On the 22nd May 2019 I was 14 weeks pregnant but unlike this time in my last pregnancy, I wasn’t excited. Rewind 12 weeks, and you’d have found me sobbing uncontrollably on my landing after witnessing one line turn into two.
I was only about 2-3 weeks pregnant, but I saw my the life I’d created shatter before me. It had only been a few months since I’d first found out. It wasn’t planned and it definitely wasn’t something I wanted. I’d only been with ‘the dad’ a couple of months (although we’d know each other a while longer) but we were hardly in a position to bring a child into the relationship. I had my business, Luna, and financial pressures already and another baby was only going to make everything harder. But despite all of these things, after a week or so of constant crying, I decided I was going to keep the baby. I spent the next few weeks planning how on earth I was going to make it work. But no matter what, I knew I could make it work.
I use blogging as a way to release how I feel about something, particularly when it’s something I’ve been keeping a secret or holding inside me for a long time. And more often than not, someone will get in touch after I post to say that they’ve been going through the same thing, so it’s nice to know that other people benefit, and can open up and start a discussion with me.
For a while now, I’ve wanted to talk about this topic, but it didn’t feel right. But then I remembered listening to Sophie’s and Millie’s podcast: Keeping it Candid where they discussed the topic of termination, and how interesting I found it. Back then, I had never been in that situation, but now I have.
In May, I had an abortion. I was 14 weeks pregnant.
I’ll skip over the next few weeks because they were probably some of the worst weeks of my life. I was snowed under at work but couldn’t work properly because of how ill I was feeling from being pregnant. My mental health was deteriorating pretty quickly and I was jumping between states of euphoria and extreme depression and didn’t really know what was going on most of the time. The relationship was put under extreme pressure and despite feeling happy about the pregnancy, I felt ‘nothing’ about anything else. I was just an empty shell growing a baby.
I was going into this with the attitude that I was doing this ‘alone’ because ultimately in the situation I was in, that was a very strong reality. But I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. I didn’t want to be a single mum to two kids with two different dads by the time I was 28 (I mean, who would ever want to go out with me then?), but I wanted to know that I could.
Then, for no real reason, something clicked in me and I realised I didn’t have to do this. I had spent a long time growing my business, making my house lovely for Luna, and rebuilding my life after ‘starting again’ last year. I suddenly realised that just because I probably could make it work, it didn’t mean I actually had to make it work. Was I going to completely change my whole life just to prove something to myself?
(There were a few other factors in this decision too but they’re probably not for public reading)
The problem was that this realisation along with all the other problems, came way too late. I’d already been for an early dating scan at 7 weeks but spent the entire scan crying and didn’t want to look at the screen. I had been to midwife appointments and arranged my official 12 week scan. I was thinking up ways to announce I was pregnant, although I’d told a lot of people already. (Cancelling meetings, running to be sick all the time, generally looking like shit, and eating weird things all the time were signals to a lot of people and a few clients had already guessed).
I nervously booked a consultation for a termination and my best friend took the day off work and came with me. I didn’t know what to expect but the consultation took hours and involved speaking to many different people, blood tests, and other medical tests. I felt fine. I had spent 13 weeks crying, changing my mind, being happy, being unhappy, arguing, and stressing – I didn’t have any emotion left in me. A week later my friend took the day off work again to come with me for the actual appointment. It was horrible, but afterwards I felt fine.
We went home, ate sweets, laughed, chatted about random things, and got excited about my upcoming holiday to Croatia. I knew that at some point it would probably catch up with me and I would feel shit, but I knew that in reality I had made the right decision for myself.
I stopped being sick just 2 days later. I went to Croatia a week later. I drank, I enjoyed myself, I got my business back on track and I felt like ‘me’ again. I saw newborn babies and pregnant women everywhere, and I saw cute couples holding hands and smiling. The Baader-Meinhof phenomenon was in full swing, but I didn’t care. I just felt happy for them, and happy for myself that I could carry on with my life. There were two people I knew who were literally the exact amount of weeks pregnant as I was – and I worried I’d feel sad around them, but I didn’t.
But now, a few weeks on, I do feel sad. I keep googling things that I really shouldn’t. I see newborn babies and I want to hold them. I wonder whether I will actually have the opportunity to give Luna a brother or sister. I wonder whether the baby would have been a girl or a boy.