A medical abortion at 19.
The stories of women on care confidential really helped me throughout finding out I was pregnant, getting the medical abortion and coping with the emotions during and afterwards. I felt I wanted to put back into what had helped me so much. This is a very long detailed account of my experience of all the three stages.
I am 19, and it was a week ago today I had my first lot of pills for my medical abortion. On Friday, I had my miscarriage. Before I carry on, it was all much less scary and gory than I thought it would be, it was upsetting but a lot easier than I thought. A few of the personal stories I had read made it sound like a scene from a horror movie, and I wanted to get across that it is not like this for everyone.
I remember finding out, total shock. I was three weeks late but in total denial I was pregnant, in my mind it had to be anything else; bad diet, stress, my battle with depression prior to all of this, just anything but a baby.
I just started my second year of university and two months ago, I and my boyfriend of nearly two years decided to give our relationship a second go after my depression wore him out. I became very dependant on him before we split, and when he left me it was the wakeup call I needed to realise what I was doing to myself. I was really worried when I found out I was pregnant that this would send me spiralling back down the ladder I had fought so hard to climb back up. It had only been two months since we had been back together and I was worried how it would affect us as a couple, as we were still working out the kinks.
We had spoken before about what would happen if I ever did fall pregnant, so we were calm in the fact we both felt we were making the right decision to terminate. I decided to go home that day in a mad rush, jumping on the first train I could get. I suddenly felt very aware of my body and my womb on the train journey. I kept seeing babies everywhere.
I battled many contrasting emotions the several days I had to wait between the initial trip to the GP and the appointments at the PAS (pregnancy advisory service) clinic. Some days the idea of being pregnant at all made me sick, something growing inside of me, a little alien feeding off me scared me completely. Other days I felt, not guilt but sadness that this creation of me and the man I love would never get to exist. I found this very confusing; I was grieving for a person that would never be real, but that I didn't want to become real. I am still slightly ashamed to admit that I continued to smoke throughout the time I knew I was pregnant, again I was hurting something and it made me feel guilty, but it wouldn’t matter eventually anyway. I never considered the fact I would feel different constantly, I thought I would just pick a side and stay on it. In the sense of my decision I always did, I knew, I know we made the right choice for us. Nevertheless, my emotions toward to whole events spanning that week could change in seconds.
Concerning the procedure itself, I was so glad I had my darling boyfriends support all the way. I had a huge amount of respect for the women in the waiting room who were alone, that takes a lot of bravery from my perspective. All the staff were very friendly and made it very clear what would happen, and I had it all on paperwork too in case I forgot. I felt like I was on autopilot the two days I had to be in the clinic. I think they understood that, and despite the place feeling very ...well clinical the all female staff put me so at ease, they felt like real people, not just robots and that helped me a lot mentally. It would have really upset me if they were cold, emotionless people.
When I had my scan it really hit me, I thought I would be a month gone, but it turned out I was 8 weeks pregnant. This upset me a lot more than I thought it would, purely because I knew by this point my baby would have had a heartbeat. I looked away during the scan, I didn’t want to see or hear it, as I knew it would really upset me, but I still caught a glimpse by accident. After some standard tests, height, weight, blood test etc I had some consultations; one about if I was sure, one with a doctor to go through contraception for the future, painkillers for the procedure and a rather alarmingly large pessary that’s personally administrated. (Genuinely this was the bit of the day I was dead scared by, but with a bit of lube and calm breathing it was totally fine, couldn’t even feel it after a minute or two as it dissolves into your system really quick! Panic for nothing really)
I then had to have to pill that would get the ball rolling, I just got it down me and tried not to think about it. You then are allowed to leave but I was really nervous that morning so hadn’t eaten much breakfast and after being in the clinic for 3 hours as soon as I got home there was nothing in my stomach to help me keep it down so I was violently sick. We rang up the clinic and I popped back up for another one with no problems what so ever as I had obviously just got the other one out of my body too quick to work. The rest of the day and night, I had very very mild cramping but was feeling very emotional. My boyfriend and I did a lot of crying together but felt happy with our choice still. I slept like a log, and he tossed and turned all night. He really struggled with the idea of knowing what the pill was doing at that time.
The next day was my biggest fear, and it kind of shocked me the baby was referred to as a 'product' although it was just cells I now had to pass out to avoid infection. This day was quick, I was in the clinic for 20 minutes. One meeting with a nurse this time; she gave me another much small pessary, 1 tablet to stop diarrhoea (of which I still had some), 4 antibiotics and then four pills inserted into the vagina. You can choose if the nurse does this, or you. I asked her to do it; I was worried if I did it myself, I may do it wrong. This was a bit uncomfortable but she was really professional and tried to relax me as much as possible, and it was all done pretty quick. She was a very nice woman too, I even managed to crack a few jokes with her!
Returning home I was getting more and more nervous, I felt a bit odd but not in a bad way purely for all the things that my body was going through, I had a lot of drugs in me and felt a bit woozy. I had what I would consider standard period pain by the time I was home, and it grew over the next hour or so until it started to really hurt. I would consider myself to have quite a low pain threshold anyhow but I was in agony for about another 2 hours. I just lay on the floor feeling very dizzy, I didn't want to eat and threw up once or twice from the pain. I couldn’t find any comfortable position but laying down was the least worst. The pain seemed to come in waves for about 10 seconds and I'd get relief for about 2 seconds before this would start again. It spread further up my back and front than any usual period pain, and also in my anus. I felt like I really needed to poo for ages, like I was going to poo myself but even when I tried to go to the toilet nothing happened, I presume I was pretty constipated at this point. I went to the toilet again later and realised I had started passing blood. I felt relieved and it hurt less after this had begun.
After awhile I was so exhausted I fell asleep. I woke up 3 hours later feeling much better, had some food and stayed in watching TV that night. I had what felt like bad period pain still but nowhere near the pain I had had earlier. In the morning, I went to the toilet and I passed my first clot just a bit smaller than a golf ball, this wasn’t painful it just shocked me more than anything. I knew it may happen, it was just a sensation I had never experienced before. I cried after this, just because of what I knew the clots were. My boyfriend had been amazing the day before and come to the toilet with me every time and held m