I have two stories to tell. One of heartache and one of joy I finally found in my life again. Let’s go back to 2010, the year which changed my life forever. I had been seeing my boyfriend for nearly 2 years, he was a few years older than me. I was 18 and just finished my leaving certificate. I was about to embark on the biggest journey of my life at the time……college!! I had my accommodation sorted, everything put in place. Then one day my life changed forever. I found out I was pregnant, roughly 5 weeks. My whole world came crashing down.
…How could this happen to me, I mean I’m just about to start college, this cannot be happening…
I contacted my boyfriend and told him but from there on he started acting strange. Disappearing for days on end without so much as a phone call. I felt very alone with nobody to talk to. Family life was tough, one brother was ill and the other was packing his bags for a new life in America. The last thing I was gonna do was tell my mum, she had enough on her plate. From there I made the very quick decision to terminate my pregnancy with Marie Stopes in Manchester. I just couldn’t have this baby. I was absolutely terrified and I never felt more alone in the world. A very dear male friend of mine offered to help me with the financial cost of the termination and he also accompanied me on the trip. I had never been so scared in my life. When I got to the clinic I felt so sick. As I handed over the cash, I felt like a piece of dirt, just another statistic.Afterwards when all was done, I felt so confused when I came around. I begged the nurse to let me leave and that I had changed my mind, that I wanted my baby but, it was too late, the baby was gone. I felt so numb as I looked around the recovery room, so many women in the same shoes as me but I had never felt so alone in my life. I just couldn’t wait to go home. Looking back, I feel relief but I also carry sadness within my heart. I am relieved as I believe at that time it was the right thing for me to do. But there will always been a sense of sadness in my heart. A part of me that is missing that I can never get back. I suppose looking back I wish someone had intervened, I wish I had more support and maybe things would have been different. But I managed to get through college and finish with a bachelor degree. Two years after the abortion I began suffering from generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) and to this day I believe it is partly a result of what I went through.But let’s move on to 2014, the year that changed my life once again. I found myself back in the same position I had been in 4 years previous. I’m not ashamed to admit I had a bit of a fling with a guy whom id known through mutual friends. We used contraception and I thought I would be ok. Fast forward 2 months later where I found myself staring at 2 pink lines on a pregnancy test. My heart jumped, I started to cry. All those familiar feelings came flooding back again. I ran straight to my mum who assured me everything would be ok and that we would get through it. But I was at a complete loss as to what to do. I cried myself to sleep every night.I contacted the dad and he freaked out, he didn’t want to know, he denied it was anything to do with him. I was heartbroken. I had just lost my job, I was broke, I had nothing. There was no way I could bring up a baby, or at least that’s what I thought. Then one day I was searching the Internet, desperate for support and reassurance. That’s when I found Gianna Care.I read some of the stories on their website and found some comfort in knowing other women had been in my position and how they had come through it all with the help and support of Gianna Care. I immediately contacted one of the numbers on the site but I wasn’t expecting any reply if I’m being honest. But, within a couple of hours, a lovely lady from Gianna Care contacted me and we just instantly clicked. She helped me see that I had options besides terminating my pregnancy. She gave me hope again. She gave me the strength to see that I could have this baby. The organisation helped me with everything, from organising an ultrasound at my nearest maternity hospital to providing me with baby clothes, maternity clothes, baby equipment, hospital bag etc.. They also provided me with a fork of counsellor assistance by keeping in contact with me on a regular basis. I couldn’t believe the support I was receiving. I had a difficult pregnancy, there were a lot of family problems, people arguing all the time. My dad couldn’t accept that I was pregnant and practically shunned me my whole pregnancy. I lost most of my ‘friends’. But if it wasn’t for the lovely lady from Gianna Care supporting me each and every day of my pregnancy, I don’t know where I would be today. I went on to have a very healthy bouncing baby boy who is now the center of my world and I can honestly say I don’t know what my life would be like without him. I know it’s a cliched thing to say and trust me I would have once laughed at reading a statement like that. But it’s the truth. He has brought so much joy into my life and into the lives of my family. He has changed things for the better like you couldn’t imagine. He is my world and I’d be lost without him.I have built a wonderful friendship with the lovely lady from Gianna Care and we still keep in contact on a regular basis even after I’ve had my baby. She didn’t just walk off. She continues to be a great support in my life and someone I feel I can turn to. So thank you Gianna Care for the wonderful work you do. You’ve have helped me more than you will ever know. And to any girl out there who finds themselves in a similar position, I hope reading this story will help you find the courage to place your trust in this wonderful organisation and avail of the wonderful supports on offer. It really could change your life.