The Best Possible “Worst Case Scenario”

Palm leaves in the dark

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: Eliza

I am writing this after having had a surgical abortion two months ago, and while it was a difficult emotional experience, it also proved to be a very positive experience overall. Before I share I will acknowledge that I had (and have) a ton of privilege going into this experience: I’m white, I have health insurance, I live in a place where my primary care doctor could perform the procedure in the office.

I am 29 years old, and had been successfully using the rhythm method (tracking my ovulation and cervical mucus) for about a year with my partner. Unfortunately, as these things go, stress can disrupt your ovulation unbeknownst to you and- wham, I’m two weeks late. I found out I was pregnant on my partner’s birthday, and he couldn’t have been kinder (“Well it’s really exciting to know we can get pregnant”). We want to have kids someday, but I am still in graduate school and am working an unpaid internship, so that time is not now.

I’ve always wanted to be a mom, so realizing that the first time I got pregnant was not going to be met (by me) with joy and excitement was a HUGE disappointment. I felt a range of emotions, but most of all wanted to live in line with my values and try to destigmatize this process as much as possible. I was open with my friends, and immersed myself in media and blogs like this one that made me feel not alone. I’d highly recommend watching Obvious Child and Saint Frances.

I also read the section about abortion in Walter Makichen’s book, “Spirit Babies.” The chapter offered a beautiful meditation on contacting the spirit of your unborn child and sharing your feelings with them. As I did the meditation I wept and felt great relief.

The hardest part of the whole experience was waiting until I was 7 weeks pregnant. I’d considered the medical abortion, but realized the intense hours of pain would be far more traumatic for me than 10 minutes at the doctor’s office under sedation. I was lucky in having a great relationship with my primary care doctor, who was supportive and kind throughout the whole process.

On the day of the procedure, I followed my doctor’s orders to take 800mg of advil and a xanax before leaving my house. One of my best friends drove me and my partner to the doctor’s office. While they waited in the car (COVID) I went in, and after getting an injection to sedate me further, the doctor carried out the abortion in about 8-10 minutes. It was painful but I stayed relaxed and focused on my breath. It was over quickly and I was on my way. Other friends stopped by to drop off treats and care packages. I was so glad I told the people in my life what was going on, and gave them the opportunity to show up for me.

When we are ready to have a baby, we are going to love that baby with all our hearts. It wouldn’t have been fair to anyone, and would have been a much more stressful experience to pressure myself into having a baby before I was ready (not to mention the psychological impacts on a child we weren’t ready for).

To anyone reading this, please know you are not alone. Your feelings are valid, and they will ebb and flow. It is okay to yearn for motherhood and still have an abortion. It is okay to be sad and weepy even while knowing you’re making the right decision (those pregnancy hormones are also INTENSE). I hope that someday my experience of being loved and supported throughout the process of getting an abortion is the rule, and not the exception.

With love,


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4 responses to “The Best Possible “Worst Case Scenario””

  1. Emma

    Thank you for sharing, Eliza.
    I am only two days post SA. I want to be a mother one day, I really do. Recently got out of a really awful/shocking divorce that has given me PTSD and other trauma. Got pregnant with a man who is honestly more of a healing relationship post-divorce than what I know I need and want in a partner. (Though he is a very kind man). These last few weeks have been the hardest of my life. I have so much resentment, fear, and I worry that I will never be at peace with my decision. It’s only been two days but I feel I’m already depriving myself of daily joys and punishing myself emotionally as if I don’t deserve to feel relief or gratitude.

    I watched Obvious Child which was very relatable but I will try Saint Frances and the Spirit Babies meditation as well. Thank you for the recommendations. Sending you peace and love, <3

    1. Eliza

      Dear Emma,

      Thank you for sharing your story, and I’m so glad my recommendations resonated with you. It sounds like you have been through so much this year, and I hope you are able to find small ways to offer yourself kindness as you heal emotionally and physically. Tara Brach has a beautiful guided meditation called RAIN that I highly recommend. Rebuilding trust in ourselves after trauma takes time and hard work, and I hope you find people who are able to support you in that process be they friends or a therapist.

      Wishing you all the best,


  2. Sara

    Eliza, thank you for sharing your story. I had a very similar situation, where my partner and I had been successfully using Natural Family Planning and ovulation tracking for 4 years. A stressful week made me late for the first time. I learned I was pregnant the same week that I was accepted into graduate school. We want a family and are so excited to have kids one day, but it simply wasn’t the right time for us to start our family. We’re learning to balance our decision to end the pregnancy and our desire for children in our future. It is true that both of this strong emotions can coexist. Thank you for your story, it has helped me feel like I’m not alone with these experiences, hard decisions and seemingly contradictory emotions.

    1. Eliza

      Dear Sara,

      Thank you for your kind words and your brave vulnerability. It means the world to me to hear that my experience was able to bring you some solace during this challenging time. It also means a lot to hear about your similar story and our shared grief. My dad always says, “Joy shared is doubled, grief shared is halved.”

      I wish you the best of luck in your studies, and epic joy in your future family <3



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