Abortion is not the end

Story by Kumutha Chandrika

The day it happened I was sure that I might end up getting pregnant for the second time. I was reluctant to go buy my own emergency contraceptive; my spouse was too. I am not sure if it might have been of any help. But after that fateful day, I missed my next period and my pregnancy test showed two pink lines and confirmed my fears. However, this time we were panicking too much, to be excited. This was unplanned. This was unexpected. There was just so much on my hands already. I was not ready for this pregnancy. Our first child was only 2.5 years old and was still breastfed. I knew well in my heart and body that I wouldn't be able to take this pregnancy forward. Life as such was not in my favor. I was not ready to bring another human being into the world. Thankfully my partner also agreed that it was a bad time and so, we decided to get it terminated. It was a mutual decision. But the following days were really difficult to deal with. Being pregnant and dealing with its symptoms, taking care of our one child; it was all a struggle. Adding on to that, we were unable to share this matter with our family, due to the fear of being bullied into having this child. We did not have any friends who shared the same experience either. I was going through a myriad of emotions. A little guilty for becoming pregnant yet relieved about not having this child. Overall I felt neutral. With time, I did not feel anything. My brain had learned to remain unaffected by emotions. And came the day I had to visit the hospital; few forms were filled out, tests conducted and pills taken. I wish I had somebody with me through all this; maybe a friend to come along, to just be there for me. But I was all alone.

When the time came, the doctor showed me the scan before proceeding on with the abortion, but I refused to look at the screen. She asked me "Are you sure? Everything looks healthy. Do you want to do this?" multiple times. I was firm in my decision and went on with the abortion.

And, Done!

Strangely, I did not feel much after the abortion for a long time. Or so I felt, until months later when the guilt started crawling in. I was attending a talk, where the discussion was on loss of pregnancy. And that is when it hit me. I felt guilty knowing that there were so many people struggling to conceive when I got pregnant by chance. I was feeling guilty for being able to get pregnant and doing away with it, while so many suffered. I did not think if my reasoning was even logical and that is when I opened up about it to my friend. My partner and I, we never really talked about what happened.

I still think of that baby at times and send a prayer to the heavens; telling the baby how sorry I am for not letting it see this world. But I know and tell the baby that it is in a better place. I shed a tear or two, thinking about what happened. These moments are the only cracks in the shield that I put up around those memories. But life goes on. Whatever was done was for the larger good.

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