Regret? Or does it take time?

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.

Submitted by: Lacey Carter

I am so glad I found this page and I hope someone can give me some light.

I was with my partner for almost 2 years, the relationship has now ended not long after the abortion. He always told me he can’t wait to have a child, even told me the day before we found out I was pregnant to come off the pill. I suppose I wasn’t always 100% careful with my pill. In the back of my mind, sometimes I liked the thought of giving us a baby as it’s something he always spoke about, so now I feel that this is all my fault for being so stupid.

So we found out, and he was over the moon, my hormones were all over the place and I was moody, had mood swings for no reason and was a pretty terrible person to be around as I was scared and insecure. Which then lead to him all of a sudden changing his mind pretty quickly.

He then came up with so many reasons we couldn’t have the baby, and it all seemed to make sense — “what was I even thinking”. So I kind of agreed, kind of tried to talk him around, then ended up going through with a termination. It was rushed and such a fast turn around. He wanted it done asap, and even said that if I went ahead with it, he wouldn’t support me, and that he was no way having a baby with me.

I decided to go private to get it arranged quicker. It was the worst experience I have ever been through and now I don’t know if I am in regret, I cry every night. I couldn’t risk being a single parent as I already have a child. We were moving, starting a new family and it has all been ripped away so fast! I can’t even bear to see people with babies at the moment.

Will this ever get better? Have I done the right thing not bringing a child into a relationship that wasn’t stable? How do I forgive myself?!

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2 responses to “Regret? Or does it take time?”

  1. Kathleen

    I’m glad you found this place too and had the courage to share your story. Your partner really ran you through the ringer, I’m so sorry for all the hurt he caused. It will take time to heal, and you will find you are not alone with those questions of regret and wondering if this was your fault– I feel those too. I always pondered a 4th baby and when I got pregnant I was so mad at myself and kept thinking Be careful what you wish for. It sounds like you made the right decision; it would have been a very unstable, stressful situation to raise another child and you would have been doing it alone. I know that feeling of dread when you see other babies…or pregnant women for me too. I’m 5 months out and it’s still all I think about all the time. I’ve found that the healing is really about finding out and trying different ways to think about your experience, different ways to conceptualize what happened. Personally, I’ve lost a lot of trust in my Catholic upbringing and am finding more peace and release in Buddhist thought. I heard someone say it’s a thought experiment to heal yourself. There is nothing to forgive Lacey; you made the best decision you could with the information you had at the time. Sending love.

    1. Carmen

      Lacey, I felt the same way after my abortion. Even though I made the best possible decision for myself (just like you made the best decision for you), I still couldn’t stop crying or blaming myself.

      I can tell you that things will get better, and take as much time as you need to grieve. Please believe that you are worthy of forgiveness. That was the hardest thing for me, as I really thought I deserved pain and suffering.

      As for seeing other babies or people with babies, time will make it easier. It was difficult for me when I found out I was going to be an aunt two years after my abortion. I was worried it would trigger me and I was worried I wouldn’t be able to connect with my niece. It was hard in the beginning for me to experience milestones with her, as I would and still imagine what-if scenarios with my child. However, with time I have been able to overcome most of my grief. I still get sad, but I also recognize that my grief is valid and I still deserve love and happiness. I am sending you love and healing, because you are worthy and deserving.

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