Ready

Submitted by: Caro

I have shared my story with two people, my partner and a friend.

I have read stories on other sites, in books and listened to different documentaries and podcast. I tend to intellectualize my emotions, trying to learn how others handle things or have coped. I feel like I need to tell this story because I don’t feel like the choices I made were unique or uncommon in any way, but they feel so unique to me.

I had been pretty indifferent to having children most of my young life, then I met my current partner and that feeling changed. When he and I discussed long term goals in life, children were always a part of the conversation, without any concrete timeline. I became pregnant with him at a point where neither of us were ready. The moment I found out was when it become most evident we were not ready for children — that maybe the romanticized ideas we had had about children were not at all what we wanted when finally faced with pregnancy. At the same time I felt joy and excitement about my first pregnancy.

For the first two days I would rapidly cycle through the emotions of feeling excited to hoping that I was mistaken and the test was wrong. I cried so hard every time I talked about terminating the pregnancy, I felt such a deep level of sadness. I also just kept waking up thinking please just don’t let me be pregnant, please don’t let me be pregnant. No matter what I thought or felt, I always came back to knowing that I did not want a child at that moment and would not want a child 9 months from that moment. It was a lot of reality to face at once.

I felt the support of my partner, but there was a void where he couldn’t understand the grief I felt about my first pregnancy being terminated. That all the ideas or dreams I had ever had about being pregnant did not end with feelings of grief, guilt and shame. All of these emotions occurred at the same time I was feeling how necessary it was not not have a child.

He came with me to the clinic for the abortion. The waiting room was packed and I wished he was allowed in to the examination room with me. I felt more calm once I was actually there, more certain that I was making the right decision. I was able to take the second pill home and I asked him to go to a friends house the next day when I took it as I wanted to be by myself. I don’t know why I wanted to be alone, but I didn’t think he would understand how sad I was or that he would interpret that sadness as regret.

I tried not to think about what was happening, I read for a little and watched TV. As I started to cramp I couldn’t keep my mind off of it and spent a long time in the bathroom crying. I could feel once the pregnancy was over, and felt relief. I showered and spent most of the day in bed. I did not feel regret and two years later I still do not feel regret. Grief and shame, at times. I wish I had family that could grieve with me or just be open to listening to my story. I am still with my partner and his extended families religious values make both of us uncomfortable in sharing the story.

I know how common abortion is, so why am I so ashamed to discuss it? I feel like I am constantly hiding a huge part of myself, a part that I say I do not feel regret about, but why is it so hard to talk about? I do not know if there is anything anyone else will take away from this. I feel lucky to have the support of my partner and a friend who shared her abortion story with me and has helped me to open up and talk about it. I think that storytelling is healing, and I am hoping that sharing in small way will help guide me to sharing in larger ways that help to combat my feelings of secrecy.

I wish it was something that I could just talk about in any setting free of judgment and met with compassion and understanding. I also want to be that for others, but feel like I need to come to terms with how and why to talk about it myself. I still think about it a lot. They way I felt and how scary it all was. It’s strange to be with the same person and have them not really give it any thought. I’m irrationally scared that I won’t be able to have kids in the future when I am ready, or that the experience has made me really not want kids at all. Wondering if there is a time or an indication of being “ready”. I hope for more healing and more confidence to discuss

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5 responses to “Ready”

  1. sarah

    I felt the support of my partner, but there was a void where he couldn’t understand the grief I felt about my first pregnancy being terminated.

    I don’t know why I wanted to be alone, but I didn’t think he would understand how sad I was or that he would interpret that sadness as regret.

    It’s strange to be with the same person and have them not really give it any thought. I’m irrationally scared that I won’t be able to have kids in the future when I am ready, or that the experience has made me really not want kids at all. Wondering if there is a time or an indication of being “ready”. I hope for more healing and more confidence to discuss

    Those three statements right there. Exactly how I feel. My partner and I have been together for almost 8 years. I am 25, he’s 28. We know we are getting married and someday want kids but the only two abortions I’ve had have been with him. Have these two instances put a dark cloud over our future pregnancies, I wonder? It feels like it sometimes. I get angry and resentful about my experiences and often find myself caught up in my thoughts. I know we had the right decisions and don’t have regrets but it’s still grief. How is everything going to be joyful and okay the next time? It’s difficult to swallow and feels like I’m on an island. Surely he never wrestles with the grief and emotions left over from the past. We talk about it a lot and he tries his best to be there when I get upset but I just know he doesn’t understand just how heavy this feels for me. I am considering seeking grief counseling or some type of therapy to move myself forward and get to a better place but it sure is a challenge. Especially when it’s your “secret.” That’s the shittiest part…

  2. Amanda

    I had a similar situation 9 months ago and am still with my partner, 2 years now. We’ve lived together awhile now, are financially stable, I’m almost 33, and our relationship has only gotten better which makes me resentful sometimes, even though it was the best decision at the time. I’m feeling better about the decision as time goes on but I’m still triggered often, like when peers are pregnant and their partners are happy and supportive, or on Mother’s Day, or yesterday on the due date. He admits he has no idea how to react to the abortion or my feelings, hasn’t thought about it much at all, and is unaffected. I’m also worried about my fertility and don’t know how I will cope if I can’t get pregnant in the future. You’re definitely not alone thinking these things. <3

  3. Katrina

    Cato, thank you so much for sharing your story. No matter the reasons, it is always a hard decision to make. I had mine 6 months ago. I’m still with my bf of 8 years and i agree with you when you say how weird it is that he doesn’t share the same feelings. I fear that I won’t be able to have kids in the future too. I’m glad I’m not alone on those feelings.

    1. Alexa

      Hi Caro,
      I had a difficult time accepting that my husband had very different feelings to our termination than I did. He did not feel any of the pain or guilt I felt. At first, I was angry that it was so much easier for him to move on. But as time goes on I just accept that as the woman it’s a very different experience for me. So was pregnancy and child birth, by the way! 🙂 There is both a special gift and a burden as the woman/mother. I embrace it and know it’s my destiny. Good luck to you. Everything you are feeling is healthy.

      1. L

        Caro,
        I know it’s hard to share your stories but yours really resonated with me. I took the first pill today and I will be taking the others tomorrow. My husband is here and very supportive but he doesn’t really understand it. It’s almost like it doesn’t affect him at all. I know it’s the “right” thing to do; there is so much more I need to do with my life and I want to be prepared for our first child, but it still feels horrible. I’m scared for the days and weeks to come. I’m scared for how I will feel after its all over. But hearing how you went through essentially the exact same thing I’m going through, makes it a little easier. Thank you.

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