Eimear, County: Dublin.
How many abortions have you had? One
My circumstances at the time of the abortion.
I was going through a very difficult time and was trying to find happiness in my life. I had only come out of a long term relationship and the breakup left me feeling very unloved. I had low self esteem and was vulnerable after breaking up with someone who I thought had loved me and was going to for the rest of our lives. Time passed and I began to go out socialising with some old friends who I became distant from during my relationship. I ended up falling pregnant for one of them, I was devastated.
How many weeks pregnant were you?
Eleven and a half weeks
What type of abortion was performed?
I have no idea. I only remember a woman giving me a tablet/s to take and then a while later I was lying in the theater on a trolley and the abortionist asking me to count down. The details of that day are very difficult for me to think or even talk about.
Did anyone bring pressure to bear on you or coerce you to choose abortion?
No. I feel that if my doctor had not mentioned that he could give me a contact number in England to have an abortion, I may not have made that call.
How much information were you given on the abortion procedure at the time and by whom?
I remember very little information regarding the procedure given to me that day. I went to a clinic first where I had to meet some kind of counselor who questioned me about the abortion. I remember I didn’t like the questions and the information I was being told. It nearly drove me insane having to listen to her and faintly recall telling her to leave me alone and trying to leave but she stopped me. I just wanted to get out of there.
Then I went to the hospital and sat in a room where a lady took money from me. She gave me some tablets and told me to take them. I was brought to another room and asked to take my clothes off and put some type of garment on for the operating theater.
Do you think you were adequately informed at the time, of the physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual consequences of abortion?
I slightly recall being told something in the clinic and afterward in the hospital but cannot remember exactly what it was. I do remember my doctor in Ireland telling me that I would need some counseling when I returned from England. That doctor hasn’t a clue about the way it has affected me in my life. My life had been a nightmare after having the abortion.
What do you recall of the abortion procedure itself?
I remember being brought to the theater on a trolley bed and wheeled into the room. There were very large bright lights over me. The abortionist came in. I remember someone said my name, this is Eimear. He said hello to me and asked whoever was behind me if everything was ready. I couldn’t see him properly. I wanted to so I tried lifting my head to see and he was putting on latex gloves. I became very frightened of what was about to happen. He said, Eimear you are going to be okay just rest and start counting backwards from some number.
What was your immediate reaction after the abortion and how did you feel?
When the abortion procedure was complete, I was left on a trolley in recovery as I remember lifting my eyes to see another woman on a trolley beside me with a blanket over her. It was so quiet in the room, but then I could hear the noise of a machine nearby and I couldn’t bear to hear the sound of it, I began to cry as I realized what the machine was. I closed my eyes hoping to fall back into a deep sleep. I did.
I woke up in a ward; I was hysterical screaming with the pain, the emptiness I felt and the instant reality that what I had done was all wrong. It made me feel worse, not better. The first thing that came into my mind was that I wanted my baby back. I remember lying there wishing I had never gone through with it. I felt so guilty, so brokenhearted. It was awful; I will never forget how a nurse came over to me and asked me to be quiet that I was upsetting other patients. The pain was unbearable. She handed me a couple of painkillers. I felt like I was going to die. I was so distraught at what I had done. To make it worse, Whitney Houston’s song was playing in the ward “The Greatest Love of All”. As I heard the following words, I felt I was being tortured for what I had done, I was in so much pain and couldn’t get out of the bed. I screamed and roared at the nurse to turn off the radio. It was heartbreaking to hear these words:
“I believe the children are our are future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Let the children s laughter remind us how we used to be
Everybody searching for a hero
People need someone to look up to
I never found anyone who fulfill my needs
A lonely place to be
So I learned to depend on me”
I, to this day, find it so unbearable to hear that song as it brings me right back to that awful day when I killed my baby.
I walked out of the hospital feeling numb, empty, and cold and feeling like my life would never be the same again. I had to think of something quick as no one could ever find out this secret. I knew what I had done but no one else could find out. I was terrified and that terror led me to bury the truth of what had happened and live as if someone else had, had this abortion, not me, not Eimear! That is what I convinced myself of for years. I was in total and utter denial and then the symptoms of post abortion trauma followed. On the outside things looked great but on the inside Eimear was dying.
How has/have your abortion affected you?
I was terrified of the dark and unable to sleep. I had awful nightmares, one repeatedly of holding my baby and then my baby slipping through my hands and falling into an open space far away. I used to wake up in sweats, crying and pining for my baby. I would get hysterical when I heard a hoover on as it reminded me of the sound of the machine in the operating theater. If I heard a baby cry or to see a new born baby anywhere used to devastate me. I became so paranoid and lived in fear of almost everything and everyone. I was suicidal; I just wanted my life to end. My confidence and self esteem was nonexistent. I could not and would not look at myself in the mirror because I hated myself and what I had done. I tried to deny my abortion ever happened, for years I hid the hurt.
How has your abortion affected others in your life and your relationships with others?
I told no one close to me about the abortion as I feared what they would say. I was so paranoid around people fearing that they could see right through me and see that I had, had an abortion. It was awful to think like this all the time. My life had become one big mess. Any relationship I had with my family or friends became distant as I feared that if they ever found out what I had done, they would resent me for it and never forgive me.
What has helped you come to terms with your abortion?
I went to confession, that was my first step, it was so difficult but after I went, I felt some relief. One day I read about Rachel’s Vineyard which is a retreat weekend set up for women who are post abortive. It took me a while to build up the courage to phone the lady about attending one of the weekends. I eventually did. I came through the weekend with a new hope in my heart for my life. I met other post abortive women and men who I could relate to and who I bonded with. I am so glad that I went to the Rachel Vineyards Retreat. It changed my life for the better.
Based upon your experience, what would you want to tell a woman considering abortion today?
Please seriously consider the consequences of abortion, taking into account the life of your unborn child, your emotional, physical, psychological and spiritual health, your peace and happiness. Abortion is not a solution, it is a problem. You may see your pregnancy as a problem, but two wrongs don’t make a right. I believed that if I had the abortion it would make everything okay, the truth is, it did not, and I felt ten times worse after having my abortion. My life fell apart and I was left suicidal.
The minute I woke after the abortion, I was hysterical because instantly I knew I had done wrong and I could not take it back. My baby was torn out of my womb by the abortionist and I had to live with my decision for the rest of my life. It’s too late when the abortion is over. You cannot undo the damage. I would advice a woman to opt for an adoption if you cannot live and care for your baby and give him/her the opportunity of living a healthy full filling life in the care of loving parents hoping to adopt a child. I regret my abortion wholeheartedly and now I wish I had of had my baby and gave him/her up for adoption. I guess I was too much of a coward to do that. In my selfishness I killed my own baby to make my life easier and guilt free. I was feeling guilty before the abortion, I felt far guiltier afterward. Please seriously consider giving your baby up for adoption before ever considering taking the life of your own baby.