A year to the day since my medical abortion at 12 weeks

Today being a year to the day since my medical abortion at 12 weeks has spurred me on to share my story, both for my own benefit to clear my head and to help anyone who has been through, or is about to go through the same thing. I believe sharing my story will help me to leave my experience behind, but more importantly, helping others to make the most difficult decision of their life.
I found out I was pregnant when I was 19 years old and just 4 weeks gone; the lethargic, nauseous feeling was alien, but the test only confirmed what I already knew. It was very early on in my relationship and although shocked at first, we decided we could get through the situation and plan for the future.

Reason enough to seek an abortion

As the weeks went by I began to feel more and more lethargic, depressed and unlike my normal self which didn't go well with my busy job as a Veterinary Nurse! I found my relationship was strained because of my hormonal state and decided that a mixture of relationship troubles, love for my career and avoiding family disappointment were reason enough to seek an abortion. My mum was a wreck when she found out I was pregnant and my primary reason for terminating was to save our relationship as we have always been so close- a reason I would later regret.

The Procedure

On the morning of the procedure, after taking the oral tablet 2 days previous, I was shown to my hospital room and changed into my pyjamas. I was examined by a nurse who inserted the prostaglandin and was given ibuprofen for any cramps. 3 hours went by and nothing, so I decided to walk to the hospital shop and buy a newspaper; only when I got back to my room I began vomiting, feeling dizzy and had diarrhoea. The nurse gave me cardboard bed pans to use every time I went to the loo as they had to inspect everything I passed, this was very embarrassing as you can imagine.
I felt alone and isolated- although the nurses tended to my physical needs my intense fear remained. A short while after I was doubled over in pain so intense I can only imagine it was similar to being in labour. I begged for more pain relief and was given gas and air which after some serious wack offered a small amount of relief. After an hour or so I went to the bathroom and felt the urge to push, and my pregnancy ended.

What I saw will stay with me

I chose to look at what I'd passed....some choose not to but curiosity, emotional pain and gas-and-air-induced stupour forced me to. What I saw will stay with me forever; an amazingly human-like foetus about the size of a thumb with perfect hands, feet and face. I was told it would be sent for cremation, offered counselling which I naively refused and was sent home.
The next week was a whirlwind of work and getting back to a normal life without, might I add, the company of my ex-boyfriend. A year on I remain unsure if I did the right thing; 90% of me believes I never would've coped or had the life I have now with a baby and 10% of me screams inside when I see a pregnant woman or anyone mentions anything of the sort. I do, however remain pro-abortion and believe the option should be available to women around the world. My advice to anyone considering abortion is do what YOU feel deep down (it is YOU who will suffer most from an unwanted baby/abortion. Do it ASAP- the longer you leave it, the more unnecessary doubts and physical pain; and be positive about the future and all the things you will be able to do and places to see that may not have been possible.

Editor's Comment

Thinking through your experience can really help to work through unresolved emotions, and it sounds as though your experience is still very vivid in your mind.
You were able to rationalise your reasons for having an abortion, and you can still see the benefits of not being restricted by a baby. However your heart is giving you a different message from your head, and this comes to the surface when you are faced with pregnancy or babies again. Seeing your baby after the abortion made it very real, and harder to brush aside as a procedure that you went through. It sounds as though you have never really been able to process all of this and perhaps allowed the busyness of life to block out your inner feelings. If you would like some help and support to work through your experience, there are trained advisors on the helpline 0300 4000 999, or you can follow the link tofind a centre for post abortion support in your area.

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