Still Struggling But Trying to Heal

cat trying to heal

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.

My husband and I had been together for nearly a decade. We had a home big enough for a family, he had an established career, we were the perfect age and in the perfect space in life to try to start a family. So we did. I’m still trying to heal.

After a few months, early in the morning on November 19th, 2018 I got two positive pregnancy tests. I was scared to death, but excited. I put them under a towel on the bathroom sink and set up two cameras to catch my husband’s response. Instead of the excitement I had always dreamed of, “Oh F**k”, with a look of absolute fear and freak out is what I got.

We were on a constant up and down emotional rollercoaster. I’d come home happy and excited and he would be quiet and freaked out. We’d have long discussions about “Is this right for us? Maybe we shouldn’t be having this baby.” Then I’d be sad and he’d be right back to his normal self. He’d come home happy, see me miserable, then the conversation would go the other way. “People do this everyday. We’ll figure it out.” I’d go back to happy, he’d go back to freaked out, and the cycle just continued for 2 weeks almost every day.

I couldn’t take it anymore so I made the appointment myself at a local clinic for a week later. I decided that it wasn’t fair to bring a child into this world that didn’t have 2 parents over the moon excited about them. I didn’t want to risk my husband not coming around. I sat in my car every day during my lunch hour crying and apologizing to my stomach, to my unborn child. Apologizing for not being a good enough parent, for the fact that it would never experience life, for everything. I deleted the pregnancy app from my phone that tracked the size of my unborn child. I deleted the gifts I had in my amazon cart that I was planning on giving my family as an announcement for Christmas which was only 4 weeks away. I did all of this alone.

The day of the appointment came and I had to go back into the office and answer what felt like 1,000 questions by myself. They didn’t allow my husband to come. I had to get an ultrasound by myself. He was only allowed to join me for getting my blood drawn and medication instructions. He sat right next to me and watched me take that pill. He never even hesitated, that’s how I know he truly didn’t want that child. Immediately after the appointment we went shopping at Costco, as if I didn’t have a soon to be dying child inside of me.

The next day I had to take the pills to start contractions and help me pass the pregnancy. I was in SOOO much pain. I couldn’t stand, sit, or even think straight. I sat on the edge of the couch miserable and in so much pain while my husband sat and watched Saturday Night Live. I was in intense pain off and on for about 5 days which looking back now is nothing compared to the emotional pain I still feel to this day. My husband had to go to Ireland for work a week later and from the time he left the house, went to the airport (we live in Southern California), flew to Ireland, checked into his hotel, and called me. . . I hadn’t gotten out of bed.

That didn’t really change for a few months. I went to work, came home, and cried myself to sleep. Oh, and did I mention that 2 weeks after my abortion, we had his company Christmas party to go to. One of his coworkers was expecting and as we left, his boss pulled us aside as said “Alright, it’s your guys’ turn! When are we having a baby?!” He said this to me literally as I was bleeding into a gigantic pad, slowly recovering from my abortion. He obviously had no idea so I couldn’t be mad but the irony and pain of that moment will stick with me forever.

I’ve tried having tearful conversations with my husband about why I blame myself and why I am having a hard time recovering emotionally. I tell him “A mother’s only job in life is to protect her child and I purposely killed mine.” (I don’t feel this way about any other women that have to make this hard decision, it’s just how I feel personally.) He doesn’t get it. He says he wants to know when I’ll be “back to normal”. We even sold our last house and moved to an entirely new town 45 mins away but guess what, grief and depression isn’t an address. It goes with you.

These days, I get emotional quietly. In the privacy of the bathroom or shower or more often while he’s at work and I’m home alone. He knows I still struggle but I don’t let him see it. It doesn’t solve anything and he doesn’t understand or know how to handle it. Most days these days, I’m pretty good. I still think about that baby every single day. I have the 2 positive tests and the ultrasound pictures in my bedside table. November 19th (the day I found out I was pregnant), November 30th (the day I took the first pill to end my pregnancy), December 1st (the day I started to pass my pregnancy), and July 23rd (my due date) are all days I hate with a passion now. July 23rd will always be my unborn baby’s birthday and I’ll count them every year for the rest of my life.

He recently has brought up the subject of maybe, considering, trying again to have a kid (yeah, I know). He’s in an even better place work-wise and financially so he feels more ready than before but to be honest, I don’t trust him. I don’t trust that he won’t freak out again at the sight of another positive pregnancy test. More importantly I know myself well enough now to know that I absolutely without a doubt in my mind, can not emotionally survive another abortion. So, the possibility of trying to get pregnant again isn’t something I’m willing to risk. This is my life.

I’m a housewife with 3 dogs and a cat. These are my fur babies. I pour all of me into them. I clean, run errands, and stay out of the spare bedroom as much as possible because I know what that room is supposed to be. I’m supposed to have a toddler in there running around and making a mess. Instead it’s spotless and I’m the real mess. In the meantime, I’m just trying to heal and go on with my life as best as I can.

Submitted by: Liz

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One response to “Still Struggling But Trying to Heal”

  1. Robin

    I am so sorry. My heart breaks with yours. I too am post abortive and understand your pain. Your story is so emotionally written that I can feel your pain coming through your words. Sweet girl you are not alone in your pain. I wish I could help in some way. ❤

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