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.

Anonymous Submission

I am 19-years old and I had my second abortion last month. The first was about 6 months prior, with the same guy. The first time I got pregnant, I had seen it coming. My boyfriend and I were lazily using the FAM method of prevention and actually ended up having unprotected sex the day before I ovulated. My body started feeling different a few weeks later; I was breaking out, always hungry, and feeling nauseous every night around 2am.

My period usually comes right on schedule so 5 days after it was supposed to come, I bought a test. My boyfriend kept saying things like, “don’t worry, I’m sure we’ll be fine” (we’ve had pregnancy scares before) and “we don’t know for sure until you do the test”, but I already knew. I bought a 3-pack of First Response tests from Walmart and I went straight to the bathroom after we got to his house. Three minutes passed. I took a deep breath and braced myself for what came next because I was sure I would start bawling immediately after I saw the two pink lines.

When I looked at the results screen, I didn’t break down. Instead, everything slowed down around me; I thought about those scenes in movies when the world blurs around the actor after he/she has some great epiphany or something – that was how I kind of felt, except this was bad news. I went to my boyfriend’s bedroom where he was waiting for me and when he asked what happened, I couldn’t even get the words out of my throat. I fell to the ground and cried harder than I think I ever have. He held me tight as I cried into his chest and asked me what we were going to do.

This is when the troubled feelings arose. The look he gave me was a hopeful one, not the panicked one that I wanted. When he asked me what I wanted to do, I told him I didn’t know, even though I already knew I wanted an abortion. During the next week, I cried every night I saw him and we discussed our options, but every day he seemed to grow more passive about it. He would ask me why I was crying and I couldn’t understand why he didn’t just understand.

Finally, I told him my decision to get an abortion and he said he supported me. However, I knew he wanted to keep the baby but I stayed strong with my decision. He drove me to my appointment at Planned Parenthood and I chose to go with the abortion pill. The clinic was packed and we ended up staying there for 5 hours, during which he got antsy and annoyed because he had work that afternoon. He made it work on time but remained irritable the whole car ride back.

Over the next few weeks, he started to make “jokes” about my abortion and said things like, “_____ because you didn’t keep our baby” or hold my stomach and rub it like people do to pregnant women. And while these things hurt so bad, what really killed me was how he was never open to letting me talk about how I was feeling. I couldn’t look at babies for about a month later without tearing up and whenever the topic would come up, my boyfriend would change the subject. The only other people I told were my two best friends and later, my cousin.

I ended up breaking up with my boyfriend in September (3 months after the abortion) for another guy. The whole situation with being caught in the middle of wanting to be with this other guy and also giving my (ex)boyfriend a second chance put a tremendous amount of stress on me. During the time when he was trying to get me back and acknowledging all the things he knew he did wrong, he finally let me talk about the abortion and he finally told me everything he felt about it, too. I think this is when I finally healed.

I ended up getting back with him after leaving the other guy, which was extremely hard for me and actually triggered my depression that I am still trying to cope with. Fast forward to finals week and Christmastime and I realize my period was 10 days late. I figured it was just because of all the stress I was feeling but just to make sure, I bought a pregnancy test. My boyfriend and I were certain that I wasn’t pregnant because he had pulled out during the two times we had unprotected sex. But lo and behold, I was pregnant again. This time around I didn’t feel scared like I did the first time, but instead I felt completely numb.

My boyfriend continually asked me how I was doing and he was showing me a great amount of support but I still felt almost nothing. I barely even cried about it. I decided this time around I would get the aspiration procedure done because it required much less recovery time since I had to go to work the day after the appointment (I sit down for the majority of the time at work).

The procedure itself was very quick but the cramps that I felt during it almost made me pass out because it had been a couple hours since I had last eaten. The whole ride home was painful and my boyfriend held my hand as we waited in traffic. I slept for the rest of the day. I started to finally cry about it during the next week but I never felt as dreadful as I did the first time. However, whenever the topic of abortion or pregnancy comes up, I feel this pull in my brain and my instinct is to run away from the conversation.

I’ve recently began to feel foolish because I had two abortions within a six month timespan. I have no problem talking about the first one I had, but I cannot bring myself to speak of the second one. I’m not sure what’s going on.

You deserve nonjudgmental
after-abortion support.

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2 responses to “Numbness”

  1. Kate

    I had one at 16 with by first boyfriend. Which i never think about or even remember because I blacked out the memories. I’ve had two within 6 months at 22/23 with my boyfriend of almost 4 years recently. 7 years apart from the first… I know the feeling of numb the second time. My boyfriend also wanted it the first time. He held my stomach too. It was hurtful and so hard to decide. But I look back now, and I don’t regret it. I do think about what the gender could’ve been and stuff, but we both just stopping living in the past and talked about it when we needed to. I still have my days, and so does he. We now are being safer and are going to try in maybe 2-3 years once we’re moved in and possibly engaged. Please know that there’s other people out there with very similar problems. Reading your story made me feel so seen. I hope you can lean on some loved ones and know you have support ❤️

  2. Michaela

    You are unbelievably strong. I had experience two abortions, but the first one failed. You deciding to go through the second one is the bravest thing I’ve ever heard. I’m so sorry for you.

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