I am 19 years old and two days ago, I had an abortion.

I am 19 years old and two days ago, I had an abortion. I'm in my first year at uni, after dropping out and restarting. Me and my boyfriend have been together for two years now, and we're both at separate unis, quite far apart. I was going to be visiting him for a long weekend, and was thinking how annoying it was that I would be on my period. Then I started wondering. I wasn't late, and I'd had my period since the last time we'd seen each other, so it didn't seem possible that I was pregnant. But for some reason, I decided to do a test. When I saw the positive, I guess I should have been panicked, shocked, worried. I was shocked, but at the same time, something had told me that I was, and I felt excited. It was weird, as if it was just a natural response. Without thinking about the full implications, I was happy. I was like anyone who finds out they're pregnant and was looking forward to it.

Then reality set in. I took more tests. All were positive.

I took a digital test, and it came up the maximum time for being pregnant that it could show.
I told my boyfriend, and he was panicked. He said we'd talk when I went to see him. When I saw him he told me he wanted me to have an abortion. We went to the clinic. They confirmed my pregnancy and I booked a first appointment for an abortion.
I went, had the internal exam, swabs, blood tests, the ultrasound. I wanted to look, I wanted to be like any other expectant mum excited to see her baby for the first time. But this was in preparation for an abortion. I didn't look.
I booked an appointment for a medical abortion, for the first tablet.
I cancelled it. Rearranged. It was happening too fast. Deep down, I didn't want this. I missed the rearranged appointment. Me and my boyfriend argued. A lot. He was adamant that an abortion was the right choice. We're both young, at uni, we have no job, no income, we don't live near each other, we have no money. He kept telling me it just wouldn't work, an abortion was the only option. I kept wanting to talk about it, but he'd just say the same things.

I would agree, but inside, I knew I felt differently.

Any time I tried to bring up keeping the baby, he would get angry, tell me it would ruin his life, that he might as well kill himself. He wasn't serious about that part, but he made it obvious he would always resent it. I was too scared to tell my family. My mum. I thought they'd be so mad at me. Think I was a disappointment. Think I was ruining my life. I was sure they'd tell me that I should have an abortion too. So I gave in. I rang up and booked in for the appointment. I felt surprisingly calm going to the hospital. When I went in, we sat in the waiting room, and then got called to a room. The nurse sat me down, checked my details. Worked out how far along I was now. I was 10 weeks and 2 days when I took the first tablet. She brought it in. It was so small. So innocent looking. Just one little tablet sitting in a cardboard cup. She handed me it, and a little glass of water. She asked if I was sure. I heard myself say yes. I felt myself tip the tablet into the back of my mouth. Take a drink of the water and swallow. It was done. The nurse told me I could wait around in the day room, or get some food, and go when I felt like it. I didn't have to tell them. So we went to the cafe.

That's when the tears started. I cried like there would be no tomorrow.

And for my baby, there wouldn't be. It was done, there was no going back. And I wanted to die right there. My boyfriend didn't know what to do. We got a taxi back to his halls. I threw up in his room. I cried for so long. I stared at the wall. I wished and prayed I could go back and spit out the tablet and run away. I threw up a lot that afternoon. And the next day. I spent the day feeling terrible. The night before I went back in for the second part of the abortion, I spent all night throwing up. I couldn't sleep. We packed my bag with comfy clothes and a washbag and left for the hospital. We got there at seven, and got shown to the ward and to my bed. They asked me to use the toilet and change into the comfy clothes. They took my blood pressure, pulse. The nurse came. She was lovely. All the nurses were. She was young and very kind. She told me what was going to happen. She asked if I wanted the suppository for the pain. I said no. Mostly I think, because I felt like I deserved the pain. She inserted the tablets, and told me I needed to stay laid in bed for an hour. Then I could walk around. In about forty minutes, the pain was terrible. I was throwing up so much, I was in agony. My stomach cramps were intense. The nurse came and told me they were going to give me an injection for nausea and pain. It was done into the bum, and I hate injections, but between the pain and sickness, I had it done. It was a bad injection. I'd like to say it worked in time. But within the next ten minutes I was in agony, and a gush of water and blood went all over the bed. My boyfriend helped me to the toilet and as I got there, put the bedpan on and sat down I felt another gush and something slide out of me. I knew. I knew and I knew I should not look. But I had to. I couldn't help it. **They'd warned me that it would look recognisable.** I had tried to prepare myself. But nothing can. Nothing. There was my baby. It looked like my baby. It's legs. It's arms. It's body. It's head. It was face down. I saw it had little tiny toes, all perfectly formed. It broke my heart. I slid to the floor just looking at it. Part of me wanted to reach out and turn it over. But I didn't. I picked myself up. My boyfriend looked but only briefly, and just to check. I pulled the cord, the nurse came and took it away. Took my baby from me. I went and laid in bed. The nurses, like I said, were so kind. They came and asked me if I'd seen and told me there would be a lot more tissue and the rest of the pregnancy to pass yet. I was still in a lot of pain. But I was numb. I asked my boyfriend to ring my mum and tell her. Not long after, I passed the rest of the tissue. It took awhile to disconnect from my body. Then I laid on my bed and waited for my mum. When she came she wasn't mad. She was upset for me. She looked after me. My boyfriend had to leave. I went to be examined for them to check everything had gone. They said it had. They told me about the check up. Then said I could go when I was ready. I got changed and my mum brought me home. She looked after me, and talked to me. She told me she loved me, and that I should have told her. Earlier, when we'd spoken, I'd told her I was ill, and she'd joked it sounded like I was pregnant. She told me she'd suspected, but was waiting for me to tell her. She said she would have helped me whatever I'd decided. If I'd wanted to keep it, she would have been there every step of the way, and helped me in every way she could. In the two days since I had it done, I've cried so much. I've wished and prayed that I could go back. That I could take back what I've done and have my baby. But I can't. It hurts so much. I don't know how to handle this. I have no idea how I will make it through. I just keep thinking what if? **What if I had fought for what I knew deep down I wanted.** To keep my baby. What if I'd just told my mum, known I had her support. I don't know how to get through this pain. It hurts. I wish I had made a different decision. Never do anything if you know inside that it isn't 100% what you want. I will never stop wishing I could go back. Don't make my mistake. The pain is too much. I love my baby. I always will. I will never forget this. I hope someday I will begin to heal, and begin to come to terms with it. For now, I'm just trying not to break completely.

Editor's Comment

It is so hard to be in a pressurised situation and make a stand for the voice inside telling you not to do it. Your head was telling you that this was not a good time, no money, no job, and your boyfriend was adament you should choose abortion. Inside your heart was longing to make another choice, but struggling to be heard. This is where the pain is now coming from. Your heart that you put a wall around to have the abortion is now crying out in pain.
I'm afraid there is no short cut to grieving your loss but I do believe you can heal. Allow yourself time to grieve, and talk to your mum when you need to.
There is post abortion support available, and I would recommend a programme called **The Journey** perhaps in a few months time when your emotions are less raw. Many women have found it very helpful and healing. You can call the national helpline, log on to Online advisor, or follow the link to find a centre for post abortion support in your area.
This story was sent in on 17/03/2013 and it's been viewed 511 times.

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