There is a commonly held belief among women who have had abortions:
“I chose to end my pregnancy, so I shouldn’t experience feelings of pain, loss or grief for the baby who will not be born.”
Have you ever felt this way?
I want to tell you that even though you were faced with a difficult choice, and you made the choice to end your pregnancy, it’s still very common and completely normal to have feelings of loss, grief, pain and sadness, as if you lost a baby for reasons beyond your control, like a miscarriage.
Can you take that in? I know this revelation can feel a little shocking.
It’s common to expect relief, and to feel relief after the procedure is over. But the feelings of sadness, numbness, guilt, and emptiness can be a surprise. You may realize you are processing more grief than you expected.
Acknowledging that you are feeling the pain of your loss — even though you chose it— is an important step toward recovery.
When you claim your grief and participate in its process with your loving attention, you will be able to heal and move on.
You may want to try this simple step-by-step exercise to help you begin to grieve and let go:
Find a space for yourself that feels safe + supportive. It doesn’t need to be anything elaborate; a quiet spot in nature, a candlelit corner of your room, or even under the covers in your bed. Place one hand on your heart and your other hand on your belly.
Some women report an intuitive sense of whether the baby they were carrying was a boy or a girl. Check in and see if you have a sense about this. There is no right or wrong answer, just feel into the question and be curious.
Give a name to the baby. It could be a name you like, or a name that holds meaning for your process, like, “teacher”, “little spirit” or “angel”.
Feel the energy of that being.
Imagine that you can communicate with the spirit or “beingness” of your baby. Now, say whatever you would like him or her to know. You may want to say, “I’m sorry” or “I love you”. You may wish to explain why you made the choice you did. This is your opportunity to get whatever is on your mind into the open and express whatever you’ve been holding in.
Ask the spirit of your baby if it has anything to tell you. Then listen or feel.
Recognize any sadness. Realize this comes from YOUR loss. Even though you chose to have an abortion, you may still experience the loss of the particular being, or grief that you didn’t become a mother at this time.
Remember that feeling your grief is the first step to forgiving yourself and the situation. You are not judged by anyone but yourself and true forgiveness will allow you to heal and move on.
Remember to be a good friend to yourself and be gentle as you open to your feelings.
You are a good person and you are allowed to feel whatever you feel. Giving yourself permission in this way will help you to transform your experience into a powerful initiation that shapes you into a more compassionate, stronger, more aware person.
You may even begin to realize that the soul of your unborn child served a purpose; to be a teacher for you, to deepen your spirituality, to help you grow, to give you clarity about your role as a mother, or whatever meaning you experience for yourself.