telling my mom I'm pregnant and having an abortion

My support system at the time of my pregnancy and abortion was my Mom and a small group of friends I’d had since high school.

Most of my uni friends who knew seemed to have other things on their minds, or simply didn’t care. At the time I wasn’t really bothered about this, I was too focused on just getting it done but thinking back to it I wish more people who knew had checked in a bit more with me. The friends who did never did more than just ask how I was doing or if everything was going okay but that meant a lot especially when you’re dealing with something that makes you feel so isolated from everything. I think some of the reason more people didn’t check in is the fear around the subject of abortion, fear of saying the wrong thing and fear of having the person whose going through it breakdown on you and you having nothing to say.

I can take the blame here for having such a small support system because I didn’t tell anyone in my family apart from my Mom, I also didn’t reach out for help. My Mom and Dad have been separated since before I was born so I didn’t really need my Dad to know. My sisters and me don’t have a very emotional relationship, we’re all very awkward around anything remotely personal (probably due to my Dad’s lack of emotional output) not like we’ve known each other our entire lives. Then my Dad and step Mom, in all honesty I don’t know why I didn’t tell them when I was pregnant. I knew I’d tell them I’d had an abortion, but when I was pregnant I just needed to deal with it, get it done and then take it all in after.

Telling my Mom wasn’t something I was particularly nervous about, I’m very lucky in knowing that my Mom supports my decisions in almost everything I do. There was no fear of her thinking I was making the wrong decision or that she was disappointed in me, and for that I’m incredibly grateful. I just knew she’d support whatever decision I’d made, like she usually does as long as I’m not being an idiot about something. I’ve spoken to other people who have had to tell their parents that they’re in similar situations to the one I was in I’m very aware it isn’t the case for a lot of women and girls to have support from anyone let alone their families.

After watching TV with my Mom for about 2 hours I plucked some confidence out my ass and said I was pregnant. I said I already had my appointments booked in to deal with it and that she was the only family member I was planning on telling.

“Oh Ab my poor darling girl” - Her voice was pure pain of having to see your kid deal with something shitty.

She was mostly frustrated for me, she knew I’d been safe with everything, she knew I wasn’t naive about those things and she knew I wasn’t in a great relationship. Her main frustration was focused on me being put onto a cheaper version of the pill a few weeks before I got pregnant. This is where he anger and emotion went because it was the only thing either of us could blame other than sheer bad luck.

She offered to come to my hospital appointments with me, but respected when I said I needed to do it by myself. Drove to Manchester a few days after the abortion and drove me back home while I cried and slept.

Writing about it now over 2 years later, we’ve spoken about it multiple times. She’s said she hoped that this would be the decision I would make when I first said I was pregnant. She wanted me to finish university, to travel, live in different countries and be really ready for a baby if/when I finally decide that I want one.

I’m really lucky to have a Mom like her, not just with the abortion but with a lot of other things she does for me. Having the abortion and all the negative side effects that came with that have strengthened our relationship to the max, which really isn’t what I expected to come from it, but I’m very fucking grateful that it did.

If can find any silver linings from the fucked up mess of an abortion I had then I’ll take them and run with them.

anxiety 1 year on

I started suffering with anxiety after I had undergone a medical abortion in March 2016, my first symptoms of the mental illness was my constant fear of my imminent death, sometimes triggered by headaches or muscle pain, but a lot of the time it was something that was constantly on my mind: watching a film, on the bus, in a lecture, at work, eating, drinking, on holiday, it was a worry that had taken over the majority of my mind all of the time. Yet something that did surprise me about this was that I wasn’t afraid of dying, I was afraid about how it would affect the people around me, would my family be alright, who would tell them, what would my friends do, would my dog go on without me.

It wasn't only severe hypochondria that I was suffering with I then started to suffer with intense social anxieties. Friends that I’d had for years I was suddenly constantly worried I wasn't saying the right things, or that they never really liked me. The friends that got me through my abortion I felt only liked me because I was their other friend's girlfriend. I was always concerned about what I was saying rehearsing how I would walk into a room and say hello, listing off different conversation topics I could have with the different people that were going to be there.

I wasn't myself, I was a pushed down, rehearsed, nervous, over-thinker, and I was in constant fear that I wasn't liked along with the constant fear that I was about to die. When I was on holiday in Walt Disney World Florida with my Dad and 2 Sisters is when I think I hit my lowest point, nobody I was with knew about the abortion and they didn't know about my anxieties (my family would always refer to me as a hypochondriac and I wasn’t in the place to explain how bad it actually was) I couldn't go an hour in the "happiest place on earth" without feeling I was going to die in some sort of way.  

When I got home from this trip I started taking medication, these helped me incredibly with the physical panic attacks which then helped to stop the constant fear of death that came with them. After 8 months of being on the anxiety medication I took myself off them, I suffered with mild panic attacks as I had gone off them "cold turkey" (not advised) but after a month I felt more like myself, the fear of death for the most part has gone. I think I’ll always be somebody who over-reacts to something medical, but this I feel has come from being almost 3 months pregnant and not noticing, and then when I did; everything that could have gone wrong dealing with a pregnancy/abortion medically did. 

My social anxiety is something I am still struggling with on a somewhat daily basis, on one hand I have friends I have never felt more comfortable around and who I can be my true self with, but I do still have people I can't quite relax around and still maintain that fear of judgement and rehearsing what I'm going to say, I’m trying to decipher if this is my personal issues or their friendship isn’t right for me. I have become a lot more open about my experience and my illness with my friends and family members which has given us a new stronger relationship, but unfortunately it’s still something a lot of my family don’t really understand and don’t try to.

It's an issue so much in my own head that's a constant mental battle along with the battle of trying to get people to understand.