I found this website the most honest and useful.
When I found I was pregnant at 5 weeks I experienced every possible emotion. I was confused and scared but also a little happy and excited? I allowed myself to think about having a baby and what made my decision difficult was that I knew I am more than capable of raising a child. A large factor was finances and the other was that I was in an unstable and erratic non relationship. I knew it was not the right time and I am 100% comfortable with the decision I made.
I decided not to go through my gp but straight to the hospital. I made an appointment for the following week. I was incredibly nervous but was totally put at ease by the two nurses.
I had to do a blood test, a urine test and a swab test (which I did myself). The nurse asked me a few questions, which were respectful and non invasive.
The hardest part for me was the scanHowever I could not hear or see anything and it was over in a moment.
During the whole experience I never felt judged or pitied.
It was confirmed that I was 6 weeks and 2 days pregnant. The options were discussed whether to opt for a medical or early surgical abortion. Having researched both options I had already decided I wanted a surgical abortion.
Being 24 and having never had a smear or examination I was most nervous about someone being 'down there' I think this is absolutely common in younger women however I figured if I was old enough to get myself into this situation I was old enough to have minor surgery. I think many people opt for the medical abortion as it is deemed more natural, having read others experiences it sounded, long and unnecessarily traumatic. With the surgical abortion I was offered either a local or general anaesthetic. I was nervous about the general anaesthaetic having never had one however the nurse suggested it may be easier to go to sleep for 15 minutes and it all be over.
I was booked in for the procedure 2 weeks later.Following the tests with the nurses I was taken along to the ward and also to fill out some routine paper work. The nurses along on the ward were very friendly and not remotely patronising.
The following two weeks are a bit of a blur. I was really concerned with what I needed to take in with me considering I had been told I would be in there all day and there would be lots of waiting around. They had suggested I took pajamas and a dressing gown however I didn't want to feel like an invalid stuck in bed so I took jogging bottoms and a t shirt, I was glad I'd taken my slippers though.
I went in at 7am on the morning of my procedure I was 8 weeks and 2 days. I was not allowed to eat after midnight the night before and only drink water until around 10am.
I arrived and was taken onto the ward and given a bed. The curtains stayed around me all day so I had some privacy. I was given the option to take someone with me (I could hear most women on the ward did) however I'd chosen not to tell anyone and felt more comfortable going alone. I was given a few more forms to fill in, I met the anaesthetist and was taken along to see the surgeon who would perform the procedure. He was clear but did not go into graphic detail.
The morning was long and I was grateful I'd taken a book. At around 12 I was given a pessary (small white tablet) to insert myself in the toilet and told this would loosen my cervix.
The nurse who took me down was so lovely, she held my hand as I waited for the anaesthetic and to go into surgery.
I felt like I went into child mode.I want to say here that although no one ever asked me if I was sure I was doing the right thing, I never felt like I couldn't go back. I could have changed my mind at any time. The anaesthetist had great trouble finding a vein in my arm which was probably the most painful part of the whole experience. Apparently if you're terrified your veins can literally pack up. I got to 8 on the countdown and was out.
I woke up about 20mins later sobbing.
In all honesty I felt absolute relief. Back on the ward I was given a sweet tea and a sandwich. I was conscious I wanted to leave as soon as possible but did need to lay there for a while as I felt rather woozy. After about 40 mins I stood up, there was blood on the bed and on my gown. Blood always shocks me but looking back it was not much. I had taken baby wipes with me so wiped my legs and got dressed. I had been given a large sanitary towel earlier which was not saturated however I had seen more in the toilet and once I had sorted myself out felt considerably better.
I was allowed to leave at around 5 and had to get a taxi after having a general anesthetic. I wished I had taken some sweets or something sugary with me as I felt a bit shaky. I bought haribo and sanitary towels and walked out. Having been discharged I took pain killers, the prescribed strong antibiotics and slept for a few hours. I bled fairly lightly for about 3 days and experienced zero pain. In all honesty the only pain I had was from the anesthetic injection and also my lip was sore and swollen, I presume it was knocked by the pipe that goes down your throat. My stomach felt a little uncomfortable but never painful.
Looking back it was absolutely the right decision and although no one wants to recommend these things the surgical option was so quickly over and done with. If I'm honest it was easy and painless. I understand life is precious and babies can be a blessing. I could be severely criticized and hated for that previous statement but why would you prolong a situation you do not want to be in. No regrets.
Editor's CommentThank you for sharing your experience of a surgical abortion. You sound as though you coped with it well, and feel confident that this was the right decision for you. I think it is important to think through all the options and get accurate information so that you know exactly what is involved. I am glad you found the website helpful, and hope that you will return if you ever need any more help or support.
This story was sent in on 22/06/2012