Our Choice to Terminate

We chose to terminate one of our pregnancies. I’ve written about it only once, and re-posted it on another blog, 1 in 10, dedicated to sharing stories of women who have terminated for medical reasons (TFMR).

On August 14, 2013 we ended our precious baby girl’s life. Since we said goodbye to our little girl it has been:

616 days,or

1 year, 8 months and 8 days, or

88 weeks, or

14,784 hours, or

887,040 minutes, or

53,222,400 seconds.

I do not spend a lot of time writing or talking about the way in which our third pregnancy ended for two reasons. First, simply, it’s hard on me to remember that day, yet not a day goes by that I don’t remember.

I long to hold our little girl in my womb for just one more day.

20150422 - My Choice to TerminateI would give anything to have had a healthy little girl who could have lived and thrived. I wish I were holding her in my arms today as a young girl who would be just over 1 year old now. I long to have her life end with a different outcome.  I would love to have more then just a burning candle to remember her by.

I wish I had never walked into that abortion clinic.

But, we were in a unique position where the life of our desperately wanted child would not end in a “normal” miscarriage. Our little girl, she really was a fighter. But, prolonging the pregnancy and therefore her life was putting my life at risk. With each day she remained inside me, fighting for her tiny life, the risks to my life increased substantially. It was a no-win situation.

So, while it was our choice to terminate, I believe it was ultimately solely my choice as it was my body. No-one could have forced me to have the procedure, ultimately I chose to. I knew the risks, and I made a choice, with my husband’s input and support through the entire thing. Then and now, I unequivocally know it was the right choice for us.

I know our decision was best for our little one and for us. But that doesn’t make it any easier to remember that we ultimately ended her life. Our choice resulted in the end of her life. Sometimes I have to remind myself that we didn’t give up on her, rather we stopped her suffering from a slow and prolonged death.

The second reason I choose not to talk about our choice to terminate is because I am afraid of the backlash. Abortion is a hot topic with very entrenched personal views on it. People hold very strong believes and pass immense judgement. I am afraid to get caught up in that mess. I already live daily with judgement related to our choice to not try harder, to not try more medical procedures, for me not to work full time, to choose adoption, etc. I’m incredibly sick of unfounded judgement. And I am afraid to be open about our decision to terminate because I know the judgement will be so incredibly much more intense.

I am afraid that by talking about it I am going to be put in a position of having someone pass judgement. I am afraid of having to defend myself for what I believe was right, in a highly emotionally charged setting. I am afraid of facing the wrath of someone who does not see outside of their individual perspective, having never walked a moment in my shoes. I believe that someone who has thought hypothetically about abortion but has never actually been in the situation has no right to pass judgement, yet I’m confident that people may.

While I harbour absolute no shame for our decision, I am afraid of experiencing a public shaming.  Knowing my luck this will be the one post that someone picks up on and decides to attack, but I have broad shoulders and I can hold my own, so I will take it as it comes.

Yet, as much as I am afraid, I also am starting to realize that I need to continue to own this part of my life. I need to be able to write about this to help process my emotions around the loss of our sweet little girl and the experience of going into an abortion clinic. It was honestly the single hardest day in my life, and something I have to live with for the rest of my life. I cannot and in fact refuse to live in a closet hiding from my reality as if I am somehow ashamed when I am not ashamed, just fearful of being the target of cruel judgement. I deserve to be honest with myself and to do so I must own this.

Further, it’s a rare situation to be in and therefore it is unbelievably lonely. Given this, I feel that I need to keep sharing to help others going through the same thing. I also need to write about it, because the abortion debate needs to hear from those of us who needed to have an abortion – if I did not live in a place that provides abortion as an option I may be dead today, abortion has a place as a medical necessity. I believe this is a fact that cannot be overlooked in the abortion debate.

