A surgical abortion under conscious sedation at Marie Stopes
I am 30 years old and just over three weeks ago found out I was pregnant with my boyfriend of a year. He was initially pleased while all I had was doubts. I already had three children and didn't think it was right for me or them.
It was a week or two before we finally could discuss things and by this time my boyfriend had realised the reality of going through with the pregnancy and the pressure it was bringing to us both.
My mind had been made up from the positive test. I saw my Dr on a Monday to tell them I wanted an abortion and was given a phone number to go home and ring to make an appointment. When I rang I was told I could wait 4 weeks and go to my local hospital or book something for the Saturday/Monday following and travel to a Marie Stopes clinic an hour away.
Pregnancy symptoms in full flow and being a single parent to three children made my mind up to go to Marie Stopes.
I booked for the surgical procedure with conscious sedation, as a general anaesthetic wasn't available on weekends, and booked it for Saturday.
The next morning I had a 30 min phone consultation which was just general medical background, previous pregnancies and what to expect of what was going to happen.
The night before I didn't really sleep very well as I was very nervous as to what to expect and the pain
My appointment was for the afternoon so I couldn't eat, drink, chew or smoke for six hours previous. We got to the clinic early which was a mistake as they were so busy I was told to come back, and because of not being able to eat/drink there wasn't much to do except sit in the car and wait.
When I went back to the clinic at appointment time the surgical procedures were running an hour late so I sat and waited in the very busy waiting room.
Eventually my name was called and I saw the first nurse for a scan (which you don't see) and a finger prick blood test and a few details about the pregnancy and future contraception use.
I was sent back out into the waiting room and was called back after about ten minutes. This time I was led upstairs and had a hospital ID bracelet fitted and had to sign a consent form and was talked through the risks and what to look out for afterwards.
I was then shown to a small room and told to undress from the waist down and put all belongings into a basket, put a sanitary towel onto my knickers and wrap a sheet around my waist. The door in front of me then opened where a nurse was waiting in the surgical procedure room. You take your knickers through with you.
I was introduced to all the staff and asked to confirm my DOB. A nurse helped me up onto the table and you put your knickers under your pillow. The anaesthetist put a needle in my arm and a nurse put a heart rate clip on my finger. Another nurse put a sheet over me from the waist down while another lifted the sarong sheet up around my waist.
All I remember after that is a funny smell and going to sleep.
Although it was conscious sedation I have no memory of anything until the nurses woke me up
I was then wheeled into a room with reclining chairs and given water, tea and biscuits while I woke up.
I went to the toilet to get dressed and when back in my seat was asked what blood loss I had and if I had managed to do a wee.
I was given antibiotics to take and a new supply of contraceptives as well as 'what to look out for now' information, signed another consent form and was allowed to leave.
I saw the first nurse at 2 pm and was out at 3.30 pm so it really wasn't very long. All the staff I encountered were nothing but friendly and calming.
I felt fine that afternoon and it's now the Monday after so only the second day and have only had some mild stomach cramps and have practically no bleeding.
Mentally I am fine and feel like a massive weight has been lifted but am aware some unexpected feelings may raise their heads. The saddest thing about it all is that my boyfriend hasn't been very supportive and spent the afternoon after the abortion asleep into the middle of the night so had to look after myself really when you do actually need to rest and realise you have been through a surgical procedure.
This story was sent in on 19/04/2011