I Thought I Would Have Been Ready

I thought i was ready, but this is growth

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.

I’ve been with my partner for just over a year. We are in our late twenties, we have a great relationship, stable incomes and a good home. I found out I was pregnant over a month ago now, and I was shocked. I felt terrified and almost angry at my body, then I felt guilt for being so upset. My partner and I talked often about kids and wanting a family in the next couple of years. I have always been pro-choice, but I thought I was at a point in my life where we could start a family if it were to happen a bit sooner than planned. I never thought I would make the decision I made.

I was early in my pregnancy, just a few days had passed since my missed period. My partner and I went through waves of emotions over the days that followed. We had moments where we thought we would have the baby. I even started watching first trimester vlogs on YouTube. Then the reality of having a baby at this time in our lives started to sink in.

Although we knew, on paper, we were “ready” for this, it still did not feel right. We wanted more time in our relationship – we wanted to get to know each other on a deeper level through the ups and downs that come with a long term relationship, we wanted to get engaged, married, travel and enjoy our time together, just the two of us, before the inevitable and life altering changes that come with having a child.

This felt so selfish. Every experience I had read about online or heard about from others went something like this… “I was a teenager..” “We were in love but both still in college…” “We are married with two kids and we can’t have another…” How can I, a 28 year old with a loving partner and good income, justify the choice to have an abortion? I know that no abortion needs justification, but I could not get that question out of my mind.

A week passed – I talked with my sister and closest friend, both new moms. I called help lines. I made lists. I cried a lot. I felt completely undecided up until the moment I put the first pill in my mouth. I sat on the couch, my partner beside me, and lifted the water bottle to my lips then put it down probably ten times before I actually took the pill. I took the pill and felt relief. I felt that maybe I was more upset over being so undecided, and now that I was done, I was okay?

The next day, I did everything I could to feel emotionally supported for the next part of the process. I cleaned the whole house, did yoga, lit candles and made sure everything felt cozy. I took the pill at 5pm and got in bed. My partner made me pad thai and I put Frozen on Netflix. The cramps came in waves, and the bleeding was significant but less than I expected. I felt okay.

The next day, I went to my sisters. I knew she was trying for her second baby. I had this feeling that she was pregnant, so I asked. She was, she had just taken the test that morning. The timing of it all felt unfair. I felt immense grief and pain. I knew that wasn’t fair to her so I put on a happy face, told her I was okay and that I needed to get home. I cried for hours and hours. It felt like the tears would never stop coming. I imaged the baby that would’ve been my niece or nephew’s cousin. The same age. Being pregnant at the same time as my sister and best friend. It was almost Christmas, my parents were coming in a few days. I thought about the conversations I would have to hear of congratulations, and the smiles I would have to fake. I had never felt so many emotions at once.

Over a month has passed and I still go through waves of sadness. I don’t regret my choice, as I feared I would, but I feel a sense of loss every now and then. It is hard to be around my sister and her friends during all the baby talk. My partner and I bought a ring with a peridot stone for our August Baby, as I call her. My sister will have an August Baby too, and we are both working through those feelings. She is sad for me, I am happy for her.

I am doing my best to focus on the things on our “pro” list we made for this decision – quality time with my partner, focusing on my health, living in the moment and appreciating my independence and free time. I have learned it is okay to feel sadness over our August Baby while also feeling at peace with our choice and planning for our future and the life and family we will build together.

Submitted by: Elizabeth

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2 responses to “I Thought I Would Have Been Ready”

  1. M

    Thank you so much for this post. I find myself in a similar position. We found out this morning and on paper we’re “ready” to be parents but mentally I just need more time. I feel so incredibly selfish but how can I be the best possible parent while also feeling depressed/angry/shameful. Thank you for making this decision feel less lonely.

  2. Melissa

    Thank you so much for writing this. I am in such a similar life situation as you and needed to hear this.

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