2 Early Medical Abortions
I want to share my story as I had two different experiences but both were not as frightening as some stories have described.
When I was 21 me and my boyfriend moved away and found out I was pregnant on the same day, we were a new couple and both very scared by this. I contacted Brooke who were amazing and very supportive, they arranged everything for me.
I had my first EMA at an abortion clinic on the NHS about a week after my consultation.I was 5 and a half weeks for my first, I was absolutely terrified. After my first oral tablet I felt very weak, I vomited the next day and began to bleed, I was told by the nurse who gave me my pessaries that this sometimes happened and not to be frightened. After I had the dose of misoprostol inserted I went home and waited for the pregnancy to pass. I had virtually no pain and after an hour or so I passed what seemed to me to be a very heavy period, I did not see any huge clots. I did bleed a lot after this and up until today did not actually realise that I lost too much blood during this time. I survived it though and was back to normal after a week or so.
This time I was just over 7 weeks pregnant and had a very different experience.I found out I was pregnant again and instantly felt guilty, how could I go through all of this again? I realised that I was not being horrible but responsible, and after the initial shock called bpas and arranged a consultation. I felt very nervous about it all as I had to go to my consultation alone and it was in another town (my town didnt provide the service) but when I got there I was made to feel very comfortable and welcomed. I explained to the staff that I was not in the right place for a baby and even though I was disappointed in myself for getting pregnant again I knew it was senseless to punish myself.
I had a scan that ensured I was pregnant but was asked to come back a week later for another scan to ensure I had a 'continuing pregnancy'. This was very frustrating as I knew I was pregnant, they knew I was pregnant and I kept having to travel out of town to get to the clinic. Also it was difficult to conceal it from other family members.
By the time my first pill was taken I was 7 weeks pregnant. I was very nervous because I had vomited when previously taking mifepristone but had virtually no symptoms this time around. On my second visit I inserted the misoprostol alone at 1.15pm which I preferred and got the train home with my partner. I cramped mildly for an hour then nothing seemed to happen.
By this point I had taken 2 paracetamol, 2 ibuprofen and 2 codeine 30mg given to me by bpas. This was because the midwife advised I do it when I started to cramp to prevent any further pain. This pain relief worked a charm and I can safely say I did not feel any excruciating pain later on when the process got under way.
My sister came round to sit with me and my partner was with us too. We watched tv and snacked and I had a few shivers and chills, but nothing major. At around 6pm I felt myself cramping (this was not at all painful it was similar to a mild period pain) and I took some more pain relief. Not long after this I sat on the toilet with my boyfriend next to me and felt a lot of blood gush out of me. This was unsettling at first but I told myself this is what is meant to happen and it will be over soon. After the first wave of blood I noticed a pressure in my vagina and pushed lightly, this was a very scary moment for me as I passed what I feel was a large clot, or possibly the pregnancy (I did not look). I would say it was around the size of a tangerine, it did not hurt but it did feel unpleasant.
After this I walked around to my sister's house to get some privacy as my housemates were not providing me any (I must stress privacy and comfort are so important at this time). At about 6.45pm I sat on the toilet again with my partner and passed a lot of blood with an even larger clot than before. I panicked briefly and my partner reassured me that I was okay and not to worry, he double checked what I had passed and confirmed it was slightly bigger than the first clot. I feel this was most likely the last part of my pregnancy.
I felt absolutely fine after this, I did not bleed anywhere near as heavily as I did during my first EMA and I was very shocked by this. I have continued to bleed up to a day later but not heavily, I have mild cramps but they are not noticeable and I am already feeling like my old self again.
For anyone going through this please just take your pain relief when you feel some cramps, do no hesitate to take the codeine if you are given it, you should feel as comfortable as possible! Also have a loved one with you for comfort as this is a great help you should not go through it alone if you can avoid it I would. Passing clots is not a nice experience but it feels very natural and was painless for me, this is a very brave decision for any woman to make and although every womans body is different I really believe it does not have to be a traumatically painful experience.
Editor's CommentIt is helpful to hear your 2 different experiences, which may have been affected by your stage of pregnancy. It is good that you had the support of your partner and sister, and that your partner was able to reassure you when you felt panicky.
It's distressing to go through this procedure twice. I know most women hope they will never be faced with such a dilemma at all, and as you said the tendency is to feel guilty that you are in the same position for a second time. However, no one has the right to judge, and I hope that you are recovering and coming to terms with your experiences. If at any time you would like support around either of these experiences you can acces this through Careconfidential.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.