Stories of medical termination on the net were anything but reassuring
I want to share my story of medical abortion.
When I was considering abortion, the stories of medical termination I could find on the net were anything but reassuring. I wanted a step by step, truthful experience but couldn't find one
The posts were confused and rambling and they painted a picture of a hideously painful experience, with many posts saying it was as bad as labour. My experience was nothing like that. Here it is, and I promise it's 100 per cent honest.
I found out early at almost 6 weeks
I found out I was pregnant early on, I was almost six weeks. I am married and a mother of two. My husband and I do not want any more children, and I felt so stupid to have fallen pregnant.
It was entirely our fault; we should have used contraception and did not. We both knew that we didn't want to continue with the pregnancy.
I telephoned Marie Stopes on their confidential 24 hour number, which I got from their website. I told them I was considering termination and they took all my details.
The lady I spoke to was kind, considerate and helpful. She explained the options (medical or surgical abortion) and told me where my nearest centre was. She booked me a telephone consultation with a nurse a few days later.
I told her that we could not afford to pay for an abortion (the charge is £500+). It took her a few seconds to look up my GP's surgery and find out that she was able to book me in as an NHS patient, meaning I had to pay nothing. This was possible even though I did not want to see my GP to get referred, and did not want the clinic to send my notes to my GP afterwards. Still my GP does not know that I have had an abortion.
She explained exactly what happens with a medical abortion
A Marie Stopes nurse telephoned me back, on my mobile, at the exact time they had said she would, a few days later at lunchtime. I took the call sitting in my car outside my work.
The call took about 20 minutes and she explained exactly what happens with a medical abortion - I was pretty sure from reading online that that was what I wanted.
She gave me detailed info on what to do on the day of the abortion itself, and on my aftercare. She stressed that she was available anytime on the 24 hour number if I was worried at any time.
The first appointment
I had my abortion on a Saturday. My first appointment was at 8.15 a.m. My husband drove me to the clinic. I was there for about an hour and a half at this first appointment. All the staff were lovely.
The waiting room was jam packed and I found it a little intimidating, I was glad I had taken a book and I could bury my nose in it.
I had a scan to confirm the pregnancy. They couldn't see the yolk sac so I had to have an internal scan, which involves a probe being put up inside your vagina. It wasn't painful or uncomfortable.
I had to give a urine sample for a chlamydia test, and a finger prick to check my haemoglobin levels.
After that, I saw a nurse who gave me the first tablet I had to take. You swallow it with water.
I went straight home, did some cleaning, made lunch for the kids and did their homework with them.
I had no side effects from this first tablet at all.
The second appointment
I returned to the clinic at 4 p.m.
Within five minutes I was taken in to the same nurse I had seen in the morning. She checked I was feeling ok, gave me an Anti-D injection (because my blood type is A negative, this is not necessary if you have any other blood type). Then she gave me some antibiotics to take the next day, and a 3 month supply of the contraceptive pill.
Then she gave me the four tablets which would cause the abortion. I had to put these between my gums and my cheeks and wait 30 minutes for them to dissolve, but I left the clinic right away and they dissolved on the way home.
Back at home I had a drink of water and lay down in bed with my book. I didn't know what to expect.
A couple of hours later, nothing much had happened. I felt as though my period might be coming, but didn't have any pains.
I got up and had dinner with my husband and children at about 6 o'clock. Immediately after dinner I started experiencing 'period pains'. Nothing too bad, but I felt I wanted to sit on the loo. The pains came in little waves but after ten minutes I felt fine to go downstairs and watch Saturday evening tv with the kids. I watched tv for the next two hours.
During this time the pains became regular and more painful, but they honestly weren't too bad. My children didn't notice I was in pain. At about 8.30 I felt the most significant pain.
I realised my waters had broken
I can't explain how, but I knew I had to go to the loo. I went and sat down, I thought I was having a wee at first but then I realised it was my waters breaking, and then there was a plop in the water below and I knew that the pregnancy had passed. Honestly, you just know.
Almost immediately the pain subsided, although the cramps did keep coming for another hour or so. I felt exhausted, and relieved. I bled fairly heavily for the next day or two, but it was easily contained by Always Ultra night pads.
I slept well that night and the next day I was well enough to go out and about as usual all day long. On the Monday I returned to work.
My husband is going to have a long overdue vasectomy, and I hope that I never have to have another abortion.
But the experience I had of medical termination was not awful at all. It wasn't a great way to spend a weekend, and I feel sympathy for anyone else going through it. But I don't think you should be unduly scared, if you are early in pregnancy and in good health.
Best of luck to anyone else going through this.
This story was sent in on 25/05/2010