I didn't want to ruin MY life.
I had a surgical abortion (asleep) at a BPAS clinic when I was 13weeks 5days pregnant. I am 20years old, a student, and this was completely unplanned. It may seem selfish to some people, but my sole reason for having this abortion was because I didn't want to ruin MY life. I want to have a decent job and be able to fully support my family when I finally decide to have children, not be another statistic living off of government hand-outs. I also found the pregnancy symptoms unbearable; I could never decide what my cravings were, I felt nauseous 24/7 but could never make myself sick, my boobs were over-sensitive and I always had stiff nipples (sorry to be blunt). I'm just not emotionally or mentally ready for children.
I had an initial consultation where I had to fill in all of my paperwork, have counselling, my weight and height checked etc and also have a dating scan to confirm the pregnancy. This was the worst part of all as the nurse left the pictures hanging out of the machine as I was cleaning the gel off of me and doing my jeans up and I saw them.
There was a split second where I reconsidered the whole abortion seeing these pictures But due to my personal reasons I just couldn't go through with the pregnancy. It was very emotional and difficult seeing them though, and I was quite angry that the nurse was not more discreet and removed them.
I got my appointment for the treatment exactly a week later.
At my treatment (friday just gone, it is now wednesday), I had to travel the 2 hour train journey on my own as I had not told any family or friends about my situation. If I could go back, I would definitely have changed this. When I arrived at the clinic, I was asked to wait until I was called to see a nurse. When I was called, I went into a room where the paperwork was confirmed, my blood pressure was taken and I had a blood test, and I was also given two tablets to place under my tongue and let dissolve, as these would dilate my cervix making insertion of the tube for the surgeon easier.
I must admit, I did get emotional at this point but the nurse was very understanding, and took me down to meet the surgeons to put my mind at ease. Anyway, the nurse explained that the tablets I had taken would mean I had to wait a further two hours for the procedure and I would experience mild cramping, like a period. I have a very high pain threshold, I have a lot of tattoos, piercings, nothing fazes me but for some reason these tablets completely took it out of me and I ended up vomiting from the pain.
After around an hour and a half I was taken down to the ward to undress and store my belongings in a basket. The nurses were very kind and kept checking on me as I still had half an hour to wait, and I was understandably feeling very alone and upset. Eventually, one of the surgeons came out and walked me to the theatre, holding my hand all the way and reassuring me that everything would be fine. Now, I've never had any surgery before so I found the whole thing very daunting as they placed a blood pressure mat around my arm, a heart rate thing on my finger, gas mask on my face and needle in my hand all at once from 3 different doctors. I must have looked scared as the surgeon that led me in to theatre gave me a hug and reassured me it was just standard procedure and to relax. Next thing I remember is the surgeon explaining he was injecting the anaesthetic and then waking up in recovery.
When I woke up in recovery, I had a rush of emotions and burst into tears. I can't explain the feeling, but I was overall very relieved and kept asking all the nurses that it had definitely worked and it was all over. After around 15minutes, I went to the toilet to change my pad, get dressed and then into a waiting room where I had a coffee and some biscuits whilst I waited to be discharged. A further 20minutes later I was discharged with Doxycycline (take 2 a day for 7 days) to prevent infection and a helpline number if I believed I was experiencing any problems. The clinic also kindly phoned a taxi for me to go to the train station as I didn't feel comfortable walking, even though the anaesthetic had worn off and I was feeling fine, no cramps, I just didn't want to walk on my own in case anything happened.
Monday however, I woke up again with no bleeding or cramping, but by afternoon my stomach started to ache terribly. After a few hours the pain was almost unbearable and I was passing a lot of clots. The same happened yesterday and again today, I have been unable to leave the house because of the pain and I can't keep any food or drink down at all because of it. I've read online that after surgical abortions usually 3-5 days afterwards this is normal, which is pretty accurate to me, but I have exams in 2 days so I'm hoping it eases off and I am well enough to leave the house. I've been taking 4 Ibuprofen at once to ease the pain and half a sleeping tablet to knock myself out so when I wake up the pain relief has started to work and I have enough energy to get to and from the bathroom without feeling like I'm going to pass out. Even a hot water bottle isn't helping, although for some reason the added heat and pressure of it has encouraged the clots to come out more quickly, so I'm hoping it's all going to be over soon.
Sorry if these seems long but I just wanted to share my experience in detail. Hope it helps, and remember that you are not the first or last person to have an abortion. I thought I was the only person in the world going through this decision but soon realised, I'm really not :)
Editor's CommentThanks for sharing the experience that you had with a surgical abortion. It is good that all the information they gave you was accurate, and prepared you for what would happen. Hopefully, your experience will soon be over, and a logacting contraception would protect you from facing a situation like this again. CareConfidential is available for post abortion help and support if you need it.
This story was sent in on 15/05/2012 and it's been viewed 656 times.