Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, see our mental health web guide which can point you to expert advice.
Regretting abortion(155 Posts)
I had an abortion nearly 3 weeks ago and I feel awful about it. I feel so much regret I don't know how I can get past it.
Night time and early morning is the worst, I just lie in bed and can't stop crying. I keep thinking about my baby and wishing I was still pregnant. I feel sick thinking about what I've done and I have that kind of hollow sick feeling in my chest like I've made a terrible mistake. I can't believe I actually did it. I spent weeks on the decision and for the first while I could hardly even contemplate abortion as a serious option. I felt so panicky and upset even thinking about it. Then when I decided to do it I think I just made myself zone out about it and it didn't even feel real so the reality of what I did didn't hit me until days later.
I feel like I ignored my emotions and gut feeling to just go with the decision that was "right" based on logical reasons, and I know they were good reasons, but emotionally it feels so hard. I know it wouldn't have been emotionally easy at all either if I had kept my baby because we would have been struggling and it would have really hurt to see my child growing up like that, so maybe how I'm feeling now is still the better option, but I keep thinking what if...
I feel guilty and sick and exhausted and ashamed of myself, and I feel so jealous of people I see with babies. I feel like I desperately want to go back and change my decision but its pointless even thinking that.
I know it's all my own fault but it just hurts a lot.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
I'd echo what kotinka said, keep reminding yourself of those logical reasons why it was right for you to take the action you did.
Go easy on yourself, there is no reason for you to feel ashamed, you did what you felt was right in your circumstances.
I had an abortion a few years ago, I had like you thought it through very carefully but it didn't stop me feeling regretful about what could have been and I did have some tears, quite a lot actually. But I kept thinking about why I did it and I did start to feel better, it took a few months to get back on an even keel, it's a grief process and it takes time.
Take care of yourself
There really were lots of reasons, a lot of them financial but also that my relationship is not the most serious and I wanted my child to have more of a stable family and a better dad. But now he that he can see how upset I am about this my boyfriend is saying we should get more serious and maybe we can think again about a baby next year. I think this is making me feel worse. I would love to have a baby next year, I would have loved to have one now, but the situation won't be much different then so if we did it would invalidate all the reasons for not having this baby and it would be like I gave this one up for nothing. I wish he had been more enthusiastic about this one if he's now saying he wants us to have a baby. If he had been properly on board we probably could have made it work out even if things wouldn't have been ideal.
Not that I'm trying to blame him. In the end it was my decision and I have to take responsibility for it.
oh how awful for you.. but feeling this is only a reflection of what a deeply caring and considerate person you are. No wonder you feel genuine feelings of grief. That's because you are generous with your feelings and feel tgem rather than ignore them. I guess your partner is trying to say the right thing but I can see how, at your weakest, its adding to your regret. cPlease forget this.. its false regret for a future that doesn't exist. feel deeply your current grief and work through it withouf making decisions on the future..the future waits fine on its own.
Am really, really sorry to hear that. Would you consider counselling?
Re dp, i imagine he feels a tremendous amount of guilt and this may influence what he's saying/promising/committing to now. I imagine neither of you can possibly have any real clarity right now. Accept this. Don't push it away. Give yourselves time.
You made the right decision for yourselves at that time, that's the best any of us can hope to do.
i regreted my abortion. 10 years on as I was still having difficulty with It I had therapy I like You had good reasons amd zoned out. At therapy I wrote a letter to the unborn child saying everything I wanted to amd chose a way to remember and greieve for the pg I chose to name a star may I suggesties when your ready You give the above a try. Sorry for spelling im on my phone.
Salbertina I remember you were on my other thread I had about making my decision (I had a different name) and were really nice and helpful so thanks for listening then too. The counselling I had pre decision from Marie stopes was not helpful, and I also had to contact their aftercare people about some side effects and they were also useless then, so I don't want to try their post abortion counselling in case it makes me feel worse. Maybe I should try some other separate counselling but I feel wary about it. I've had counselling for other unrelated stuff in the past and never found it really helped me much. I think I go in with the attitude that they can't help, so it doesn't
Crawling thanks, I'm sorry you struggled with your decision for so long and I'm glad you found a way to deal with it.
I'm in the middle of exam season and I'm just supposed to be studying but I feel like I can't concentrate.
Hello again I did wonder but didn't want to presume or out you. For what it's worth (seeing as I'm a stranger), I think you made absolutely the right decision based on what you knew then. You could not have foreseen anything. You have a wonderful opportunity you have slogged years to reach and an uncertain relationship. A baby into that mix could have been your undoing.
