I terminated my third child around 5 years ago. My second child was 15 months at the time. My husband and I had completed or family and had no intention of having any more children. I found the baby stage very hard. I experienced post natal depression after having both my children. A experienced a combination of severe sleeplessness, isolation, grief over a loss of career that gave me status, importance, connection, recognition.

The third pregnancy came as a huge shock as we were relying on our method of contraception to give us security. We had finished our family at two children. I felt like I had no choice than to terminate. My husband was supportive of this and we could not see how we would cope financially and me mentally. We sacrificed so much in order for me to stay at home with our children as giving them what I could provide for them as a stay at home mother was most important.

The procedure was undertaken. I told a few trusted friends about it. It was a logical decision and although I experienced shock, I never grieved. It was like I subconsciously compartmentalized it. I didn’t think I would need to revisit it again. I guess I was protecting myself and in denial about what I had done. It wasn’t till six months ago (5 years later) did the pain and grief fully take hold.

The emotion was triggered by the announcement of my sister that she and her husband were expecting their third child. What felt like out of no where, this huge wave of pain came over me and I found myself crying uncontrollably for about 5 hours straight after leaving a family function.

I tried describing it to my husband but as many men do, he wanted to fix it by reassuring me it was the right decision to have made. I found myself shielding him from my grief, isolating myself even further because I just needed to let it out without judgement. I needed empathy, not someone trying to ‘fix’ the problem.

The tears continued over the following months. I had to make time to grieve so I would go on long hill walks after dropping my children off at school where no one was around to see me. It would have been unsettling for anyone to see how upset I was. It was made worse by the overpowering shame, guilt, embarrassment and regret. I felt so bad about our decision and I couldn’t shake the reality that I had made the choice to end the life of my own precious baby. The shame kept me from reaching out to others for support which has been incredibly hard.

It came/comes in waves. Sometimes I needed/need to remove myself from social situations promptly when I felt like I was/am on the brink of bursting into tears.

There came a time around a month ago where my emotions were affecting my abilities as a wife and mother. I would become angry with my family and all consumed by negative emotions. I realised I needed professional help to process everything.

I became a Christian in March of this year. So I needed to find someone that shared my values. I met with a lovely lady at The Pregnancy Centre. I’ve had one session with her and due to see her again.

My healing is very slow. I need to be able to forgive myself as God forgives me. But its been so incredibly painful as I regret our decision deeply. It’s something that I will have to live with for the rest of my life.

It felt like we had no option at the time. But had I known what I would be experiencing now, five years later, I would have kept my baby, without a doubt.

To shamefully keep my termination a  secret from my parents and inlaws is a very hard burden to bear.

I want others to know about the truth of post abortion trauma. It is very real and it was never discussed at the time of my termination. When women consult abortion specialists, I would like a list of support agencies given to them. To know there are organisations willing to support them raising a baby. Perhaps if I’d known the many number of people willing to help me raise my third child, things would have been different.

The truth is, life begins at conception. I wish to honor our unborn children and to do so means that abortion is wrong.

I want to live in a society where we support each other more and judge less. As a mother, I feel huge societal pressures and its overbearing at times. I want us to be able to reach out more, something I am learning how to do. It’s very hard though when family and friends aren’t just around the corner. I want to make the world a better place and support parents so that they don’t feel like abortion is the solution. It’s my way of making my wrong, right.

I continue to feel God’s grief and pray for all for all the babies we send to him to look after before they are given the opportunity for life here with us. I pray for the parents, that they may feel the comfort of God’s grace. And I pray lastly for the medical professionals in the industry. That they can come to realise the wicked reality of the service they are providing. God have mercy on all of them.

I’ll carry my darling little baby in my spirit forever. And I know God will use my pain for good. I’m not sure in what capacity yet. I’ll leave that for him to decide.

A broken, but slowly recovering victim of abortion,

Anonymous, NZ