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