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One year on after abortion

(44 Posts)
Zachmeister Thu 23-May-13 14:27:29

This is incredibly difficult for me to type but figured it may help to get everything off my chest and maybe hear some advice!

I have a ds of 6 and dd of 3, I had been feeling broody for a third child for some time but knew my dh was happy with 2 and didn't want another child. My dh has suffered from depression on and off for years so I knew a third child would add extra pressure but it didn't stop me going over the 'what if' scenarios! I probably wasn't as vigilant with my pill as I should have been but still shocked to find out I was pregnant last April.

As suspected,my dh was not happy with the news and I also was terrified of the effect it could potentially have on our happy little family and dh. After much deliberation, driven partly by my guilt at it being 'my fault' , I chose to have a termination for the sake of my marriage and our current family. I felt that as it was my 'fault' for falling pregnant I should do what I felt was the correct thing to do for us. My dh lists all the practical reasons for not having another child but as many of you know the heart often rules the head when it comes to maternal issues!

I took the first termination pill on my 37th birthday which when I look back now I don't know how I managed to do. My 38th birthday has just passed and I'm really struggling to come to terms with things. I went for one counselling session in January which I came away from feeling liberated and much better however I can't stop feeling a sense of guilt and a little bit of resentment to my dh. The fact of the matter is my two kids are amazing and I want to give them a happy and loving family life which we have. However, every time a friend announces their 3rd pregnancy (which has happened a lot recently) I think if they could do it why couldn't I?

I think life is easier with the two and I have learned my lesson the hard way, I just want to be able to move on, forgive myself and enjoy the family I have which I manage to do most days however I am still grieving the loss of my third child that never came to be! Oh and just to add some more guilt to the mix I am Roman Catholic so have been brought up believing abortion is always's not until I've found myself in this position that I took this very diffficult decision not just for myself but for my family. Do you think me and my dh can move on from this???

Sorry if my ramblings are incoherent!

cathan Thu 23-May-13 16:29:59

For what it's worth, I think you made the right decision - for your family. That's probably what makes it so hard to get over, the fact that you would have chosen to have the baby if things had been different. You had the abortion, but it wasn't a free choice. Also, since you wanted a third child and think you may have been less than careful, I think you're blaming yourself for getting pregnant. Given all those conflicting feelings, I'm not surprised that you're finding it hard to come to terms with. For you this was a loss and you're still grieving. All you can do now is to accept what's happened and forgive yourself. Remind yourself of all the very good reasons why you had the abortion - your husband's mental health, your childrens' happiness and continued security. The family you have are wonderful and you love them. In time you will come to terms with your loss and move on. Hope this helps.

GingerJulep Sun 16-Jun-13 13:30:28

No reason you and DH can't move on from this.

You did something (being knowingly 'careless', or 'selfish'...) to 'trap' him into a child he did not want.

When your plan worked you realised the full impact and put a stop to it.

OK, so, it wasn't your finest moment.

But you did, eventually, do what was right for your relationship.

All of us mess up.

In terms of the baby you aborted it would have been very early stages if it was possible to use the pill option. You can do a lot of research on line/in foetal development books etc to decide when a moral 'cut off' point is for you.

I have done that for my own purposes in the past. But to my mind the time to do that is before you make the decision. You can't change it now.

You can move on with your life promising yourself, your OH and your family that you won't ever make independent choices you know should be made jointly.

pommedechocolat Wed 26-Jun-13 12:44:14

I aborted our third child last week. dd1 is 3 and dd2 15 months. We are living abroad and building a business. Life is manic hectic and we had (in mind, apparently not actions) decided not to have a third.

I was at peace with my decision but we are back in the UK currently and off work for a few weeks. The space has bought with it some sadness for me and some feelings of doubt in my decision.

I worry about friends annoucing third pgs too.

I was prepared for this to be hard and in many ways my feelings arent as intense as I had imagined but it is still very hard. I think on the due date I will feel very sad and conflicted.

