I had been with my boyfriend for 6 years and we are in our early 30s now.
My boyfriend and I have openly talked about children. He has a 13 year old girl who he had when he was 17 years old. I know the financial pressures he has been under to pay child maintenance each month which he has done. He has always not been keen on having more children but said he would have one with me some day.
I have been quite keen to have children in the next couple of years. It was something I suggested trying for in 12 months. My boyfriend felt we shouldn’t be talking about it now as he’s not ready. Little did we know I was already pregnant.
At the time of conceiving he was living with me and my housemate for a few months and he had been inbetween jobs, and I had been the financial support during this time. I had been on the mini pill but due to being so busy at work I hadn't got a new perscription and we had accident. Deep down I knew as soon as it happened I would be pregnant but just took a chance that I wouldn't be. The morning after pill didn't even cross my mind. Within 2 weeks I had not been feeling myself. Did a pregnancy test by week 2 with my boyfriend and it was negative. Weeks went by and I was feeling more and more sick but put it down to IBS. Eventually I did another test, digital test this time and it clearly said 'pregnant’. I was shocked but think I knew I was deep inside, perhaps just in denial.
My boyfriend was great support when I found out, but it was clear we were on different pages. He was all for having it and I had major doubts on this and I felt differently. This was very confusing probably for both of us considering I was more for children than he was.
The reason from my perspective for having an abortion was due to financial pressures. With my boyfriend being in sales and had not settled in properly into his new job and the fact I was covering maternity cover until March it meant financial security was risky. I would be unlikely to get a permanent job if I was 5 months pregnant therefore no maternity and I knew he couldn’t support us both even if I did get benefits it would not be enough. I also thought if I went ahead with the pregnancy and I get a new job the thought of paying £500 a month for childcare and not being able to save for a deposit to buy somewhere really scared me. I wanted a baby more than anything, but just not in these circumstances. I kept thinking about the option of having a baby and I do admit I got a bit excited however when I thought about it I would always go back to the financial difficulties as I know that alone can put a tremendous amount of pressure on a relationship and has broken our relationship before. Sadly to me it just wasn’t the right time.
I am now at a point where it has broken my relationship as my boyfriend cannot get over what I have done. Do I have regrets? No, not at all. I am very sad at the situation and how it has broken my relationship but I do not regret my decision for one minute. I know how hard financial pressures are and how it can rock the best relationships, so when you have that and a baby I feel the pressure becomes even more intense.
As soon as I found out I booked to see my GP. I spent probably 2 mins with the GP who just asked what was I doing, as soon as I said I didn’t want to keep it she gave me the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) phone number and told me to call them and have the abortion through the NHS via them, and that was that. It took me a few more days to call them and by this point I wasn’t on speaking terms to my boyfriend. BPAS were really helpful and friendly. They asked the type of abortion I wanted in order to pick the appropriate clinic as some don’t do all procedures. I decided on a surgical abortion, and went for an initial consultation which just involved a scan and then they booked me in to have the procedure the following week.
The termination was a difficult day. I went with my boyfriend who was of great support but I couldn’t help but feel guilty because I knew it wasn’t what he wanted. Due to other females going through the procedure my boyfriend had to sit in a separate waiting room which to me wasn't the best but I understand their reasoning. I must have sat in about 3 waiting rooms having seen one nurse and then another. With all the waiting rooms I felt they could probably have one for females and their partners. All staff at Marie Stopes were friendly, but to be honest each professional I saw at Marie Stopes kept asking ‘have I made the right decision”. I get that they have to ask this but I didn’t find it helpful just more distressing as I don’t think I was ever 100 percent with my decision. What I did notice is that there were females of all ages and walks of life going through the same thing I was. Following the abortion I recovered quite quickly and was allowed home within the hour of the procedure.
I have to admit I felt very lonely throughout, and felt like I was the only one going through this at the time. Reading other women’s stories during and after really did help and show me I am not alone, and how women can come through this.
Apart from some bleeding and some cramps I felt physically ok after the procedure. The nausea immediately subsided but took a few more days to go away altogether. Once I was able to see my boyfriend again we just couldn’t look at one another, and that made me feel sad and guilty.
I have to admit I felt very lonely throughout, and felt like I was the only one going through this at the time even with the support from loved ones. Reading other women’s stories during and after really did help and show me I am not alone, and how women can come through this.
It has been one month since I have had my abortion and I am grieving over the whole situation. I can feel confused, empty and sad at times but I cannot say that was solely because of having an abortion and more so because my decision damaged my relationship.
I hope one day to have children one day, and I cannot wait for that but I stand by the fact that as hard as it was, it just wasn't the right time. I know people say there is never a right time to have children; but I think if you are ever in this situation you have to think of what is right for you either way.
2017 United Kingdom
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What was your situation at this time?
How did other people react to your abortion?
My boyfriend was supportive when he found out but I felt he didn't communicate with me very well once it was apparent we wanted different things. I only told a couple of friends at the time and all were supportive of my decision, however it was my manager who got me to really think about all options seriously which was the most important thing to do.