Ratan is a 28-year-old banker in Delhi.
Ajita (my girlfriend) and I came from small towns in India, trying to make it in the big city with our new careers. The best part was that we lived together in a small, one-bedroom apartment close to our office. It meant we still had time for each other and could be the lovers we always wanted to be.
We had been together for almost a year when we found out that she was eleven weeks pregnant. Our world changed completely when Ajita saw the positive sign on the pregnancy test. Unfortunately, we weren’t ready for a baby at that time and we couldn’t even imagine sharing the news with our parents.
Quick and careful planning
The disappointment and shame in society associated with a child out of wedlock was something neither one of us wanted. We were quick to come to a mutual decision to terminate the pregnancy.
This had to be a hush-hush affair, so I searched online and found discussions about a few safe clinics that conducted abortions in a ‘non-judgmental and discreet’ manner. We chose one after considering several factors and made an appointment for the procedure.
At the clinic, we lied about being married but the doctor was surprisingly not interested in our backgrounds. She proceeded with the surgical abortion and the whole thing was over in about s. Before we knew it, we were done and the doctor was writing a prescription for Ajita.
‘Will everything be fine?’
Once we got back home, Ajita cried profusely the entire day. I consoled her, asking her to forget the entire ordeal and making her believe that everything would be fine.
I thought everything was going to be okay now, I mean the worst was over. How wrong I had been! Things weren’t the same, at all! Ajita suffered from mood swings and a short temper. Here I was, trying to put this whole episode behind us. And there she was, reliving it and crying all the time.
A few days later, we got into another argument which escalated to a full blown fight. “You have no idea what I’m going through. You just want to forget the whole thing,” Ajita shouted at me. I tried to tell her that I was there and it was tough for me too.
I explained that forgetting seemed like the right thing. Suddenly, she slumped on the sofa and whispered, “But it was my body and I miss my baby.” That’s when I got it, an epiphany if you will.
For me it was easier to move on and not talk about the abortion. But her body was a constant reminder of what had happened. Even if it was an unwanted pregnancy, terminating it was the most heart wrenching thing Ajita had ever done.
Being together meant we had to talk about the abortion and the loss we felt. Online material on how to cope with an abortion was very helpful. The blame game stopped and we began thinking of how to find closure.
We agreed on a few things. We planted a sapling in our balcony as a reminder of the child we couldn’t have. Two years later, Ajita and I are now engaged, I am happy that tiny plant is now three feet tall with beautiful pink flowers.
Every year, we spend a day at an orphanage to mark this loss in our lives. It ended up being the coping mechanism we needed. Ajita and I have found peace with our decision to abort.
This article was first published on October 12, 2015.
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