heart is with you and know that there is love in the universe that understands and supports you.

    3. Emily

      I am also 40, married with two older kids. I am facing an unplanned pregnancy and abortion is scheduled for next week (I will be 8 weeks). There is no way I can have a baby right now. Depressed and confused doesn’t even cover my emotions right now, in addition to debilitating morning sickness and hormone shifts making me feel insane. I cry all day long. I want to send THE biggest hugs and care and strength to all of you in this situation. You are brave and strong, making an impossible decision, which you have determined is the best decision for all involved. That is admirable and you deserve to feel peace in that.

      1. Kathleen

        How are you doing?

        Thinking of you.

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