Lucy's Story: Abortion, Hurt, Hope, Healing...

Options is grateful to former clients who wish to share their personal stories via our blog or other means.  Below, Lucy*, a former Options client, shares the story of how she sought and found help and healing after an abortion.


Lucy's* Story: Abortion, Hurt, Hope, Healing...

Many people think abortion is something you chose to do for the sake of convenience, or perhaps health.  They may assume it's something that’s easy to get over; that it’s easy to get back to 'normality'.

But for women, like me, who have struggled emotionally after an abortion, many will suffer in silence because the subject of abortion is often considered a taboo.  I wish that we would talk about it: breaking the silence; talking about healing and moving forward; sharing our stories.  That’s why I have chosen to share my story.

Yes, I had an abortion.  People who know me might be surprised, because I’m a devout Christian, and I have an obvious love for children, babies, and anything pregnancy related.  I vividly remember the days leading up to my termination.  It was the 4th of February when my pregnancy was confirmed. When the nurse said "6 weeks pregnant", my heart sank. I was in complete shock and felt numb; but this was soon followed by a feeling of excitement.  Life doesn't go the way we plan it, and this wasn't how or when I thought my child would be born... but "I’m going to be a mumy!" danced through my head. A dream come true.

I went to work and googled everything. I looked up why I was feeling sick (ugh!), how big my baby was (the size of an orange seed), what foods to avoid, and so on. I was excited.

As the days went on, reality began to hit. Not only was there a financial strain, but there were quite a few family issues going on at the same time.

When I told the father (we were no longer together when I found out I was pregnant), he was initially very supportive. He looked after me and bought me food that I could actually stomach. However, he was soon saying he couldn't promise to be around, that it was the wrong time, that abortion was the right thing to do, etc... Combined with complicated situations at home, I felt I had no other choice but to end the pregnancy. Did I want this? No. I kept telling the father this, but his response was "I'm sorry", or he'd just shrug his shoulders. He had made up his mind.

I thought about all the practical reasons why it was the best thing to do, against the one reason I had to keep my baby - I believed the baby was a gift God had given me. But I just couldn't rationalise it, I began to cut off any feelings I had for the baby in order to 'do what I had to do'. Within 9 days, it was all over.  On the 13th of February, I was no longer pregnant.

The termination process was more physically and emotionally painful than I had expected. To add to this difficulty, from the evening of the abortion, the father walked out of my life; he was rarely available to see me or support me, and he let me down on several occasions. The rejection was overwhelming. How could someone do this?  Especially when I felt so vulnerable and sad.

Not many people knew about my situation. The few who did didn't say too much. I made the decision to have an abortion even though it wasn't what I had originally wanted.  From that point of view, it was difficult for people to know what to say to me. I don't blame them. I often tried to deal with my problems on my own because I didn't want to burden anyone with them. From the outside, I'd be the bubbly, happy Lucy (as much as I could be), but when I was on my own I would just cry all the time.

The pain I felt - the sense of loss and grief - was indescribable. It was such a real pain, it felt physical.  I regretted the abortion before I had it... The way I saw it, I wasn't trying to get rid of an inconvenient surprise. I was scared. Adoption was too much, I knew I couldn't hand my baby to complete strangers; every day I would be thinking to myself "are they hurting him? Does he know I love him? What is he doing today?"

The pain and torment over the decision I made was raw. Every time I saw a pregnant lady, a newborn, or every time someone announced their pregnancy, it felt like a dagger was being thrust through my heart. No one knew what I was going through, so I had no other option than to turn and cling to the one person who did know what I was feeling and thinking - Jesus. When I look back now, I can honestly say that this was the beginning of something amazing and beautiful in my relationship with Him. I was brought up as a Christian, and wholeheartedly believe in God and that he died on the cross for me, that I may have life and life to the full and be forgiven from all my sin.

I cried out to him constantly in prayer, sometimes I didn't even know what to say. Had I done something so bad he wouldn't hear my prayers? No! It says in Acts 2:21, "But everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved". I did this constantly, even when I didn't see or feel God, I clung to Him for life. Looking back now, I feel God was saying to me "you've known me all your life, you know who I am, you know what I can do, now watch me, I'm going to prove it to you. Trust me".

So the one thing that kept me going through this season was hope. The hope I had was so strong, I just kept going when I was in the pit of darkness knowing this was temporary; everyday was one day closer to healing. The hope was an anchor for my soul (Hebrews 6:19).

A few months after the abortion, I went to Options Wimbledon for post-termination counselling. I didn't know it at the time, but they are a Christian run charity. When I found this out at my first appointment, I just wept on the sofa. For me, this was such a sign that God was with me, guiding my steps. Options were, and still are, amazing. They allowed me to cry over my loss, my broken dreams, and rejection. They helped me to grieve and just speak from my heart without judgement, criticism, or interruption.  I can say that year was the hardest year of my life to date, but being determined and having a faith helped me. I’m so thankful for all the volunteers that give their time and effort for people like me.

For those that are reading this and are struggling after a termination, I just really want to encourage you from the bottom of my heart to seek post-termination counselling if you haven't done so already; it will help you to understand your thoughts, feelings and allow you time to grieve and/or accept the situation. If you feel the need to grieve over your situation or your loss, then you are allowed to grieve, despite what society may say. Go ahead and do it in a way that works for you.

* Names and other personal details have been changed or omitted to protect the author's identity.


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