Posts Tagged ‘conceived by rape’

A reader asked if I have ever written a blog about how to deal with having been pregnant by your abuser. The answer is no, so I am going to write about this topic today. I am infertile, so I (obviously) have never gotten pregnant through rape. This means that I cannot talk about what it feels like firsthand. However, I can share a few insights that I have picked up along the way from other people who have either gotten pregnant by rape or were conceived by rape. I hope that others who have gotten pregnant by rape will post supportive comments.

I know one child abuse survivor who became pregnant by rape in her teens. Her abuse started when she was around eight years old, so she did not split into alter parts. She always remembered numerous abuses and assumed that she remembered all. Recovering the memory of having become pregnant by her abuser and being forced to have an abortion was incredibly traumatizing for her. The rapes, the pregnancy, and the abortion were all three different levels of trauma for her.

I read the story of another woman who became pregnant by rape. She chose to give birth to the baby (rather than abort) and place the baby for adoption. While her growing belly was a constant reminder of the rape, she also recognized that the baby was also “half her,” and she loved the baby despite the baby’s beginnings. She wrote her story from a place of peace – of seeing her baby as the good that came out of such a horrible situation. She also felt good about the happiness that the baby brought to its adoptive parents.

I have spoken online with adult adoptees who were conceived by rape. (They absolutely loathe the term “product of rape,” so don’t use it.) Most of them were placed into adoptive homes, but they struggle to come to terms with knowing that their conception was through a violent act. They also struggle with knowing that half of their DNA came from a rapist.

No matter how you approach the topic of pregnancy through rape, it is going to be painful. The conception and birth of a baby should be a wonderfully joyous occasion, but conception by rape changes that dynamic. I cannot imagine the horror of having a baby growing in my body as a constant reminder of the rape(s), and I also cannot imagine having to face a crisis pregnancy with all of the decisions and possible stigma by the people in my life.

As with any other trauma, different women work through pregnancy through rape in different ways. Some choose to abort – some regret the decision while others are grateful for this option. Some choose to place the baby for adoption – again, some regret the decision while others find peace. Some choose to parent the baby. This comes with its own mix of joys (the love of your child) and struggles (seeing a physical resemblance between your baby and your rapist). Crisis pregnancy is never easy, and a crisis pregnancy through rape is even more challenging. My advice is to talk with a therapist about a crisis pregnancy through rape and talk through your feelings as well as all of your options.

Photo credit: Hekatekris

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