I do think you and your dh can move on. You can also discuss having a planned third child again with him if that desire for one more is affecting your feelings on the abortion.

Zachmeister Thu 27-Jun-13 22:39:40

Thanks for your responses. I definitely feel that time is a great healer. I know that most days when I'm kept busy I don't have the time to dwell on things but think it's important to recognise I will have the odd meltdown along the way! I am going to go for a few more counselling sessions as I want to make sure I don't just take the 'bury my head in the sand' approach I had taken up until now! Onwards and upwards and thanks again for your kibd responses xxx

formicadinosaur Mon 15-Jul-13 00:10:05

I have been in a similar but slightly different situation. I also come from a religious background. I have to say that I found it really hard to forgive myself. The pain hung about for years and only now a few years down the line I feel more at peace. Counselling is good. talk to a priest if you feel it would help? Also have some kind of quiet personal ceremony somewhere special to make peace. Write the 3rd a letter? I agree time is a great healer. From a religious point of view, god is about forgiveness and love. No one is without sin.

formicadinosaur Mon 15-Jul-13 00:16:34

I just wanted to add that what you are going through is indeed grief for a bereavement. ((((Hugs)))

pommedechocolat Mon 15-Jul-13 08:29:54

Does either of you still long for a third. I feel like I want to plan having a third child asap now, even though I'd probably decided against it pre the pregnancy that I aborted.

Looking online it seems to be common and termed 'the atonement child'.

I would like to speed time up right now so i can start feeling better!

dontmentionit Sun 21-Jul-13 21:19:10

Hi Pomme
I also had an abortion couple of weeks ago which would have been my third child. I generally feel sad over the whole situation and now I am not pregnant generally feel that I could in fact cope. Has the internet helped you at all since you last posted? or taking it through with friends?
My bff has been useless by the way, we haven't spoke since it happened...

I think, for me, the only think which will help is to stop dwelling on it , i.e what I have done, the past, appreciate what I have and give it a year, if I still feel the same then re look at it.
This experience has taught me so much about how I listen to others (family was less than supportive about me having a third child) also looking at how much I relied on my bff (not healthy in my opinion) and it has made me stronger.

How are you feeling at the moment?

pommedechocolat Sun 21-Jul-13 23:35:50

I felt like that too dontmention. Like I cant believe I let some practicalities stand in the way. Hindsight is not v helpful in this case..!

Is bff best friend? Other than dh and I just two of my friends know. They have been great and are firmly inb the 'you din the right thing' camp (only told them afterwards though!). I wonder what everyone would have said if I had told them before. My mum is in the middle of a depressive episode and MIL is really overbearing with my dc so neither of them were potential confidentes at the time.

I am feeling less sure I will ever have a third child and still a bit sad that I am not having the one we aborted. I am really busy in the week between work and the ddd, weekends are sometimes harder as there is some space to think!

Dh and I have agreed to go back to third child discussions at xmas. Think he is back in the 'no' camp though.

dontmentionit Mon 22-Jul-13 12:33:00

My husband also in the 'no' camp, think actually he couldn't go through it all again if you know what I mean, he supported my decision but was really sad when it all happened. Talking about gtting the snip, making it all seem so final, which makes it worse.

When I was pregnant I wrote down all the reasons not to keep and to keep, actually the practicalities outweighed having a baby, this helps as actually practicalities could in turn make life hard for all of us, (I keep telling myself this).

Lovely that your friends have been good about it as although you don't need sympathy, just a 'sorry your going through this' attitude is helpful.
I told my b friend all the way through, as I was ok about it when I found out, just as the hormones wore on....

I do think if it is meant to be it will happen... just not sure if I want something I can't have or I do actually want a third child, time will tell once the practicalities are sorted out ...

