Terminating a (Poorly) Planned Pregnancy

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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: Emilia

I’m a woman who has had two abortions. The first one was “an acceptable” one, the other not so. I’ve struggled with my mental health almost my whole life. My second abortion made me more depressed and anxious I have ever been. It’s been almost two years now and I still struggle to make peace with our decision to terminate.

I had my first abortion at the age of 26. I had just graduated and had my first real job. I was struggling with my mental health (OCD, panic disorder and generalised anxiety), but somehow managed to live quite a normal life. I had dated a guy eight years older than me for a couple of months. I had a huge crush on him. He didn’t want to use condoms and I didn’t bother to ask. I went to my obgyn to get contraception pills. I was waiting for my periods so I could start taking them. Until then, we were using the pull-out-method. My periods never started, and I found out we were pregnant. I immediately knew I wanted an abortion. I was only 5-6 weeks, and on an ultrasound, they could not find the embryo yet, just an empty sac. This abortion didn’t leave me with any regrets.

Fast forward to 12 years later. I met the love of my life, and he wanted a child. I have never had a baby fever or a desire to become a mother. My boyfriend started to talk about wanting a baby when we had dated less than half a year. First, I felt anxious. But as the months went by, I somehow got open to the idea of having one child. I thought it was now or never, as I was already turning 38. In December we stopped using contraception.

I had just started a new job and was stressed out. Then the pandemic hit. We all were living very strange times. We were watching the news, and I was almost hyperventilating because I didn’t want to end up in hospital with severe covid. In April when my period was supposed to start, I started to feel cramps and my breasts were sore. I remember checking my underwear, as I thought my periods were starting. At first it didn’t even cross my mind that I could be pregnant.

About a week from that it was obvious that I was pregnant. The morning sickness started, and I felt nauseous and tired all day long. I also felt like crying all the time and they sure weren’t happy tears. I took a pregnancy test, even though I already knew. The first thought was there’s no going back and as I hugged my boyfriend after taking the test, I wasn’t feeling happy. I just felt miserable and tried not to panic.

One morning I wasn’t feeling the normal morning sickness and was delighted by the thought of miscarriage. The two weeks I knew I was pregnant, I could not find any good reason why people have kids. I am a person who must share the news with friends when something exciting happens. I didn’t share the pregnancy news even with my closest friends. I’m happy I didn’t because we ended up having an abortion.

I was 8+2 weeks pregnant when I took the first pill. At that moment I was so sure I didn’t want kids. I didn’t hesitate one moment. After a week or so, I started to feel immense guilt. I blamed myself for terminating a pregnancy that was planned. It was planned poorly, but still. I went to have my hCG levels checked 2,5 weeks after I took the second set of pills. I found out my hCG levels were a bit too high (1250). I panicked again. The doctor assured me the pregnancy had ended, but the ultrasound revealed there was some placental tissue left in my uterus. I had to have a manual vacuum aspiration to empty my uterus. A couple of days from this my periods started, and the doctor said it would have emptied my uterus naturally.

After this second abortion there are days, I don’t know how to live anymore. This guilt is too much sometimes. I feel like I did something wrong by ending a possible life, even though I`m quite sure I would not have survived the pregnancy. I feel like I can`t grow anything in me for 9 months. It makes me feel sort of claustrophobic. I`m angry that I didn`t listen to my inner voice that said a pregnancy might not be a good idea. I`m trying to forgive myself, but it is so hard. I feel like I should have known better at this age.

It would be helpful and much appreciated if there are others who have terminated a planned pregnancy and would like to share their feelings on comments. I do go to therapy, but I feel like I would benefit much from peer support. A lot of love and hugs to everyone who has had to have an abortion/s.

You deserve nonjudgmental
after-abortion support.

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3 responses to “Terminating a (Poorly) Planned Pregnancy”

  1. Dragonfly1114

    I just ended a planned pregnancy in my late-30s, like you. I’m going through the physical part of it and am worried about the emotional part.

  2. Renee

    I am a mother of two children and I thought I wanted more. My husband and I got pregnant after one unprotected encounter. I was initially happy but as the weeks went by I started to feel a sense of dread. I was already exhausted and my mental health was up and down and the pressure of motherhood only made it worse. I ended up making the very painful decision to end the pregnancy. Not that it wasn’t wanted but because I knew that another child would put too much strain on my well-being and I didn’t want to risk how that would impact the two kids I already have. It was so hard but it was also the right thing for me and my family. Only you know what is right for you and you have to trust that you did the best thing you could for you. I am sending you strength and love.

    1. Christine

      I needed to read this. I’m also a mom of 2 and I am coming to the realization I may have to terminate. I have been crying nonstop and my children need me to be their mom again.

      I haven’t made a decision, but thank you for making me feel less alone.

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