I have no intentions of voluntarily becoming a martyr for the pro-choice cause, but I can tell you, I want to my story to be heard. I want people to understand why I chose to have an abortion. I also need to share because I am pro-choice, and am in fact more pro-choice then I was before actually having an abortion. I believe having actually gone into an abortion clinic, having met with the abortion counsellors and doctors, gives me a unique perspective. This perspective has resulted in further entrenching my pro-choice approach to life. I firmly believe almost no-one makes the choice to have an abortion lightly. While I may not way to be the poster child for abortion, I believe my experience must have a place in the debate. I believe that when the time is right for me, I need to be more open about our specific experience to help educate people about a less discussed need for abortions.

In many ways, after my one and only post on our abortion experience, I locked away the experience for fear of a backlash. I pushed it down. I hid from it. I carried it with me, but I refused to speak about it outside of the safety of Mr. MPB. I don’t want to live this way. I want to be true to our little girl and our story. In fact, I need to be.

If you like this post, please feel free to share and please click the follow button on the side or return to myperfectbreakdown.com to follow my journey.

94 Comments on “Our Choice to Terminate

  1. Hugs to you. I also was in a similar situation with my last pregnancy. It sounds like mine was a little more straight forward, but it was an eye opener all the same. Xo

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  2. If anyone passes harsh judgement on you…you can send them to me! That had to probably be the hardest decision you’ve ever had to make and stories like yours are exactly why I am pro-choice. Until someone is in your shoes…they never know what choice they would make in that situation. I know that I would’ve made the same decision you did. Sending you love, peace and big hugs!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are too sweet my friend. And I completely agree that until you are in the situation you have no idea what you will do, and so I think having the right to make that choice is so important. I am beyond thankful that I was able to safely make the right choice for us.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I just read your first blog about the abortion clinic. I just don’t know what to say. It’s so terrible and I’m so sorry you had to get through this. I can only send you a virtually big hug. As for the haters on internet, I know that abortion is a sensitive subject, but I believe in everyone’s choice to do what’s best for them and no one should judge them.

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    • Thank you so much for your support. Like you, I too believe in everyone’s choice to do what’s best for them.
      Thankfully, so far, I have not received any haters, only love and compassion.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You are so brave for posting this. I think it’s necessary for us to be open about these types of things because they do happen, they’re not easy decisions, and they can potentially help others in similar situations. I can’t imagine how difficult of a decision it was for you. I think you are so right about it not being appropriate for people to judge when they haven’t been in the same position. In general, I wish people were less judgemental and more compassionate.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much for your encouragement my friend. Yes, I agree, it’s so important to be open about it. It’s taken a me a lot of time to be able to write about this part of my life and feel strong enough to face whatever wrath I may face (although, I should point out that so far I have only received comments of love, support, compassion and encouragement).

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I want to thank you for being brave enough to share your experience. I had to terminate a much wanted pregnancy for medical reasons almost 2 weeks ago. The sense of loss and grief is over powering. I am devastated to say the least. I think it is important to remember that there is a difference between what you choice to do and abortion. Yes the procedure is the same, but the choice you made came from love. You loved your baby girl so much, that you decided to end any suffering she would of felt before it began. You made this decision because you loved her and wanted her to never feel pain. This is not an abortion, it’s a termination for medical reasons; for the safety of your life and the well-being of your child.
    Unfortunately this grief is so lonely. Maybe people (fortunately for them) don’t know how to relate because they have never had to make the decision that we have had to make. These babies growing inside us were only truly known by us which makes sharing the grief incredibly hard.
    Remember that you entitled to feel how you feel. Don’t be ashamed of the choice you made. It wasn’t a choice that you wanted to make, but you had to and this choice was out of love.
    If you need to vent or talk, please feel free to email me privately. I know the pain you are feeling.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so very much for sharing your understanding and similar experience – I just read your entire blog and am so sad that you have been through something so similar. I admire and respect your courage to share your experience.
      Please know that you are also welcome to email me at anytime – myperfectbreakdown@gmail.com. Not many people understand, and I will do my best to be there for you whenever you need someone who gets it. Love to you.

