6:56 pm - 04/06/2013

Trigger Warning Pregnancy and Sexual Assault

I found out earlier this week that I am pregnant. By my calculation, I am about ten weeks along as I was raped exactly 10 weeks ago and I only have consenting sex with my female partner. I found out I was pregnant at a sexual assault follow up appointment where they routinely do a pregnancy test. The nurse who informed me gave me only information on abortion and made it clear that it would be a huge mistake to keep my rapists baby.

However, I am in my late twenties and I am worried that if I have an abortion now I am going to not be able to have children down the road. Plus I am not entirely sure that I want to have an abortion. Even though this child was created in bad circumstances, I find myself attached and having difficulty deciding to have an abortion. But the majority of people in my life (including friends, family and my partner) all thing that I would be incredibly "stupid" to have this baby.

Does anybody have experience with this? Any advice? Am I completely crazy for wanting to continue this pregnancy?
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fun_tabulous 6th-Apr-2013 11:00 pm (UTC)
Ok, I kind of feel like maybe I shouldn't comment, because I have zero experience with this, but...

I don't really think it sounds crazy to me. :) I think it is a very personal and heavy decision to make and I kind of feel like it was wrong of the doctors to tell you to abort it.

I wish you good luck with whatever you decide. I just think YOU should decide it not everyone else telling you to abort it! Unless that is what you ultimately want.
elleonfire 7th-Apr-2013 01:05 am (UTC)
Thank you for your kind words.
(no subject) - Anonymous
elleonfire 7th-Apr-2013 01:07 am (UTC)
I pressed charges against the person immediately and have been dealing with the aftermath with my trauma therapist (was seeing her for CSA). I don't know how I will deal down the road with a constant reminder and that scares me but at the same time I think I can come to terms with this and raise the child.
wyld_dandelyon 6th-Apr-2013 11:12 pm (UTC)
You can go to see an OBGyn (at planned parenthood or elsewhere) to make sure that you don't have any condition that would make it hard for you to have a pregnancy later if you have an abortion now, but normally that is not an issue. I had an abortion in my late 20s and had no trouble getting pregnant afterward. Planned Parenthood is a good option because they won't pressure you either way, and will provide all the information you need.

As to how it can affect your life, any baby changes your life in many ways. If you don't get responses from someone here who has kept a baby of rape, I know someone via LJ who has and who is an active anti-rape-culture activist. I'm sure she wouldn't mind talking/online chatting with you, but I'm hesitant to post her name in such a big group. If you want me to ask her to contact you, send me a private message.

This is a big decision and one that you can't undo later. Good luck deciding what's best for you.
elleonfire 7th-Apr-2013 01:10 am (UTC)
Thank you very much for your suggestion of planned parenthood and for sharing your late 20's abortion experience .

I would like to talk to someone who has had their rapists child but I have no idea how to send a private message on Livejournal. How do I send you a private message? I cannot seem to figure it out.

Thank you for your wishes of luck.
madraykin 6th-Apr-2013 11:15 pm (UTC)
My general rule is that how you feel when you find out you are pregnant is a guide of your 'true' feelings, before other people or even yourself confuse you. I hope that made sense!
I don't think you're crazy but you need to be realistic. I hope you're in a good position to raise a baby. I don't mean materially (cause you can raise a baby on very little) but emotionally and mentally. Once you've made your position on the matter and are firm with everyone around you I think they will respect your wishes, whatever they may be.
Also, you could look into an open adoption!
elleonfire 7th-Apr-2013 01:12 am (UTC)
I did not think about open adoption and will definitely look into that as an option.

I was happy and scared when I first found out about the pregnancy. Happy because my partner and I do want a baby and have been planning to start "trying" in the fall. Scared because well I knew it was my rapists baby.

I am not sure whether or not I am in a good emotional place to have a baby. I am in therapy and making progress with trauma but it is still very fresh and I am still suffering in the immediate aftermath.

Thank you for your advice.
gloraelin 6th-Apr-2013 11:19 pm (UTC)
First of all, I am so sorry you are having to deal with this -- not necessarily the pregnancy itself, but the drama and such.

Second, no, you're not crazy. It happens sometimes, where a survivor decides to carry the child. Even if it weren't A Thing That Happens, you have the right to carry the pregnancy to term. Your body, your choice. I do not think it is fair or right for your support system [your partner especially!] to call you stupid and try to make your decision for you.

I think that... there is a narrative our culture has, that nobody wants to carry/have/raise a child that resulted from a rape, and this story has been strengthened lately by the push to protect abortion rights in a situation exactly like this. However... that doesn't mean you have to abort. Again, only you can make that final choice. You should feel empowered to make whatever decision you feel is right for you, and I am sorry you are not getting that support.

