Abortion guilt

Hey Echo,

(Trigger Warning) I'm not sure what to even expect from this post...maybe just to vent or comfort somehow. I have been diagnosed with anxiety and depression. This first started a few years ago. I found myself pregnant with my current BF but at the time we were only dating for 5 months. I had an abortion because I was honestly too terrified to deal with the situation and felt like I could not tell my parents as they had never met him.

I feel like I rushed the choice and didn't think about it enough. I have regretted that decision ever since. I was in tears during the entire procedure (I was awake for it and in a lot of pain). It was very traumatic for me. I cried for a long time and hated myself. I still think about that baby sometimes. What gender would it have been? I think about how old he or she would be now, etc. I still feel extremely guilty.

However I ended up getting pregnant again and had a daughter. I was starting to feel better after her birth but at times would still get very sad about the loss. Now fast forward 3 years later (and about 6 months ago), I found myself pregnant again. I am still with the same guy and we were going to keep the baby. It was unexpected but we had come to accept it and look forward to it. We told our close family about the pregnancy. Then I got the testing done around 11 weeks and found out my baby had down syndrome. It was also a boy. The lady from the hospital told me this along with my results (I know the gender doesn't matter but it was special after having a daughter and 3 step daughters and knowing how much my SO wanted a son.)

Everyone around me was in agreement that I should not proceed with the pregnancy. They told me life would be too hard for my son and that it was more selfish to bring him into the world than to let him go. They told me that it would be too hard to raise him as it would take time away from my daughter, it would be emotionally exhausting seeing him suffer, people may treat him poorly, etc. I did some research but to be completely honest I was in such a low place that I couldn't bring myself to read any more as I would just break down. My father did a lot of research and I really trust his opinion - I actually talked to a few people in my family that I trust. We decided to have an abortion.

After the first time, and it being extremely heartbreaking, I never thought I would be in the same position again. I had to wait between tests and getting appointments to talk to the genetic counsellor, etc. I couldn't have the abortion until I was 16 weeks along. I couldn't bear the thought of being awake again so I asked to be put to sleep for it and they made a note on my file. I had it done at the hospital around Christmas time. This was such an excruciatingly painful time in my life and I still cry every day.

I miss my baby so much. My due date passed just a short while ago and I keep thinking about how he would be here now. I picture his face, his smile, his laugh. I am just so heartbroken. I always looked forward to having children but never expected to have to go through these experiences or have so much pain surrounding this area of my life. I feel like the worst person in the world for not thinking harder and longer, for not being brave enough to do my own research and fight for my own opinions or desires, for even being in situations like that where poor innocent souls had to die because I was too irresponsible. I still think about my decisions and they haunt me to this day. Someone tell me it gets better. What am I supposed to do? Will these thoughts haunt me forever? How does it get better??? 

Upset and worried mommy! 



Hey Upset and worried mommy,

I had an abortion. I know this feeling all to well. You need to forgive yourself. 

It took me a few years to understand that it’s OK, but I made a decision at that time, with what I had, with what I knew,... and it’s okay. Be kind to yourself. You are not going to hell. You’re actually a really great person... do you think that maybe.. just maybe.. this was supposed to be your story?

That’s what I believe. I believe that I had an abortion, because that is part of my story, and if I hadn’t gone through that, I can tell you that I wouldn’t be who I am today.

I can tell you that I had a traumatic experience. I had an abortion because my boyfriend at the time was extremely abusive. I changed my mind, but it was too late. The nurse was holding me down and put the face mask on... Before I knew it, I woke up to the nurse telling my mom that I shouldn’t have even had one because I was way past 12 weeks. when I was leaving she told me that she didn’t want to see me here again, having one abortion is one thing, but women who keep coming back is another. 

I was fragile, young-ish... and I felt like shit after. I stooped into a really deep depression, I was then raped while I was still bleeding from my abortion by my current abusive boyfriend.... and ended up pregnant AGAIN.

I can tell you, I’ve been there. I’ve been there, crying over the toilet because I thought an abortion would be easy, and that it would just go away and I wouldn’t have to think about it. But you think about it every time you go to the washroom and you see blood for the next three weeks.  
I thought that nurses were supposed to call and check on you.. they didn’t... and I was in pain. I had an infection, I had a high fever and a toddler I was taking care of and going to work with a smile on my face like my life wasn’t in shambles at that moment.

I didn’t tell anyone, I kept it inside. I abused myself with terrible words..  HELL! there was even nights that I hate myself so much that I would go google abortion and force myself to look at all of the terrible things people on the Internet are saying about people who have abortions. I believed them! I punished myself with NEVER having sex.. I punished myself with NEVER going on a date.. I punished my daughter by disconnecting from her because I felt like I didn’t deserve to be a mother!

My mom/s bf- would tell me, “God’s work” or “God’s punishing you” when I found out I had an infection. “Gods punishing you” when I fell ill with the flu..  like everything for years after was because of that ONE TERRIBLE THING I did... 

Well guess what.
One day, someone (a therapist friend) had tea with me. she said, “what kind of things do you say to yourself that no-one else can hear?” 
“You’re abusing yourself” she said. Every relationship that you’ve ever been in, you’ve been abused by that man. You’ve been molested as a child, sexually assaulted and raped, you’ve been abused by your own family... and now that you’re not being abused..... you’re only doing what you know how.. you’re abusing yourself.
and something shifted. I realized... she’s right!!

One day I was scrolling through pictures and that’s when this picture popped up. 
I realized that it’s true, that it’s OK I had an abortion. It’s okay. it’s OKAY!! I did what I had to at the time. I made a decision based on what I felt and had at the time. I can’t compare who I was then and this situation I was in then, to where I am now.

I’ve grown. I had the abortion, and I’ve grown from it. So have you. We grow every day and we are not who we were then. We don’t have what we had then. 

So I’m telling you so stop hating yourself.
You don’t deserve that kind of abuse. 

You deserve to heal. 
So, in order to heal- you need to see a therapist and start talking. 

Start treating yourself with more kindness, more forgiveness.

I’m sure you question it often.. your worth, and if you’re even worthy of forgiveness? The answer to that is yes. You are worthy of forgiveness, you are worthy of having a happy, healthy life.

It’s okay. It’s time for self love, self care. 

I wasn’t ready. I learned something incredible valuable from my experience.. and I promise.. if you push on, if you keep moving forward instead of being stuck in the past.. if you keep going, seek help, find love, love yourself.. and do what you can to love yourself! you will find peace. you will be at peace and you can move forward, you just need some help. 

The best help, will come from talking to a therapist! 

It’s a dark shadow of a secret and a huge shame to carry- but you don’t even know that you don’t have to.

Because, it’s okay to have had an abortion. 

And to answer your question, yes. Yes it gets better. I promise!

Love, Echo