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  6. Anyone who reads this – feels your heartache and anguish over it – and says something negative, is not a good person. No matter what someone’s beliefs are about abortion, it’s not okay to judge someone else for the choice they had to make. My heart hurts for you, and I wish the story had been different. I totally understand why you had an abortion, and I applaud your bravery in sharing your story.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I agree with the others. It must have been a very difficult to make that choice and no one can or should judge you. Thank you for sharing. It was brave of you.

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  8. Thank you for sharing this. You are so brave to share your story (not just this; all of it) and to let us into your world. I know this was a tough decision and I’m so glad you had the choice. Now, here you are sharing your story with others, helping them understand some of the many things about pregnancy loss that few people know. Love!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your support and encouragement my friend – I really do hope that by sharing I am able to help others. And, I too am so glad that I was able to make this choice in a safe environment.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I read your original post about your situation and in my humble opinion, I don’t think you had much of a choice. I was actually appalled that they made you go to an abortion clinic rather than having the procedure done in a doctor’s office or hospital. I continue to be in awe of your strength. ((HUGS))

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    • Thank you so very much Mz. Pipp. You are right, the fact that I had to go to an abortion clinic was horrendous. At some point I’m sure I’ll dedicate more time writing on that specific subject because it was just so incredibly wrong.

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  10. As long as the baby cannot survive independently outside the womb with medical help, its not really something you kill. That is my belief. You chose to protect your life for your future babies and that my dear is not wrong. I am sorry you had to go through such an experience, that too at an abortion clinic.
    I reserve my judgement for those who treat the opportunity to get pregnant shabbily, (drunk/ drugs/high school) and then abort because it was bloody well preventable.
    This my dear is not and I know how you feel in your heart everyday/every minute wishing it didn’t happen. Hugs.

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    • Thank you so very much for this. I am beyond humbled at the support and understanding I have received today.
      You are so right, I do wish all the time that this didn’t happen and that I wasn’t forced to go to an abortion clinic. But it did happen and I must live with it. Words like yours mean so much to me.

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  11. I’ve known a few women who have terminated pregnancies, and not one of them took their decision lightly. Regardless of the circumstances, I don’t believe any of us have a right to pass judgement on another person. Ever.

    Our world needs to hear more stories like yours. What has always bothered me about the rhetoric around the abortion debate is that people assume every situation are simple. We reduce the conversation to black/white, not allowing for the shades of grey– which is where most of us live.

    You are a remarkable person. Being open and honest about the choices you’ve had to make is part of your path to peace.

    (BTW, would you mind if I re-blogged this? I think it’s wonderful, but understand if the subject is still personal for you.)

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    • Thank you so very much for this comment and your understanding. I do agree, virtually no-one choosing to have an abortion makes their decision lightly, and I know the clinic we were at the councellors are there to make sure you aren’t making the decision lightly.
      Thank you so very much for your encouragement to continue to share this part of my experience. It’s hard for me, but like you say, the world needs to hear more about these stories. And on that note, I am honoured that you would want to re-blog this. Please do, as I’ve made the decision to start being more open about this part of my life. I am hopeful that by sharing my story I may just help someone else in a similar situation understand that they are not alone. Thank you again.

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  12. It was your choice and your choice alone and no one has the right to judge you because of it. I wish it was a choice you never had to make, though. No one should ever be put in that position and for that, I am sorry. My heart goes out to you and anyone else who has been through that. Thank you for being strong enough to share your story with others.