I guess concentrating on your business and life in general will help..

pommedechocolat Mon 22-Jul-13 21:04:24

Having an abortion the year of the royal baby is a great way for being able to avoid thinking about pregnancy, birth and newborns hey smile

I do agree that it will only be time that heals this one. Slightly underestimated how deep I would feel. Having an abortion in a deeply catholic country also an eye opener.

pommedechocolat Mon 22-Jul-13 21:05:08

I would not be dealing well with dh talking about the snip at the moment, you are very strong.

Zachmeister Tue 03-Sep-13 21:57:21

I'm doing pretty well. I had a great summer with the kids and keep reminding myself of all things we've done that we wouldn't have if we had a small baby in our family. The flip side is I still battle with the 'what if' scenario and hand on heart if it was up to me alone I'd have another baby despite all the practical reasons against it. The fact is it's not just my decision and the sooner I realise that, the easier it will be to move on.

I think so many families find themselves in similar predicaments. The saying goes that men have one child more than they want and women have one less! Let's just try to be happy with what we've got...easier said than done but keep on smiling on the outside and the inside might eventually catch up! Xxx

Zachmeister Tue 03-Sep-13 22:00:33

It gives me comfort to hear all your views/stories. I've only told one friend quite recently. She supports me totally but part if me wishes she didn't know as I now feel she worries about me and pities me. I preferred my facade of being happy, happy, happy!! Xx

Lottystar Fri 03-Jan-14 02:29:00

Op, I really feel for your predicament. I had a termination in my mid 20s, different situation as I had an acrimonious split with the father after a brief relationship and just really felt I did not want to be a single Mum or be forever connected to that man. That said, I still shed tears over having an abortion, I'm a Roman Catholic (rather lapsed) too and I think that guilt mentality is ingrained! I am now married (very happily) with two children and trying desperately for a third. Alas following a horrible miscarriage this year and fertility treatment it's proving crazy hard and I sometimes wonder if it's divine justice for what I did when I was younger. Silly I know, but when you feel that broodiness inside it's very, very hard to ignore and I think aside from your DH concerns you would have kept the baby? Was conceiving an accident or did you miss your pill purposely? Have you discussed how you feel with your DH? That you would like another child? It sounds to me that your decision was based more on your DH's views than what you wanted?

UnknownGnome Sat 04-Jan-14 22:35:11

I'm in the same situation. I aborted what would have been our third child a couple of weeks ago. I'm still bleeding so still going through it.

The pregnancy wasn't planned and i think we were in shock. I was scared, worried i wouldn't cope on my own (dh works away), worried how it might impact on our existing dc. The thought of losing mostly all of my wage to pay childcare again terrified me. How would we cope with the extra financial pressure? And dh was leaning towards not wanting another child more than wanting one.

I regretted taking the pill as soon as i'd swallowed it and I've regretted it every day since.

I don't know how I'll recover. I hate myself and can't forgive myself. I don't feel like i deserve to grieve because this was my choice.

I'm struggling to carry on. Dh wants us to book a holiday but i feel guilty planning any kind of fun because I've denied my child a life.

I.just wish i'd taken longer to think about it. The problem is, i wanted to make the decision quickly because i didn't want to terminate at a late stage. But if i'd given myself longer i think i would have come round to the idea of continuing with the pregnancy.

Sorry to hijack the thread but i feel so sad sad

Lottystar Mon 06-Jan-14 01:09:55

UnknownGnome, I just wanted to send you a very unMumsNet hug and say I'm sorry you are feeling this way and you are going through such anxiety. It amazes me how differently women respond to an abortion, some are relieved and just want to move on with life and others, like us, feel loss and guilt. I'm not saying the former is wrong, it's a personal experience dependant on your situation. I feel like as a woman who took that choice to terminate you're not allowed or entitled to grieve. I also feel like there is a pressure to move on once the abortion is over. Be gentle with yourself, you made the decision you felt was right at the time. Hold onto that fact - you thought you were doing the right thing for your family. That's what I did in my twenties, I knew the father and I were utterly ill suited, I couldn't abide the idea of him in my life, I was frightened to be a single Mum and selfishly I was worried how having a child would effect my relationship prospects. How crap is that?! I was frightened though and being a maternal person anyway the whole thing hit me very hard. I wonder about that child so much, he or she would have been 9 now. I say sorry to them quite often. I hope it's different for you and you find peace with your decision in time xx

UnknownGnome Wed 08-Jan-14 18:50:50

Thanks Lotty.

