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

Feeling so sad

(11 Posts)
nottoomuch Mon 20-Jul-15 10:11:48

I had an abortion a couple of weeks ago. It was an unplanned third pregnancy (we have two beautiful DCs) and was a real shock. Going through with it was traumatic and now I am full of regret and remorse and sadness. I am too ashamed to tell anyone else so the only person I can talk to is my DH. But to be honest, although he said we could keep it if I wanted, he has always been certain he didn't want three children. Which was a big reason why I didn't keep it. I just wasn't sure if I could go through all the inevitable hard times knowing that my DH hadn't wanted it. He felt we couldn't afford it (we actually can). And didn't want to go back to the baby phase (our DC are both at school now). And I am in my early forties so a bit old. But I on the other hand was always desperate to have three. Now I feel as though I am in mourning both for the baby I aborted, and for the third child we won't have. I know we are so, so lucky to have our two DC but I am really struggling to deal with this. Please tell me it will get better. I keep thinking about who the baby might have been. I just want to say sorry to him or her.

MurtleTheTurtle Mon 20-Jul-15 13:43:55

I just wanted to sympathise with you. I am in almost the same position only it would have been my 6th. I can relate to everything you are feeling and I was actually really surprised at how traumatic the whole process was and quite how bad I feel about it afterwards.

I do hope that with the passing of time the sense of sadness and loss will pass for both of us.

thisisnow Mon 20-Jul-15 18:20:38

It will get better I promise you that. You're in the worst stage right now and it will take a while for you to recover from what was a traumatic event. Please don't punish yourself as you've been through a hard enough time as it is, you made the best decision you could at the time flowers

myermay1 Mon 20-Jul-15 22:33:10

It could be me writing that post, everything you have said is how I feel. Can you get some counselling? I've just booked mine 7 month on. I totally understand how you feel. Try not to be too hard yourself, you did what you felt right at that particular time. The guilt hurts so much, feels like a dirty secret, I truly understand x

missybct Wed 22-Jul-15 11:39:45

Firstly, how you feel is normal. It doesn't want to feel normal, and it's not a normal situation, but your feelings are valid and important, irrespective of the fact you may feel you don't deserve to feel sad or remorseful - you ARE allowed.

Secondly, you both had very valid reasons for feeling a third child wasn't part of the plan you both had. Although at the moment, it feels overwhelmingly like you should have 'made do' or 'it would have been ok' (which may be true), the fact remains that as you said yourself, you both had joint and individual reasons as to why you chose the option you did. It doesn't lessen the grief or sadness at the moment - those things are very visceral for you, but they are worth bearing in mind for the future.

As trite as it sounds, and like [b]thisisnow[/b] mentioned, you both made the decision with the tools you had at your disposal at the time. And there is nothing wrong with that - therefore, you must not torture yourself with the thoughts of what could have been.

I had to have an abortion nearly 4 months ago. I didn't truly feel like I was out of the fog until earlier this month. We had a lot of reasons - some of which were joint, most of which were individual and we did an awful lot of talking (some arguing) and sought independent help from friends, family and in my DP case, a therapist. If you had your abortion with the Marie Stopes, there is aftercare available for you from the counselling services which I strongly recommend you consider - although I'd suggest giving it an couple more weeks before booking to allow yourself to heal physically.

There is a very good selection of post-abortion grief articles on the internet which can explore in greater depth how to heal after such a trauma - some of these were invaluable to me after I had mine - and it also helped my DP explore some of his feelings. We spent a while unable to communicate with each other and dealt with our grief in very, very different ways, but ultimately we came together and keeping healthy communication during this time is crucial. For that reason, talking to other people will help solidify some of your thoughts and feelings, and enable you to rationalise your decision.

It does get better - it never goes away, and nor should it - but the pain eases. Everyone told me life would go back to normal, and it does to an extent - but I always say it's a little different normal. Our child would have been my first (DP's second), so I feel very empty some days, but I do know I made the right decision, even if I wish I hadn't had to make it. Please look after yourself - give yourself space and time to heal, come and talk to us on this board, write down how you're feeling somewhere private - whatever works for you.

thisisnow Wed 22-Jul-15 19:33:15

How are you feeling now? I hope you can see that you will feel better eventually. I know it doesn't feel like it but you will get there. It sounds silly but you can always phone the samaritans if you just need someone to talk to. I phoned them a couple of times when I was at my lowest and looking back it helped a little.
Hope you're okay anyway flowers

Hellen77 Sun 26-Jul-15 12:06:11

I'm In exactly the same position (except it was fourth). I am so sorry just wanted to tell you are not alone. I feel a lot of anger and resentment towards my husband as his treatment of me really pressured me to make the decision. I had always always wanted a fourth and he didn't. I replay the day/weeks leading up to the termination in my mind and wish I had have done or said something different...if only there was a glimmer of hope.

