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Healing the Shockwaves of Abortion
 

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A Letter To Somone Thinking About Abortion
Samantha
Ontario, Canada

My story is from summer 2001. I had been dating my boyfriend for about five months when I got pregnant. It was a long distance relationship, and we did not live in the same city or go to the same school. I got pregnant at his family’s cottage one weekend, I thought. When I missed my period I took my lunch as a camp coordinator and went to the drug store to get a pregnancy test. I took it at work, and it came up positive immediately. I froze, the room spun, and I didn’t know what to do. I shoved the test in my bag and called my boyfriend to meet him after work to talk. I met up with him and blurted it out.  He froze, told me I probably wasn’t pregnant, and to go my doctor. He asked if I was I am aborting it. I honestly hadn’t thought further than the test in my bag, but abortion never crossed my mind. I loved him and thought he loved me. I thought he might just need some time to come to terms with this. I didn’t want to get pregnant at 20, but once I knew I was, I wanted it. He didn’t.

I panicked and at the doctor’s office told him that my boyfriend won’t support this, and that this needs to go away. I knew my boyfriend was upset with me, and I wanted to save our relationship and “fix this”. One thing no one tells you is abortion is that it is “All or nothing”. Relationships do not survive the fallout that abortion causes. There are serious emotional consequences for everyone involved, which has a ripple effect for the rest of your life. 

The doctor set me up for an abortion referral. There was no talking me out of it or offer of support or counselling. I had no awareness of community support or anything. Once you get the abortion ball rolling it is hard to stop. We had several conversations in the 11 days between finding out and the abortion. They all consisted of him being adamant abortion was the only way, that I was ruining his life, that his parents would disown him, and that this was just a blob, not a baby. I tried pushing back saying it is a baby, it’s killing someone, that I didn’t know if I could live with myself, etc. He wouldn’t let me tell anyone, and I didn’t want to lose him so I told no one. I regret that so much. Ultimately, I knew he wasn’t going to be there for me, and my mom is a single mom, and I felt very unloved and rejected as a child.  I didn’t want my child not to have a father and get hurt like I did. I broke down when he said this was bad timing and that we can have another baby in five years, once we got through school. I believed him. I also didn’t know that one pregnancy is not like another and that there is no replacing that child. I now have three kids, but this child still has left a giant hole in my heart that can never be filled. There was only one ultrasound done at the abortion clinic, which I was not allowed to see, also something I regret. I let this guy decide on an abortion for me, and I am now suffering with emotional trauma and mental health.  He doesn’t care and got off the hook. He made me feel like me wanting to keep my baby was “selfish”, and that I had to sacrifice my child to save him. 

The night before the abortion I had to take a pill to dilate my cervix for the procedure, and I remember even then struggling, not knowing if this is what I should do. I thought my boyfriend was expecting me in the morning and that if I didn’t show up the doctors would be mad at me. Stupid reasons, but when you are 20 it feels compelling. I took the pill, cried myself to sleep, and said sorry to God and to please take my baby back. The day of I met my boyfriend at the subway and headed to the hospital. It was July 30, 2001- actually our six month anniversary from when we first met. The hospital happened to be the same one I was born at and I thought it was ironic that I was killing my baby in the same place I was born. I tried to stall, asked if we could sit under a tree before going in, and asked him if this is really what he wanted.  I said I didn’t want to be there, but he said I had to and led me in. I just was so scared and numb. Once I was changed into a gown I felt like a trapped animal. I couldn’t run, I had no clothes, and even if I did the boyfriend would stop me. There were people in the waiting room but no one made eye contact and it was eerily quiet…I wasn’t sure if they were all there for the same reason but now, thinking about it, I am sure they were. I leaned on my boyfriend’s shoulder, crying.  I was mad at the world, why was I not allowed to have my baby? They called my name, I shuffled over to the nurse who was kind and said, “It’s ok, sweetie, sometimes bad things happen to good people.”  They led me down the hall to the operating room, and I was freaking out inside, but my body obeyed. I got on the table, scooted my bum down, and lied down. They secured my arms and legs, which scared me, and the anesthetic was put in. The last thing I remember thinking was, “I don’t want to do this.”  I woke up, wasn’t sure where I was, and looked for a clock. Only 10-15 min had passed, but I knew it was over. I burst into tears, and the nurse there asked why I was crying and if I was in pain.  I said no. She said, “Stop crying, you did this to yourself.” I wanted to disappear. I blamed myself for so long and really internalized that. I regretted it the second it was over and part of me died that day. I was never and will never be the same. 

The truth was I wanted that baby, I just wanted some support, and I wanted the guy to make me feel like I could make that choice for myself, not him. After he wouldn’t let me talk about it with him, and I learned to shove it down, because I had no one to talk to. I was very ashamed of myself. I never even went for a follow up appointment or back to my family doctor at the time, because I was so ashamed of myself. 

I now am 37, happily married to another man for 12 years, and have three beautiful girls who are loved by both their parents. I love my job and feel so lucky that my life turned out okay, but if I could have one do-over, I would unravel my whole life to undo that choice. You never expect the first loss you are going to experience in life is going to be your own child, and the pain and hopelessness of that is something I would not wish on anyone. No material possession is worth losing a child. I still cry about this and wish I could turn back time. You can’t keep a secret like that in forever…eventually it destroys you from the inside out…even if it takes decades. I wish I could have stood up for myself, but I did not have a family that would help me, as I came from an abusive low income home. Abortion wasn’t something I wanted, and unfortunately I have this story that I never wanted to have to tell. No one told me of the emotional consequences and trauma that would arise from this. I miss my baby every day and am looking forward to Heaven to see that child again. God knows I am sorry, and I have the rest of my life to be a better human being and help others and that is what I plan to do on Earth until I can be with my child again.

I hope this helps you understand the real damage abortion does to those involved, especially the woman.  Your sweet baby is a person, and I can say that, after losing my child, that baby deserves a life! It is hard, but living with yourself after an abortion is way harder, that is a life sentence. I wish I had read a letter like this when I was contemplating this, because I never would have done it.

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