I agree with you about not feeling able to grieve. I don't feel entitled to grieve, but i do feel the loss. I just keep thinking about what i'd be doing now if i'd taken the other road. I'd be getting ready for the 12 week scan now and telling people right now. That's presuming that it would have continued as a healthy pregnancy, which I'll never know.

I'm just finding it so so hard. People who are close to me know there's something wrong, but i don't feel i can tell them, so i'm feeling very isolated.

Even looking for support on the web has proven difficult. There seems to be (much needed) support for women who have terminated for medical reasons, but less so for those terminating for non medical reasons.

I just feel so sad, empty and alone right now.

Starballbunny Wed 08-Jan-14 19:29:12

Please be kind to yourself OP and the other posters in similar situations.

There, but for the grace of god go very very many of us with two DCs. A part of me will always want a third child, but my DH gets as close, as his practical nature will let him, to depression with small babies.

He's outwardly great, but he finds them boring, stressful and the sleep deprivation really gets to him. He reluctantly agreed to DD2, a third would have been too bigger ask.

I know had I got pregnant a third time I would have had an abortion, there are a million practical money, size of house, no family support etc. too.

But in the end DH and I have been soul mates since we were students, we fell in love the first night we were together, we got engaged six weeks later. Yes it's silly and it's soppy, and it was shear luck it worked out.

However, it's luck we worked on and nurtured and never took for granted.

My DDs are very flippant if I suggest having a third child, they say fine, but it's sleeping in the bath. They aren't actually joking, even baby mad DD2 would not share her room or long term like her world disrupted.

That OP is the point in the end you did the right thing because sometimes in a marriage and especially one with children you have to keep the bigger picture in mind.

Zachmeister Tue 14-Jan-14 20:45:07

I think the main thing I've taken from this post is that none of us are alone in our feelings. There's no easy fix to overcome what we've gone through. I still regret my decision every day but I also know it wasn't just my decision. This is the path I've chosen and I need to keep focussing on what I do have and not taint my present with regrets of my past.

When I mentioned to my counsellor that I still feel broody/ want to be pregnant. She asked pregnant with a new baby or yearning for the pregnancy I terminated? I find that question a hard one to answer, the reality is I want to have had the baby who would be turning 1 this week. There's no way my husband wants another baby and I think in many ways I do want to have an 'atonement' baby to fill the void the termination has left.....

Time is a healer so every time we share our feelings it will get easier to come to terms with things xxx

WillowR Wed 15-Jan-14 10:20:20

I am not against abortion but I do find it sad as so many women I know who have had then regret them or feel sad about their decision many years later. I had a miscarriage over a year ago and I had taken a morning after pill, I still feel guilt that that was the cause if my miscarriage. I really hope you can feel better soon. I have no words of wisdom but hope you get some good advise from other netmums on here and sending bug hugs.

MadameDefarge Wed 15-Jan-14 17:19:17

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Lottystar Wed 15-Jan-14 18:52:09

Sorry Madame, I'm not sure if you're trying to be funny, cynical or what but if you've nothing constructive to say then pls just don't bother. This is a painful subject for some of us and your attitude is not appreciated.

HyvaPaiva Wed 15-Jan-14 20:04:37

WillowR is a confirmed troll. MNHQ are deleting 'her' other threads/posts as 'not genuine'.

'She' is playing with you all on a very difficult subject. That's what *MadameDefarge is referring to. Ignore WillowR, this troll has said some vile things elsewhere on mumsnet.

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