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This topic is for personal experiences or dilemmas; to debate the ethics of termination, please go here or here.

Abortion confusion

(9 Posts)
mssellotape Fri 13-Mar-15 11:31:50

I'm 39 and had an abortion eight weeks ago. I have mild depression and a panic disorder and have always been phobic of pregnancy, as far back as I remember. However, I always thought if it happened I would deal with it and cope.
My partner and I became a bit devil may care about contraception about five years ago, as we wanted to start a family. It never happened and I accepted my perceived infertility, until a couple of months ago.
When I found out I was pregnant, I felt absolutely terrified and depressed and kind of blindly sleepwalked into having an abortion at nine weeks, though my partner was devastated and didn't want me to. I felt trapped, like I couldn't breathe and had no connection with the potential baby or what was happening. I didn't feel any emotion at all.
Since then I feel destroyed. I'm haunted by what I've done, it eats at me constantly and I think of nothing else, and wish I could undo it. I feel it's too late now to try again at my age and that even if I do, what if I just feel the same way? My thoughts are so black, knotted and confused.
I can't see a path beyond this point. I'm seeing a counsellor, but I don't feel it's quite enough to untangle this mess. Help.

thisisnow Fri 13-Mar-15 12:21:31

My goodness I'm sorry you had to go through that. Sounds like your phobia of pregnancy wasn't dealt with properly. Did you have counselling before the termination?

Of course you will be able to try again but you will need more support if you do. Hope you are okay flowers

mssellotape Fri 13-Mar-15 12:44:57

Thanks so much for your message. I feel so silly for not getting help with my phobia before, every month when we were trying I was having hot sweats and freaking out if my period was ever late.
For some reason I was certain it'd never happen, so finding out I was pregnant was a huge shock, I just couldn't engage with it at all.
A week or two after the abortion I started feeling excited and hopeful about being pregnant, and had to remind myself that I wasn't anymore. Will definitely get some proper support if I decide to try again. Just hope I'm brave enough if there's a next time, and wonder how I'll get through life knowing what I did if I don't go on to have a child.

tribpot Fri 13-Mar-15 13:03:41

Counselling is the right thing for you. I assume you are being very careful about contraception at the moment as another pregnancy at this stage could be very traumatic for you?

You couldn't have known how you would react to becoming pregnant. You found yourself in a terrible situation and none of us knows how we would have reacted in a similar one. Perhaps you might consider surrogacy as an option in the future? At the very least you know you will need to be well supported by a mental health team and have strategies in place to deal with the panic.

How is your DP doing? I can understand it must be very hard to admit that you now bitterly regret the termination but if you are to have any hope of getting through this he needs to understand that this wasn't a whim but a genuine mental health issue that you will need his support to tackle successfully. And success is not defined by another pregnancy but in you coming to terms with what happened in such a way that you could have hope you would not react the same way in the event of another one.

It's early days. This is one of those things you can't go round, you just have to go through it. Keep going.

mssellotape Fri 13-Mar-15 13:30:16

Thanks tribpot. Yes, we're back on the contraception now and being very careful.
I was shocked by my reaction, it was like having tunnel vision, I just wanted to find a way out and didn't even consider how I'd feel afterwards emotionally.
If we try again I'll definitely get weekly counselling in place throughout pregnancy, or some kind of professional support system. My sister has offered to be a surrogate for me, but I would worry too much about her health if I accepted.
My DP is being understanding but, as you suggested, I do think he sees success as another pregnancy to repair the situation, and I know it's way too soon for that.
I think he's quite shocked about how devastated I was afterwards, he feels awful but I guess he didn't have the physical effects so can still process everything rationally. I haven't been able to hide it from him because I can't sleep and feel quite unstable. The upset is more than the loss of a potential baby, but also the guilt and feeling of failure that goes along with it.
Thanks so much for your message!

thisisnow Fri 13-Mar-15 14:37:14

I was the same mssellotape, very cold and detached before the termination and it was like I was looking at myself from the outside, not even recognising who I was. And the aftermath was almost unbearable, the fact that I'd chosen to terminate was very hard to live with and caused a great deal of confusion and pain.

Agree with tribpot sadly you just have to get through the next few weeks and if or when you feel strong enough to try again make sure you have all the professional support you need. flowers

mssellotape Fri 13-Mar-15 15:54:46

Oh no thisisnow, what happened and are you okay now?
I guess the shutting down autopilot thing is self preservation in a high anxiety situation. It's so ironic when the aftermath is like having your heart ripped out. Thanks for your advice X

lovelylemonskins Fri 07-Aug-15 17:55:55

You loor thing. What sort of counselling are you having? It can range from supportive chat to Psychotherapy, CBT etc. I'd go and see your GP (if you're lucky yours will be sweet and kind like mine was) who can refer you to local mental health services. Might take a while but the right help can make a world of difference.
Good luck sweetheart x x

lovelylemonskins Fri 07-Aug-15 17:56:15


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