I was first made aware of Choices by the Exeter Depression and Anxiety Service. I had approached Exeter DAS as I had been struggling with many changes in my life, the most recent and difficult had been the termination I had chosen to have. I was informed of Choices, and I made the first brave step in contacting them. From the initial contact I felt welcomed, and most importantly, I didn’t feel judged. This was such a relief to me, as I had been tormented by my own guilt at the decision I had made to not have my baby.
I was surprised at how quickly they responded to my initial email. From that first email an appointment was made, and subsequent appointments happened weekly. Although the main focus was to help me through the grieving process of losing my child and helped me to put to rest my insecurities, which enabled me to come to terms with the enormous decision I made to terminate my pregnancy. They genuinely seemed to have an interest in ME. I cannot stress how amazing this felt: being the person who my friends always came to for support, it was an overwhelming feeling to have strangers understand and believe in me. Although I am still partaking in the program, I feel there is a future for me without the heavy burden of my decision weighing upon my shoulders. The program has enabled me to tap into talents I had suppressed, such as my writing, and brought to the surface positive things to nurture and look forward to. I left every appointment feeling good about myself, which was all down to their wonderful words of praise, encouragement and support.
I can honestly say, hand on heart, that Choices has changed me – for the better. The fact these women voluntarily give up their time and experience should be commended highly, for I can never express fully how much they have helped me. I want to thank the entire team, but in particular. I would urge any woman who has lost a baby, through infant death, miscarriage or termination, to contact Choices. They helped me at a time when I thought I couldn’t be helped, and today, I feel I can put to rest the guilt, shame, and grief – because I have grieved – and not let it consume my life.