I knew I was going to fall pregnant as soon as I'd had unprotected sex.
Afterwards, I knew I should pick up the 72 hour contraceptive, but work was hectic, I hadn't taken any of my lunch breaks, and something primitive kicked in, which made me think "if you are pregnant, then it's a sign that now is the time for motherhood". Two weeks later, it was almost time for my period. I was feeling nauseous, and excess saliva was building in my mouth. I knew this wasn't my normal PMT signs. I knew then my period wouldn't come.
The day I was due, I bought two pregnancy testing kits. Of course, they came out positive. I was in work, alone, and all I could do was panic. I realised there and then how completely foolish I'd been. I'd been absolutely broody for 3 years, regularly talking to friends about how desperately I wanted to be a mother. I always felt envy when friends or family were preparing for a new arrival, hoping that the time would soon come for me.
I had such a longing to have a child, yet when I had the opportunity, I felt nothing but fear.Immediately, I told my friend whom I'd fallen pregnant to. He urged me to terminate, telling me I deserved to be with someone who wanted to have a child with me, and that he was not that man.
Being the daughter to a man who did not want a family, and who told me he did not want me in his life many years after he left my mother, so that he could live the life of a self absorbed, materialistic bachelor overseas, made me certain that the last thing I would ever want, would be to force someone into a relationship of convenience for the sake of a child, or to force fatherhood upon someone who wasn't willing to be a Dad.
However, coming from a family of very strong, loving, smart, and independent women, I knew that this was something I could do myself. I could give a child all the love in the world regardless of how many parents it had in its life.
My mother had lost her mother a few weeks prior to me falling pregnant. My mother is desperate to be a grandmother. I couldn't help but think that this may have been a gift from my dead grandmother. I know this sounds insane, but my mother and I are very spiritual. I knew that if I went ahead with this pregnancy, it would make so many people in my life very happy at a time when there was nothing but sadness. I adore my family, and would do anything to make them happy again. However, they live hundreds of miles from me, and I wouldn't have the day to day support from them.
I spoke to some very close friends and asked their advice.At this point I was 90% certain I was going to go through with this pregnancy. I love my job, but I also work hard, and work a lot. Sometimes working 50hour weeks. I knew that if I did this, I would be going back after maternity leave, and the baby would have to go to a childminder. My friends were incredibly supportive, and spent almost every day with me. I felt that with them around, I could absolutely do it. I started to get excited for the future, and was happy that finally I could embrace motherhood like I had always wanted to.
I then had a few days off work, and spent some time alone. I started to panic about only having 8months to prepare for a child I'd have to move house, learn to drive, buy everything a child would need, get time off work for antenatal classes. At this time, the morning sickness had started. I was going off a lot of food, my breasts were very, very large and sore, I was feeling extremely lethargic, I was getting irritable. I started to think that this was only the start, that I'd get much larger, and when I did, there would be no one to support me. No one to help me. No one to share the experience with. I started to feel really sad, as I knew that as much as I wanted this, I couldn't do this alone.
No matter how many friends I had round, it would be a lonely experience.I started to think about going into labour, who would be by my side? When the baby arrived, I'd be leaving the maternity hospital alone, going back to an empty house. When the baby was crying at night, there would be no one to help. Then I started to think about when it was time to go back to work. If the baby had a bad night, I'd be going to work on no sleep, then it could be repeated. I then considered how I'd miss out on the first smile, first steps etc if I was continuing to work.
I have a lot of respect for women who are able to cope on a small budget, but I didn't want to be a single mum on benefits. I didn't want to lose my identity, who I was. I guess I wanted the best of both worlds. To live my life as I do, but to also be a mother. It would be awful to get up in the morning, take my child to a childminder, and then pick him/her up only to put them to bed at night. I realised this was going to be impossible.
I had phoned my GP, but the surgery was closed. I then called family planning, but they immediately said "is this for a termination?". I hung up. I left it another day, then realised I had to terminate. I'd been waking up every morning, panicking, wondering how I was going to cope.
I realised I was going to have to terminate.That as much as I wanted to be a mother, I didn't actually want to do it alone. I didn't want a child to question me about it's father, and to be the one to tell it he thought I was selfish for bringing an unwanted child into the world. I know in my head my love would be enough, but I thought about all the hurt I felt growing up, knowing my Dad didn't want me. I realised what I really wanted, was a family, not just a child. I had to accept, I wasn't as strong as I thought I was.
I called the family planning, and they were able to see me very quickly. Everything happened so fast.
The whole termination process was the worst experience of my life.My termination was happening 5 weeks after I conceived, so I was able to have a medical termination of pregnancy.
From what I believed, I'd get some pills which would cause some cramps, and the pregnancy would come away like a period. I was not ready for what was going to happen.
The nurse at the family planning was wonderful, she really put me at ease. I was to get a scan to see how far I was. The ultrasound couldn't pick up the pregnancy, so I had to get an internal scan. I was told to empty my bladder, then she put a camera inside my vagina to have a look. She managed to detect it from there. She told me I met the criteria to have the termination in the privacy of my own home, and they could start me the following day. Because it was happening so soon, she gave me my notes to take with me to the hospital the following day. I couldn't help but look at my scan photo, which really hit how real it all was. I'd started to pretend this wasn't happening, that I wasn't pregnant, so that I could deal with it.
I went to the hospital on my way to work. The gynaecology unit was inside the maternity hospital, so I was sharing a lift with pregnant women, and a new Mum and baby. The tears were welling up inside me. As soon as I got out the lift, I thought I was going to collapse with grief. I had to tell myself to pull myself together otherwise they wouldn't allow this.
The nurse I had that day was very cold, very patronising. She chatted to me, gave me the mifepristone tablet, then left. This pill she gave me blocks the hormone progesterone needed to maintain the pregnancy. Because this hormone is blocked, the uterine lining begins to shed and the cervix begins to soften. I went to work and carried on as normal. No pain or bleeding. The next day I had some
This story was sent in on 22/04/2012