We had planned everything. We had decided to have this baby. Our baby…
I am 18, I just graduated and have already applied and got into the best university of interior architecture. However, we have been talking about this for a few months now. I don’t see myself going to university, I see myself having a child with my fiance, who is 23 (cooking chef), and raising our child. I lived in Oman (in the Middle East), and I was going to go to Paris to start my studies, and my fiance was going to stay in Oman for his job. So before I left (because my family was moving to the Netherlands at the same time as I was moving to France), me and my fiancé decided to try and have a baby, so that if I was pregnant I would fly back to him and live with him and raise our child together. I would be an artist and writer (I almost finished the book I’m writing, and have lots and lots of paintings to sell, and will continue with this because that’s what I really want to do in my life). We tried to conceive.
The plane took off, and my heart felt like it had been ripped out of my chest. I had no idea when I was going to see my fiancé again because my parents didn’t like me being with him. I found out 3 weeks after arriving in Holland that I was pregnant. The “positive” on the pregnancy test was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen and tears fell down my cheeks as a huge smile lit up my face. I grabbed my phone and sent my fiancé a text:
“My love, you are going to be a father”
I had never had so much happiness. My life was exactly how I wanted it to be. I gently placed my hand on my tummy and whispered “I love you”.
I had no choice but to tell my parents immediately because we had to cancel the university year and the apartment that we had found for me in Paris. I was so scared. I was shaking. I knew I wouldn’t be able to tell them with words, so I bought a pair of baby shoes and placed the positive test in between them in a shoe box. My parents came home and opened the box in front of me. From that moment on, everything turned into a nightmare. My dad insulted me, but with the calmest voice you could possibly talk in. Meaning that he was weighing out his words more than ever before. My mom simply said ‘I can’t believe this’ and went to lock herself up in the bathroom. My dad said ok, we’ll take an appointment for an abortion. I never told them I tried to get pregnant because I was too scared of their reaction. I said “I want to keep it. I will never kill my baby”. The second I pronounced these words, they both brainwashed me nonstop for the 4 days following my statement. Every minute, I had things said to me such as “it’s not even a baby, it’s just cells growing and multiplying. It’s a cancer. Because as it grows up, it will destroy all our family. Your grandmother will have a heart attack when she’ll learn you’re pregnant. You are going to kill your grandma. And you are going to destroy your baby’s life. Look at the father he has, I feel so sorry for you. You are so selfish if you keep it. If you keep it, you will make your mother and I divorce from all the pressure we will have for raising your kid.” I told them they would NEVER raise my child because it wasn’t theirs. To which they replied “oh and you think YOU, an 18 year old girl with no money and no studies, are going to raise your child”… They continued, day AND night. Their words were so horrible that I couldn’t eat or sleep anymore. The second I would open my mouth, I would get a horrible come back that brought tears to my eyes. I couldn’t eat or sleep anymore as I was crying so much and wondering “what if they are right?” – That was my biggest mistake to listen to what THEY wanted once again, and not what I felt was right. After about 4 to 5 days, I had lost 5 kg. I couldn’t walk from how weak I was: obviously when you’re pregnant and your parents stop you from sleeping because they come almost every night at 3 am to “discuss” with me for about 2 or 3 hours and leave me crying my heart out of pain and distress, it’s normal that you lose all your energy. I tried to take my suitcase and leave, but couldn’t carry it as I was too weak; that was right after my mom looked at me and told me with the coldest voice “I don’t give a s*** what you do. I don’t care anymore. You’ve caused enough problems in the family. I will take care of my husband and my son, and you just back off, I don’t care about you anymore”.
2 days passed and they kept telling me “look how weak you are, you can’t even carry a fetus properly. You’re going to die with the fetus if you don’t get an abortion”. They would NEVER say ‘baby’ or ‘child’ and they would laugh at me every time I called my ‘fetus’, baby. One afternoon I walked into the living room and as my mom hung up the phone, she turned to me and said “I took an appointment for your abortion. It’s tomorrow. So find whatever reason to persuade yourself that it’s the right thing to do. You know I love you and you know I would never tell you to do that if I wasn’t 200% sure that there was no other solution”. I looked down and stayed silence. There was nothing I could do or say to even try to make her understand.
