I hope my 8-9 weeks medical abortion experience helps anyone in a similar situation
When I discovered I was pregnant, I was so sure that I wasn't ready for it. I've just turned 21 years old, I'm going back to college, just recently quit my job for full-time education and so still living with my parents as money is a major issue. So there was only one answer for me, a termination.
For two weeks I was getting these really strange abdominal pains and feeling very sick every morning, three weeks passed and my breasts started to feel really heavy and tender and my lower back was starting to ache.
The next week came and I counted that my period was a week late. I knew I was pregnant but I took 2 home tests anyway, both were positive. I knew I couldn't keep it, the timing was horrible, but I didn't know how to go about a termination.
I tried looking on the internet and couldn't find any help and started to panic, I was convinced I was going to have to have the baby.
Luckily I told a friend who knew just what to do and she took me to my local clinic who set up an appointment with my nearest NHS hospital.
As the weeks went on, I got more and more symptoms. I was exhausted all the time so had to have two or more naps a day. My sense of smell was completely altered, things I used to find repulsive suddenly smelled divine and things I loved made me feel ill. The sickness had extended from morning to morning, noon and night. And finally the food cravings set in, all I wanted was meat, I couldn't get enough of it.
A medical Abortion
The first appointment I had was to have a few tests. The nurse took my blood pressure and spoke to me to make sure that a termination was really what I wanted and I was still sure of it. Then I had a scan to determine how far along in the pregnancy I was, I was 8-9 weeks and the doctor suggested I have a medical termination.
Another nurse then took a blood sample and gave me my next two appointments. My first was on the Wednesday. It was pretty straightforward. I was called to the nurse's office and took a tablet with a glass of water, then I was asked to stay for an hour before they let me home.
I felt fine for the rest of that day, aside from my normal pregnancy symptoms. The next day I had some mild stomach pains, but nothing serious.
I got really unbearable cramps
The Friday I arrived at the hospital at 9 am. I was asked to bring pyjamas so I would be comfortable. I was called through to my private room which had my own bathroom and TV. My boyfriend was with me the whole time and they had no problem with it.
The nurse came in and inserted 4 small tablets into my womb, which sounds pretty horrible but was nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be. She also inserted 2 antibiotics into my bum which was rather uncomfortable, to be honest, but nothing unbearable. I was asked to lay in bed for an hour, then after that to wear sanitary pads and to walk around as much as possible to get things moving.
An hour later I got some really unbearable cramps, I don't mean to scare anyone reading, most people say they have cramps but nothing too bad. I usually have really heavy, painful periods which is most likely why I suffered from the crippling cramps. I couldn't move they got so bad I was almost screaming, I called on the nurse who gave me painkillers and I felt fine soon after.
The nurse came back to insert a further 2 tablets into the cervix and things finally got moving. I was walking around when I suddenly had to run to the toilet as I felt like I was weeing myself. It was just the blood starting to pass and after that, I had to run to the bathroom frequently where I was passing a lot of clots.
The image of my baby lying there
The fourth time I went, I felt a rather large clot pass and it made a sort of thump sound in the bedpan, I knew it was the baby and although I was advised not to look I felt like I really had to. To anyone reading this they advise it for a reason, it wasn't a pretty sight. At that moment though I still felt I was doing the right thing.
I called the nurse and she took the pan away then an hour later I had to force the placenta out which is rather large and I had to give a proper push to pass it.
The nurse came back and gave me some antibiotics and took my blood pressure and temperature to make sure I was fit to go home. Later that day I felt really sick and still had some painful cramps but it was nothing I couldn't handle.
The next day, however, my hormones got the better of me and I broke down. The image of my baby lying there lifeless in that pan was embedded in my head and I could see it every time I closed my eyes. I cried to a point where there were no more tears and nothing my boyfriend said could make me feel any better. I felt guilty, I felt I had killed my baby.
Feeling of guilt and loss
I eventually calmed down but the feeling of guilt was still with me. Later that evening I had some pains in my stomach and back but again, nothing I couldn't handle.
The next day I spoke with my boyfriend about my feelings the previous day and I knew that I had done the right thing for us but I still had a feeling of loss and he felt the same. We weren't ready but no matter how sure we were of it we couldn't help feeling the loss of our child.
Two weeks have passed now, I'm still having some slight bleeding but it's pretty much gone and all the pregnancy symptoms are long gone.
I wanted to tell my experience as I couldn't find the help I needed when I needed it in the beginning and I hope that this will help anyone in a similar situation as I was.
This story was sent in on 02/06/2010