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    • Thank you so very much my friend. Your support and love is so beautiful. I too wish it was a choice I never had to make, but I do believe it was the right one and I do believe I should be sharing this to help others who have also been through something similar.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I feel like you absolutely did the right thing. I know people have such strong feelings on abortion, but I also feel like maybe some people don’t look at the whole story sometimes. Using abortion as birth control I do feel is wrong, but there are circumstances in life which deems such procedures necessary. If the mother’s life is at risk, especially if the baby won’t be able to survive either way, I think it’s definitely the right decision. There are other instances where I feel it’s acceptable, but I won’t go into all that right now. My point is…again…you have to do what’s best for YOU. You took all of the information available to you at the time and made the best decision you could. If people feel that they need to shame you for that, then there’s something wrong with them. This world needs to learn to be a little more compassionate and understanding and open to everyone else, it really would be a better place to live. I’ll get off my soapbox now…*hugs*

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    • Thank you so very much Amy. You are absolutely right, I do believe we made the best decision for us and our baby, and I will always stand by that.
      And you are so right, the world does need to learn to be more compassionate.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I can’t imagine a more difficult and heartbreaking decision, and you made it with so much love and compassion. Thank you for sharing this. I know it will help so many women faced with the same anguishing situation. Your bravery and honesty is inspiring. xo

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    • Thank you so much for your kind and supportive words. I do hope you are right, by sharing this someone else will feel less alone if they are ever in a similar situation.

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  15. You are beyond amazing for all you have been through. No one should have to choose this. And, I believe, it really wasn’t your choice. This was a medical emergency. You were at risk. I can only try to understand what you went through and I feel for your pain and struggle emotionally. But you did all you could. Your baby girl was loved…beyond loved and I think she felt that…which is why she held on for so long. But you are on your path to your baby. I feel it in my heart that your child will be SO lucky and loved. This child you are adopting is YOUR child. Created for YOU. I cannot wait to see you holding your child in your arms…I cannot wait for that day because I know it’s going to happen and I’ll be smiling and supporting you along the way…xoxo

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    • Thank you so very much for your support and understanding. You are so right, she was the most loved little baby and we did all we could and we really did. And you are even more right when you say that we are on our path to adopting our child, we will get there. All of this just means so much to me, I am ever so grateful for your encouragement and support.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. You are very brave and no one should judge you. If they do, I will have many words for them! Having to end a pregnancy to save your own life is horrid. I know. I’m sorry you had to go through it. But I’m happy you can blog about it now to help cope. ❤️

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  17. Friend, i read your entry the other day when you linked it, and i have to be honest, I cried through the whole thing. For you, for Mr. MPB, and for your little girl. And all i kept thinking was, “They/she made the right choice. She could have died…I bet people were so cruel to her”…and that made me cry even more, because having had glimpses into your life and your story, no one would understand how incredibly difficult and devastating a decision like that could be for you both. I have also always been pro-choice, as long as i’ve known what it meant, but I know that life throws us curveballs. That the unexpected is the only thing we can really expect. You’re strong for sharing your story. And I can bet almost anything, that someone, somewhere, will unfortunately be going through the same thing, and despite being in the worst situation of their life, will find comfort in knowing that they are not alone. Sending hugs, and carrying your little girl in light and love…

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    • Thank you so much for this my friend. I am beyond grateful for your words, your support and your love. You are so right when you say that life throws us curveballs, and I think that’s part of why I am pro-choice too. I don’t think anyone ever plans to have an abortion or to terminate a baby, but I believe that there needs to be options available. Choices will have to be made, and sometimes this is the best choice for the individuals involved, just like it was for us.
      I truly hope that by sharing this part of our lives I will help someone else going through something similar.
      Again, thank you for everything.

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  18. When it comes to people like that who judge I firmly believe it says a lot more about that persons lack of compassion and extreme ignorance.

    You made the right choice for you, you husband and your daughter. An impossible, unfair and heartbreaking choice to have to make. The fact you can share your experience and help other women is very amazing.

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    • I think you are very right, judgement like this, really does demonstrate a lack of basic compassion and extreme ignorance.
      And, thank you so very much for your kind words and understanding. Your compassion is such a wonderful gift to me, and I am beyond thankful. Support like this will help me continue to share and hopefully help others.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You are welcome, that’s really lovely. And I can say the same back as well from the comments and advice you’ve left me before, it’s nice to have support.

