Abortion is an ugly word isn't it?
I have always had a plan for my life. I wasn't meant to be a mum without a dad in the picture. I took every precaution to make this so. Morning after pills, condoms, the pill. I was a walking example of how to manage my active sex life.
Then one day, two pink stripes.Two ugly pink stripes! I wasn't scared or worried I knew what my plan was. I told my mum I made an appointment with my GP, it was organised and very grown up. I cried a little but I wasn't scared. I felt annoyed I had slipped up but I was not devastated. I had options, I also had a wonderful Mother, an amazing lady who showed no shame or anger, just a smiling face I always knew.
The doctor was surprisingly cool about my situation he helped me work out the dates of my mishap and asked me if I wanted to proceed with my pregnancy. We discussed my personal life, my plans, my future and he signed the form agreeing to the termination of my pregnancy. I was given an appointment for the hospital for the following week and caringly reassured and sent home.
The long wait, I researched everything.I read this website until the words fell off the screen. I told my mum all about it from start to finish. I was fUlly prepared for what was about to happen. I wanted to know how big and what my pregnancy would look like in my belly. I am not sick or creepy I manage better with information in my head. I youtubed videos and read books until the thursday came of my scan.
I am 27 so was not surprised the clinic was full of young girls dealing with their situations with the support of giggling friends all as nervous as them. Some girls alone, I would not advise anyone do this alone. You need someone to laugh with, to cry with..to talk through it with.
Into the scan room alone, quiet and formal cold jelly pressing on your full bladder, need a pee, need to know how old it was, praying I had made a mistake and my dreaded pink stripes were a mistake. Eight weeks..not too bad I thought. No surgery. Through out my whole appointment my mum was outside in the waiting room.
This is where I met Wendy.I have never met a lady quite like her she was great, supportive and gentle. Caring and funny she talked me through the whole process reassuring me all the while, making light jokes when I did and talked to me like a person. Not a shamed woman or a patient. I felt like a person and that was thanks to Wendy. I had blood tests done and we discussed in length my options for contraception after my termination. I met with the doctor all the while Wendy was there with me clarifying so I knew what was going on, making sure I was sure.
I had to take a tablet which would start the termination and sign a consent form in case of surgery. There are risks to inducing a miscarriage. I was told all about the discomfort and the risks and the small risk I may need blood or an operation. Also the small chance it might not work. I was also reassured all these things were small and I would be ok.
Wendy gave me my first oral tablet with water and told me there was no changing my mind after this. I was so sure. I had an appointment for the follow up procedure on Saturday and Wendy told me she would be there on the day and told me to bring all the right things. Lots of clean pants and comfy black leggings or joggers. BIg sanitary towels like huge ones, the highest absorbency ones so I wouldn't feel uncomfortable.
I went home and waited until saturday.Again lots of young girls and lots of women brave women going alone. Wendy was there as promised and I met claire who took me for my procedure. Four pessaries inserted into your vagina and a suppository of antibiotics to fight infection. None of this hurts, feet together knees apart like a frog and they are so easily popped in you hardly notice. A tiny bit of cold as the suppository goes in, but its all over pretty quickly.
You are told that you will bleed a lot and every time you go to the loo you must pee in the trays on the loo and call the nurse so she can tell when you have passed the product, that's what they call it. Then you wait....wait for it to happen. The bleeding get heavier and you pass clots that look horrible. I looked at everything. They get bigger and everytime you go you think that's it...you know when it is IT.
You can ask for pain killers. I SAY ASK!Don't man it up and brave it because it really hurts. Its not like period pains, it excruciating but it lasts minutes. It is agonising and scary. I had my mum holding my hand and smiling her smile at me. I lay down and asked for pain killers and sobbed. It hurt. I sat up and felt it gush like a really heavy lumpy period. I walked to the loo and there in my pad was IT. I put it in the tray under my bum and cried and cried. Relief pure relief.... it was over.
I called the nurse and she confimed it and took it away. The blood after for me was heavy and it is hard to control, you just gush! It seems so much but it is nothing to be alarmed about. The pain subsides to a dull ache and you just have to manage the bleeding.
I then had to wait. I passed blood clots and a lot more blood. I had more pain killers to get rid of the ache. I waited there the whole day passing smiles of support to girls who were there alone and even those who came with boyfriends and friends. I think they are all brave. It is not a nice thing to have to do, its a little worrying and at any age its ok to feel scared and overwhelmed.
I was discharged with a friendly hug (optional) and some antibiotics. Thank you to Wendy and my mum and my dad who sat on the sidelines and were supportive. I am waiting for my follow up appointment now two days later I am still bleeding a little.
I made the right choice for me but I didn't do it alone, its important to talk to someone...anyone..
Editor's CommentThanks for sharing your experience. I think it was helpful to hear that you researched and faced all the information so that you knew what to expect. Having lots of support must be really comforting if you are going through such a major event in your life. If you need post abortion support it is available.You can call the national helpline 0300 4000 999, log on to Online advisor, or follow the link to find a centre for post abortion support in your area. a>
This story was sent in on 26/07/2011