Although I have always been strongly pro choice it was something I had thought I could never personally put myself through, the guilt would be too strong. But I chose to and now years clear of that relationship it is with an absolute assurance that I know it was the right thing to do.
I am now expecting and am at 19 weeks, the joy I feel awaiting this baby has made me reflect on my previous pregnancy. I know many women experience trepidation when awaiting their 12 week scan, mine was fierce and after discovering the baby was perfectly healthy the veil of what was causing that fear was lifted.
When I went to have my abortion, despite my expectations, I felt calm. I had resigned myself with determination that it was the only way forward, it was my experience inside the clinic that left the greatest scar that has only just been erased. One of my first questions was to ask whether my choice would affect future pregnancies. One of the ladies shrugged saying to me why should I care about that, it’s not something I need to think about now. But I did care, very much. Her response contributed in carving a deeply settled fear that I did not deserve to become pregnant in the future and an uncertainty whether my fertility had been effected. To add to the unprofessional behavior of that appointment, when the ultrasound was being conducted the screen was not turned away from me I could see the baby and the same lady made a comment to say how big the baby was. This was completely inappropriate. I discovered that day I was a negative blood type however was not offered an anti d injection nor was it mentioned, I now know from this pregnancy it is something I should have been entitled to.
The judgment I felt from those two ladies and lack of empathy now makes me appalled. I was at my most vulnerable and should have felt in safe hands. No woman should be made to feel shame for the decisions she makes over her own body, innately each individual knows what is right for them in that moment. This should be trusted and supported even when personal opinions are conflicting.
I wish it wasn’t up until my pregnancy now that I had internalized my feelings of guilt over my abortion, they were real to me but also irrational and self deprecating. It’s as though I needed the fears to be disproved before I was able to accept this.
The experience of going through an abortion for me personally was traumatic and yet I have no regrets, I’m proud of my decision for it liberated me from a future I was unwilling to follow. I hope our society will continue to support and protect the decisions of its women against the scorn and judgment of others. There is so much to be challenged and improved upon but I feel the invitation to openness when feeling safe can be one of the kindest healers.