Yesterday I had an abortion at 9 weeks at BPAS and want to give my honest experience so others can be prepared
When I found out I was pregnant I was totally shocked and quite upset that I had got myself in this situation. I was scared about the abortion procedure, being too far gone and also about telling my boyfriend.
I phoned a friend straight away who was amazingly supportive and instantly this made me feel so much better knowing I'd shared my problem and had support if I needed it.
I would recommend to tell as many people as you can as I definitely have found that the more people you tell, the more people you can talk to about it, the more people who can reassure you or give you advice and the fewer people you have to hide it from.
So after visiting my GP for advice on the next step, I had a consultation with my local BPAS clinic (Wistons in Brighton). The clinic was clean and the staff were all very friendly and caring, I definitely have no complaints with the clinic.
The consultation involved a medical check where my blood was tested, blood preassure taken and I was given an ultrasound scan to find out the gestation of the pregnancy.
I had decided before the consultation that I wanted to see the picture of the scan (out of pure curiosity really). However, I was not asked if I wanted to see the scan and after the scan I didn't regret not asking to see it.
My blood type was rhesus negative which meant I would need an anti-D injection before I had the abortion, the reasons for this were explained to me clearly and was not a problem.
I then spoke to a counsellor about my options
This lady was so supportive and completely respected my wishes. I was terrified at the idea of having a surgical procedure and had my heart set on having the medical procedure as it sounded more natural and less invasive on my body.
The counsellor explained to me (much to my horror) that as I was 8 weeks and 6 days pregnant she strongly advised against the medical procedure as it was extremely painful at this stage and there can be alot of blood. She also told me that as it was their policy to only do medical procedures before 9 weeks and 3 days because of the pain and so I would have to start the procedure the following day.
The wistons clinic were not open the following day so I had to go to a different clinic in London which was annoying to have to travel to but I was accepting as I knew the importance of having the medical procedure done as quickly as possible.
Again the BPAS clinic in Richmond was clean and had a friendly and calm atmosphere. At this appointment I was to take the first pill which would basically end the pregnancy by making my womb in-hospitable for a foetus to grow.
I went in to see the nurse who although was very friendly was quite shocked that I'd decided to go ahead with the medical procedure at 9 weeks.
She really tried very hard to pursuade me to change my mind and go ahead with the surgical procedure
At the time I felt she was being a little dis-respectful to my feelings but actually having gone through it I now feel she was acting completely in my best interests.
However, as I was adamant with going through with the medical procedure I took the first pil along with an anti-sickness pill and had the anti-d injection.
I left the clinic feeling fine, went for a birthday lunch with my family and had no problems apart from a little brownish bleeding.
I also went to work the next day and nothing happened although I probably wouldnt recommend this as I felt quite anxious my whole shift about something happening.
Then, yesterday I went back to the Brighton clinic for the second stage of the medical procedure. I was seen by a different nurse who was again, incredibly friendly. She gave me 4 tablets to insert into my vagina as high up as possible. I did this in the toilet with no problems.
The nurse then gave me codeine tablets for the pain along with antibiotics to start taking the next day, condoms and a pregnancy test.
Luckily my boyfriend picked me up and drove me straight home as within about half an hour the pain had begun. I took codeine, ibuprofen and paracetemol straiht away but the pain was so immense.
I became extremely hot and had to take off all my clothes and lay on the bed in absolute agony
I then threw up after having a sip of water and had quite bad diarrhoea.
I think the pain relief then began to kick in as my temp dropped and I could lay relatively still.
I had a hot water bottle constantly on my stomach and took more codeine, paracetemol and ibuprofen than I think I should've but still the pain was unbearable. I actually remember asking my boyfriend to help me kill myself as the pain was too much.
This excruciating pain carried on from 1pm until about 8pm
During this time I think the most frustrating thing was that I had hardly any bleeding and no clots came out at all. This made me think that I was no way near through with the pregnancy and so gave me a feeling that it would never end.
However at around 8pm I fell asleep for around 20 mins, I awoke to a strange sort of popping feeling in my lower abdomen. I went to the toilet and pushed out a blob of clot/tissue about the size of a tennis ball. The pain had mostly gone by now but the clot.tissue wouldn't come out all the way and so I had to use some tissue to gently pull it out.
I tried to have a look to see if it was the foetus but couldn't really tell as it was all quite mucky.
After this the pain completely subsided apart from an ache in my lower back.
I slept well last night and have woken up feeling fairly fresh. My stomach muscles are quite achey and am having the occassional sharp pain in my stomach.
At the moment I don't really have any emotion towards the whole process I think the pain was so traumatising it took the focus away from the actual process of killing the fetus and aborting it.
I think if I were to give advice to someone going through this situation at 9 weeks I would suggest trusting the nurses advice as they are the experts and are most likely acting in your best interests.
I think I should've had the surgical procedure as although I feel fine now the pain I went through yesterday was excrutiating and nothing like I expected
I also have never had very heavy periods in the past (which apparently can mean you have a more painful medical procedure).
I think anyone about to make the choice between the medical and surgical procedure really needs to think carefully about the pain involved with medical procedures as it is worse than I ever could've imagined.
This story was sent in on 21/03/2011