Within a month of the abortion, my hair started turning grey. I almost lost my part-time job because I cried so often at work. When I drove the car, I was frequently blinded by tears and had several minor incidents, any one of which could have been serious. I often had thoughts of killing myself and my children.
… Although I was ambivalent about my pregnancy (it was unplanned), I did want to keep my baby. My husband, however, was very hostile to the idea. I had severe morning sickness and because I was so ill, I could not cope with my husband’s anger towards my children and myself. At the time, to agree to his demands for an abortion seemed the only solution to the problem.
For the first four months after the abortion, I cried more or less all day and night. I would wake myself up sobbing in my sleep, and if I did sleep fitfully, I would have terrible nightmares about dying children. During the day I would do things like going around house rocking an imaginary baby in my arms or scattering rose petals over the garden. I was haunted by the fact my baby had no funeral. I would play the same piece of sad music obsessively, over and over again, each time mentally burying my baby. It was spring and the sight and scent of flowers seemed to heighten my grief.
Terrible anger came upon me, which ate away at me for months, and finally the time of deep depression, when I just lay on the bed all day. I was absent-minded, lethargic and withdrawn.
I had no one to share my grief with and nothing to focus it on. I felt physically exhausted all the time.
Today, seventeen months after the abortion, the grief, anger and depression, although diminished are still there. I find it difficult to cope with the sight of babies or pregnant women. I have severe sexual and identity problems, my relationship with my surviving children has been damaged, my marriage is in ruins, and I am under the care of a psychiatrist.
Please let all doctors be aware, if they are not already, that abortion is not ‘just a 10-minute procedure’ but can have very serious and long-lasting psychological consequences.