The longevity of grief

by Brydie

August 28, 2020

I had an abortion at the age of 26. Me and my partner of 4 years had just split 2 weeks earlier when I found out. My immediate reaction was a panic attack and tears, which indicated I wasn’t ready for a child.

Living in Melbourne, Australia accessing an abortion was easy and legal and was a very positive experience overall. I had a surgical abortion and I made that choice over a medical abortion because I read that there was less bleeding and pain involved. I’m so incredibly grateful for the nurses who cared for me and were so beautiful in the short time I was in their care. The support I had around me, before and after the procedure was such a blessing, however, what I couldn’t be prepared for was how life altering the choice was, it was a real ‘sliding door’ moment, and I was crushed knowing that either choice left my life seriously altered.

Getting the abortion was the right choice for me, but it hasn’t been without pain and severe grief. The way my body responded to the pregnancy was so primal and instinctive that it was difficult to not feel as if I’d robbed her of this organic process that she naturally wanted to complete. The way my body reverted back to its normal state afterwards really affected me as well, and once my period returned it took quite a few months for me to redevelop a positive relationship with my monthly bleed. My ex was supportive throughout the process but after it was done, I was on my own and that, alongside the trauma of the procedure and my bodily changes was heartbreaking. The aftermath was something I wasn’t prepared for and it was made especially difficult being apart from my ex, who I still deeply loved, as well as grieving the relationship and the loss of our child.

It’s been just over a year and moving past my due date and the anniversary was extremely difficult, knowing what I could have had. Currently, I feel extremely maternal, which makes the grief harder to manage. I feel very anxious about the time when I want to get pregnant on purpose, because I can preemptively feel the guilt that I know will come. Regret definitely creeps in and I still feel triggered and have periods of grief that I find difficult to live with. Initially I thought the pain would ease but I’m coming to realise that I’ll carry this grief forever, if not a very long time.

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