I went to the appointment with both my parents as they thought that if they didn’t come with me, I would never do it – their excuse was that they are coming with me to support me because I was being so courageous. I walked in the room where I was meant to have my echography done. I was going to see my baby for the first time. I was crying so much I couldn’t see where I was walking. Each step I took was a step closer to death. The doctor asked me if I sure about this, which made me cry even more, and my dad answered for me “yes she is” to which the girl replied that she was asking me not him. He went to sit in the waiting room.
The nurse put gel on my tummy. It was cold. I know it sounds silly but I asked her not to press too hard on my tummy I didn’t want her to hurt my baby. She laughed. …And I saw him. I saw my baby. On the screen. He was so small. I smiled, waved, and said ‘hey baby’… I was crying so much. The girl told me if I kept it, my due date was 13th of March 2011. She looked into my eyes and after a few seconds said “go home and think this over. I refuse to do the abortion because I know you are not sure about this. There is always a solution”. When I walked out of the room, my parents understood immediately. My dad’s eyes turned black, and the only feelings I could see in his eyes were “hate and anger”. My mom walked outside and started crying and sat down in the street, on the sidewalk.
We went home. “You are the most selfish person. You are destroying your family and will destroy the life of that ‘thing’”- said my mom. I cried silently. They stopped talking to me. Every second that passed, I died a little more inside. I called my uncle and my best friend. They both told me to get an abortion I had no choice and that my parents were right about the fact that I would destroy the whole family. They had won. I grabbed the phone and took an appointment.
“I will do you an injection and you will fall asleep. The intervention will take 15 minutes.” The surgery table was so cold. My deathbed. My mom wanted to come inside there and hold my hand just before going to sleep –once again to make sure I wouldn’t change my mind despite all of the other reasons she gave me. I was crying so much and shaking everywhere. My jaw, my arms, my hands, my body, my legs. I couldn’t breathe. My eyes were filled with burning tears. I felt the needle pierce my right arm. I wanted to scream but no sound came out. I tried to fight back but fell asleep…
I saw God when I was asleep. There was a bright light, I knew it was him and it felt as if he was holding my hand. He told me “everything will be ok, it’s not your time to go…”
I woke up.
If I could go back in time, I would NEVER have let them decide for me. I would NEVER have listened and even think for a second that there was a chance they were right. I regret it. I cry every day, and the pain of having decided to kill my child for other people’s satisfaction and happiness is something I will never forgive myself. I died that day. I lost my baby, my child. And the most horrible thing is to hear my mom still tell me “I knew how you felt, and it was the hardest thing for me to tell you to get an abortion. So don’t think you are alone feeling so hurt. I feel as hurt as you.” How dare she say that!? She has no idea how much pain I have. She never lost a baby. She never had an abortion, and no one ever forced her to get one. My life is a nightmare now. I stopped university because I am in deep depression and the only thing I can think of is getting my baby back. I want my baby back…
What is done is done. But there is not one day that goes by without me knowing that I would give anything to go back in time and walk away before it’s too late. I hate myself.
To all the girls out there, no matter how HARD it is to fight against parents, family, friends, make sure that the decision you will make is 100% YOUR decision. If you have a doubt, stop. Think it through again and again, until that doubt is gone and until you know in your heart and in your mind that the decision you are taking is the right one. Whether you decide to keep it, or not. Because the only one that has the right to make that decision is YOU.
To my baby, “I will always love you. Please forgive me…”
What you are feeling is normal. It’s normal to grieve the loss of your child and to deeply regret what you did. You know, you can forgive yourself for giving into the pressure to have an abortion from your parents. I think caving into the pressure is normal and most people in your shoes would have done the same thing. Forgive yourself and just let that go to God.
A lot of women have the same feelings that you described in your email after an abortion. Many women regret their abortion, or they want to have another child, or they become jealous of others’ children, and they think about their due date and the gender that their child would have been. You are not alone. These things that you are feeling right now are big and heavy and it’s a lot to work through. Recovering emotionally from an abortion is not something that you can do on your own, but there is a lot of help available. I highly recommend that you get some post abortion counseling. It will change your life! You’ll be so glad that you did it. To find post abortion help in your area, just go to https://optionline.org type in your zip code and click “search”. A list of centers will appear. Just choose one and ask about their post abortion program. They are will be so glad that you called. Help is just around the corner.
You have been through so much pain, but I know that you can get better. It will be possible to forgive yourself, your parents and your boyfriend. You just have to take one step at a time and pretty soon you will be able to look back at how far you have come. Please write back soon and tell me who you are doing.