The voice on the other end of the line was hesitant. I could tell this was a woman who wasn't sure she could trust her own instincts, much less trust me. I tried to re-assure her that I am a safe person to talk with about unexpected grief after voluntarily terminating a pregnancy.
As we talked, I realized how many times I'd heard this unexpected sadness expressed by women who are just frozen into confusion about their deep sadness. Being sad after abortion is so very common but rarely discussed or talked about.
Since it was just three days post the event, I explained to my distressed practically anonymous client (she would only state her first name) that what she was feeling was perfectly normal. I let her know one thing that was happening was her body trying to stop the process of raging hormones.
With pregnancy our bodies exponentially prepare everyday with an amazing amount of hormonal supplies surging through every nook and cranny. When the process is stopped prematurely, it takes awhile for the body to say, "oh wait a minute...are you saying NO MORE hormones are needed now?" So not unlike a 100 mile an hour car hitting a brick wall, the body tries to manually come to a complete stop.
In the mix of this instant disconnection, comes a flurry of hormonal confusion. Hence the high level of emotional angst. Part of the sudden and unexpected emotional angst can be the actual physical changes our bodies undergo immediately after the procedure.
The relief that comes surrounding the crisis situation of the decision, can be accompanied by a volcanic explosion of sadness. To be both relieved and sad at the same time can be confusing.
So this high state of emotionality can be very normal after voluntary pregnancy termination. I assured my caller that she was not alone in her unexpected response, that this is what happens to many, many women after the choice decision.
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