My Body, My Choice?

My body my choice? Abortion story

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.

My body, my choice?

I had a surgical abortion for a wanted pregnancy in the summer of this year. I say a wanted pregnancy as it was one we tried for, but to be honest the minute we found out I had a terrible sense that something was wrong or that I just couldn’t imagine having to take care of another baby. I can’t even explain it.

Some background to my story is that I have 2 kids, a girl then a boy. They are 2 years apart. After my son was born I had a heart attack that was directly from the hormones of his pregnancy. I wanted just one more baby and discussed if it was safe with my cardiologist. It’s a rare thing that happened to me and is not well researched, especially when it comes to subsequent pregnancies. He assured me that it was a mixture of things that led to it and not just the pregnancy itself. He said I wouldn’t even be considered high risk.

I waited four years just to be safe. We got pregnant, and the bad sense I had was not related to my health — I totally thought I was in the clear on that one. It was something else. I just don’t know what. I couldn’t even remember why I wanted another child so much, but as the weeks went on I was becoming more attached. I got really bad morning sickness, which was basically all-day sickness where leaving the bed was like hell. Taking care of my kids was so hard and there is no way I would have been able to go to work. My house was a mess, everything made me throw up. I feel so bad for women with HG – what an absolute nightmare that must be.

When I found out my doctor made a referral to the maternal health clinic so that they could counsel on how to proceed with the pregnancy considering my heart could be weakened again. That was at 6 weeks. They did not bring me in for an appointment until 12 weeks. Instead of offering to help, they told me that my cardiologist was very wrong and that I was very high risk for death. They told me I shouldn’t do something like that to my living children. They brought me in for an ultrasound and told me they hoped something was wrong with the baby so I would terminate. They said it’s your choice, but we don’t see anything good from this.

I’m not sure if I ever really believed that I was actually in that much risk and I still don’t. In fact a month after the termination, new research came out saying there is no link to recurrence in another pregnancy, so doctors need to help their patients through the pregnancy. But unfortunately, I didn’t have that information to throw in my doctors faces. I felt like I was being coerced by the only people who could help me through the pregnancy just because they didn’t have enough research to know exactly what to do – if that makes any sense.

After the procedure the sickness went away and so did those really bad doomy thoughts. I had a clear head and realized that I could have done it. Lots of women do in fact go on to have more babies with zero complications and in not one research article has anyone actually died, so I know for a fact the risk was not as high as they made it out. And back was that want for another so badly again, now I couldn’t remember any of those negative thoughts. I know everyone on here says “your body your choice and don’t let anyone else sway what you want”, but man that can be complicated. With a clear head, I wish I didn’t do it. I was so pressured and so far along already.

I’m not sure if this is the kinda place we can ask questions but has anyone else felt that crazy sense of doom? It was like I knew something bad was going to happen and maybe, just maybe in my case it would have? I mean, that’s kind of dumb to say because I didn’t have it with my son (or my daughter) and something bad did happen after having him, but I just can’t shake the feeling that my body was trying to tell me something. I also have never had any pregnancy symptoms with both kids and this was full blown “if the air shifted and smelled slightly different I would be heaving over a toilet” kind of sick. I know every pregnancy is different but this was all like night and day from the first 2. I also have found from support groups that a LOT of moms who had that same sense and their poor babies turned out to have severe abnormalities.

I’m sorry we all had to make this terrible decision or “choice” that maybe wasn’t much of a choice after all.

Submitted by: EJ

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