What I would suggest... if you can afford to, see a therapist or counselor, just to talk some of your thoughts out. It would probably be better if they were trained in trauma counseling, but it's not necessary, IMO. Perhaps talking with someone clearly outside of your current situation will help you get some clarity.

Regarding abortions and fertility, I don't have any cited studies or anything, but what I do remember is that, if done in a safe and clean environment, there should not be any risk of infertility. Now, does it still happen? Yeah, but that's because bodies are weird like that. But I wouldn't assume that you would "of course" lose fertility. One other thing that might help, is to have a consult at a place like Planned Parenthood, and go in with a list of questions exactly like that. They will be able to help with answers.

Good luck, best wishes.
elleonfire 7th-Apr-2013 01:15 am (UTC)
Thank you for the good luck wishes.

I have been talking to my therapist about this but she is generally on the side of my family, friends and partner. Possibly because she has known me for three years. Reading this I am thinking perhaps of getting perspective from a person who does not know me but can offer some advice and as a source to bounce things off of.

I know making the assumption I will lose my fertility is faulty. I guess I am just scared because we had planned to start trying for a baby in the fall and I don't want to mess things up now and put our schedule behind. Though, I guess there are no certainties that I would have gotten pregnant immediately in the fall with a donor.

I am going to see if I can get an appointment at planned parenthood to ask these very questions.
fallconsmate 6th-Apr-2013 11:20 pm (UTC)
half that fetus' DNA is yours. period.

if you want to keep it, and your partner can live with that? it is ONE person's decision to make. yours.

you are not crazy. what the heart wants it what it wants, you know? however, the idea that an abortion could cause sterility is not true any longer.

most people would not keep a pregnancy/child that was created under circumstances of rape not only because of the chance that in the future a person may feel resentment and anger at the child because of the way it was conceived, but also...there is a chance *depending on your state's laws* that the rapist may end up having parental rights also. that means that the entire rest of your life, you'd have to have that person around. PLEASE check for certain on your state's laws before making a final decision.

but in the long run? the heart still wants what it wants. you may have chances at later times to have a child, yes. you may decide not to. speak to a councelor and get some more solid information than internet strangers, though. good luck with whatever you decide. :)
faithful_summer 7th-Apr-2013 12:56 am (UTC)
I am sorry you're in such a difficult situation.

I see a lot of great advice here and actually came to comment to make sure you know what the commentor above posted-- that depending on the state and laws, rapists *can* still retain parental rights and even file for custody. I didn't bring this up to scare you, but I want you to be fully informed about all the possibilities in case any of these facts would affect your decision.

And like everyone else said... this is YOUR decision. Do what you decide is right for you.

Best of luck.
kaberett 6th-Apr-2013 11:24 pm (UTC)
I don't have any experience, but I can say that this is your decision. The circumstances of conception don't define the child. I can sort-of understand why the nurse might have been strongly pushing abortion, in the sense that many people might start out reluctant & having a figure saying "it's okay to do this" could be very helpful - but clearly she misjudged it (and badly).

Setting aside the issue of rape: have you and your partner talked about having children? What was the outcome? Are you in a financial and emotional place at the moment to support a child? Because... if you are, or you can make it work, and you want to make it work, and you'd decided that you wanted children... I think that sounds a lot like a decision on your part to me?

It sounds as though your friends & family & partner might be having difficulty themselves with the idea of seeing a child as symbolic, or a reminder, of a time that they may also have experienced as traumatic; it sounds a lot as though they may be trying to have you make a decision that makes them most comfortable, without necessarily having thought terribly deeply about why it makes them most comfortable? In which case, one thing I'd suggest that might be helpful is couples' counselling (if you can afford it/it's reasonable to get to/etc), or counselling for your partner by herself; or perhaps, as another commenter suggested, going to a Planned Parenthood or similar - with your partner, if she will listen rather than talking over you - and talking through things with a professional.

I believe very firmly that any decision you make is the right one. Good luck.
elleonfire 7th-Apr-2013 01:21 am (UTC)
I do get why the nurse said and encouraged abortion. She deals only with rape survivors and in most cases survivors do not want to keep the baby. At least that is what she told me.

We have talked about having children and we were prepared to start trying in the fall after marrying this summer. We already have the donor selected and things set up for the fall. We are both financially able to support the child and we were emotionally ready up until the sexual assault happened. Now I don't know if either of us is really ready. I am not even sure I want to go through with our wedding. Not because I don't want to marry her but because everything just seems to be off right now.

I really appreciate your perspective on my family, friends and partners perspective. The child definitely could be symbolic for them.

