What to expect after you're no longer expecting
November 19, 2012 6:24 AM Subscribe
I had an abortion two months ago, and I'm feeling isolated and struggling with the idea that life is carrying on as though nothing has happened. How did you start feeling normal again?
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (21 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I got pregnant with an IUD fitted, so it was very much unplanned. I'd never wanted children, and the medication I take would make birth defects likely. This, and the risk of miscarriage if the IUD was either removed or stayed in place, made my partner and I decide it was the best option to take. I've always been pro-choice but it was still an unexpectedly tough decision.
However, I feel like I've been through this frightening and disorientating experience in secret. I don't currently live with my partner - he is in a different city, we can't move in together until next year - and I live as a lodger, and do not have the kind of relationship with my housemates that means I would discuss this stuff with them. I spoke to two friends - one offered me a place to stay if I needed it, the other responded with 'well if it were me [getting accidentally pregnant] I'd be over the moon' and then said that as I hadn't mentioned it since I told her, I didn't seem to want to talk about it. My partner is happy to talk about it with me, but I find it hard to talk about this stuff over the phone. I am in psychotherapy at the moment and have brougth it up there, but on a day to day basis I feel like I'm pretending nothing happened.
Everything happened very quickly and I go from not being sure it ever really happened at all, to having occasional flashbacks - the wallpaper, smells, the GP telling me my due date, never knowing whether it would have been a boy or a girl. I feel I want to tell people why I feel so physically and mentally drained recently, or someone to be sympathetic, but it's not a topic that's easy to bring up in the same way as, say, bereavement - I've been around my friend, or my mum (who knew and was sympathetic) and I haven't been able to even bring it up, and because it's a taboo subject I am not sure whether I can bring it up with others. It feels weirdly like someone's died and nobody knows about it, and I have no frame of reference for how to deal with this. A colleague e-mailed round her first scan this week, and I keep thinking about how I would be doing the same just now, and instead of congratulating her I had to leave the room because I was crying.
I also have the feeling that I should be 'over it' by now - partner says that given the circumstances it was a fait accompli and I've done nothing wrong, but I still feel upset and guilty at times. I thought it might be hormonal and I would relax with time, so I don't know if it is normal to still feel like this after a couple of months. I find that I'm spending most of my time away from work sitting in my room, not wanting to deal with people at all, mostly playing solitaire because I don;t have the energy to do very much at all.
Basically: is this normal? And how did you deal with it, and do things ever feel 'normal' again?