My fiance and I have been together five years now, and it's been nearly four since I had my abortions (two only three months apart, sickeningly). At the time, we were not able to settle on a suitable birth control option. Hormones monstrously aggravate my bipolar disorder (something we didn't know I had at that point), and neither of us wanted the intrusion of condoms or other barrier methods. Well, our desire to avoid intrusions, complications, or difficulties led to difficulties that are likely to complicate and intrude on my life for the rest of my life.
Making the decision to have the first abortion was agonizing. I had studied abortion in depth as a junior in high school for a report and was sickened by what I learned, deciding at the time that I would never choose that for myself. Ironically, I ended up pregnant only a few months later, and yes, I kept the promise to myself I made at the time and kept that baby. She's now an amazing girl on the verge of growing up, at 13 years old.
Finding myself in the position to decide again, I wanted to be true to that commitment I'd made, and I was also afraid of the moral complications. Although I was not at the time actively involved in a Christian way of life, I grew up very strongly influenced in that way and I was afraid that making the decision to kill this baby would forever seal my fate and make it impossible for me to be "saved". I know that sounds silly to some, but it was a fear that consumed me.
What helped me to make the choice was looking at my life and what I had to offer a child. I was mentally and emotionally unstable, financially destitute nine-tenths of the time, already over-burdened with the task of single-parenthood, and in a relationship that didn't have any commitment attached to it. Nowhere in that was there anything to give a baby. I could have chosen to adopt out, but I know myself well enough to know that I don't have the emotional strength to make a choice like that when faced with a tiny infant that I created in love with the man I chose.
My first procedure was a surgical abortion and was painful and frightening. The doctor and nurse were amazing and gentle, caring and concerned and I was very surprised by that. It was a Planned Parenthood clinic. I really didn't know what to expect.
My second came while we were waiting for my uterus to be free of the first pregnancy (a requirement set by the clinic, not me) before getting the IUD put in. We were devastated and angry with each other. The decision felt sadly simple and unemotional. I went in for a non-surgical abortion this time and spent one weekend with heavy cramps and bleeding and it was over. I was actually afraid because I felt so little emotionally.
This is an experience that since then has created in me the desire to talk about it with other women, but I find that I can't bring myself to talk about it. I'm ashamed of it, and I don't want to face condemnation. I pretend sometimes that they were simply miscarriages and in that way am able to speak with other women about the sadness and loss I feel.
I don't at all regret the choice we made to abort in either case. Seeing how hard a life I've given my daughter, I wouldn't ever want to put another child through that. But when I held that tiny baby, I realized that there was a hollow spot I was carrying and hadn't even known it. My fiance is wonderful and supportive and reminds me that I have my daughter inside of me, and him and all of the other children I have ever loved. That hollow feeling is something I feel right now and it's okay. It feels good to grieve these babies I gave away the chance to give life to.