A friend of mine made a similar decision and years on, having created her career and met a suitable guy, she's had a lovely ds. She says she no longer regrets her decision. At all. Otherwise there wd (probably) be no ds as he is, no dh and a much less healthy career.
Maybe you need to accept that you are grieving. Which is legitimate. And maybe just to BE in whatever way comforts you and gives you refuge in hard times.
No need to rationalise anything at all. Let yourself grieve and recover.
I'm trying to remind myself that if things all work out in the end and I have children in a few years in more stable circumstances then everything will have been for the best and I won't have to regret my own lost opportunity.
But I do feel sad about this particular baby. Yes in a way I think I am grieving but it feels like I don't really deserve to be grieving because it was my own decision so I feel guilty for even feeling that way
You HAVE to try to remember that at the moment your body thinks you have had a spontaneous miscarriage and it has gone into a sort of hormonal mourning. One minute it's PG and the next it isn't, and it takes a while for your hormones to find their equilibrium again. Exactly the same thing happens when you give birth to a baby - you get the 'baby blues; after a few days which can make you uncontrollably and irrationally weepy, and that in turn can become full blown PND. And that's with a baby.
Try to keep focused on the fact that this is hormonal, and NORMAL. You made your decision rationally and based on sound judgement. What you are going through now is not a sign that you did the wrong thing, or that you will forever regret it. It's a perfectly normal physiological process.
I remember feeling very similar after my termination for a few weeks - for me it was not that I wished I'd had the baby, just that I couldn't understand why I suddenly became so depressed and weepy for no apparent reason afterwards. Once it was explained to me it all made sense.
I think people who have abortions under duress will use this perfectly normal period of hormonal rebalancing as justification to tell people that they should not terminate because they will feel devastated afterwards. They interpret that as someone changing their mind and regretting their decision - which is wildly simplistic, and an unfair projection of their own hang-ups onto others, imho. Chances are you'd still be going through this even if you could rationalise it completely and say hand on heart that no part of you was ready for a baby.
But even if a part of you was ready, you know why you chose to terminate, and your reasons were very sound, very sensible and ultimately unselfish. Having that baby now would have been all about you. Having a baby later in a better place financially, and in your relationship, will be about doing what's right for the outcomes of the baby.
I regretted my abortion terribly. I made the decisions for all the right reasons too but it took a while for my heart to catch up with my head. I never truly 'got over it' but I am now married to a great guy and have a beautiful daughter and now I'm glad that I made the decision that I did.
Please try to forgive yourself and when you find yourself dwelling on your loss- remind yourself why you made that choice, focus hard on studying so that you can make life for you and your potential future children as perfect as possible.
Take it easy and let yourself feel sad sometimes. I found it helped to write things down.
I know it's an awful cliche but Time will help. Do consider speaking to your GP if you feel you are struggling
Of course you feel sad about this little baby, of course you do! That is legitimate, you are "allowed". Nothing you chose/did detracts from that.
Just want to support what everyone else has said. Allow yourself to feel sad, it is sad, but you did what was best at the time and thinking about what might have been is a form of self-inflicted torture.
Be as compassionate to yourself as you would be to a close friend.
You know, so many women have been through this but yet it is still something of a taboo subject. I had a termination over 25 years ago. If I think about it I feel sad and sometimes I think about the child I could have had.I regret having become pregnant but I can't honestly say I regret the termination. I, like you, did what I thought was best at the time.
I think it is good advice to try and really concentrate on you studies.
OP , exactly the same happened to me. Mine was two months ago now, but I've never been able to forget it for a minute because everything went wrong and even on Friday I was in hospital again because of it all. That's by the by though. I know how you feel, and my god it's terrible; I wish I could make it better for you. I don't think anyone should ever have to feel the way I did, and it breaks my heart to read your post. I contemplated suicide because I couldn't see another way; I just couldn't cope with life as it had become. It does get easier - because your hormones start to calm down - but you need to help yourself too. The pain may never go away. I'm very aware that I'll carry this regret with me to the grave, and I'm desperate for another chance, but ultimately we've got to live and carry on and make the best of our lives - you and me both. I've found the following helpful:
Conception Support tablets (Boots) - I figured that, if the vits contained are what a woman needs to be healthy enough to conceive, mebbies they'd help me recover from a draining pregnancy. They have, most definitely.
Agnus Castus and Evening Primrose Oil: good for your hormones and regulation of your cycle
St John's Wort: not for everyone, and can interfere with almost every drug you can think of, so be careful if on any medication, but has done wonders for my mood and my ability to cope
Counselling: I know you've said you don't want to, but what about going to someone other than Marie Stopes? I'm having counselling with a midwife-cum-counsellor at the hospital, and she's helped me a lot. I don't feel quite so evil or stupid any more.