I had my termination on 8 April and still feel very angry. Actually I am trying to convince DH to have another baby - my head and heart are so confused. It hurts a lot.

I think you have to hold all your reasons at the front of your mind.

Sending you hugs.

nottoomuch Mon 27-Jul-15 13:37:13

Thank so much for your responses, it means a lot. I am trying to talk about it with my DH. It's such a strange feeling as he is the one I feel I should be leaning on here, but I feel angry at him so I can't. I don't want this to drive us apart though. We talked again about it and he said that we should perhaps go for a third. I don't know though ... it would seem disrespectful to the one we terminated. And I would still be aware that my DH was agreeing because he loves me but it is not what he actually wants. And I AM old (42). But generally I am much better in the day when I am busy. It's when the house quietens down at night and I have time to think about it. This sounds so strange and I am not 'woo' like this normally at all but the baby I aborted feels like a little ghost. Good luck to everybody else though and thanks so much again for responding.

TheLastPickleInTheJar Mon 27-Jul-15 16:25:44

This was me. Unexpectedly pregnant with our third. Dh didn't want it. I didn't want it but neither did i want an abortion. We talked, we argued. I ended up taking the pill and regretting it immediately. I hadn't realised how much i wanted that baby until it was gone.

Like you, we talked afterwards about having a third. It was easier once the pressure was off. Dh saw how torn up i was about it and agreed that we could try. I don't think he really expected it to happen but it did and we now have ds. It doesn't take away the sadness though. In fact my emotions are even more conflicted now because i still bitterly regret the abortion and wish we'd had the courage to continue with the pregnancy but i feel guilty for thinking like that because ds wouldn't be here if i hadn't had the abortion.

I agree with the pp who said we have to settle for a different kind of normal. Having a termination changed me. It will always be there. It's the one regret i can't let go of.

Look after yourself op. If you want to try for another baby it's not disrespectful. Just make sure it's for the right reasons and not because you want the sadness to go away because it won't thanks

Softcookie Wed 29-Jul-15 11:22:11

I just wanted to sait, op, that you need to deal with the sadness and any lingering feelings of guilt before deciding to go for a third. I think coming to terms with having had an abortion and wanting/having another baby are two distinct things and you to disentangle those feelings to make sure you really are being true to your heart and to your family's needs.

You said 2 things in relation to your dh: that he loves you and that you are finding it hard to talk this through and grieve together. Pls look into counselling, individually and as a couple - it really is an invaluable tool to help you make sense of what is going on and allow this traumatic experience to cement your relationship rather than drive you apart.

My experience.... For what it's worth. I was in exactly the same position a few months ago (there's a long thread on here which I started and I reread from time to time to remind myself of how I felt). I decided to terminate a surprise 3rd pregnancy for many reasons but chiefly the fact I felt too old to start again at 40 and I was too scared of how another baby would impact our family dynamics (which are touch wood very good). Also I was very scared of disabilities and of the financial impact. It was a horribly painful decision and I suffered like never before... Dh was supportive and I think he would have accepted it if if said I couldn't go through with it. In the end the choice was taken out of my hands as I started to miscarry naturally the day before I was due to take the first pill.

3 months on I can say that I am fine with it. I still feel very sad, the scar on my soul is healing but it's definitely there. I'm sad that I've had to go though it, sad that the possibility of that life never materialised, sad that my 3rd baby will never be. I let myself dream occasionally of what he/she could have been like but I recognise this as a fantasy rather than a real desire. Overwhelmingly I'm relieved I'm not pregnant right now and 100% focused on giving my existing family and myself the best I can. Perversely, it's made me determined to make the most of everything I have and really be the best mother, wife, woman I can be.

There is no right or wrong choice, there is now just the choice you made based on what you knew/felt/wanted at the time. There can be no other choice and I think you need to let yourself accept that you went through a horrible situation and chose the least bad path based on the elements you had.

Give yourself time and kindness op. You deserve it.

Stroopwaffel Wed 29-Jul-15 22:02:07

Yes..late to this thread but I would echo the last 2 posters who say that another baby doesn't take away the sadness of termination.

I recently found an online support site specifically for women who have been through terminations, it's called passboards.org ... It's not my usual type of forum but there is good advice and support on there.

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