To be Able to Go Back and Change What I Have Done

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Submitted by: Kristin

It’s been a little over two months since I terminated my pregnancy, and not a day goes by that I haven’t cried and felt regret.

I am a 43 year old married woman with two young boys. My pregnancy was unexpected and and didn’t come with a great deal of happiness. A lot of it was because I knew that my husband had absolutely no desire to have another child. But I wouldn’t be honest if I said I was exactly happy about it either when I first found out.

I had thoughts of ending the pregnancy before I even told my husband. I cannot relate to the thoughts I was having just a couple months ago during few days I knew I was pregnant, because of my regret that I now have. Some of my thoughts during the time consisted of several overwhelming reasons to not have it. The stress of my two little boys has me in tears some days and I didn’t know how I would be with another. I knew the financial burden another child would have on our family. Plus, our age was also a very big factor.

My husband did express his feelings about my pregnancy, but said it was ultimately up to me. I worried that having another baby would possibly destroy our marriage. I was panicking and an absolute mess. I found out I was pregnant on a Monday and had the termination on a Friday. I was 6 weeks pregnant. I knew if I waited any longer to have the procedure, I wouldn’t do it. So I did it.

I sat there in the waiting room for nine hours before they finally took me. I could’ve changed my mind at any time and left, but I stayed there. I cannot believe that I stayed there and went through with it. The horror of what I did started the next day. I still cannot believe what I have done. I am beyond depressed but also angry and extremely resentful towards my husband. I am most upset with myself for letting it happen but am so mad that I let the desire of others have such an impact on my decision.

Now more than ever, I want a baby. I feel like I made the biggest mistake of my life and don’t feel like I will ever get over this. I feel like my husband should’ve been looking out for my needs. I expressed my confusion over what to do several times before the procedure and asked him daily if he had any second thoughts about wanting the baby, but he expressed zero desire, even during my moments of uncontrollable sobbing. I feel like he wasn’t looking out for me or thinking of the impact this could potentially have on my life.

I don’t know how I did what I did and wish I would’ve talked to someone else before having it done. I told only my mother and husband and felt like it was way too easy to make an appointment and have the procedure done. Almost like it was an appointment for a haircut. I am overcome with grief, sorrow and regret. This experience has made me realize I should not put others’ feelings and wishes above mine, especially with something so monumental. All I think about now is how I really did want another baby deep inside. I always did, even during the hellish times of the toddler years and this god awful pandemic. So much was due to my husband’s wants. I don’t know if I will ever get past this.

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8 responses to “To be Able to Go Back and Change What I Have Done”

  1. K

    I feel this deeply. My husband was not excited when I told him and honestly either was I was panicked. But his reaction was not happy. I was a mom of 2 toddlers and hormonal/emotional. I needed him to be steady and reassuring, but he wasn’t.. He had a bad year at work, worried about money. Said let’s try again In6 months. I kind of let him lead me. I decided to abort the next day – less than 24 hours after taking a test. I was less than 5 w. Couldn’t wait, just acted. That should have been my first tip off that it was wrong. If I couldn’t wait 2 weeks, it is not the right decision.

    I worry this has ruined my marriage and my life. I am now infertile – we starting TTC right away after bc I was so miserable. Now About to start IVF, 10 mo after abortion. But I am so ashamed I can’t even tell my doctors about the abortion so I worry there are other issues in play. So far all my tests are fine but I cannot get pregnant despite medicine and iui treatments. I blame the pill for side effects that likely are covered up by the pro choice community.
    I hope you are ok and find more peace than I have.

  2. Kathleen

    Kristin, LB, and RT,
    I can so relate to all your stories. I’m 43, have 3 young kids, and chose to terminate in January. I just couldn’t go back, start all over, wanted to move on with MY life, my dreams, strengthen my marriage, not just survive by keeping this pregnancy but to thrive in my own life. It’s been a long journey since January to continually work through the regret, the guilt, the feelings of selfishness, the loss of self confidence, the triggers of seeing women who do have 4 kids, the “what ifs.”

