(Note: living children mentioned)
I am not really sure how to start this, but 14 years ago I had an abortion. I am choosing to write about it now because the anniversary is coming up. I don’t know what the exact date was because I have tried for many years to bury the fact that it actually happened. But it was in mid-October. I am struggling with sharing for two reasons; one is that I have not been able to talk about it. The guilt and the grieving are still so very present that it almost feels like it happened yesterday. The second being is that I am not so sure that I am justified to share the story here because of the ladies here that were not able to carry their baby’s to term. It makes my choice seem so damn selfish, no matter how bad I thought my situation was. What I hope to accomplish is to maybe sway a few of the ladies struggling with HG and thinking about terminating away from making that choice and to try to finally begin forgive myself…if that is possible.
Here is my story. I wish I were a better writer, but I have a really hard time getting coherent thoughts down on paper (well, computer). I wish you could hear and feel the anguish I feel about it. Tears are streaming down my face as I write.
Back in 1992 at 19 years old I became pregnant with my first son. I was living with his father and we were not using any birth control. I evidently got pregnant in December and started to get “sick” the beginning of January. I was too stupid to realize that I was pregnant. After two weeks of constant puking I finally went to my general doctor because I thought I had some horrible disease. The first questions they did was ask me was if I could be pregnant, and of course that was then when the light bulb came on. I was trying sitting there trying to figure out when I last had my cycle – I had no clue. So they gave me the test and it came back positive of course. Finally I went to the OB. I continued to throw up all day, everyday. There were days when I could not get off of the bathroom floor. I would lie there naked in the dark on the cold floor. Friends would come over to visit and would see me there. I just did not care. When I would try to explain to the doctor what was going on. She would brush it off and tell me that it was “normal” for me to be sick. I think she thought I was exaggerating because I was so young. There were many weeks that I am sure I should have been in the hospital getting hydration. I remained totally un-medicated the entire pregnancy. I continued to throw up until my son was born, but it lessened towards the end of the pregnancy. Somehow I made it through, delivering a healthy baby boy three weeks early after being induced because of pre-eclampsia in September of 1993. I even threw up on the delivery table. This was my first HG pregnancy – undiagnosed.
Fast forward to 1995. I was still living with my oldest son’s father (well off & on anyway). As we continued to live together this man smoked cigs, smoked pot & drank heavily. There were times when he would drink so heavily that he would claim to not remember his actions. He would become violent. He never actually hit me, but there were many holes in our walls, fights with people he did not know, and even a broken windshield caused by him punching in from inside the car for no apparent reason other than the fact he was drunk. He stole our utility & rent money to spend on drugs & alcohol. He was mentally abusive.There were many times when I hardly had $$ for groceries or even clothes for our oldest son. He jumped from job to job and got fired from most. I was too embarrassed to move back home to my parents, so I stayed & stayed. There came to a point & I am embarrassed to say this but again I was not on birth control, again. This time I could not afford to go to the doctor and I was not worried about it that much because I was refusing to have intercourse with him – I suspected he was cheating (and he was). Anyway one night he came home extremely intoxicated and he forced me to have sex with him. I guess you could call it a rape. I said no many times, cried and begged him to stop, but I did not fight physically him off and I eventually gave in because I was scared of him. After it was finished I remember telling him that I hated him & that I would hate the baby if I were to get pregnant. I immediately ran to the bathroom (while he passed out) and tried everything I could think of to “clean myself out”. Not long after this incident, which he claimed he did not have any memory of, I moved back into my parent’s houses – which were actually living with my elderly grandfather. And of course with in the month the “sickness” came back. This time I knew exactly what was going on. I hated the father & the baby. I also had a two year old son to raise by myself with no financial or physical help from my ex. As I mentioned, I had moved back in with my parents and my very religious grandfather who already did not approve of my situation before this pregnancy. Because I was so sick (which I managed to hide) the decision to have the abortion was not that hard. I just wanted desperately to feel better again. So I made the appointment. My son’s father refused to help me or help me pay for it because according to him, it wasn’t his baby. I must have cheated. So there I sat in the clinic with about 20 other young girls/women in this room. None of us speaking to each other, but we were all looking at each other knowing exactly why we were all there. It is a horrible memory. Thinking about it makes me even sicker to my stomach than the HG did. I went though with the procedure and immediately felt better. HG was gone again. In the upcoming days months weeks, I fell into depression. There were only two people who actually knew that I was pregnant, the baby’s father and my best friend that took me to have the procedure. I didn’t tell anyone for many years, I eventually told one other friend about it. And even to this day those three people are the only ones that know. I have never even told my current husband.
To this day I still grieve and regret and grieve and regret some more. I have three sons and no daughter, what if that baby had been a girl? I will never know. The thought of what I did makes me feel embarrassed that I gave up, and it hurts to the very core of my being. I try so hard to forgive myself but I just can’t. I think of all my friends that have struggled to or cannot have children and all the ladies here that wanted their babies so badly and lost them. I took a miracle & just threw it away. I can’t even put into words how bad it feels. I bury the pain so deep that when I let the feelings out, it burns like fire. I don’t think that I will ever actually come to terms. Some people may say that I was justified. Now I don’t think so. Better yet, I know so because of how it makes me feel.
For any ladies that are thinking about getting an abortion because of HG, I recommend that you try & fight through. HG clouds your thoughts & judgment. Trust me when I say understand the desperation. I have gone through two more HG pregnancies since and I wanted to end both of them at some point or other. Or die myself.
I feel the loss, definitely feel the grief, but I don’t think that I will every fully recover.
PS it took me 15 minutes to be able to hit the submit button