After reading horror stories I want to give a truthful account of my medical abortion
After reading horror stories on the internet I want to give a truthful account of what I went through after deciding to proceed with a medical abortion.
I am 30 years old and I had a medical abortion through BPAS 3 days ago. I felt ashamed at finding myself accidentally pregnant after getting to the age of 30 without ever needing to take a pregnancy test as I've always been so careful.
Anyway, I found the staff at BPAS wonderful, non-judgemental and very caring. At my first appointment, I was scanned and the pregnancy was too early to detect so I was told I would need another scan at my next appointment.
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The nurses who carried out my initial consultation were very professional, they were efficient and didn't mess about.
The clinic was so busy that it felt a bit 'production line' with no time for pleasantries, but they got their job done quickly and I wasn't kept there any longer than necessary.
The Counsellor I saw first was also lovely.
2 weeks later at my next appointment (it was that long as I was unable to attend the appointments offered to me a week earlier), I saw a different Counsellor who checked I was still wanting to go through with the abortion.
A word of warning here, at my first appointment I'd been asked if I was happy for them to contact my Doctor, I was led to believe this was only in the case of a complication so was happy in that scenario for my Doctor to be told as I had self-referred for an NHS funded abortion. What it actually means is BPAS tick a box on their computer system and the admin staff then print off a 'discharge letter' which informs your Doctor you have been to BPAS. I didn't want this as a family friend works at my Doctors surgery, so I am glad I was asked the question again.
I was then handed over to the nurse and I swallowed the first tablet in front of her and was then allowed to leave.
I had no side effects at all from this first tablet. I thought I felt some cramps through the night but had all manner of pains throughout the pregnancy that I can't be sure it was the tablet.
The next day I returned at 1 pm to have the 4 tablets vaginally inserted.
Again the clinic was busy. I saw the nurse I'd seen for the first tablet. As I had a train journey home, she went through the other stuff first.
I was given a bag containing antibiotics, codeine, condoms and a pregnancy test. I was then shown to a toilet (embarrassingly, the one in the waiting room) where I inserted the tablets myself.
The race was then on to get myself home. I had a 20 minute walk from the clinic to the station, a 10 minute wait at the station, then a 25 minute train journey, followed by a 25 minute walk home at the other end.
The cramps started quickly, after half an hour. It felt like bad period pains. I took ibuprofen and paracetamol which had no effect.
On the train I could feel it intensifying so I took one codeine which seemed to dull it by the time I got to the other end.
Miraculously I got home before anything major happened.
Within 10 minutes of getting home the pain was like nothing I've ever felt
I can only imagine it feels like childbirth contractions. I took another codeine as per the instructions in the BPAS guide and that was my limit for tablets. They didn't even take the edge off.
I found my comfy position was laying on the cold bathroom floor (by this point I was sweating and shivering at the same time) with my feet against the door frame, pushing hard. I was on and off the toilet as I felt like I needed to go but I didn't have diarrhoea or sickness. I felt a little nauseous.
After about 45 minutes of intense pain, I passed what I presume was the pregnancy although I couldn't see anything but blood in the toilet (sorry to be graphic). After that, the pains eased and I was able to pull myself together.
For the rest of the day, I had pains at the level of bad period pain which eased as the night went on, although I had kept my level of painkiller intake as described earlier. I was exhausted and slept very well that night.
Yesterday I was in the kitchen and felt something move down and come out of me, I ran to the toilet and passed a large kidney-shaped blob which I am certain was the foetus. I'd had bad cramps beforehand too.
It is now 3 days since I had the abortion and I have had a constant level of bleeding which matches that of a heavy period along with cramping on and off which I am controlling with ibuprofen and paracetamol. I have not needed any more codeine.
Yesterday I went to a large open air pop concert where I was stood up for 7 hours and I can honestly say that I feel absolutely fine.
My morning sickness has gone and my breasts are returning to their normal size already and I'm starting to feel like 'me' again after 8 weeks of hell. I have my energy and zest for life back.
So far I have not had any emotional problems, although I think that may be because of the situation with the Father
It was never a possibility for me that I could keep the baby so I have not had any conflicting feelings. I don't mean to sound cold, but that is how I felt.
I just want to say that there is no need for anyone to be afraid of the process, BPAS in my experience, were wonderful and professional.
It does hurt physically but if you are realistic and expect to be in pain then you are better prepared.
As an after thought I should mention that I went through it completely alone, I told nobody I was pregnant apart from the Father (who didn't support me at all in anyway). A lot of the advice given states 'don't be alone when going through the actual abortion', but if like me you can't face telling your family or friends about your situation then I just wanted to reassure that I was completely fine on my own.
This story was sent in on 07/06/2011