Stacey's Story

I suppose I knew I was pregnant long before my boyfriend started to suspect and passed me a pregnancy test. The day I did the test and the line appeared I couldn't believe it. I was 22 and had always thought I couldn't have children, my defense for stupidly having unprotected sex. I will always be thankful for the support my parents and my boyfriend showed but I never once felt like I had a choice.

His family would have disowned him if they found out and I had unknowingly been pregnant over Christmas and New Years. The party season. How much damage had I done with my drinking and drug usage? I just couldn't take that chance.

I had my abortion the week before my 23rd birthday. The worst bit for me was just before the procedure when I had to get changed into my gown. It was the loneliest moment of my life and I tried to cry quietly behind the curtain.

As I was the first one into the room, I was the first to have the termination done. Something I'm grateful for because if I had of seen all those women going in before me, I think I would have bolted. I had a general anesthetic to knock me out and when I first woke up in the recovery room, I was confused about where I was. The cramps in my stomach reminded me a few seconds later and I thought, 'Was that it? Is it over?' I had never felt so relieved.

That was two months ago. I would like to say that I still only feel relieved but I don't. I don't exactly feel regret but I'm sad that the situation and the timing was wrong. I'm sad about the fact if I ever have a child in the future, that will not be the first I've carried in my womb, that will not be the first scan I've seen of my baby. I'm all alone in my body again and I can't get rid of the feeling that some day I'll be punished for what I've done.

I have my boyfriend to thank for holding me on the many days and nights I've spent crying. I'm surprised he's still with me because I've taken a lot of my anger out on him. I just don't feel like myself anymore - my self-confidence has been shattered, I get paranoid that people don't like me, I'm too exhausted to smile and have a good time. All I want to do it sleep and I know I'm going to lose my job. I started a new job just before I fell pregnant and I've hardly been there because I keep taking sick days. I just can't face the place, it brings back too many bad memories. My boss knows the situation and has been great up to now, but she won't be able to keep letting me off.

I just want to feel like myself again.

25 April 2000

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"We have to be aware of irritation or anger as it arises, and try to understand it. Once we understand it, we are better able to forgive and love...If we do not understand, we cannot love." -Thich Nhat Hanh