Regrets but for the best

by Emma

June 11, 2020

I fell pregnant in October 2018 when I was 27, I had a sedated surgical abortion at 7 weeks and felt no pain. I felt calm going into the appointment and  relief immediately afterwards, then the sadness and regret crept in.


I thought I had come to terms with it but I think facing my upcoming 30s and with my poor track record with relationships maybe I gave up the only chance I had to be a mother. I’m trying to be kind to myself and tell myself that I did the right thing for me at the time, and I still have plenty of time left to be a mum but I can’t help but question my decision.

I fell pregnant with my ex boyfriend, we’d split up 10 months prior after an on-off relationship for two years. We couldn’t communicate but the fact we had worked together meant it was too easy to fall back into. One day we slept together twice without protection – back then I’d been naive and hadn’t understood ovulation dates etc. I did take the morning after pill however it must’ve been too late as two weeks later I discovered I was pregnant.

My ex was supportive and said he would do whatever I was happy with. We both spent the next few weeks changing our minds between wanting/not wanting to keep it at opposite times. I was also under time pressure to make a decision as I had quit my job to go and live overseas in mid December, so I’d have to tell everyone quickly if I wasn’t going (and find a new job).  There were several factors against us, he had recently been disowned by his family (we’re from different backgrounds and I had been a secret to the family) and I didn’t want to cause further problems for him, he had 20-30k debt, I had no job now or my own house, our relationship thus far was hardly what I’d call stable and he could have a bit of a nasty streak. I suspected by the end of the pregnancy I’d be a single mother despite our best efforts.  I wouldn’t have had a huge support system in my family either.

On the other hand, I had become attached to the baby, we’d discussed what colour eyes they’d have and what names we liked, my ex was was ten years older than me and never had children so this could have been his last chance, after a poor relationship with my own mum I had always felt unsettled and flighty and I thought it might give me a sense of identity to be a mum. I also knew people brought kids up in much more difficult circumstances and at a much younger age too.

The difficult circumstances we were in and my unstable relationship with the father caused me to come to a decision to terminate the pregnancy. I wanted the baby to be born into the best possible circumstances. We both agreed we could try again in future if the time was right as we had grown closer through this experience and talked about making things work. I felt a sense of calm once the decision was made. The next few months were hard as I ended up going away, mine and the dad’s relationship broke down again shortly afterwards. This helped me believe I’d made the right decision as I wouldn’t be tied to this man for the rest of my life now.

Recently coming up to what would’ve been the baby’s first birthday and seeing everyone around me falling pregnant and having babies, sometimes in challenging circumstances, makes me question whether I made the right choice. It’s hard to see everyone having children when I know I gave my chance away. I worry I’ll never settle and have a solid relationship that I’d want to bring a child into, so maybe my time will never come and I should’ve taken the chance I had. I try to remain hopeful though and remind myself of the reasons I made the decision in the first place. My time will come I’m sure.

I wanted to share my story as I think it’s important to acknowledge the rollercoaster some people go through with this decision before and afterwards, as I did. I know deep down I made the right decision but I do have regrets that I’ll have to live with. I often wonder how my ex is doing and if he has regrets as well but we haven’t spoken for over a year now so I guess it was for the best.

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