From the word go, Tadiwa was not sure of the guy she was dating. She had mixed feelings about Josh and could feel it from the pit of her stomach, the red flags were there but like always ignored them. They say let loose and let love lead.
Things were okay but not what she wanted from ta relationship. Tadiwa was compromising herself and felt uncomfortable all the time.
Josh never wanted to talk through issues, big or small. He always said one thing and did another, fake promises, all of it and her gut feeling told her but she still stuck around.
On the first day they were intimate, Josh did not bother using a condom and she did not say no. This went on for the course of their relationship.
Contraception did not even cross her mind. Tadiwa was that girl that was conscious of her weight. The stories of weight gain, headaches, irregular periods, acne she heard about contraception disheartened her, but not the thought of an unplanned pregnancy. Ironic huh.
A few months later, those red flags were no longer a thought or instinct but Josh had become distant. He communicated and seemed to care less in fact she now felt like a burden to him.
Josh was always unavailable or busy with something. At first he gave excuses, apologized, promised to make it up but eventually all that remorse vanished. She was unwanted.
One morning she could not take it anymore, broke up with him. Boy was not moved, opened and did not even reply the message. The pain of blue ticks.
Fast forward to the 30th of June 2017. Her period was late, could she have been pregnant? The thought of it caused her chest pains, she was not ready to be a mother, let alone a single mother.
Missing your period sometimes can be normal only if you have not had unprotected sex, who was she kidding, she was knocked up. Two days later she bought a pregnancy test, the two lines came out faster than expected. She could not believe her eyes, held it in the air to be sure, they only became bolder.
The signs were already there, always tired, grumpy and sleepy. Her breasts felt like she was carrying stones.
Later that evening she called Josh, the silence in the room made her heart still and continuous ringing made her knees weak.
He picked up, broke the news and he was not having it. ‘How do I know it’s mine?’ was the first question he asked. That stupid question that men always ask. He was rude and cold, told her never to call or look for him, hung up.
Efforts to text were fruitless, she had been blocked. She was alone, with a four weeks old pregnancy. Her life had not even begun, her career had not kick started and she was not going to be part of the small population of single mothers in Zimbabwe.
Abortion was the only way out of this predicament. One of her friends hooked her up with a doctor that wanted USD$100 to undergo a safe and clean abortion. It was not easy getting the money but eventually borrowed from a friend. Problem number two DEBT.
Tadiwa was given two sets of pills she to insert at the back of her gums. The second set would be inserted after three hours and a few hours later excruciating pain was expected.
She toiled through the night. What she had been told was an understatement, it did not feel like menstrual cramps, could not be described as child birth because she had never given birth. Her back was hot, face numb, diarrhea, throwing up and every time a clot came out if felt like she was about to lose everything from the inside.
This went on for the whole night; she was supposed to wait for the biggest clot to come out. By the time it did, she was finished, weak, and pale. She wanted to die.
The following morning, she called the doctor, explained everything that occurred the previous night. She went for a scan and it was confirmed that the baby was completely gone.
“What have I done,” she thought to herself. The guilt was too much. She thought of the child whose face she’d never see. Tadiwa cried for her failed relationship.
Every time she saw a pregnant woman, it would all flash back. She could not get over the pain she went through. Sometimes would think, what’s the worst that could have happened had she kept it.
But what hurt her most was that she had to go through it alone.
Josh’s life was still the same if not better, he had already moved on. He did not go through any physical or emotional pain. Trying to explain to him would be exaggeration; I mean “Only he who wears the shoe can tell you where it pinches” Chinua Achebe.
She felt used and damaged.
Tadiwa did not just lose a baby, but lost herself too.
“Secrets kill.” Thus is the path of many women after abortion. Don’t talk. Don’t feel. Keep the secret. – Trudy M. Johnson, M.A., LMFT
Women’s reasons for having an abortion are always highly personal. In any case, it is usually thought of as a solution to stressful circumstances.
A woman can be of sound and solid mind when she makes a choice to terminate a pregnancy, but it is never an easy decision. Even when it is the right decision, there is sometimes a level of conflict that needs to be addressed so that the woman can be at peace with her choice.
Some cannot afford it; end up keeping unwanted pregnancies. What really hurts me as an individual is that the woman gets to go through this alone. Even if you are lucky and have your partner around, that physical and emotional pain affects you alone yet you both took part in the act.
It affects women differently. Some show guilt, regret but others no remorse at all. Changes them completely because of the physical and psychological pain they had to go through.
The feelings that can occur after an abortion have become so identifiable that this condition has been named Post Abortion Syndrome (PAS).
It’s very unfortunate that most girls go through this after breaking up with their boyfriends and in most cases the break up is messy as result undergo the process on their own.
Below are a few testimonies I picked from an article:
- “Pregnancy, babies, doctors, being a mother, vacuum cleaners and dentist drills became abortion connectors and sent me into emotional anguish.”
- “My abortion is associated with so many emotions. They come at unexpected times, but they always go quickly.”
- “I was sitting quietly in my bedroom and, suddenly, my entire world went black. It was as if in the space between breaths, my entire existence lost all meaning. … I began having severe anxiety attacks … I had no idea at the time that this was due to the rapid drop in hormones experienced as a result of the abortion. No one had told me this could happen.”
- “When asked by the hospital psychiatrist why I wanted to die I told him I was already dead inside and just wanted to finish the job.”
- “All I felt was a huge relief …. Of course sometimes I wonder if it had been a boy or a girl …. But I have always been at peace with the decision.”
- “Initially I guess I was just numb. … I felt dirty and worthless …. It may be difficult to understand but the violence of the rape made much less of an impact on me than the abortion.”
- …out came some fluid then the sac split open, there was my baby! its tiny little head and body, i broke down started shouting at myself and saying sorry to my baby … I did it for other people not myself and now i’m the one who has to live with this regret and hatred towards myself. – abortion pill patient
- “I have no regrets. Zero. The whole situation still hurts sometimes.”
- “To have a baby after an abortion is not so easy. The feelings that are in your mind and heart about your abortion are somehow mirrored in the new baby. I think it would be easier if all these issues were spoken of openly.”
- “I look back at each of these abortions, and my heart is sad. I loved them and wanted to meet them, but I was too weak. … I cry, I hurt.”
A pretty long post but I thought why not talk about the emotional risks that come with having an abortion…Women have to be aware of these before deciding to undergo an abortion.