Before I start: I am not tolerating any harassment, but I understand that this topic can get heated and that there are many different perspectives to every topic.
Where did it start?
When I was 16 years old, I had been in a relationship for about 3 months with my boyfriend. I was using the pill as contraception, but I wasn’t very strict with it. I started to feel like I was pregnant pretty soon, I couldn’t have known how this felt, yet I did. At the moment, I was still in school so logically that wasn’t the best time to have a child, definitely not when the both of us still lived at home.
I took a few tests only 2 weeks after I thought I got pregnant, they turned out negative. But my inner knowing was so strong I kept on telling my boyfriend and mom that I was sure that it would turn positive soon… One was vaguely positive and a few days later it actually did turn positive. “I told you” I said.
My first emotions were ones of joy and worry. This sounds contradictory, but I always had the dream of becoming a mom, just not at 16. My boyfriend was 18, his reaction was different and not what I had hoped. He started crying when I told him. I saw the immense fear in his eyes. At that time my biggest fear was having to give up this pregnancy. Although I knew logically this was the best thing for the both of us.
After I found out I told one of the teachers at school about what was happening and asked for advice. I wanted to keep the pregnancy, my boyfriend didn’t and none of the parents knew about it yet. He advised me to tell them.
As anyone can imagine, this was the worst news to bring to any parent of a 16 year old daughter.. I knew my parents were going to be upset, but I felt a strong fire in me to keep the pregnancy. The reactions I received were mixed, and I don’t want to blame any of them for what they said in that moment because of course this is a huge shock to the system. Their reactions though, made my worries increase even more. I overheard a phone call between my dad and my boyfriend’s dad about
“the situation”. Later on, I also had to sit with my boyfriends parents for a “talk” about how the future would look like if I’d keep it. This talk sounded more like a scare tactic, to me. Of course, 26-year-old me telling this now knows they were only trying to help and protect us.
His mom had set up an introduction at the abortion clinic for a talk over there. “nothing is set and stone, just get in there with an open mind” or something like that was said. I dreaded it but I went anyway.
During this talk at the clinic they explained what would happen during an abortion and they even told me I could undergo it under general anaesthesia if I wanted to. At the time I still wasn’t ready to say yes to the abortion, but it was very clear to me that this was a direction most people involved would like to see happen.
The abortion under general anaesthesia was only once a month and was the only one I even slightly considered, because then at least I wouldn’t be awake. I had to decide within a week so I could still be able to get it done in this way.
Eventually I caved, I felt like I was fighting a losing battle, all on my own. That I wouldn’t be able to handle the pregnancy alone and that I wouldn’t be getting the support I needed.
My boyfriends’ mom booked the abortion, and a few weeks later it was my turn. On the day itself, my mom and boyfriend came to join me. I was scared and still in denial about the whole abortion situation. They had me sign a wafer stating I was undergoing the abortion will fully, I tried to shut off my brain and signed the wafer, although I knew this was not what my heart wanted.
They did an echo before they put me under anaesthesia which made the pregnancy even more real than just having felt pregnant and seeing the test positive. I wanted to scream to stop It, but I didn’t. About 2 hours later I woke up, hurting and empty. The people there were very friendly, but I felt terrible. My mom and boyfriend picked me back up and we drove home.
The weeks to follow I did nothing more than hurt and sob. The hurt was unbearable, and only stopped when I turned numb. I treated the people around me like dirt, I hurt and felt like the whole world was against me. I felt alone and as if no one understood what I went through. I skipped tonnes of classes and started acting out.
My boyfriends’ parents invited me a month or 2(?) later to come on their skiing trip, which seemed like a great way to let loose a little and “forget” about what had happened. The teacher at school I talked about arranged a week off of school for me so I could come. Only a few days before we left, my boyfriends mom told me the “happy news” that his brother and girlfriend got pregnant… they were coming on the trip too. I felt like I just got stabbed in the heart and really didn’t want to come anymore. But they convinced me to go anyway. The whole holliday I couldn’t stop thinking about the fact that they were happy and pregnant and I felt alone and empty. Unfortunately my boyfriend felt more relieved than sad about what had happened, and couldn’t really see where I came from.
I couldn’t walk the streets because I couldn’t handle seeing pregnant women or babies. I believe I suffered from depression at the time, and tried to seek help. I tried going to different psychologists but unfortunately there was no specialised help in post abortion grief.
I truly hope this has changed by now or will change in the future.
Most of my family don’t know about this story, I believe it’s still quite a taboo. But I want to tell my story to show others that it isn’t something to be ashamed of! These things happen, and they happen more often than you think.
I was too ashamed and hurt to come forward with my story at 16 but now, 10 years later, I am ready! Im finally ready to look back at this event in my life, that I had repressed for years and still feel the pain of. It is time to work through it and embrace it.
I am finally learning to have peace with my decision, because for all these years I tried to blame others for this, yet I made the ultimate decision to have the abortion, and now I am glad I did. I am happy with the life I live, I had a lot of opportunities that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.
Still there are a lot of moments that I grieve and wonder what it would’ve been like. Maybe one day I can experience becoming a mom and do it the right way.
If anyone wants to reach out, have a discussion or wants to have a chat they are welcomed with open arms!
If I can give any advice to people is to follow your heart. In this case I didn’t do that and have struggled to work through this for 10 years. It is your decision, and yours only! Don’t be scared to stand up for what you believe in.