Going through a medical abortion alone
I wanted to share my story of going through a medical abortion alone.
Having discovered I was pregnant, I told my partner who was incredibly supportive. We talked for days about all kinds of outcomes/options, but in the end, we decided not to continue with the pregnancy. Neither of us felt emotionally, practically or financially ready to give a child a good life.
I chose a medical abortion as I was very early on in my pregnancy (just under 6 weeks)
I didn't feel pregnant (morning sickness etc.) and I definitely didn't want to wait any longer to have the procedure done. I also felt more in control of the situation having a medical abortion (i.e. no operation).
I attended Marie Stopes, and cannot speak highly enough of the service I received there. Every member of staff from the receptionist through to the doctors were so friendly, welcoming, non-judgemental and professional. They made me feel so much better.
They make sure to give you all the information and check with you that you are sure of your decision. However, if you want someone to empathise with you, or emotionally help you with your decision... that's not their job. There is a counselling service for that.
I felt as if I was undergoing a medical procedure and that's how I felt they saw it as well... that worked well for me personally.
I had to go through the abortion alone
My partner was on the other side of the world with work. I honestly didn't feel comfortable telling family or friends, partly for fear of judgement and partly because I always prefer to be alone when I'm sick. I don't like people fussing over me; I wanted to do it myself.
I went for my first appointment for the first tablet at 9:30 am and felt nothing all day. I returned for my second appointment at 4 pm and inserted the pills into my gums for ½ hour, and then swallowed them with water.
Almost immediately (20 mins after) I felt shivery and cold, almost like the flu. I also experienced some diarrhoea. However, I didn't feel any cramps until 2½ hours after taking the pills.
The cramps were like bad period pains
However, I took Nurofen and had a hot water bottle, and was able to manage. I went to the toilet a few times and began to see traces of blood. After 4 hours, I went to the toilet and felt a gush. At this point, blood was dripping constantly out of me, much quicker than a period, as well as some medium-sized blood clots. They felt strange to pass.
I then, after 20 minutes or so, felt something more substantial slide out and almost involuntarily gave a little push. I heard the inevitable "plop". I couldn't bring myself to look down, but I knew what it was. I passed a few more clots.
To be honest, I passed only a small amount of blood and clots, and they were all when I was sitting on the toilet, not into a pad. I continued to bleed, but the bad cramps subsided after passing the pregnancy. I slept well that night.
This morning, I feel fine. Relieved. No cramps, the odd twinge of pain, and some spotting. Physically, I feel lucky to be in the group of women who have a manageable experience. Just to let women know... it can happen.
I experienced mild-moderate bleeding, clots and moderate period cramping... only slightly worse than I would experience during a period. It is not necessarily going to be a bloodbath, and not necessarily going to be incredibly painful.
I realise this is the case for some women, but you should go into it expecting the worst, but hoping for the best. I managed to scare myself half to death before. I wish I'd had a more balanced expectation.
Emotionally, I feel slightly numb, as if it hasn't happened. I felt supported by my partner, who called me every 30 mins throughout the day and evening, however, I know I'll cry when I see him tomorrow. I don't think I'd recommend doing it alone unless it's unavoidable, however, I just wanted to say that I survived it... in case somebody is reading this and knows they'll have to go through it alone.
I am 100% positive I made the right decision, and now am looking forward to moving on. I know I won't forget this whole ordeal, and will often think "what if". However, I never want to put myself in that position again.
This story was sent in on 14/11/2010