    Things that have helped: r
    –reading and journaling through The Healing Choice book (recommended by another Exhale-er on the board here)
    –listening to the “Speaking Light into Abortion” podcast. I just stumbled upon this and it’s been so helpful for reframing everything. She is a life coach for women who’ve had abortions and has actually interviewed an Exhale Text Line Volunteer as well as Susan Chorley who heads Exhale. I’ve found her messages about taking back your power very helpful. Would love to hear back from all of you if you get a chance to check out that podcast or want to process through other things together. Wishing you all love in this healing journey.

    1. Kristin

      Thank you for this. I will listen to this podcast. Sending love.

      1. Anon

        How are you doing these days?

  3. LB

    I could have wrote this post. Thank you for sharing, I know I’m not alone in my experience or in my regret.
    I terminated my pregnancy a week ago today and have been left with the greatest regret and sadness that I have ever felt and will feel for the remainder of my life. I think about it everyday and cry. I wish I could take it all back.

    Before I knew I was pregnant, I was struggling with feelings of being an inadequate mother. I have two boys, a 15 month old and 3yr old. It has been tough and stressful. My marriage has also not been the best, I had been feeling stuck in a loveless marriage. I can literally count the number of times we’ve been intimate, in the last year, on one hand. My husband also had zero desire for another child, he’s in his mid 40’s. I was completely overwhelmed with all these feelings after I found out I was pregnant. My marriage would fall apart, we could face financial stressor, I felt like I was already struggling as a mom of two how could I take care of one more. I knew I needed to talk to someone to help me sort my feelings out and had made an appt. to do so, actually I made three appts. The first one was with a counselor, my friend had agreed to watch my boys while I went but when I arrived to drop them off, she wasn’t home. The second, I tried to schedule counseling through my work benefits but they were backed up and couldn’t see me until October. The third, I had made an appt with a midwife. It was the appointment where I’d get an ultrasound and see and hear a heart beat, I was 9 weeks. I had scheduled the appt late in the day so that my husband would only miss an hour or so of work as he would have to leave early so that I could make it to the appt. Well, he didnt make it on time and I missed the appt. I was completely devestated each time I hit a roadblock in getting some help. Why was it so hard to speak to anyone. I was completely inconsolable when I missed that midwife appt and my husband didn’t care one bit. I couldn’t believe that he could see me in such distress and not care. It was then that I decided termination was the only option and at the time, I felt like I could finally breath. The thought of not being pregnant was the only thing that gave me relief from all the turmoil I was going through. And without further thought, I made the appt. There was a waiting period and I was emotionless and feelingless during that time. That same feeling was there the day of the procedure.
    It was the next morning that I knew I had made a mistake. I was finally thinking more clearly. All I’ve ever wanted was to have a bigger family, all I can think of now is of what could have been. It’s driving me crazy. All I want too is to hold a little baby. Everything that was overwhelming me means nothing now. I would’ve been fine, we would’ve made it work. All I want is to take it all back.

    1. Kristin

      I so relate to your words of “thinking more clearly after it all. Everything that was overwhelming means nothing now. I would’ve been fine. We would’ve made it work. “ The whole thing still feels like a nightmare to me. I just want to wake up. Praying we all find peace one day.

  4. RT

    I am in a similar situation but I terminated an 8 week pregnancy last week. I am 36 and a mother of a 2 and 4 year old. My husband and I actually talked about having a third but it was not something we really planned on doing. However, although not planned, we didn’t really prevent this third pregnancy. At first I was happy, excited even, but then I started to feel a sense of dread. Being a mother to two young kids leaves me overwhelmed and exhausted most days. I feel like I have had some bouts of depression over the years where I haven’t been able to enjoy my kids, especially when they were babies. I think I wanted a redo on their early years and was thinking that I could and should enjoy it this third time. However, as the weeks went on I started feeling more and more sure that another baby would be too hard on my mental health, end up impacting by ability to enjoy my other kids and would put too much extra strain on an already struggling marriage. Despite all of this, I now feel empty and a sense of loss like nothing I have ever experienced. I hope one day I will recognize that this was the right decision but right now I ache to hold that baby. I feel like a terrible person. Just know you are not alone and we can get through this together.

    1. Kristin

      Thank you. This is the hardest thing ever. Sending love and wishing you peace.

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