Lisa's Story

My story is like many others, I was a single mom of a three year old, working and studying full time.  I had a few casual encounters with a friend and I was using contraception at the time that painfully failed me.

I was so heart broken when I found out I was pregnant. I thought I had done the right thing and protected myself. I was naive to say the least, I was beyond heartbroken at the prospect of not being able to step up and mother another child. But, most of all, I was ashamed that I was not ready to be a mum again or capable of giving that baby a stable home.

I looked up family planning clinics in Dublin and got in touch with them and found out my options, I had no clue what I was doing. I was referred to a clinic to have a scan and to further discuss my options. When I got to the clinic the next day I was greeted by some pro-life campaigners who were aggressively shouting at me. I just put my head down and ran for the door; waiting for the door to be unlocked felt like minutes not seconds. When I got inside, the staff were so sensitive to how I was feeling, so gentle and calm and reassuring. I think they knew how I was feeling better than I did. They helped me come to terms with my decision and made feel me less like the monsters I had been told of growing up.

Numb and Robotic

It would be three weeks before I made my journey. I had to work my ass off doing extra shifts and trying to care for the baby I already had. Also trying to keep on top of lies I had created so that no one knew what was happening. I was numb and robotic for those three weeks. I finally had enough money to cover the surgical termination that I needed and the flights over. I had to lie to my Mam again to mind my baby while I was gone.

All Alone, Having Confided in No one

I left Dublin all alone having confided in no one. I have to say that the clinic really went out of their way to ensure I was 100% making the right decision for myself and supporting me. After my surgery, the staff were amazing but I was sat in a recovery room with three other women, one who was sobbing uncontrollably and the other two fast asleep. I was just sitting wide-eyed not knowing where to look; it felt like it wasn’t me going through it and that I was an outsider looking in, that was until I had made the journey home.

I had to go about my life as if nothing was wrong, happy mummy, bubbly friend and hardworking staff member! I remember vividly the next morning when I got to college, I dropped my baby to Creche, I was so weak and pale I sat in my car balling my eyes out while feeling my insides fall away from me. I was in such a panic, I didn’t know what to do, I had to wobble into the college and tell them I had a bug and I was going home. They took one look at me and they knew I was not well. I picked my baby back up from Creche, I could barely lift her into the car I was so fragile!

Coming Home

I just about made it home and cried on my couch all day. A friend of mine called in to see me, she had no clue what I had done. I told her as best I could what happened, I just had to tell someone. She was so nice and sympathetic about it that I felt a little relieved. She was what I needed all along, someone to confide in and share my pain, just having an ear to listen is such a powerful thing.  From then on I decided that I would not feel shame anymore for doing what was right for me at that time. I know I made the right decision for me and for the father who was not nearly ready to provide or bring up a baby.

I hope my kid’s generation won’t have to suffer at the hands of the government that failed me and many more women. We should have the right to decide over our own bodies in our own country and remove the stigma that caused me to go through it scared and alone.

All Alone, Having Confided in No one

Artist: Louise Hickey.

Can you think of someone to share this story with?