I love you no matter what happened.
I had an abortion 3.5 months ago and it hurts like a breakup that came out of nowhere. Joys and hopes were shattered the moment the ultrasound technician told us about the malformation to the head of the fetus during our 12-week ultrasound.
My partner and I agreed on not bringing a child to this world with health complications, suffering and genetic disorders. It wouldn’t be fair to a person who never asked to be born in the first place. The doctors prepared us mentally for an abortion because the malformations were important, and the pregnancy might not be viable. My partner and I are pro-choice. I already had an abortion 4 years ago because I was not ready to be a mother, so I knew what to expect.
For weeks, I felt guilty that I wasn’t more appreciative of the pregnancy. I kept complaining about the nausea, the fatigue, and my itchy belly. When others were desperate to be fertile, I took it for granted that I could conceive. I hadn’t even planned for the pregnancy as it came as a beautiful surprise. But when I saw the positive pregnancy test, I knew I was ready to start a family.
I was 4 months pregnant, and requested the abortion as fast as possible to prevent myself from getting further attached. It only took 2 days to get an appointment. My partner and I went back home. We wanted to stay positive, and we agreed that it wasn’t the end of the adventure. Maybe we could try again for another one later. We were mostly grateful for the technology, the early diagnosis, and the kindness of the medical team. My body was numb, and my head took over to survive this experience. I told everyone that biology wasn’t perfect. Loss, genetic malformation, and miscarriages were natural processes, and we must accept it as part of our human condition, I just happened to be one of the unlucky ones. Everything made sense in my head because I didn’t want to let my emotions overwhelm me.
Few weeks ago, I signed up for a prenatal yoga class and decided to go anyways. I was excited to start working out again after the nausea calmed down. There were 3 other glowing women at different stages of their pregnancy. The yoga instructor asked us how many months we were pregnant and whether there were complications. I was the only one in the room raising my hand. I had just learnt the day before that I may not keep my baby.
Shame overwhelmed me. I shouldn’t have been in this prenatal yoga class, as it was intended for mothers-to-be — not soon-aborting women. I was composed and pretended like everything was fine though. The yoga teacher looked me in the eyes and asked me to focus on letting things unfold in their own time and to try not to control what you cannot control. After stretching a few times, I was relaxed, and the silence was bothering me I was reliving each moment of the pregnancy like rewinding a movie to investigate what exactly I did wrong for this malformation to occur.
I did not want to face myself and dealing with the loss, but it was too late. For the final pose, we simply laid on our backs, hands on the belly and few tears came out. When I left the yoga place I cried uncontrollably on the streets. I implored the universe to find a solution, head surgery, transplant, anything. It felt like I wanted to die with the baby. I didn’t want to abandon it just because it was different.
Unfortunately, the doctors confirmed that the pregnancy wouldn’t be successful, and nothing could be done We went to a sushi restaurant to celebrate being able to eat mercury-filled food since we were not keeping the baby. The sushi tasted awful in my mouth, and I could only eat 3. I didn’t want to enjoy eating sushi, I wanted to keep my baby and I wanted it to be healthy.
The same day, I was given 5 pills to help my uterus be more open and floppier. They gave me awful cramps. The doctor was professional, and the aspiration was quick. The doctor took a DNA sample to run genetic tests. I was anesthetized the whole time and woke up gazing at a tray for what seemed like an eternity. I couldn’t feel a thing and all I wanted was to forget about the experience like it never happened. On the way back home, I asked my partner if we could stop at a park, sit on a bench and be with ourselves for a moment before going back to the real world and getting people’s sympathy and having to explain precisely what I didn’t want to talk about.
Few months have passed, and I go through paradoxical emotions, from grateful to sad. My partner and I are trying for another baby, but my body is still traumatized. I do not talk about the abortion to other people. Because I want to be strong, I keep it in. I also believe that if I don’t talk about it anymore, it will make me move on faster. Also, since it was a logical decision that I made, it shouldn’t make me feel sad.
I went to see two genetic counselors after the abortion. One of them said I shouldn’t feel as sad as someone who lost their baby at 8 months of pregnancy. I didn’t like comparing myself to others as if there was a scale of sadness depending on what month you lose your baby. Few weeks ago, the doctors gave us updates about the genetic test. We learnt that the fetus didn’t have Down syndrome and that it was a boy. It made me feel even sadder to know the gender.
Yesterday, I had my period, and I cried for a long time at night. The blood is a painful reminder of the loss. I started resenting my body for not being able to have a healthy baby. I was told that the best way to get over a baby loss is to get pregnant again. Each month I am not getting pregnant for some reason.
When I came across this website, I cried reading other people’s stories. Tonight I cried, but I always keep it secret. I am not ready to show the world that I cry and that it hurts inside my heart, not even to my partner. I cry for my baby, and I cry for myself, but I still have trouble seeking help.
And sometimes, I catch myself cupping my belly like the baby is still inside of me, and I let my tears roll down my cheeks. I can’t think of a better decision though. I hope the baby is happy wherever he is and that he knows that his parents love him and always will. No matter what.
Submitted by: Aurelie
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