real life

'I was pregnant with a baby I desperately wanted. But I also wanted an abortion.'

This story mentions pregnancy loss and miscarriage.

My first miscarriage was at 12 weeks and two days. My partner and I had already told family and friends we were expecting a little girl. I knew miscarriages happened, but somehow it felt like it wasn’t something that would happen to me.

I was watching The Block. My cat felt uncomfortable as it lay on my belly. When I went to the bathroom, all I saw was a flood of red.

I took time off work. I grieved, every part of my body aching for the baby I had lost. My usually healing walks in nature became torture every time I passed a mother with her young baby held tight to her chest, or a little girl playing with sticks on the side of the path. "We're expecting" announcements on social media would hit me in the face like a tonne of bricks. I’d hide each post and try to forget I’d ever seen it.

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I wanted desperately for my second pregnancy to be a time of joy and hope. Instead, my brain kept reliving the night of the miscarriage, over and over and again. I worried constantly about having another one. The thoughts would haunt me while out for a walk or having dinner with friends. I became afraid of leaving the house in case it happened then. 


At six weeks, I got COVID and was battered by debilitating migraines, which I’d suffered from chronically since I was young. After two weeks of not sleeping, being confined indoors, what felt like a metal band playing incessantly in my skull, and my obstetrician insisting I couldn’t get back on my migraine preventative medication, I slipped into depression and panic attacks.

My baby felt like a parasite in my body. I was at the bottom of a dark well, the weight of piles and piles of earth pushing down on me. I stopped eating. I wouldn’t even shower or brush my teeth. The TV was too bright and too loud. Listening to upbeat music overwhelmed me. If I tried reading something, the words would just jumble up and make no sense. Every time I had to leave the house, I’d start shaking and crying uncontrollably. I hid in my bedroom, curled up in bed in complete silence, staring at an empty wall while thoughts that this pain would never end crashed relentlessly over me like storm waves.

So when my obstetrician told me my baby hadn’t grown in two weeks and there was no heartbeat, all I felt was relief. I buried any other feeling at the bottom of the well and slowly crawled out of it.

I was 14 weeks into my third pregnancy. During a routine scan, panicked sonographers told me my baby’s growth was tracking downwards, which likely meant a severe genetic condition. I had an amniocentesis done, but even as I waited for the results, all I thought about was that I was carrying another doomed baby.


The thoughts were relentless. I slid back into the familiar well of depression. It was like I was stuck in Stranger Things’ Upside Down, a colourless world where every tree was dead and the air was lifeless. 

Reaching breaking point and worried about my spiralling mental health, I called my obstetrician and begged for help to organise a termination. It felt like the only way out. I had spiralled so much that I couldn’t even wait for the results of my tests. I was convinced my baby wouldn’t make it, so why continue suffering? The obstetrician sounded cold, annoyed even, like I was wasting her time. As she’d previously dismissed the debilitating pelvic girdle pain I’d been experiencing for the past two weeks, which meant I could barely walk, she now dismissed my request for a termination but didn’t offer any other help.

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It was the support of family and friends that kicked me into self-preservation mode. Even when I didn’t want to leave the house, or see anyone, my mother-in-law came to visit, listened to my pain and reassured me there was nothing to feel guilty about. With her help, I made an appointment with my trusted GP. She suggested going on emergency anxiety and depression medication. My partner and mother-in-law took turns staying home with me until the medication kicked in and I felt like I could think clearly again. 


I switched to an obstetrician recommended by a friend. She saw me that evening and linked me up with a prenatal psychiatrist. The obstetrician helped me work up the strength to wait for the test results. When they came back and she’d reviewed all my scans, she was surprised at what I’d been told. Even if the baby was small, which was not uncommon, she was perfectly healthy.

My baby girl is due this February. Her constant kicking fills me with joy. I am in awe every time I see her on a scan. 

With the support of my loved ones and a dedicated team of medical professionals, I have worked myself back to full health. The food tastes good again. I am sleeping through the night. Most of all, I feel hope and excitement again.

I’ve learnt that there is no shame in the fact that, when I was at my darkest when I couldn’t see the sky, a termination seemed like the only way out of my suffering. 

There is no right or wrong way how to feel about a difficult pregnancy, but I’m grateful that, through all the dark thoughts and times, asking for help from my support network saved my baby’s life. 

If this has raised any issues for you or if you would like to speak with someone, please contact the Sands Australia 24-hour support line on 1300 072 637. 

You can download Never Forgotten: Stories of love, loss and healing after miscarriage, stillbirth, and neonatal death for free here.

Feature Image: Supplied.