        Liked by 1 person

  19. I’ve learnt in my short time blogging that we are always saying how sorry we are. And I am. I’m so sorry you went through this.

    But I’m also proud you are so wise because of it and offer so much support to others in similar, and not in similar positions of loss.

    You are so brave and an inspiration.

    Virtual hugs to you.

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    • You are so right, we really do always say we are sorry! I guess it’s better to say sorry then it is to not say anything at all.
      And thank you, thank you so much for your compassion and your encouragement. It is words like yours that help me continue to share and hopefully help others in the future.

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  20. I wish you never had to make that choice to begin with, but I am so grateful that you were allowed to make the choice. (Although I agree with everyone who says you NEVER should have had to go to an abortion clinic for this. It’s maddening that they put you in that position.) This is why I am so staunchly pro-choice. Yes, sometimes I want to smack the women I see using abortion as birth control, but we never know when we’re going to be in the kind of position you were in, and we all deserve to be able to choose how to move forward in that kind of situation. (As if there’s really much choice?) You have a beautiful soul, and anyone who has ever read your blog knows that. We all know that you would never WANT something like that. Ever. There is no shame in what you did. There is only shame on anyone who ever tries to make you feel bad about it.

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    • Molly, thank you for this! I am so incredibly grateful for your love, encouragement and support.
      I too agree that I should never had to go to an abortion clinic. Yes, I ultimately am grateful that I had the choice, but clearly our system does not function in a way that supports those in a situation like mine. I’m sure one day soon I’ll be writing a bunch on that, because it really was just wrong.

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  21. What a hard choice to make and I admire your strength to have to go through something so hard. No one has a right to judge, you did what you had to for you. Best wishes to you in the future.

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  22. Yes, yes, yes. A thousand times yes. You know that I too have had to make this decision, twice. Not for the same reasons, but still a choice that had the same result. And personally I do not feel ashamed, but when discussing it with certain people I phrase facts differently or choose to not talk about it altogether. For instance, saying we “lost our babies” – yes, we did, but most people walk away from that thinking it was a natural miscarriage or the like. Not that we terminated the pregnancies. And I don’t talk about it because, like you, I am afraid of being judged. It is tough enough to live with the fact that this happened, and that I even had to make these decisions, nevermind worrying about other people. And then when laws are passed that make it even more difficult for women to access these services, there’s no reason to wonder why we think we might be judged.
    Obviously this is a topic very near and dear to my heart too. Hugs.

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    • I knew you would understand this. As much as I hate that you do, I have been so grateful that you understand where I’m coming from with all of this. It really sounds like we are very similar in our approach – I also do not feel ashamed, but I also share facts “differently”. I don’t lie about it, more then anything I just don’t say anything specific.
      Sending you love my friend, I am beyond sorry that you understand and have been in this position not once, but twice.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. You are an incredibly strong and brave woman for surviving this trauma and even more so for sharing your story. Anyone who could honestly pass judgment on you or criticize you for what choices you had to make is so abhorrently lacking in empathy there are just no words. Yours is an incredible story of unconditional love and resiliency, and you deserve nothing but love and support for your courage.

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  24. Thank you for having the courage to share your story. Despite what anyone may say, only you can decide what is best for you and your body. I am deeply sorry for your loss.

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    • Thank you so much for your compassion and understanding. I believe you are right, only the individual can decide what is best for them, and I am so grateful I could safely make this choice.

      Like

  25. You are strong and brave. You deserve to have your story heard and to be treated with respect and dignity. I am sorry for all of your losses. I am sending lots of love your way always! ❤

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  26. With your permission I would like to share this blog in hopes of opening others eyes and also helping those who are in or have been in your shoes. More women need to talk about these topics to help make them less taboo. Xoxox

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    • I am honoured that you want to share this post or my blog as I do want to be part of the conversation to both break down the barriers and hep women know that they are not alone in similar situations. So yes, please do share this with anyone you believe will benefit. Thank you again my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Reblogged this on Ladylove & Babydust and commented:
    This is a very important topic that many do not think of let alone discuss. I feel it is important to read about and write about “taboo” topics so that one day those that have to live them can be free of the societal chains that bound them. Please read my friends blog and understand how many more women like her are out there.