Couples counselling is a good idea. I am going to run the idea by my partner soon.
yazz_flute 7th-Apr-2013 12:38 am (UTC)
I don't have any experience with this either, but I wanted to say that I don't think you're crazy at all.
I would also suggest speaking to a therapist or counselor of some sort.

Good luck to you whatever your decision!
elleonfire 7th-Apr-2013 01:22 am (UTC)
Thank you for your good luck wishes.

I am currently seeing a trauma counsellor and we have begun to sort this out.
(no subject) - Anonymous
elleonfire 7th-Apr-2013 01:22 am (UTC)
Thank you for reminding me it is my body and my choice. Sometimes I forget that and want to let everyone have an opinion.
slinkslowdown 7th-Apr-2013 01:00 am (UTC)
Bottom-line, your body is yours and this is your decision. No one can tell you what you should or shouldn't do, there's nothing "crazy" about deciding either way in this situation.

Good luck with this.
elleonfire 7th-Apr-2013 01:23 am (UTC)
Thank you for reminding me of the bottom line.
bratty_lil_fae 7th-Apr-2013 01:07 am (UTC)
The joy of choice is that it works both ways. If you want that baby then that baby is yours to keep, if you don't want it that is a perfectly healthy choice as well. I would say trust your heart and get and tune the nay Sayers out. If you do keep the baby you will find everybody " knows" what you should be doing better than you with parenting too.

Internet hugs if you want them.
elleonfire 7th-Apr-2013 01:24 am (UTC)
Thank you for the internet hugs and for reminding me that people will have opinions regardless of what I do.
chibi_high08 Adoption Maybe?7th-Apr-2013 01:26 am (UTC)
I'd just like to point out that I've never had this happen and I commend you on how strong you're being right now :) i feel that a lot of people don't realize that adoption is also an option besides abortion. There are plenty of good adoption care facilities (idk where you live so I can't list any) You're not crazy for wanting to keep the baby, a classmate of mine went through the exact situation in high school; she decided to keep the baby, pressed charges, and is going to college :) she had a good support from friends and last i checked she was doing fine. If you feel that you can handle it then go ahead, you're not in high school so maybe your life is more stable than my friend's was but it all comes down to you. if you're close to your family and friends- even if they think you're crazy- tell them all you need is a little emotional support and to accept your decision whatever it may be :) I wish you the best
elleonfire Re: Adoption Maybe?7th-Apr-2013 01:34 am (UTC)
Thank you very much for your response. I am definitely going to look in to an open adoption. I am definitely financially stable and we were planning on trying for kids in the fall so in that sense we could keep the child. But I think adoption might be good too.
archangelbeth 7th-Apr-2013 02:08 am (UTC)
I haven't experienced this situation, but I do not find it crazy. We all react in different ways, and if you are feeling attached... You have to do what's best for your heart and situation. However, you may wish to research your state's laws; some will give parental rights to rapist sires of children. You may wish to conceal the parentage if you are in such a state, or otherwise find some way to sever these parental rights (such as visiting rights, etc.).

*sends lots and lots of hugs, for use or re-gifting as they will best help*

Edit: I see that people already mentioned the potential complication! I hope you can find out what Canada's laws are. And, if it would not be hard for you, emotionally, could you post back what you discover? I'm not finding any good information on a quick websearch, and it's obviously something that can play a part in other people's decisions in the future, too.

Edited at 2013-04-07 02:15 am (UTC)
rovylern 7th-Apr-2013 02:14 am (UTC)
I have been in your situation; I chose to continue the pregnancy and place the child for adoption. If you'd like to chat privately about it, I'm more than happy to share my experiences. You can PM me or send me an email at my lj name @ gmail.com.
jennifer0246 8th-Apr-2013 10:02 pm (UTC)
Thank you for commenting and offering to share your experience with the OP. It's brave and kind, and as someone who tries to help VP be awesome, I'm so glad to see others do the same.
thedorkygirl 7th-Apr-2013 02:53 am (UTC)
Ma'am, as a survivor of sexual assault, I think that you are a good and kind woman for opening up the possibility of loving this child. If you want to keep the child, then I support your decision. It is no one's choice but yours. Abortion is an option, but it is not your only option. You can have the baby and raise it; you can look at adoption choices. You are an incredibly brave woman.

I ask only that you please be prepared to love the baby with no hard thoughts as to its conception. That's the biggest question. If you can well and truly have the child without blaming him or her for his paternal line, then yes, do it. If you can't - again, you have other options. I say this coming from a family with extremely messed up mothers up and down the line. Be prepared to love love love - that is the most important thing.
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