My Abortion at 16

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: Maria

I had an abortion the day before my 17th birthday. The days that followed started to blur and become meaningless hours; I couldn’t find myself for a while. Everyday is still an internal battle but I try to find ways to deal with the loss of my little bean.

Me and my partner have always been careful when using contraception but sometimes accidents happen. The condom broke and we both panicked, our first thought was to get emergency contraception. I called my best friend and around 2 hours later we arrived at the pharmacy to buy the emergency contraception, I’ve never felt so ashamed to be there, luckily it was pretty much empty and no one seemed to judge me. I took the pill around an hour after that and I felt totally relieved for the following days.

It came to the end of the month and my period was 8 days late. I had a feeling that I was pregnant because I didn’t feel like myself and I experienced some nausea as well as bloating, but my partner insisted that it’s just a side effect of the pill. The next day I decided to go and get a pregnancy test at my local supermarket, which was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life and I was all alone.

The moment I saw the two lines on the stick I became completely numb. The first thought that came to my mind was that my parents could not find out. I grew up with very traditional and conservative parents who would never look at me the same way if they knew I was pregnant. Suddenly I became very aware of the little bean that was growing inside of me, as if my centre of gravity had instantly changed – it’s interesting what 2 lines on a stick can do to us. I immediately started crying because I knew what had to be done — it was my only option at that time.

My partner was always very supportive and carried me through the whole experience, I needed someone to pick up the broken pieces that were left of me. We got transferred to an abortion clinic and got given the abortion pill to pass the pregnancy at home. Thankfully, everyone in the clinic was so supportive of my situation and I wasn’t made to feel uncomfortable at any time.

Passing the pregnancy at home was one of the most traumatic experiences I’ve ever gone through. I was isolated because I couldn’t tell my parents what was going on and I was left to the most terrible pain which lasted hours. My boyfriend was really helpful and made me feel like I at least had someone to lean on.

The next day I was engulfed by grief because I was keenly aware that something inside of me was gone, and I was going to miss my little bean terribly. The biggest thing that had happened to me I didn’t feel I could share, and I was so afraid of expressing this to anyone. I tried not to think about when the baby would’ve been born but I guess it’s inevitable; the little time we shared together was filled with emotion and my brain’s focus had completely shifted to the life that was once growing inside of me.

I am sorry everyday for what I had to do to my bean but I don’t regret my decision. There was no way we could provide for the baby. I still struggle looking at pictures of mothers with their babies but I’ve learnt to reduce my grief by writing things down what I feel afraid to say out loud. If you have any advice or want to share your story with me please leave a comment.

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