A medical abortion after suffering with hyperemesis gravidarum
By anonymous on 10/01/2011In the summer of 2010 I got together with a young man I had known as a friend for several years. I considered him a close and solid friend and was thrilled when it seemed he had been feeling the same way too.
A long term relationship had ended for me in December 2009 and this person had been there through the break-up and although I wasn't looking for a relationship because I felt secure with him and trusted that his feelings were genuine and that we had compatibility I decided to say something.
We spent a very magical summer together and did talk about the fact of our age difference on several occasions - he was 28 and I am 38. In fact, it was his mother who pointed out that I may be thinking about having children and that this could be a factor in our relationship.
We didn't use any protection the first time we slept together and then talked about this and about the possibility of pregnancy. I hadn't known until this point how I felt about having children and suddenly everything seemed clear.
I was in love and I wanted to have a child with himBeing with him inspired these feelings. I remember then a dreamy conversation in the garden on summer's day where we both agreed that if I were to become pregnant it would be OK and even though he wanted to go off travelling and we couldn't be sure about our relationship I felt, too, that whatever happened in the relationship there would always at least be a solid friendship and, although not conventional, it would be OK and wonderful in its own way.
I think I also felt at 38 that it would be unlikely that I would get pregnant... but I did, within 6 weeks... and I was excited... And at first, he was supportive and positive and then a few days later his mood changed and he said some very damaging things to me like 'secretly I hope you'll miscarry' 'I feel like a condemned man' - he seemed to be thinking only about himself.
It became clear that he wasn't in a position to give me any emotional supportI turned then to my friends, a close circle of friends.
I spoke first to a lesbian woman who I knew had made a decision to be a single parent and then to other friends. At this point in time I wanted to have the baby and felt very determined I would have the baby on my own - I started taking practical steps to plan for the baby's arrival.
I started to think about how I was going to afford to have the baby. I started to make plans to sell my house and downsize to free up money and to rent one room. I also started research birthing options online and I contact the local home birth group and prenatal birth classes too. Also, I bought Prenatal vitamins in the health shop - all these things I did because I wanted the baby. I had had a termination before at the age of 24 and had struggled with the aftermath and this time, this time I wanted to do something different - to take a different path. And so, I felt strong and clear and determined about my decision and capable and then I began to get very sick. At first the normal symptoms of Morning Sickness and then a 24/7 nausea which incapacitated me and I could no longer cope with day to day tasks.
I tried at this point, again, to ask for support, practical support, from the baby's father and I remember he came to visit me once when I tried to talk (because I believed that the situation deserved some gravitas and the little life respect and I didn't want him to say to me in the future that I didn't give him an opportunity to say what he wanted to say) and then on the second occasion lamely let me down. He later said (in e-mails) that he hadn't believed I was sick and had thought I was manipulating him.
I made an appointment with the doctor who diagnosed me with Hyperemesis GravidarumHe was very concerned about me and I went to stay with a friend. That weekend I went into hospital, to a gynaecological ward and it was a relief. I was severely dehydrated and starving - it had reached a point with the sickness where I couldn't even keep water down and my throat hurt from constant retching. I had never been so sick before and I felt like I was dying. Reluctantly the baby's father drove me into hospital and then when the doctor came to speak to me and he looked so uncomfortable I said to him 'why don't you go'.
I regret letting him off 'lightly', I wonder sometimes how it would have been if he had stayed, if he had heard the doctor's questions and seen me hooked up to a drip and have a cannula fitted and then painful injections. Also, I had a scan within the first 1/2 hour of arriving in hospital and I saw what looked like a little seed inside a kidney bean on a screen... But I was too sick to take in what was happening to me and I don't believe I processed what was going on.
I spent 5 days in hospital, 3 days nil by mouth on a drip and 2 days beginning to eat and I left hospital in a taxi with a bag full of antimetics and other medicines. The sickness didn't abate when I got home, I struggled to think clearly, my body was very weak, the baby's father's rejection of me and the baby and the sickness contributed to me feeling completely disenchanted with life and at breaking point and I did not see how it was going to be possible to have the baby.
At times I had suicidal fantasies.Why if I were growing a new human being did I feel like I was dying? And why couldn't the father, who I had thought of as a solid friend no matter what, why could he not even show both myself and this little being not even a basic human respect? I felt very alone and exhausted and depressed and could not see where 24/7 support through the disease was going to come from or how I could afford to have the baby.
I did think about talking to my parents and contemplated living with them but at the time my mind was so clouded with nausea that the thought just utterly depressed me and I couldn't see how i could do it and stay sane.
I don't really know what happened then. I don't remember all the details.
I just know that I was desperate, desperate to escape from the tunnelThe unrelenting nausea and to feel well again, vibrant again. I arranged to have a medical termination. I went to a Marie Stopes clinic.
On my first visit I had a 20 minute counselling session - this is not long enough I don't think and I was conscious that I was abbreviating my feelings and circumstances and that I was pushed for time. I do remember the counsellor asking me 'have you felt excited at any point about this pregnancy?' and I remember that I said 'no' - this shocked me when I realised I had said 'no' because this wasn't true, I had felt excited and thrilled but had forgotten all of these feelings in the grip of the nausea.
Having HG is like having 24/7 food poisoning, it doesn't relent, and ginger and wrist bands and all number or treatments usually suggested to alleviate sickness don't work - it does usually require more invasive medication. I threw up afterwards.
A week later I returned to take tablets, 2 in the morning and 2 later that day. Just before I went into the clinic I threw up and again when I got home I threw up.
I just wish that I had had more information about Hyperemesis GravidarumThe people in the clinic were not aware of the battle some women experience who have Hyperemesis Gravidarum... I don't think the people in the clinic knew I had been in hospital... I would have needed intensive support to continue with this pregnancy.
I may have needed to go and live with my parents as the only option and I didn't feel I could do that.