To My Baby Who Never Was, I Love You

by Devin

April 17, 2019

Content Warning: abuse

I found out I was pregnant at a very unstable time in my life. My boyfriend of 5 years and I were on and off, he was mentally and emotionally abusive, and I had no idea where I was going with my life. I was in a city that I didn’t love, worked a part time job and I’m the last semester of a college that (when I’m finished) took me 5 years to complete.


I had dreams. Dreams of teaching English in a foreign country. Taking a road trip cross country with my friends. Moving onto my masters when the time was right. None of my dreams involved a baby with a man I didn’t love. A baby at a time that I couldn’t even support myself.


I battled with not telling him at first. I was terrified that he would get angry. The first test I took I refused to believe. I bought three more and took them all in the bathroom at work, later calling off to rush home. I ended up telling him, he didn’t get angry, but blamed me for not taking the birth control pills that I most certainly was. He wanted to keep it, but have full custody. He wanted nothing to do with me, and I wanted nothing to do with my child being raised by an abusive father without me there to protect it.


I faced the clinic by myself, looking around to the supportive men hugging their girlfriends. They were holding their hands, whispering to them that it would be alright. I texted my cousin (who has had two previous abortions) for some sort of comfort. To this day the only two people who know are my ex boyfriend and my cousin, I’m still not ready to tell anyone else. I signed the papers, watched the video, and made the dreaded last appointment. I opted for a medical abortion, so at the last appointment they did the ultrasound and I met with a doctor who gave me the pills to take at home. I asked for the ultrasound after, to the surprise of the staff, and it remains one of my most prized possessions. It seems to be a very common misconception, that women who get abortions don’t feel a deep love for their unborn babies. I WANT to remember him. He was not a burden or a curse. It was magical what my body was doing, but I knew deep down I needed to protect him, and myself. I love that baby with a love that I’ve never felt before, and I’m grateful to him that I was ever able to experience it.


Putting those three pills into my mouth to induce the abortion was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, I was confirming my choice and doing something I couldn’t take back. The first five minutes I felt nothing but guilt, desperately trying to throw up the pills in an attempt to undo what I had done, but it was too late. Looking back, I’m stern in my decision and thankful to my younger self for making the right choice for me, but more on that later. To my surprise, my ex was there through the effects of the pill. I bled and cramped and cried and tried to watch shows to get my mind off of it. He was there to bring me food and water, playing his video game next to me in bed. I finally thought it was finished after three hours, my cramps subsided and my fever went away. Little did I know that was only the beginning, and I spent the next hour pushing on the toilet. I thought I had horrible gas pains, so my ex ran out at 1 am to attempt to find the closest store still open for some laxatives. It was the most horrible pain I had ever felt in my entire life, but I now realize it wasn’t just physical pain I was feeling, emotionally I was exhausted. When I passed the last large part I sat in silence. It was finished. The cramps disappeared instantly, the bleeding stopped, everything was calm. And all I could do was stare at the shower curtain in front of me. I had done it.


Looking back, I made the right decision for me at that time of my life. I’m so grateful that abortion was an option for me, and if I was put in the same situation again at that point of my life I would do it again. My life would have been so drastically different. Right now, 9 months after my abortion, I’m graduating college and applying to teach overseas in Asia. I never could have lived out my dream with a newborn in tow, nor would I have wanted to. The man who would have been their father ended up escalating the abuse to physical two months ago, and in that blur of emotions the moment after he became physical I cried. I didn’t cry because it hurt, or because I was in shock, I cried because I was grateful. For the first time since my abortion I felt truly proud of my choice. He thought I was crazy as I cried with a smile on my face after what he did, he wanted to see pain and hurt. I thanked myself for the first time in that moment, for making the choice to save my baby from ever having to meet a man like him. Yes, I could have gone with adoption, but above all that is something that personally I could not emotionally handle. I knew, deep down, that having this baby would mean bringing him into a life of fighting, custody battles and unhealthy relationships. Knowingly having a child who would be abused by their father, who I wouldn’t be able to protect when he would have mandatory father visits. To keep my baby from this man would mean I would need proof of his abuse, and I wouldn’t be able to live with myself knowing what would happen to my baby with that man before I could gather the proof. Likewise, I could never live with the thought of putting my baby into the system, finding a family who seemed loving but may hurt him behind closed doors. It would mean subjecting him to a life I swore I would never give my child. After my parents divorced when I was 12 I made a promise to myself to do better for my future child, never let them endure the pain I felt. He would have felt that pain amplified if I had chosen to bring him into this world.

The reason I was inspired to write this is because March 27th, 4 days away, would have been my baby’s due date. I needed an outlet before my thoughts consumed me completely. I have a close friend who gave birth yesterday, and maybe she’ll know one day that our babies would have been days apart, if I gain the courage to tell. The past week has been so hard, thinking about the “what if’s”. What would he have looked like? Eye color? Personality? Even after all the grief and sadness on this day that should be so happy, I’m still proud of my decision. And I’m proud of every other woman out there who chooses what’s best for her and her baby, regardless of her choice.


Online I researched what to do to cope, naming the baby and cherishing the thought of what once was has helped me the most. They said the name and gender that comes to your mind first isn’t just coincidence, or maybe that’s just what our grieving minds tell us. It’s funny though, since the name that came to mind first for my baby was a name that I never even considered in the running for a future baby name. It’s a name that I actually particularly never liked much. I wear a little bracelet every day with a small birthstone for the month of March to commemorate my baby who I’ll never meet, but love to an extent that I never thought possible.

So I’m thinking about you today Caleb. The little reason why I check “yes” under “have you ever been pregnant” in doctors offices. You made me a mommy, regardless of what anyone else says. Today and every day I’m thinking about the gorgeous child you would have been. I’m so excited to see you in your siblings when I’m ready to have children. I love you more than you will ever know, and I’ll make the decision again and again, no matter how much it hurts, just to protect you with every ounce of my being from a life that would have torn you apart. I’ll tell my future babies about you, you had a purpose, and maybe that purpose hasn’t been revealed yet. Maybe that purpose was a twisted way of helping your future siblings, helping your mommy grow up in ways I never would have imagined. You are loved, forever and always.

Just because you have an abortion doesn’t mean you’re selfish or that you don’t love your baby that would have been. Sometimes abortion is the most selfless act a mother can chose; no matter how much it ruins her, it’s the first feeling of the primal need to protect your babies with everything you have. Sometimes the only way to protect the little piece of you that you love the most is to make the hardest decision of your entire life.


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