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  28. So so so courageous to tell your story. Shining light into dark places is what brings hope and healing. Bless you and your sweet heart for all you’ve been thru. Please keep being brave, your words can help heal others. Hugs and blessings friend:)

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  29. I am so sorry you went through this, what a traumatic event this was for you and would be for anyone. Having not been in your position I don’t feel that I have any right to comment because honestly I have no clue what I would do, I truly don’t!
    I can say that this is a huge fear for me, in some ways I think I fear this more than never falling pregnant. You obviously have much inner strength, you have had a rough journey and I hope that you are finally on the joyous final legs to having your beautiful family.

    Like

  30. Reblogged this on the common ostrich and commented:
    One of the unusual side effects of my experience with infertility is that I have become steadfastly pro-choice. Though I’ve always supported an individual’s right to control her body, IF has given me an entirely new perspective on what “Reproductive Choice” means.

    Before anyone freaks out, I’m not all “Yay! Abortions are great!!!” In fact, the decision to terminate a pregnancy can be exceptionally hard. As a society, we do ourselves a disservice when we pass judgement on these choices, because few of us have had to make this call.

    The debate over abortion is so heated in large part because we reduce the discussion to black and white scenarios. The truth is most of us live our lives in shades of gray.

    With that in mind, I hope you’ll read My Perfect Breakdown’s recent post about her decision to terminate her pregnancy (reblogged with her permission.) I admire her honesty, and urge you to listen to her story from a place of compassion– not judgement and fear.

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    • Thank you so much for sharing this post and encouraging others to consider the shades of gray that exist within real life. I hope that by sharing this part of my life people will see another side of abortion. And I also hope, more then anything that I can help others in a similar situation know that they are not alone.

      Liked by 1 person

  31. Unless they’ve been in your shoes they really shouldn’t judge. Why people feel the need to open their mouths before thinking is beyond me. *Hugs*

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    • I think this is a good lesson for every one, in almost every situation – think before you talk and maybe show some compassion before you judge.
      As always, thank you for your compassion and support.

      Liked by 1 person

  32. Knowing the story behind this decision, I honestly feeling like our medical system failed you. No mother should ever have to make the decision to walk into an Abortion clinic when her life is in jeopardy. Our medical system needs to recognize these scenarios, then offer more assistance and more sensitivity towards the situation. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • I completely agree with you on this – I have a lot of feelings about how our medical system failed me and other women in this type of situation – it was an unacceptable way to treat me. Unfortunately, while the doctors felt the same way they were unable to change the situation so they did their best – the staff themselves were actually pretty amazing. Anyways, I’m sure I’ll write a lot more about this at some point because it bothers me so much.

      Like

  33. Wow. No judgement here…I can’t imagine having to make this choice (though it sounds like it really wasn’t much of a choice at all). It is your right to share, and maybe there is someone out there that really needs to hear this and know they are not the only ones.

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    • Thank you so much Stacey. I do hope that by sharing this part of our journey I am able to help others in the same situation. And I do hope I am able to also process more of my emotions around it too. Sort of a double benefit. 🙂

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  34. I’m so sorry you had to experience this and feel so judged. Thank you for sharing this with us and I think your decision was a brave one. XXX

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  35. The people that MAY judge you have probably never been in your situation before, nor have they read your blog in-depth, I wouldn’t give them a moments thought and cross that bridge should something be said. There is a big difference between “pro-choice” and a medically necessary procedure, you did what you had to do and a question of ethics shouldn’t come in to it. I can only imagine the hurt regarding the decision you had to make, you are extremely brave for talking about it, and I agree with other comments that it wasn’t handled well by the medical system. Keep blogging from the heart my friend, you have plenty of readers who gain strength and inspiration from your posts x

    Like

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