Happily married and always knew we wanted kids.. but then we got pregnant.

by Anonymous

October 7, 2021

My husband and I have always loved the idea of having kids. We’ve been together for 13 years, both in our 30s and 40s and over the last few years talked more and more about starting a family, we weren’t getting any younger! Things kept getting in the way, lack of money, living in a one bed flat (we live in the UK) in a town we don’t particularly want to stay in, my own mental health issues, the pandemic, UK lockdown,  amongst other things. I stopped taking the pill a few years ago, and tracked my cycle using an app, and we did this successfully for a long time. After a while, when people asked when we were having kids, we would just say ‘if it happens, it happens’ and we were happy with this. Even knowing we would be older parents didn’t phase us. We knew we would be happy.

Then one day, it happened.

I knew I was pregnant before I took the test. But the two lines confirmed it. On two separate tests.

Initially we were shocked, excited, devastated, happy, sad, scared, every human emotion you could feel. We didn’t know what to do. We had always wanted this… right? But by the time the first 48 hours were over, I was waking up in the night, crying my eyes out, devastated that my life was about to change, devastated that I felt the way I did, that I didn”t feel any joy at all.

We are happily married, we were middle aged, having a termination didn’t make sense. Ok we didn’t have much money and hated where we lived, but surely thats not a good enough excuse right? I came from an irish catholic family, so the thought and the guilt of such an act filled me with guilt and remorse although I don’t even practice that religion anymore (that stuff stays with you). I had also recently just started taking anti-depressants after a really rough year battling depression and anxiety, and had only just started a new job in the NHS …

After the first 3 days after I found out, I called BPAS and arranged a consultation for an abortion, this was mainly to cover my back, so I had all options on the table.The earliest appointment I could get was in over a week’s time, so I decided to use that week to think about things deeply, really live out both sides of the reality, mum life and abortion life, and see what one I felt  was more right for me. I didn’t tell anyone. Not my parents, not my friends, my husband and I just kept it between us, as we didn’t want any outside influence nudging our decision one way or the other, it had to come from us, and only us.

I had one day out of the whole week where I thought ‘maybe I can do this’… but the rest of the time, I just kept moving towards a termination.

The time came around for the consultation, and we knew the decision to terminate was the right one. I still felt no joy about being pregnant, no joy in any of it. Just fear, sadness and self loathing for feeling the way I did. I never ever thought I would ever feel this way about our first pregnancy, I always thought I would feel joy, and jubilation, but for some reason I just didn’t. And I didn’t want to bring a baby into the world that I would resent, just because having it was ‘what we should do.’

Following the amazing, and empathetic consultation on the phone (BPAS, you truly are a wonderful organisation) I received the tablets through the post three days later to start a medical abortion. I was just under 6 weeks and was told I wouldn’t need a scan, which I am glad I didn’t need. They said there would be barely anything to see anyway.

I had the termination at home on a sunday evening, after taking the first dose on the saturday using Mifepristone, and then Misoprostol the next day. I took the second dose at 5pm on sunday, and then had hours of cramps and pain. My periods are usually very light as is my menstrual cramping, but this was way more like I was expecting a heavy period, and so I had the heavy cramps to boot.  I took two Zapain (codeine and paracetamol) which really helped, plus my husband was getting me hot water bottles and tea was really looking after me (we played Age of Empires on our laptops all night to distract me). I managed to sleep for an hour before waking up at midnight to check if anything was happening, I went to the loo, sat down and I felt what I can only describe as a spoonful of kids jelly passing from me. It was painless, just a very bizarre sensation. I saw I had passed a tablespoon sized clot, which I knew was the pregnancy. I suddenly felt high, relieved, and again in a bit of disbelief. I went back to bed, and managed to sleep for an hour each time before getting up again to use the loo and check on things. I was bleeding as expected and passing tiny tiny blobs. It seemed everything went to plan, and I felt good about it all. I was just physically exhausted, so so thirsty, and mentally drained. I took a couple of days off work, slept a lot, took painkillers, and stayed in my PJs all day.

It’s now a few days later, and I’m going back to work. I’m still bleeding, and cramping as expected and required according to the process of things, and my moods have been very up and down. I know deep down it was the right decision, but my heart feels so sad, I know its just hormones, and recovery from a traumatic and life changing decision, so I need to be kind to myself and understand I’m going to have ups and downs. Having my husband’s unwavering support has been the backbone of my strength to do this, so I know I will recover in time, it just all still feels very surreal.

We still want children in the future, but now we know what we want to set down for ourselves first, such as working hard towards our new home, saving more money, working hard on beating my depression and anxiety, trying our best to work together to get to a place at least where we feel genuinely like it’s time, and not just fool around and say ‘if it happens it happens’ anymore.  Yea, we will be older parents, but it doesn’t mean we will be any less great at it.

We didn’t want to bring a baby into the world because it was expected of a happily married couple with no previous children, we want to bring a child into the world because we feel its right, and it feels exciting and joyful and we can be ready for the adventure with all the twists and turns, and ups and downs. But this time, it wasn’t time. And that’s ok, there will be a time one day.

I just need to find the kindness and care to love myself right now, to be able to move on safely, and calmly with life, though I know the life I knew before has gone, and I am changed from this experience. It’s all part of mine and my husband’s journey together.

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