I am 20 years old and had a medical abortion two and a half weeks ago.

I am 20 years old and had a medical abortion two and a half weeks ago. When I discovered I was pregnant, I was very unsure of what to do, I was in my final year at university, but did not feel emotionally or financially stable enough to begin a family. When I first saw the two "positive" lines on the pregnancy test, I went into a state of shock. I recall ringing one of my friends and laughing nervously down the phone,saying that the two tests I had taken must have been from a defective pack. However, when my boyfriend returned home and I did another pregnancy test, the reality sank in that I was pregnant. I was fortunate in that my boyfriend was extremely supportive of me, although he made it clear that he thought an abortion was the best route to go down, he knew that it was, ultimately, my decision. I went to the doctor and got the pregnancy confirmed and she presumed I was around five weeks pregnant. The last time when you are able to take the abortion pill (which is the method with the least amount of risks) is nine weeks, so I knew I had a bit of time to think. **The next week was like a blur, I spent a lot of it crying, writing, then rewriting "pros and cons" lists of adoption, abortion and keeping the baby.** I seemed to change my mind every single day, which was very tough on my boyfriend, as he had to helplessly watch me "make my final decision" every day, knowing there was little he could do. I visited a university counsellor, who suggested that I book myself in for an abortion (as time was beginning to run out), begin the process and then see how I felt. I went in for an initial visit, where a blood test was taken and an internal scan was done, which confirmed I was six weeks and one day pregnant. I was then booked in for the following week, I could have been booked in sooner, but I expressed my uncertainty and said I needed more time to think. The week before my next visit was strange, I felt like I was in a dream. My mothering instinct had kicked in and I felt I had to do all I could to protect the life growing inside of me. I knew a lot of this was just hormones, but knowing this didn't detract from how real it felt at the time. I was avoiding smokers, watching what I ate and felt nauseous all the time. I was beginning to feel pregnant. When the day of my second appointment rolled around (this one for the first of two pills), I cried most of the night before and the whole morning, I felt I could sense how empty I would feel after the first procedure was over. I sat with a nurse who asked if I was sure, I said I was and she handed me the pill. Inside I knew I was not sure. I lifted the pill to put it in my mouth, but decided I couldn't take it, so I was rebooked in for the following week, for the last day I could take it on.
After I left the hospital, the enormity of what I had just done began to sink in. On the bus home, I was sat opposite a crying baby and a stressed out looking mother. I then realised that I needed to get an abortion, I could not provide what a child needed and I had not lived my own life enough yet (as selfish as that may appear).
I am so glad I did leave the hospital on that first day, as up until that point I had not felt certain of what I wanted to do. I felt like I had wanted to keep the baby, because I didn't want to have an abortion, but I felt that was not an adequate enough reason to bring a life into the world.
When I went for my first pill the following week, I was far less emotional than I thought I would be and my appointment was only a few minutes long. I was then told to return in two days for the final two pills, which were to be inserted internally. I cried a few times in the days before the final procedure, but I was mostly nervous as I was not sure what to expect. The day before the second lot of pills, I stocked up on period-pain heat patches (a must!), ibuprofen, co-codamol, paracetamol, smoothies, homemade soup and bought a new hot water bottle.

When I returned for the second lot of pills, with my boyfriend and mum to drive me back to my boyfriend's house, I was mainly nervous about the pain afterwards, rather than thinking about the emotional side of the procedure. I tried to eat in the morning, as I was told that I might be unable to keep food down once the procedure had begun.
I was in my boyfriend's for around two hours before I started getting strong contraction like pains, these eventually got closer and closer together, until I felt like I was going to have a bowel movement and rushed to the toilet. I usually have a high pain threshold, but felt this pain was unbearable. I had stripped off all my clothes as I was sweating, but I was also shivering at the same time. I had some diarrhoea, but this did nothing to relieve the pain. My boyfriend then came and held my hand, I was nearly screaming in pain and I had begun to cry from the pain (something I have not done since I was little).
The pain would stop for a couple of seconds and I honestly felt like it was over and I would feel so relieved, but then my stomach would tighten again. Then, I felt an unusual sensation in my vagina, and heard a “plop” in the toilet. I had not expected the sensation, which I can only describe as similar to having a golf-ball sized tampon fall out (this was the first clot to come out). At this point I was very scared, although I'm not entirely sure what of, I just felt like I was in pain and I didn't like the sensation of what was happening. A minute after the first “plop” came another one. After this (the severe pain had lasted around an hour), I decided to go and lie down in bed and took some (maybe a few too many) cocodamol and put a nature documentary on.
I was still bleeding very heavily at this point ( almost as though I were weeing blood), but I was exhausted and managed to doze in and out of consciousness. I was not aware of some of the advice I have now read, which suggests not lying down during the procedure, so I probably elongated the process quite a lot for myself. When I had came around a little more, I managed to have a little soup and spent the rest of the day in bed, still getting very sharp pains that would make me cry out every ten minutes or so.
I woke up about 3am that night with a very sharp pain that felt like a bowel movement, I rushed to the toilet and was scared when I saw more clots were coming out. I screamed for my boyfriend, who came and held my hand until it was over (in around ten minutes). I still felt that the procedure was “not complete” and I could barely walk I was in so much pain.
Two days later, after the bleeding had slowed down, my mum was taking me to her house (all I could do during this time was lie on a couch in my mum's all day, then go to my boyfriend's and lie in bed at night) when the pains began again and I had another hour or so of contractions which finished after some more clots had passed. Three days after this, I could walk slightly better, although not very quickly, when I was working on an art project in the city centre, when I felt that “bowel movement” pain again, I was only in the toilet for about five minutes, but was very shaken up as I had assumed it had already passed. After this final time, I have had no more clots and I am getting better, I still get the occasional pain when I walk, but apart from that it's ok.
I took the second lot of pills on a Monday and the procedure did not finish until the following Sunday, so it all took a lot longer than I had expected, which I was not warned about. Also, I chose this method as I thought then I would understand what was going on and it would be easier for me to accept I was having an abortion (rather than just having anaesthetic when pregnant, then waking up from surgery not pregnant ). However, I found I was in so much physical pain that I could not deal with the emotional side of it.

Now (a week later) although I have somewhat lost my appetite and am having trouble sleeping, I feel fairly at peace with my decision. I know I did the right thing, but I still have flashback dreams where the procedure is still happening. I am going to see a counsellor in a couple of days and I am looking forward to expressing my feelings in a non-judgemental, confidential environment. My boyfriend and I have decided to get matching rings with the date our baby would have been born on, to show that we did not make our decision without any thought and although we got the baby aborted, it will always be in our hearts.

Editor's Comment

It sounds as though this was a difficult decision for you, and it took a lot of heart searching to come to the decision you felt was right. The process certainly seemed longer than usual as the information usually given is that the process will be complete after 4-6 hours, with period type bleeding for about 7 days following. I think it is good that you are going to see a counsellor for post abortion support as this will help you to process your feelings rather than keeping them locked up. for post abortion support.
This story was sent in on 10/04/2014 and it's been viewed 70 times.

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