Sleep, exercise, being healthy: I'm a health freak anyway, but dragging myself out for a run when I really wanted to curl up and die has probably been the best thing I could do - it took some of the stress away and gave me some much-needed endorphins.
Helping others: there are people much worse off than me. I have a job where I have to look after others, and it's helped. If they were miscarrying/pregnant/had a small child, I might've teared up or needed to take a few deep breaths, but ultimately I think being able to do for them what no-one did for me was helpful.
Trying for a baby: too soon, some might say. But we don't think so, and it's giving me strength, courage, and something to aim for. I just want a second chance.
OP, I wish I could make it better for you. It's shit. It broke my heart and I don't think I'll ever be the same again. But you CAN carry on. Keep talking to us here - MN has made such a difference to me; there's something incredibly therapeutic about the support of caring strangers. Keep talking. Don't bottle it up. PM me if you wish. Take care.
I just wanted to post something in support OP. I am a strong believer in fate - i believe if something is meant to be, it will be, if it isn't then it wont happen. So do allow yourself to grieve, you made the best decision for many reasons as you say, that doesn't take away how hard it must be for you. I am sure your reaction is quite normal, please give yourself some time - if things don't improve after a while go and see your GP and ask about counselling. xx
Thank you for all the messages
Raraz, sorry you are going through the same thing. I also had a few complications afterwards and follow up hospital appointments etc, although it turned out to be nothing too serious in my case (just an infection, no retained products or anything) but I think it did make it harder to move on. I will try some of your suggestions - my mum has been recommending Agnus castes for years so hopefully it's worth a try!
I think good sleep and exercise would help a lot, but my sleep is terrible at the moment and I'm trying to resist having to go on sleeping pills because I don't like how I feel on them. As for exercise, they said do none for 2 weeks, and as I was having really heavy bleeding, huge blood clots etc I stuck by that and haven't started back on any exercise yet. My favourite is swimming so I really need to wait until I've completely stopped bleeding since they said don't use tampons until my next period... I am going to start introducing some kind of exercise back into my life this week though as I'm just feeling really blah without it and I did put on some weight while I was pregnant.
Managed to have a day yesterday where I didn't cry, so that was an improvement. Still feeling really sad and keep thinking about what might have been but I'm trying to make myself accept it.
All the best to you too raraz, hope you can come to terms with it too and it starts to hurt less. I hope everything works out for you and good luck ttc.
My sister had an abortion. A year later she had my wonderful, kind, beautiful, brilliant, caring nephew. He is an amazing person, and the best son she could ever have. They are very close (he is 25now). If she hadn't had an abortion, my nephew would never have been born.
I had an abortion in 2010. I knew I would abort as soon as the blue line came up on the test and I never changed my mind or wobbled before the procedure.
Afterwards I was completely wiped out and mentally thrown off balance and I spent months crying and being upset. I felt guilty and sad and like a terrible person and there was a strong undercurrent of regret. However it faded over time, lessening bit by bit. By 6 months the feelings had subsided to a sadness that I had been put in that position and had to make that decision rather than regretting the actual abortion. Now I have no regrets just a faint twinge of sadness. I can see how hard it would have been to have that baby and my life is moving on, the logical reasons asserted themselves again.
I know it's hard but you do need to try to take care of yourself. Sleep, good food etc, see it as medicine for your mind and body. Abortion is a big shock to the body and I found my immune system took a while to recover, so I was constantly getting low level illnesses and then a couple of big ones which made my recovery so much harder in the end.
Thanks for asking.
I'm still feeling kind of the same but I have an exam today so I have to just focus on that for the next few hours.
My boyfriend is supposed to be staying over tonight and part of me keeps thinking I hope I get pregnant again soon but when I actually think about it for a second I know that is ridiculous because even if I did it wouldn't change what I've done or bring that baby back, and we would still have all the difficulties we had to consider before. The circumstances really are not good, so really these feelings are completely unreasonable and unrealistic, but thinking about being pregnant again kind of makes me feel better... But then I think it's a totally unrealistic fantasy in my case so then I feel stupid even thinking about it. If that makes sense...
Hope exam goes well, OP. it will all be worth it, you'll get there. I had a miscarriage and afterwards had similarly raging hormones for months. If you can be at peace with this and just think "ok, feeling broody again." And wait for feeling to pass (and it will) and try to distract yourself. It is a horrible time but you will move on.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
OP, I'm afraid I have no advice, but I just wanted to say please, PLEASE don't take Angus Castus without consulting a herbal expert, it can delay conception and mess up your cycles horribly. It's a very powerful herb/drug and should never be taken without the proper advice. I was extremely ill after taking it for just a month.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.