My story

by Anonymous

February 28, 2022

I am 32 years old. I live with my husband and three children, ages 5, 3, and 1 and a half. Our family was complete, and we decided that we didn’t want to have any more kids. My period was two weeks late, and I thought maybe it had to do with my recent intermittent fasting throwing off my hormones or something. I took a pregnancy test on February 7th, and found out I was pregnant. I was shocked. Although I wasn’t taking birth control pills at the time, we were usually careful. We decided there was no way we could have a fourth child. Both of us felt our family was complete, and we were already stretched thin financially, emotionally, and physically with three kids. We didn’t want to take on more than we could, and didn’t feel it would be fair to the children we already have. It was so overwhelming to think about. It just made sense logistically to end the pregnancy.

So, on February 11th, I began the process of a medication abortion. I was 6 weeks pregnant. I was anxious, nervous, scared, eager, and sad, but I felt in my gut that I was making the right decision. The following day, my husband took the kids to visit my in-laws. I had the space and privacy at home to take the second set of pills to complete the abortion. Although part of me wanted him with me during this process, I felt it would be better for me if the kids weren’t around as I went through this, and could have the space to process things on my own. I was so anxious because I didn’t know exactly what to expect and what it was going to be like for me. I was anticipating something like painful labor contractions. Luckily, for me the bleeding started pretty quickly, and I had some mild to moderate cramping and low back pain throughout the afternoon.

I feel so many mixed and complicated emotions. I feel sad, and a part of me feels regret. Obviously no one wants to have to go through an abortion. I certainly never imagined I would ever have to make that decision and go through that myself. But I feel a sense of loss for the baby I will never have, even though I didn’t want a fourth child. I feel guilty that I took away the embryo’s chance to grow into a healthy pregnancy, baby, and to experience life. I am constantly questioning and second guessing myself and my decision, and I have to remind myself of the reasons why I made this decision in the first place. And I can’t stop thinking about, picturing, and trying to imagine what life would be like with four children, and how a fourth child would have changed our family. It almost feels like there is a void of something that was never there in the first place. But what makes it so hard is that there was the possibility.

I know I am still going through the process physically, and there is a huge change hormonally happening within me, and that it is normal and expected to feel emotional and sad. This is a loss that will now become a part of my history, and a part of me. I may always wonder at times how life would be different if I had this baby. I just hope the feelings of intense sadness, regret, and guilt will eventually go away. I want to trust that I made the best decision for myself and my family. I couldn’t let guilt be the reason to continue the pregnancy and have another child. It will hurt when I see pregnant women, babies, and families with four children. Even though this is not what I chose for myself, there was still that possibility. I get such intense pangs and waves of regret. And it makes me question everything. I want to be the best mom that I can be to the three children that I do have, and meet their needs to the best of my ability. I felt that four children would be taking on more than I could handle, in so many different ways. I love babies, and I am amazed by moms with four or more children who seem to be able to handle it all. I feel like I am still trying to convince myself that I made the right decision. I hope I can find that trust in myself again, and I hope these feelings of guilt and regret get easier to manage and eventually dissipate with time. Although this was a choice, I am still grieving a loss.

A week later and I feel like I’m finally starting to come back out of the woods a little bit. I feel a little lighter, a little more confident in myself and my decision, and hopeful that the sadness I’ve been feeling is lessening. A little bit more back to myself. I know it will take time, and feelings of sadness and loss will come in waves, as grief does, but I’m hopeful that there is light on the other side of all of this. That this experience will not consume me and my life. It is now an important part of my story, but I believe I am healing and will only come out stronger.

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