I found out I was pregnant about a week and a half ago, after I fainted for no reason and had to visit the doctor who suggested that I do a pregnancy test. I had taken the morning after pill, and seeing as it can usually make periods slightly earlier or later, I wasn't particularly concerned that my period was slightly overdue. During this month too, I had fractured my foot and was in a cast for three weeks, which preoccupied me and led me to not monitor my periods properly; something that I am definitely going to make sure that I take care of in the future. I made an emergency appointment at the doctor's immediately. She was lovely and not at all judgemental. She explained that I would either have a 'medical' termination (the pill and a pessary) or a 'surgical' one (the being put to sleep and a little vacuum thingy), depending on how far gone I was. I got referred immediately to an appointment at the hospital for the following week. I think I should probably point out that I was terrified. I consider myself to be quite careful when it comes to contraception, though I do occasionally make mistakes. I have never been in this situation before and I am 22 with a full time job and as of recently, I had a boyfriend too. Even though we had recently split up, my ex and I were still regularly sleeping together and I thought we both did care for each other. I told my best friend and housemate, who was fantastic and immediately supportive. I also told my Mum and my ex. My Mum doesn't live with me, though she told me she'd been through the same thing and has been completely supportive throughout. My ex, however, hasn't really spoken to me since I told him. He completely agreed with my decision, however has been totally unconcerned with my well being, and hasn't, as of yet, asked me how anything went. This, more than anything else, has left me feeling hurt and angry. However, I have really come to appreciate my friends and family, and how important it is to allow others to care for you a little bit in times of vulnerability. I want to say that my reasons for having an abortion were simply because I was not in a loving and committed relationship at the time that I fell pregnant. Whilst I know that there are perfectly happy families that are broken up, mine is definitely not one of them. My Dad was erratic and angry a lot of the time when I was younger and I never felt safe and always felt scared around him. I never want to bring a child into the world feeling like I did when I was little. I have always thought that feeling safe, looked after and secure is the most important thing that a parent can offer. Anyway, I went to my hospital appointment only yesterday, where I spoke with a lovely lady doctor. She again explained both procedures to me concisely and carefully. I was then examined (basically the same thing as when you go for an std test) and then she did a scan to determine whether the medical or surgical abortion would be the most suitable. It turned out I was 6-7 weeks pregnant and so was eligible for either. I chose the medical abortion as I'm (irrationally) scared of being put to sleep. She explained that the procedure that I chose would be the more painful of the two and that there was a 1% chance that it would not be effective in terminating the pregnancy. I had to sign and date a form (though this doesn't mean that you HAVE to go through with the termination) and was led into another room to see a nurse who took a sample of my blood to determine my blood type. Some women have a particular blood type that can lead to problems in future pregnancies. I am B-, so had to have an injection in my bum to prevent any future babies coming to any harm. The nurse also gave me the first pill (mifepristone) which apparently blocks the hormone that makes the lining of the womb suitable for the egg. I was told to go home and eat and rest and had to be back in the hospital six hours later for the second dose, which would be administered vaginally. I think some women go back 2-3 days later after taking the first pill, though it varies region to region, and me being in the north-west meant I could go home straight after the second procedure. When I came back to the hospital I was put on an out-patients ward and had to take my jeans and pants off and wait for the nurse to administer the second dose (prostaglandin). She was the same nurse that had taken my blood that morning, and was really kind and gentle. The whole thing (including the 'anti-D' injection, because of my blood type) was over within a minute. I had to lie down for 15 minutes on the ward, and then was allowed to go straight back home. Around three hours after this I started to bleed, though it wasn't a large amount, but it steadily increased for about an hour. It started off as cramping and then seemed to increase really quickly into quite painful 'contractions', which were, to be honest, agonising, but manageable. I was sick about 3-4 times, felt very cold and shivery and had to keep running to the toilet to either poo, wee, pass blood or to be sick. It was pretty grim, but my friend was there for me the whole time and was very caring. All in all, the horrible part, for me, lasted about two hours. I took a lot of ibuprofen and had a hot water bottle that really did help. I am confused when people say that they can 'see' the foetus or embryo or whatever, cause at around the stage I was at, it was about the size of a lentil or a pea. There was quite a bit of clotting and some stringy blood that came out and there was a larger bleed later on, that left me feeling 'empty', which I think was all of the pregnancy tissue coming out. This was only yesterday and today I feel much, much better. I am relieved and know I did the right thing. Right now I feel like I am on my period, though it is slightly heavier than usual. I am so grateful to my friends and my mum for being there for me and all I can say is THANK GOD FOR THE NHS. The nurses and doctors were so kind and sensitive and made sure to explain the risks (though abortion is actually less risky than pregnancy or childbirth) and were very lucid in telling me what was going to happen, which was important to me, as I was completely clueless. I was very worried leading up to it, but actually it was not at all as bad or as depressing as I had imagined. I really hope that anybody going through a similar experience has people to care for them and feels secure and safe. That is the most important thing.
This story was sent in on 23/08/2014 and it's been viewed 340 times.